U.S. Arms and the Middle East

The Week with IPS

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Here are some of the most-read stories of the past week — and stories you shouldn’t go without reading:

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U.S. Arms Sales Preserve Israel’s Edge

Thalif Deen

UNITED NATIONS – When the United States sells state-of-the-art weapons systems to Arab nations, it invariably provides even more lethal and sophisticated arms to its steadfast ally, Israel, in order to help counter the firepower of its neighbours.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38791

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Arms for Arab Authoritarians, As U.S. Turns Back Clock

Analysis by Jim Lobe

WASHINGTON – Just 25 months after Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice denounced 60 years of U.S. support for authoritarian governments in Arab world, she and Pentagon chief Robert Gates are on their way to the Middle East bearing arms and an uncannily familiar strategic vision to the same regimes.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38723

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IRAQ:  A Little Easier to Occupy from the Air

Ali al-Fadhily*

BAGHDAD – Many Iraqis believe the dramatic escalation in U.S. military use of air power is a sign of defeat for the occupation forces on the ground.

U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft dropped five times as many bombs in Iraq during the first six months of this year as over the first half of 2006, according to official information.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38726

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Small Island States Stand Up to EU

David Cronin

BRUSSELS – Governments in the Pacific region have reacted furiously to a threat by the European Union that it will reduce the amount of development aid they receive if they delay on signing a free trade deal with the 27-nation bloc.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38786

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MAURITIUS: “Our Sea and Lagoon Are Not For Sale”

Nasseem Ackbarally

PORT LOUIS – “We are selling everything in this country: from our bodies to our land and now our sea and lagoons. Is there anything left for us?” asked Jack Bizlall, spokesperson for a nongovernmental network of organisations called Kalipso.

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=38753

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PAKISTAN: Smugglers Profit From Landlocked Afghanistan

Ashfaq Yusufzai

PESHAWAR – Taking advantage of the United Nations-facilitated Afghan Transit Trade Agreement (ATTA), a massive contraband trade has grown around goods imported into Afghanistan and smuggled back into the markets of this frontier town in Pakistan.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38794

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BRAZIL: “I’m the Only Gang Member Alive and Free”

Mario Osava

SÃO LUIS – Most of them were 15 or 16 years old when they created the gang “Falta de Deus” (Lack of God), a name chosen because “we were all against Christ.” Of the 25 members, 10 are dead and 14 are in jail. “I’m the only one still alive and free,” says 22-year-old Elias da Silva.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38774

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WEST AFRICA: Stock Farmers Migrate From Difficulties, To Difficulties

Aly Ouattara and Michée Boko

KORHOGO – No more grass for livestock to graze on. No more water, either. More than 50 stock animals dead. For farmer Samba Diallo, staying in Burkina Faso was no longer an option.

http://www.ipsnews.net/africa/nota.asp?idnews=38793

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JAPAN: A Reawakening of Neglected Island Cultures

Suvendrini Kakuchi

TOKYO – After decades of cold neglect, the distinct and intricate cultures of the tiny islands that surround the archipelago of Japan’s four main islands have recently begun to gain public attention.

http://www.ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38731

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PARAGUAY: Hospitals – Generating Health or Pollution?

David Vargas

ASUNCIÓN – A thousand inflated transparent plastic bags labelled “Pathological Garbage” cover the floor of one of the exhibition rooms at the Juan de Salazar Cultural Centre in the Paraguayan capital.

http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=38756

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And much more global news at: http://www.ipsnews.net/

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Inter Press Service News Agency (IPS), the world’s leading provider of information on global issues, is backed by a network of journalists in more than 100 countries. Its clients include more than 3,000 media organisations and tens of thousands of civil society groups, academics, and other users.

IPS focuses its news coverage on the events and global processes affecting the economic, social and political development of peoples and nations.

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Visit Inter Press Service at http://www.ipsnews.net

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