- The Washington Times - Friday, October 1, 2004

Excerpts of editorials from newspapers around the world :

Asahi Shimbun

Preventing nuclear attack

TOKYO — Investigations by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reveal that North Korea and Iran have … been active in the smuggling of uranium enrichment-related parts.

… The threat of terrorists planning a “nuclear 9/11” with technology and raw materials acquired from the black market is no longer the stuff of science fiction fantasy.

… To help prevent the situation from worsening, we offer three proposals.

First, there should be a bigger push to promote implementation of Resolution 1540, adopted by the United Nations Security Council in April, which seeks to halt trafficking in weapons of mass destruction (WMD). This resolution demands that U.N. member countries criminalize the proliferation of nuclear arms and other WMD while implementing export-control systems to root out illicit sales of such weapons.

… Second, we support an increase in the signatory parties to the additional protocol designed to streamline compliance snap inspections by the IAEA.

If the agency were able to steadily increase the number and frequency of its surprise checks under this protocol, … the odds of being able to detect secret testing of weapons early … would be improved. …

Third, we propose a treaty to ban production of fissionable materials for use in weapons. …

Inking such a treaty would be a means to stop the arms race, and simultaneously block proliferation of nuclear weapons to nuclear-free countries. It will also be important, meanwhile, to equip the treaty adopted with an inspection system capable of verifying implementation.

O Globo

Global warming

RIO DE JANEIRO — As the Antarctic ice melts faster, rich countries including the United States, the only ones able to undertake efficient measures, maintain an attitude of indifference. The reason for this is the high economic cost of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. It was because of this that the United States rejected the Kyoto protocol.

… No big catastrophes are in sight in the short term, but it is certain that chaos in the coming decades can only be avoided if measures are undertaken now.

Even if the United States signs the Kyoto protocol, it will not be enough … [the] problem [is] much bigger than was feared.

Jordan Times

Fears of Al Aqsa collapse

AMMAN — Whether the eastern wall of Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem is safe and fit is a technical issue that must be tackled by all sides. The Israeli authorities are now claiming that the wall is cracked and that there is an imminent danger of collapse.

… There is now … an engineering effort to use rods to strengthen the wall against earthquakes or any other stress that it may be subjected to in the future. This suggests that the wall may indeed require reinforcement, irrespective of the true intentions of the Israeli side. It would be safer to use the Israeli recommendation to address the construction weaknesses in the wall as a serious warning rather than to see in it a merely political ploy to prevent worshippers from carrying out their religious duties.

Since all Israel is calling for is reinforcement of the wall, and since the Muslim authorities are actually aiming to do just that, why not strengthen the wall and play it safe?

Egyptian Gazette

Slaying of Hamas leader

CAIRO — Following last month’s back-to-back bombings in the Israeli city of Beersheba, Israeli leaders vowed to track down and liquidate Palestinian activists whenever they are. They made good on their threat Sunday in central Damascus. A leader of the Palestinian resistance group Hamas was slain in a car bomb[ing] in the Syrian capital. … Since the eruption of the intifada in late 2000 against Israeli occupation, cold-blooded killings have been a key weapon ruthlessly pursued by the Jewish state against Palestinian activists. … Israel is putting Damascus on notice that it will stop at nothing to eliminate the Palestinians.

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