23 September 2008Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad today pointed the finger at “corrupt powers” for provoking or maintaining problems in global hotspots such as Iraq, the Middle East and Afghanistan, noting that the United Nations is often paralyzed and unable to take effective action. In Iraq, “millions of people have been killed or displaced, and the occupiers, without a sense of shame, are still seeking to solidify their position in the political geography of the region and to dominate oil resources,” he told the General Assembly’s high-level debate.“The UN is not capable enough to solve the problems and to remove aggressions, occupation and aggression.”Regarding Palestine, the President said that “Zionists” and “some hegemonic and bullying powers [which] support them” are behind the decades of “carnage and invasion,” and the Security Council is powerless in assisting the Palestinian people.Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, the people are the “victims of the willingness of NATO member states to dominate the regions surrounding India, China and South Asia,” he said, again adding that the Council is toothless because some of the culprits are also “the major decision-makers” in the UN body.Earlier this week, the head of the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) called on Iran to be fully transparent regarding its nuclear programme.At the body’s Board of Governors meeting in Geneva, Mohamed ElBaradei appealed to Iran to “implement all measures required to build confidence in the exclusive peaceful nature of its nuclear programme at the earliest possible date.”Mr. Ahmadinejad today stressed that Iran, like all nations, has the right to produce nuclear fuel for non-military purposes, but “a few bullying powers have sought to put hurdles in the way of the peaceful nuclear activities of the Iranian nation by exerting political and economic pressures” against the country.He accused these nations of themselves creating deadly nuclear weapons and stockpiling them, but noted that they are not under the watchful eye of international organizations.
OTTAWA — The first round of negotiations on a new North American Free Trade Agreement will take place Aug. 16-20.U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer has announced that the initial talks between American, Canadian and Mexican negotiators are to take place in Washington, D.C.He’s also announced that John Melle, assistant U.S. trade representative for the Western Hemisphere, will be the chief negotiator for the Americans.Sixteen pages of NAFTA demands signal tough negotiations aheadU.S. says it aims to cut trade deficits through NAFTA revampThe announcement follows a meeting of mid-level officials from all three countries in Washington on Monday to arrange the logistics of the negotiations.The United States initiated the process for renegotiating the 23-year-old trilateral trade agreement in May, in keeping with President Donald Trump’s promise to get a better deal for his country.This week, the Trump administration also released its set of priorities for the talks, and there is pressure on Canadian lawmakers to do the same.
To view a larger version, click on the image (Image: eightytwenty).It’s estimated that there are 2.2 million Facebook users in the country, and that 57 per cent of Irish people use the site. On other social media sites, 27 per cent of people in the country has a Twitter account, while 23 per cent have a LinkedIn account.Read: Facebook rolls out auto-play videos for mobile users >Read: Column: Is social media promoting or stifling debate? > WITH MORE THAN 2.2 million Facebook users in Ireland, a significant proportion will be found in Dublin, but how does the rest of the country fare?Research from marketing agency eightytwenty found that in fourteen of the 26 counties in Ireland, one in three people or less have a Facebook profile.With the exception of Dublin and Limerick, less than one in two people in each county has a Facebook profile. Less than one in five people in Leitrim and Roscommon use the site.Dublin has the most people on Facebook with three in four people being on the site while half of the population of Limerick has an account. Waterford, Louth, Sligo and Galway follow with less than half of their populations having a personal profile.A breakdown of each county and the percentage of its population on Facebook can be found below.