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Pakistan: Obama's Vietnam?

The Taliban have taken control of a northern district in Pakistan known as Swat, wreaking havoc throughout the valley, even as Obama's envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, Richard Holbrooke, arrives on a fact-finding tour of the region. The Pakistani army isn't able to stop the Taliban; why not?

SOURCES: BBC, U.K; Russia Today, Russia; South Asia Newsline, India; Asia Today, China; Al Jazeera English, Qatar; Press TV, Iran; ABC, U.S; NBC, U.S; UCTV, U.S.

 

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A Quagmire in Pakistan?

This week's Global Pulse examines the disturbing recent rise of Taliban activity in Pakistan, including in the previously stable Swat Valley. Now, observers wonder, what can the Obama administration do to ensure that Pakistan does not become further radicalized? 

 

Several writers in the Pakistani blogosphere fear that the military is not yet a strong match for the rising popular appeal of the Taliban in regions like Swat. Abdullah Saad sees a long history of popular sympathy for religious fundamentalism in the area, and that the military and government continue to underestimate its appeal. Ambreen Kazmi at Chowrangi points to FM radio use by radical clerics in Swat as an effective tool to organize popular support, particularly among women, for Taliban policies.

 

And finally the venerable Syed Saleem Shahzad at Asia Times interviews a top Taliban leader in Swat, who notes Western and Pakistani government support for the Taliban in its infancy in the late 1970s, a connection that continues to cloud the ties between Pakistani authorities and the Taliban today.

 

What options then does the Obama administration have in the region? Check out further analysis here and here, as well as do let us know your own ideas in the episode comments above.

 
 

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Clean Coal: Yes We Can?

The Chicago Tribune reports today that Illinois will move ahead with construction of a new power plant that aims to implement Obama-approved "clean coal" technology. But is there anything even remotely "green" about this plan to expand coal power production? The American Coalition for Clean Coal Technology, a coal power lobby organization, thinks so and uses an Obama campaign speech to prove their point in a recent ad below. For a more sobering take, check out views expressed here and here.

 

 

 
 

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The Color of Stimulus: Green

Obama's economic stimulus package calls for the creation of new jobs by investing in a green economy. But, other nations are ahead of the curve in going green. Can the U.S. meet Obama's challenge?

 

SOURCES: CNN, U.S; BBC, U.K; KBS News, South Korea; TRT, Turkey; 5 Day News, U.S; Deutsch Welle, Germany.

 

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Election '08 - In the Eyes of the World

A New Year's Day special half-hour report: How the world covered Barack Obama's historic victory, and how the next president sees the global challenges ahead.

 

SOURCES: Russia Today, Russia; Comedy Central, U.S.; Once Noticias, Mexico; Al Alam, Iran; TV5, France; FCI, Japan; TRT, Turkey; CNN, U.S. Deutsche Welle, Germany; BBC World, U.K.; Al Jazeera English, Qatar; CCTV, China; PressTV, Iran; KBS News, South Korea; CBS News, U.S.; NBC News, U.S.; ABC News, U.S.; South Asia Newsline, India; Telesur, Venezuela; TVE, Spain, Media Line, Israel

 
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