The Broad Mind | Daily Update: August 27, 2013

The Broad Mind is restarting its daily updates on international news for the Indian reader. Expect updates every weekday.

Syrian President Al-Assad denies use of chemical weapons

On the alleged use of chemical weapons, President al-Assad said that the statements by the US administration, the West and other countries were made with disdain and blatant disrespect of their own public opinion. However, the U.N. inspectors that were sent to visit the site of an alleged chemical weapons attack in eastern Damascus came under fire. A BBC news correspondent writes that the dire predictions made months ago by some regional analysts that the Syrian situation could spiral rapidly into World War III are starting to look a little less fanciful.

Karzai meets Sharif

Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif seek support for the revival of peace talks with Taliban and to improve frayed ties. It is Mr. Karzai’s first visit to Pakistan since the new government took office in June. The leaders signed two agreements and the Afghan President called for a joint anti terror campaign. Earlier in the month, Pakistan’s special adviser on national security and foreign affairs Sartaj Aziz met with Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul in Kabul at mending relations between the two neighbors.

OVL to buy 10 per cent stake in a Mozambique gas field for $2.64 billion

Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Videsh Ltd (OVL) set to buy of 10 per cent stake in a giant Mozambique gas field from Anadarko Petroleum Corp of US for $2.64 billion. The New York Times states that this is the latest example of how Asia’s biggest emerging economies are zeroing in on Mozambique’s vast offshore energy resources. Reuters reports that the purchase is to offset diminishing supplies from domestic gas fields by buying overseas assets and boost India’s energy needs. East Africa has become one of the world’s most promising areas for energy production in the wake of large natural-gas discoveries off the coasts of Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya, reports The Wall Street Journal.

Bo Xilai’s trial concludes

Bo Xilai, a former Politburo member faced trial on being charged for bribery, graft and abuse of power. He denied the charge of abusing power to cover up a murder case involving his wife and to sack a police chief without proper procedures. He presented his closing case by stating that he was a victim of “fabricated” evidence and of a close relationship between his wife and his police chief. There may or may not be any chance of a lenient punishment.

Thousands of Filipinos rally against corruption: Is Philippines headed the Turkey way?

Tens of thousands of Filipinos protested in a park in Manila demanding the scrapping of a development fund that allows lawmakers to allocate government money for projects in their districts. Police said about 70,000 protesters were at the peak of the rally. The government corruption is linked to a program that is accused of having diverted an estimated $141 million away from the poor and into the coffers of politicians and their associates.

Daily updates are brought to you by Divya Gangadar at the Takshashila Institution.

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DISCLAIMER: This is an archived post from the Indian National Interest blogroll. Views expressed are those of the blogger's and do not represent The Takshashila Institution’s view.