European Union lawmakers approved a fisheries agreement with Morocco on Tuesday, two years after rejecting an earlier proposal because of concerns the pact would strengthen Rabat's control over the disputed Western Sahara. The decision will allow EU fishermen to fish in Western Saharan waters even though the government of Morocco has no right to sell the resources of Western Sahara under international law. Critics have long questioned the sustainability of allowing fishing in these waters and whether - as mandated by the United Nations - it benefits the Sahrawi population living under Moroccan rule. "The EU-Morocco fisheries agreement is the most shameful episode in the EU's neo-colonial fisheries policy," Green fisheries and human rights spokesperson Raul Romeva said in a statement.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai has criticized what he said was pressure from the United States to accept a security agreement, accusing Washington of behaving like a colonial power. Karzai has thrown the pact shaping the U.S. military presence post-2014 into doubt in the past by saying that he would only sign if new conditions were met and then only after elections in April. In an interview with French newspaper Le Monde, Karzai said the special U.S. envoy to Afghanistan and Pakistan, James Dobbins, had effectively told him during a recent visit to Kabul that without a security agreement there would be no peace. Karzai said that could be interpreted as meaning: "If you don't sign the agreement, we will provoke fighting in your country, we will cause trouble." In the absence of a deal, Washington says it will consider pulling its entire military presence out of Afghanistan, which remains gripped by the Islamist Taliban's insurgency.
Washington (AFP) - New US regulations released Tuesday place tight controls on banks' trading their own accounts, in an attempt to avoid the high-risk behavior that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis.