Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Militant killed in botched Pakistan bomb blast

A pro-Taliban militant was killed and two others wounded in a botched attempt to blow up the office of a women's rights group in troubled northwest Pakistan, police said.

The militants had been trying to plant a bomb at the Khawando Kor (Sisters' Home) in Karak town, about 100 kilometres (60 miles) south of provincial capital Peshawar late Sunday, local police officer Hajit Khan said. Full Story
Lebanon presidential vote postponed

Lebanese Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri on Monday postponed a parliamentary session to elect a new president until Nov. 12 to give rival factions time to agree on a compromise candidate, a statement said. The 128-member parliament, dominated by anti-Syrian legislators, was scheduled to meet Tuesday to try again to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, who steps down Nov. 24, after an opposition boycott prevented an election during the Sept. 25 session. Full Story

President Hu stronger in new China leadership

China on Monday unveiled a new leadership team that gave President Hu Jintao a stronger hand in governing the country and put forward potential successors to take over power from him in 2012. Hu, 64, was given a second term as head of the ruling Communist Party and the nation's armed forces, following more than a week of closed-door meetings in Beijing during which he worked to consolidate his grip on power. Full Story

Missing ship feared seized by pirates off Somalia

A Comoros-registered cargo ship is missing off Somalia and a Kenyan maritime official said on Monday he feared it had been seized by pirates. If confirmed, the Al Marjan would be the fourth vessel being held by pirates in one of the world's most dangerous waterways. Full Story

Turkish convoy heads toward Iraqi border

Dozens of military vehicles headed toward the Iraq border and protesters demanded tough action against Kurdish rebels on Monday, a day after 12 soldiers were killed in an ambush. The attack has pushed Turkey closer to a possible incursion into Iraq to target insurgents hiding there. Full Story

Iran to France: sanctions won't stop atomic plans

Iran will not abandon its right to nuclear technology regardless of threats of more sanctions, Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said in a letter to his French counterpart issued on Monday by an Iranian news agency. Full Story

Thousands of homes ordered evacuated in California fires

Residents of about 10,000 homes northeast of San Diego were ordered Monday to flee an out-of-control wildfire, one of several burning across Southern California. Full Story

Turkish troops missing after raid

Eight Turkish troops are still missing after an attack by Kurdish rebels on Sunday which left 12 troops dead, the Turkish military has confirmed. Full Story

Iraq says Kurdish rebels will announce ceasefire

Kurdish rebels will announce a ceasefire tonight, the Iraqi president said today, with the news coming amid hectic diplomatic efforts to avert a Turkish attack on northern Iraq. Full Story

ETA 'plans attack on high speed train link'

The armed separatist group ETA plans to strike a high-speed railway under construction in Spain's northern Basque region, the Spanish daily ABC reported Monday. Full Story

Bin Laden urges Iraq insurgents to unite

Osama bin Laden scolded his al-Qaida followers in Iraq and other insurgents Monday, saying they have "been lax" for failing to overcome fanatical tribal loyalties and unite in the fight against U.S. troops.

The message of his new audiotape reflected the growing disarray among Iraq's Sunni Arab insurgents and bin Laden's client group in the country, both of which are facing heavy U.S. military pressure and an uprising among Sunni tribesmen. Full Story

Israeli pipeline spills 40 tons of oil

About 40 tons of oil spilled Monday from a land pipeline carrying crude from the port of Ashkelon in southern Israel to refineries in the northern city of Haifa, a fire department spokesman said.

Hezi Levy said a factory owner just south of Haifa called in a complaint that oil was leaking into his building, alerting authorities to the break. The pipeline company stopped the flow, and Levy said a cleanup was under way. Full Story

Lebanese presidential election delayed

Lebanon's presidential election has been postponed until next month to give rival factions time to agree on a compromise candidate, officials said Monday.

The 128-member parliament, dominated by anti-Syrian legislators, was scheduled to meet Tuesday to try for a second time to choose a successor to pro-Syrian President Emile Lahoud, who steps down Nov. 24. An opposition boycott prevented the previously scheduled election last month. Full Story

Mideast agreement must pass Israeli vote

Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has pledged to seek parliamentary approval for any significant agreement with the Palestinians, including the joint declaration of principles he is trying to reach ahead of a U.S.-sponsored Mideast conference later this year, according to a letter released Monday.

Approval would be far from automatic if the declaration commits Israel to giving up parts of Jerusalem or other main concessions sought by the Palestinians. Hawkish parties in Olmert's coalition have threatened to bring his government down if he agrees to such steps. Full Story

France's president visits Morocco

French President Nicolas Sarkozy met with Morocco's king Monday and signed a string of deals aimed at fostering closer cooperation between the two countries and economic development projects.

Sarkozy began a three-day visit to the former French colony in North Africa to promote his proposal for cooperation between the two sides of the Mediterranean in four areas  economic growth, security, the environment and cultural dialogue. Full Story

Mafia is biggest business in Italy

Revenue from organized crime amounts to an estimated $127 billion annually in Italy, making it the largest segment of the economy, a lobby group for small businesses said Monday.

The figure, representing about 7 percent of the country's gross domestic product, is made from illicit activities such as extortion, drug trafficking, loansharking and prostitution rings, the Confesercenti lobby said in a report. Full Story

Talks on Kosovo's future sour amid spat

Talks on the future status of Kosovo soured Monday as rival Serbian and ethnic Albanian negotiators clashed bitterly over the breakaway province's insistence on independence.

Both sides made angry statements at the latest round of internationally mediated talks raising the likelihood that Kosovo's ethnic Albanian majority will follow through on a threat to declare independence unilaterally if the last-ditch negotiations don't produce a settlement. Full Story

Activist, guard killed on Brazil biofarm

Two people were shot dead when activists were confronted by armed men as they invaded a Swiss-owned farm that has been a flashpoint in the debate over biotech crops, authorities and the company said Monday.

A security guard and an activist were killed by gunfire Sunday at the research farm owned by Syngenta AG, a global company with a heavy focus on genetically modified seeds. Full Story

Sudan to announce Darfur cease-fire

Sudan will announce a cease-fire at the start of talks with rebel groups on Oct. 27 aimed at ending the conflict in Darfur, the country's U.N. ambassador said Monday.

Ambassador Abdelmahmood Abdalhaleem Mohamed said the government decided to declare a cease-fire at the opening session to help promote the success of the talks in the Libyan city of Sirte, the hometown of the country's leader Moammar Gadhafi. Full Story

Ethiopian rebels claim killing 250 government troops

Ethiopian rebels said they had killed 250 government troops in on renewed clashes in the volatile Ogaden region, where the government has been carrying our a crackdown. Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) spokesman Abdirahman Mahdi said the movements's fighters on Monday killed "counted at least 250 Ethiopian troops killed" near the Wardheer and Jijiga townships. Full Story

More delays for India-US nuclear deal

India's government said it would hold off on finalizing a landmark civilian nuclear energy deal with the United States for at least a month after inconclusive talks with its communist political allies, who oppose the accord.

The result of a meeting Monday between the governing Congress party and the communists seemed certain to further fuel doubts about the future of the pact. Full Story

AFP, PNP monitor 20 Cebu villages with NPA 'bets'Posted on Monday, October 22, 2007 at 9:45pmA police official said on Tuesday up to 20 barangay (villages), said to be infiltrated by the communist New Peoples Army, could land on the list of the Commission on Elections (Comelec) "areas of concern" in the October 29 village elections.

Senior Superintendent Carmelo Valmoria, Cebu provincial police director, said the police have been monitoring the peace and order situation in these areas due to the presence of the NPA and due to reports the rebel group is fielding its candidates in the village polls. Full Story

Philippine police rule out bomb in mall blast

Philippine police said on Tuesday it was unlikely a bomb caused last week's explosion that killed 11 people and wounded more than 100 at an upscale shopping mall in Manila's financial district.

Geary Barias, Manila's police chief, said Friday's lunchtime blast could have been caused by an accumulation of deadly gas in the basement of the Glorietta shopping complex owned by the country's richest family, the Ayalas. Full Story

Israeli troops kill two Palestinian militants

Israeli forces killed two Palestinian militants near the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, the army and Palestinian officials said. The two were identified as members of the Islamic Jihad militant group, a Palestinian security official said. Full Story

Pakistan's Bhutto mulls 'virtual' rallies

Former Pakistan premier Benazir Bhutto said she is considering "virtual" mass rallies and campaigning via phone to avoid mass violence after last week's deadly suicide attack on her convoy.

Bhutto wrote her suggestions in a Wall Street journal opinion piece, a day after she condemned the government's plan to ban large rallies in the run-up to January's general elections, seen as a key step to restoring democracy after eight years of military rule by President Pervez Musharraf. Full Story

Official: 2 bombers in Bhutto blast

A pair of suicide bombers were apparently behind last week's bloody attack on opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, a top intelligence official said Tuesday, as the prime minister expressed optimism that the people behind the plot would soon be brought to justice.

Police had initially said only one suicide bomber participated in the attack, but the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media, said two severed heads found at the scene  and the fact that no families had emerged to claim either one  suggested two men were responsible. Full Story

Bangladesh parties seek to rebuild unity, faith in leaders

Bangladesh's main political parties have stopped pushing for reforms to curtail the powers of their fallen leaders and instead are rallying around them ahead of elections planned for late next year.

The reforms were driven by groups of senior politicians and aimed to sideline Sheikh Hasina and Begum Khaleda Zia, former prime ministers and chiefs of the Awami League and Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) respectively. Full Story

Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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