Thursday, November 29, 2007


Musharraf retires as Pakistan army chief
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 7:19am
Pervez Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan's military commander Wednesday, fulfilling a key opposition demand a day before he was to be sworn in as a civilian president. Full Story

Suicide bomb targets Sri Lanka officialPosted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 7:21amA female suicide bomber blew herself up in the heart of Colombo on Wednesday, killing one person in an attempt to assassinate a government minister, the military said. Full Story

Final Kosovo Talks End in Failure
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 8:29am
Serbs and ethnic Albanians have failed to resolve the future status of Kosovo at a final round of internationally-brokered talks. The UN had set a 10 December deadline for a negotiated settlement on Kosovo. The province's ethnic Albanians demand independence from Serbia but Belgrade has consistently rejected this. Although both sides say they will avoid a return to violence, the US envoy to Kosovo has warned the "peace of the Balkans is very much at stake". Full Story

French president vows to punish gun-toting rioters
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 8:53am
French President Nicolas Sarkozy vowed Wednesday that rioters who shot at police during a flare-up of Paris suburban unrest would be severely punished, as authorities struggled to contain the violence. Full Story

Bomb kills 16 near Sri Lankan capital
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:25am
A bomb exploded Wednesday evening outside a clothing store in a busy Colombo suburb, killing at least 16 people and wounding more than 20 others, the military said. The blast occurred in the town of Nugegoda when a security guard outside a popular store became suspicious about a parcel and tried to open it, a defense official said, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Full Story

Georgian Opposition Leader Held
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:26am
Georgian opposition leader Irakli Okruashvili has been arrested in Germany on an Interpol warrant issued by Tbilisi, German prosecutors say. Mr Okruashvili, 34, a former defence minister, was first arrested in Georgia in September after accusing President Mikhail Saakashvili of corruption. Full Story

Dutch quell school hours protest
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:26am
Twenty-eight school students will face public order charges in Amsterdam, following violent street protests, Dutch police say. Police clashed with about 1,000 teenagers in Amsterdam on Monday, using water cannon to disperse the crowd after being pelted with eggs and cans. Police spokesman Arnout Aben said 28 were briefly detained and would face charges for public order offences. Full Story

Beijing plans "biggest" revamp of ancient lanes
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:27am
Beijing is planning its largest ever revamp of the city's imperial-era neighborhoods in an effort to preserve cultural relics ahead of the Olympic Games next year, local media said on Wednesday. Renovation work would see 1,474 courtyard properties spruced up in 40 Beijing "hutong," or alleyways, in four inner city districts, the Beijing News said. Full Story

Pakistan's Musharraf wants to lift emergency rule before polls
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:29am
Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, who resigned as army chief on Wednesday, wants to lift emergency rule before elections in January but is still weighing his options, a senior official said. The comment came as Dawn News television, quoting unidentified sources, reported that Musharraf was set to end the November 3 state of emergency within 48 hours. Full Story

Russian Election Insider Outlines Fraud
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:31am
Election officials have been ordered to make sure that United Russia collects double the number of votes it is expected to win in State Duma elections on Sunday -- even if they have to falsify the results, a senior election official said. The Central Elections Commission strongly denied the allegation. But accounts from other people familiar with the issue -- including opposition politicians and state-paid workers, who spoke of mounting pressure to round up votes for United Russia -- appeared to confirm the election official's remarks. Full Story

Lavrov Says Any New Nuclear Reduction Pacts with the US Must Lower WMD Limits
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:46am
A treaty to replace a major nuclear arms reduction agreement between Russia and the U.S. must set lower ceilings for nuclear arsenals and limit the development of new nuclear weapons, Russia's foreign minister said on Wednesday. "We insist that any document replacing the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty [START-I] should set lower ceilings not only for the number of nuclear warheads, but also for their delivery vehicles," Sergei Lavrov said on his way back from Tuesday's Mideast peace conference in the U.S. Full Story

Typhoon death toll rises as floods sweep Philippines
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:51am
The death toll from Typhoon Mitag climbed to 19 on Wednesday after more people were drowned by flooding in the northern Philippines, disaster officials said. Mitag, which ripped through the archipelago earlier this week, weakened to a tropical depression and has bypassed Taiwan en route back to the Pacific Ocean. Full Story

Babacan: No Satisfacotry Measures Against PKK From Iraqi Kurds
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:55am
Foreign Minister Ali Babacan has expressed dissatisfaction over steps taken by Iraq's regional Kurdish administration against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK), which use Iraq's mountainous north as a launch pad for attacks on southern Turkey. Babacan spoke with Turkish reporters late on Monday when he arrived in Washington to participate in a key Middle East peace summit in Annapolis, Maryland. Full Story

Japan's upper house passes bill to end Iraq mission
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 9:57am
Japan's opposition-ruled upper house voted Wednesday to end the country's air mission to Iraq, but the bill was expected to be overridden by the lower chamber of the divided parliament. Adding to the political heat, prosecutors arrested the former top bureaucrat of the defence ministry on bribery allegations in a growing scandal which has touched a minister in Prime Minister Yasuo Fukuda's two-month-old cabinet. Full Story

Scores charged over Hindu rally
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 11:01am
At least 80 ethnic Indians have been charged with illegal assembly in Malaysia, after a weekend of protests in the capital, Kuala Lumpur. Activists appeared in several courts around the country to deny the charges, and many were freed on bail. Full Story

Army Encourages PKK Members to Surrender
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 11:23am
Turkey's military has recently launched a campaign to encourage members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) to surrender and benefit from an existing amnesty program. In recent weeks, Turkey has also moved more soldiers and artillery units to the border with Iraq for a possible cross-border incursion against the PKK bases in northern Iraq. Full Story

Inflation surges in Vietnam's red-hot economy
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 11:31am
Inflation in Vietnam surged to 9.45 per cent in the first 11 months of 2007, driven by rising food prices and a recent hike in the cost of gasoline, local media reported Wednesday. The official Vietnam News cited Le Duc Thang, deputy director of the government's General Statistics Office, as blaming flood damage to agriculture in central Vietnam for the rise in food prices. FullStory

Key OSCE Gathering Set for US-Russia Clash Over Democracy
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 11:32am
Russia and the United States look set to clash over human rights and democracy this week when OSCE foreign ministers meet in Spain to assess competing visions for the future of the worlds largest regional security organization. Russia, which strongly opposes the OSCE's flagship role as a bulwark for human rights and democracy across Eastern Europe and Central Asia, will see its controversial bid to overhaul the Vienna-based organization under fierce debate during the ministerial council in Madrid on November 29-30. Full Story

Slovakia Arrests 3 in Nuclear Material Case
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 1:01pm
Police said Wednesday three people have been arrested for attempting to sell a small amount of an unspecified nuclear material. Police spokesman Martin Korch said specialists were examining the radioactive material seized in Slovakia. He said the three allegedly planned a deal to sell the material, which weighs a kilo, or 2.2 pounds, for $1 million. Two of the suspects were arrested in eastern Slovakia, the other in Hungary. Full Story

NATO's new Afghan battleground: YouTube
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:00pm
NATO is acknowledging YouTube as its new battleground in the six-year war on Taliban fighters in Afghanistan, as the military alliance posts formerly secret surveillance and attack video. Full Story

Saudis: 208 arrested in different plots
Posted on Wednesday, November 28, 2007 at 4:41pm
More than 200 al-Qaida-linked suspects involved in different plots against the kingdom have been arrested in recent months in Saudi Arabia's largest anti-terrorism sweep to date, the Interior Ministry said Wednesday. Full Story

Kosovo talks resume with no deal in sight
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 5:08am
Serbia pushed for an extension of talks with Kosovo Albanians in a bid to head off a threatened declaration of independence on a second day of negotiations on the future of the Serbian province. Counting on Western support, Kosovo's 90-percent Albanian majority says it will declare independence from Serbia after a U.N.-set December deadline, probably in January or February. Serbia refuses to let the province go. Full Story

Dozens injured in Paris rampage
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 7:51am
Nearly 80 French police officers have been injured, six seriously, during a second night of riots by youths in the suburbs of Paris, police unions say. The police say some officers suffered bullet wounds, while others were hurt by stones, fireworks and petrol bombs thrown at them in Villiers-le-Bel. The youths said they were avenging the two teenagers killed when their motorcycle hit a police car on Sunday. Full Story

Bin Laden message 'to be aired'
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 7:52am
Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden is to address the people of Europe in a new message, according to the terror network's media production arm. The claim was made in an advertisement posted on an Islamic militant website on Monday, featuring Bin Laden's image. As-Sahab did not say when the message would be aired or whether it would be a video or audio recording. Full Story

Peace with Sri Lanka govt impossible: Tamil Tiger chief
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 8:33amThe leader of Sri Lanka's Tamil Tiger rebels declared in an annual speech Tuesday that peace with the island's "genocidal" government was impossible. Full Story

Azerbaijan defense minister hints at war
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 8:34am
The long-standing dispute over the Armenian-controlled territory of Nagorno-Karabakh could spark a new war if it remains unresolved, Azerbaijan's defense minister said Tuesday. Full Story
Saudi Arabia Releases 1,500 Redeemed Prisoners
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 8:37am
Saudi Arabia has released 1,500 extremists from its jails after they received intensive psychological and religious counseling. Full Story

Strong quake shakes Philippine capital
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:02am
A 6.0-magnitude earthquake shook the Philippine capital Tuesday sending office workers into the streets in panic as buildings swayed, but officials said there were no immediate reports of casualties or damage. The quake struck Luzon island at 12:27pm (0427 GMT) and was centred 195 kilometres (120 miles) northwest of Manila at a depth of 62.5 kilometres, the US Geological Survey said. Full Story

EU to pressure China on currency
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:18am
The European Union (EU) is expected to pressure China to allow its currency to strengthen more quickly at a bilateral summit in China this week. The weak yuan has buoyed exports to Europe, which has seen its trade deficit with China soar. Full Story

High tide disrupts flights and thousands to flee Indonesia's capital
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:27am
Indonesia's environment minister said Tuesday global warming was to blame after parts of the capital were flooded with sea water, forcing thousands of people to flee inundated homes and cutting off a highway leading to the international airport. Authorities used pumps to lower water levels, which reached up to 1.7 meters (23 feet) in the worst-hit areas and washed 2 kilometers (more than a mile) inland, said Iskandar, an official at Jakarta's flood crisis center. Full Story

Siniora plans to walk softly until presidential seat is filled
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:31am
Lebanon's prime minister said Monday his government would not make any "provocative," moves in a sign that he would try to contain a political crisis in the divided country. Premier Fouad Siniora's Cabinet assumed the powers of head of state Saturday after the term of former President Emile Lahoud ended with no agreement on his successor. The opposition, backed by Syria and led by Hizbullah, disputes the legitimacy of the anti-Syrian government and says it has no right to assume the powers of president. Full Story

Iraq seeks UN troop mandate's end
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:33am
Baghdad will ask the UN to renew the mandate of US-led forces in Iraq for a final time until the end of 2008, Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki has said. He said the mandate should be replaced by a new pact between Iraq and the US. The Security Council has been renewing the troops' mandate annually since the US-led invasion into Iraq in 2003. Full Story

Syria's role at U.S. talks may help Lebanon
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:34am
Syria's presence at the Annapolis peace conference Tuesday could help ease tensions in Lebanon, which has entered a leadership vacuum after rival factions reached deadlock over the election of a new president, analysts say. Syria, which exerts powerful influence over the Lebanese opposition to the Western-backed government in Beirut, is attending the Annapolis conference after US officials agreed that the fate of the Golan Heights Syrian territory occupied by Israel since 1967 could be discussed. The presence at Annapolis of Syria, a close ally of Iran and a staunch foe of Israel, may herald the beginning of a thaw in the icy relations between Damascus and Washington, which some analysts believe could help stabilize Lebanon and weaken Syria's relationship with Iran. Full Story

Bush, Maliki Sign Pact on Iraq's Future
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:35am
President Bush reached a deal yesterday that is intended to lead to a more normalized, long-term relationship between the United States and Iraq by the time he leaves office, but it left unsettled the question of how many and how long U.S. forces would remain. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki signed the declaration of principles during a secure videoconference as part of an effort to move forward 4 1/2 years after a U.S.-led coalition invaded Iraq and toppled Saddam Hussein. The declaration calls for the current U.N. mandate to be extended one year, then replaced at the end of 2008 by a bilateral pact governing the economic, political and security aspects of the relationship. Full Story

Three Gazans die in Israel strike
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 9:37am
Reports from the Gaza Strip say three people have been killed in two separate attacks by Israeli forces. The militant group Hamas said two of its members were killed in an Israeli air strike near the Jabaliya refugee camp in northern Gaza. Full Story

New Australian leader prepares to ratify Kyoto
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 10:19am
Australia's new leader Kevin Rudd can expect a rock star's welcome to the world stage at crucial UN climate change talks in Bali next month but faces some headaches first, analysts said Tuesday. Prime minister-elect Rudd will be hailed for pledging to reverse Australia's past policy and ratify the Kyoto Protocol on curbing emissions of the greenhouse gases blamed for global warming. Full Story

Dalai Lama rankles China with succession warning
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 12:01pm
The Dalai Lama stepped up a war of succession with China on Tuesday, warning that Tibet's next Buddhist spiritual leader will be chosen abroad if he dies in exile. The 72-year-old said he was looking at "different methods or ways" of selecting a successor after nearly five decades in exile, drawing a sharp rebuke from Beijing. Full Story

Mayor urges calm after violence in Paris suburb
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 5:34am
A French mayor called for calm on Monday in his Paris suburb, where dozens of youths clashed with police overnight after two teenagers were killed in a crash with a police car. The violence brought back memories of the 2005 riots in Paris suburbs, when thousands of cars were torched after two teenagers were electrocuted and killed in an electricity sub-station after apparently fleeing police. Full Story

Sharif registers as Pakistani candidate
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 6:58am
Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, fresh from a triumphant return from exile, registered Monday as a candidate for Pakistan's crucial parliamentary elections. Full Story

Bombs kills 8 in Afghanistan
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 8:35am
A roadside bomb struck an Afghan army vehicle in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, killing four soldiers and wounding two others, an official said. Four civilians were killed in another blast near the capital. Full Story

After cyclone, Bangladesh faces political storm
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:03am
The political storm that preceded nature's latest assault on this country still swirls overhead. Nearly a year into an army-backed state of emergency, basic freedoms remain suspended, a sweeping anti-corruption drive has stuffed the jails with some of Bangladesh's most influential business leaders and politicians and a fragile economy is tottering under the pressure of floods at home and rising oil prices abroad. Full Story

Malaysian gov't will not bow to political pressure from protesters
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:27am
The Malaysian government said it would not bow to pressure after thousands of ethnic Indians took to the streets on Sunday in a rare mass protest. The protesters demanded equal rights and criticised preferential treatment for the bumiputras or Muslim Malays who form the majority in the multiracial country. Full Story

Score this round for March 14
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:31am
Lebanon is looking into the abyss; it is in the throes of a political crisis that everyone has announced might bring on catastrophe. March 14 is on its final feet, wracked by division. If you think all this is true then here's a less apocalyptic account of what has just happened on the presidency. March 14 has won this round. Senior leaders of the majority coalition had peddled the idea that a presidential vacuum was what Syria desired the most. As one politician put it to me last week, Syria fooled several gullible French envoys to ensure that no president would be elected, thus leaving a hole at the top that Damascus hoped to exploit to make the security situation more volatile. Indeed, when the official Syrian daily Tishrin last week threatened chaos in Lebanon because of the election, you knew the Assad regime was itching to raise the heat through the instability card. Full Story

Behind Mideast summit the Iran factor
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:36am
When the Bush administration holds a meeting this week to formally relaunch the Israeli-Palestinian peace process, one uninvited guest will be looming large over everyone's shoulder: Iran. Tuesday's meeting in Annapolis, Md., was once envisioned as a three-day conference to kick off the negotiation of final-status issues. It's now an incredibly shrinking 24-hour gathering, but its occurrence at all is in no small measure a result of the rise of Iran and its brand of radical Islam in the Middle East. Full Story

Car Bomb Kills 9 in Baghdad
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 9:38am
A car bomb killed nine people near Baghdads medical district on Sunday. It was the second major bomb in the Iraqi capital in three days, after a recent lull in violence. The police said that the dead were all civilians, with two Iraqi soldiers among 31 people wounded by the blast during the morning rush hour in Bab al Muadham, close to the Health Ministry and the central morgue. Another person was killed by a roadside bomb elsewhere in the city. Full Story

Japan hit by moderate quake, no damage reported
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:02am
A moderate earthquake hit northeast Japan on Monday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries. The Japanese Meteorological Agency said the quake had a magnitude of 5.9 and was centered 40 km (25 miles) deep under the sea off the coast of Fukushima, a prefecture around 240 km (149 miles) northeast of the capital, Tokyo. Full Story

Thai security forces detains insurgents in south
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:04am
A combined security force on Monday raided a village in the southernmost province of Narathiwat, detaining 25 suspected separatists. More than 400 policemen and soldiers surrounded a village in Tak Bai district following a tip-off from locals that suspected militants had been hiding out in the area, local newspaper Bangkok Post reported on its website. Full Story

Pakistan's Musharraf 'to become civilian ruler Thursday'
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:14am
Pakistan's Pervez Musharraf will take an oath of office as civilian president Thursday after quitting as army chief, his spokesman said in the first official schedule for the end of military rule. Full Story

Powerful typhoon slams into northeastern Philippines, killing 10
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:24am
Typhoon Mitag slammed into the northeastern Philippines after killing at least 10 people in other parts of the country, while a deadly storm that blew away days earlier headed back Monday, complicating emergency preparations. Most of the fatalities drowned over the weekend in the eastern provinces of Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte, before Mitag changed course and roared into the coastal town of Palanan, further north in Isabela province. Full Story

Hong Kong, Seoul soar to lead Asian rally
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 10:27am
Stocks listed in Hong Kong soared Monday for the second straight session, as buoyant regional markets and bargain-buying after a string of recent losses lifted China-related issues such as China Mobile Ltd. Japanese stocks advanced behind banks such as Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group, encouraged by a higher close on Wall Street, while Australian stocks generally bucked four straight days of weakness in the wake of the Labor Party's triumph in national elections. Full Story

Kasparov's appeal denied in Russia
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:49pm
A judge ruled Monday that former world chess champion Garry Kasparov has to serve out the five-day jail sentence he received after leading a protest of President Vladimir Putin that ended in clashes with police. Kasparov was convicted of organizing an unsanctioned procession, chanting anti-government slogans, and resisting arrest Saturday, eight days before parliamentary elections. Full Story

Grant seen helping to wipe out polio
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:51pm
The global campaign to eradicate polio received a $200 million (97 million pounds) grant on Monday, a needed cash infusion health officials say will help fund the final push to wipe out the disease. A world effort to beat polio has succeeded in slashing the number of cases by 99 percent over the past two decades but the virus that causes the disease still persists, mainly in Afghanistan, India, Nigeria and Pakistan. Full Story

British Teacher Faces 40 Lashes for Naming Class Teddy Bear 'Muhammad'
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:53pm
A British primary school teacher arrested in Sudan faces up to 40 lashes for blasphemy after letting her class of 7-year-olds name a teddy bear Muhammad. Gillian Gibbons, 54, from Liverpool, was arrested at at Khartoum's Unity High School yesterday, and accused of insulting the Prophet of Islam. Full Story

IAEA checks Russian nuclear fuel bound for Iran
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:55pm
Inspectors from the U.N nuclear watchdog on Monday began examining uranium fuel that Russia is likely to send to Iran's first atomic power station, a Russian nuclear official said. A spokesman for Russia's state nuclear fuel producer said International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) inspectors had arrived at a Siberian plant that was preparing fuel for Iran's Bushehr station that Russia is building. Full Story

Sarkozy urges calm after violence in Paris suburb
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 12:57pm
French President Nicolas Sarkozy called for calm on Monday in a Paris suburb where two teenagers died after being involved in a crash with police, sparking a night of violence that revived memories of 2005 riots. Police launched an investigation into the deaths which will focus on whether the two officers helped the dying youths, amid complaints from locals on the estate that they fled the scene after the incident. Full Story

Putin says US behind poll boycott
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 2:21pm
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused the United States of pushing Western observers into boycotting Russian elections. Mr Putin said the goal was to discredit the parliamentary election to be held on 2 December. The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) has categorically rejected the allegations. Full Story

Close finish in Croatia election
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 2:24pm
Croatia's ruling conservative party, the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), has a narrow lead with most votes counted after the general election. The electoral commission said the HDZ would have 61 MPs - five more than the opposition Social Democrat Party (SDP). Both parties said they had begun talks with potential coalition partners to secure the parliamentary majority of 77 seats necessary to govern. Full Story

MoD probes 'friendly fire' claim
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 2:26pm
The Ministry of Defence is probing claims that British forces killed two Danish soldiers in Afghanistan in a "friendly fire" incident. The soldiers died when heat-seeking missiles were fired at a Danish military unit on 26 September. A spokesman for the MoD said it is working alongside the Danish government to try to find out what happened. Full Story

Philippine House rejects impeachment
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 3:26pm
The Philippine House of Representatives, dominated by allies of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, dealt a final blow Monday to a bid to impeach her. Earlier this month, the House Justice Committee threw out the complaint against Arroyo over alleged corruption and betrayal of public trust and vowed to stick to a one-year ban on other such attempts. Full Story

Sri Lanka vows to kill Tamil Tiger leader
Posted on Monday, November 26, 2007 at 11:42pm
Sri Lanka's government has marked the birthday of Tamil Tiger leader Velupillai Prabhakaran with a vow to kill him. The island's powerful defence secretary, Gotabhaya Rajapakse, said Colombo now had the upper hand in the long-running conflict, with the elusive guerrilla chief limited in both his movements and ability to score strategic victories. Full Story

Israeli troops kill two Hamas militants in Gaza
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 1:00am
Israeli troops killed two Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip overnight, the Hamas movement and the Israeli army said on Tuesday. Hamas, which seized control of the coastal territory in June, said the two were killed near the Jabalya refugee camp in northern Gaza. An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops shot two Palestinians trying to plant an explosive near the border fence. Full Story

Suicide blast in Kabul kills 2 civilians
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 1:15am
A suicide car bomber triggered a huge blast Tuesday near two armored vehicles used by U.S.-led coalition troops in Kabul, killing at least two civilians and destroying the wall of a nearby house, witnesses and officials said. The bomber damaged the armored vehicles, but none of the troops was injured, said Lt. Col. David Johnson, a coalition spokesman. Full Story

Chic to sleaze, as Champs-Elysees suffers crime wave
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 1:54am
The area around the Champs-Elysees in central Paris has seen an alarming increase in violent crime, according to new figures Monday which appear to confirm the declining reputation of the world's most famous avenue. In its latest annual report, France's National Crime Observatory (OND) says that the number of personal assaults in the eighth arrondissement (district) of the capital, which includes the Champs-Elysees, increased by 32 percent in 2006 to more than 1,500. Full Story

Pakistani troops seize Swat peak, shut radio: officials
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 2:25am
Pakistani troops have re-captured a strategic mountain from pro-Taliban militants in the northwest Swat valley and shut down their pirate radio station, officials and residents said Tuesday. The provincial government said security forces had secured more towns and seized Najia Top, the highest peak in a district that has been a stronghold of hardline cleric Maulana Fazlullah. Full Story

Iran says it has built new long-range missile
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 2:26am
Iran has built a new missile able to hit targets 2,000 kilometres away, the Iranian defence minister said on Tuesday. The new Ashoura missile matches the range of another missile in Iran's arsenal, the Shahab-3, which could reach Israel and had been previously viewed as Iran's longest range weapon. Full Story

Defense chiefs of Koreas begin talks
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 2:44am
Defense chiefs of North and South Korea began a rare meeting Tuesday aimed at easing tension across their countries' disputed sea border, pool reports said. South Korean Defense Minister Kim Jang-soo arrived in Pyongyang on a direct flight earlier Tuesday for three days of talks with his North Korean counterpart Kim Il Chol  the first defense ministerial talks between the Koreas in seven years. Full Story

War hits Sri Lanka tourism arrivals
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:12am
Sri Lanka said Tuesday that tourist arrivals had fallen sharply amid the tropical island's intensifying ethnic conflict. Tourist arrivals had dropped 20 percent over the 10 months to October to 387,790 compared with the same period last year, Sri Lanka Tourism said. Full Story

About 60 French police hurt in Paris clashes
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 3:40am
The number of police officers injured in clashes in Paris suburbs overnight reached about 60, police said on Tuesday, after a second night of violence. Police officers were hit with stones, petrol bombs and firecrackers that exploded over their heads during hours of skirmishes with rioters in the northern suburb of Villiers-le-Bel and nearby areas. Full Story

Malaysia may use harsh security law on protests: PM
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 4:38am
Malaysia threatened on Tuesday to use its Internal Security Act (ISA), which allows for years of detention without trial, against street protesters. "The ISA is a preventive measure to spare the nation from untoward incidents that can harm the prevailing peace and harmony and create all sorts of adverse things," official news agency Bernama quoted Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as saying. Full Story

Six killed in attack on Iraq police HQ - police
Posted on Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 4:39am
Six people were killed when a suicide bomber attacked provincial police headquarters in Baquba north of Baghdad on Tuesday, police said. The bomber detonated a suicide vest packed with explosives at the back gate of the Diyala provincial police headquarters in ethnically and religiously mixed Baquba, 65 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad. Full Story

Courtesy of Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Regional shipping on piracy alert
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 5:18am
A worrying trend in the increasing intensity and ferocity of pirate attacks on commercial shipping vessels has put the regional shipping industry on high alert, as attacks on container, vehicle and general cargo ships continue to rise. Full Story

Chirac faces formal investigation
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:49am
A judge filed preliminary charges against former President Jacques Chirac on Wednesday in a probe of suspicions that people were given fake jobs while he was mayor of Paris, his lawyer said. Former French President Jacques Chirac faces a formal investigation into embezzlement allegations. Full Story

Transport 'sabotage' hits France
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:51am
Striking railway workers have carried out "a coordinated campaign of sabotage" on the tracks of France's high-speed TGV rail network, setting fire to cables and signal boxes and causing delays of up to three hours, France's national rail authority said Wednesday. Commuters wait for trains at Paris Saint-Lazare subway station. Full Story

UK's families put on fraud alert
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 7:53am
Two computer discs holding the personal details of all families in the UK with a child under 16 have gone missing. The Child Benefit data on them includes name, address, date of birth, National Insurance number and, where relevant, bank details of 25 million people. Full Story

Four Buddhists killed in Thai Muslim south ambush
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 8:56am
Suspected Islamic rebels killed four Buddhist state officials on Wednesday in a roadside gun attack in Thailand's rebellious Muslim south, police said. Four militants on two motorcycles attacked the officials in their car with a pistol and an M-16 rifle. One man and two women were killed instantly in a village in Pattani, one of the southern provinces caught up in a separatist insurgency. Full Story

India deploys army to quell industry-farm row riots
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:05am
The Indian army was called out to quell violent protests in the eastern city of Kolkata on Wednesday as new trouble broke out in a political row over the killing of villagers opposed to surrendering land for industry. Soldiers with automatic rifles patrolled the heart of the usually bustling city after protesters hurled stones, shattered car and bus windscreens, burned vehicles and blocked traffic. Full Story

Australians expected to vote John Howard out of office on Saturday
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:09am
Australia is likely to draw the curtain on 11 years of government by the center-right coalition of Prime Minister John Howard when general elections are held Saturday, polls indicate. Howard is one of Australia's most experienced politicians, and few analysts are ready to write off his chances entirely, but a survey published Tuesday shows that his coalition government is trailing the Labor Party by 46 percent to 54 percent, with the coalition on the defensive over inflation, interest rates, labor rights and the environment. Full Story

At least 150 dead in PNG floods
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:13am
At least 150 people are now known to have died in eastern Papua New Guinea in floods triggered by heavy rain, reports from the Pacific nation say. Hundreds of people have been displaced, officials say, and a state of emergency has been declared in the affected area. Full Story

Arroyo orders evacuation as storm nears Philippines
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:16am
Tropical storm Mitag bore down on the eastern Philippines on Wednesday, flooding large areas of the region and forcing the government to order large-scale evacuations, days after another killed 10 people in the country's south. Mitag was gaining strength with winds of up to 85 kilometres (53 miles) an hour and was on course to hit the Bicol peninsula southeast of Manila on Friday, weather forecasters said. Full Story

Resurgent Taliban closing in on Kabul
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:19am
The conflict in Afghanistan has reached "crisis proportions," with the resurgent Taliban present in more than half the country and closing in on Kabul, a report said on Wednesday. If NATO, the lead force operating in Afghanistan, is to have any impact against the insurgency, troop numbers will have to be doubled to at least 80,000, the report said. Full Story

Putin Attacks 'Jackal' Opponents
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:23am
Russian President Vladimir Putin has accused opposition politicians of scavenging like jackals for funds from foreign embassies. He also accused the West of meddling in Russian politics, saying: "Those who confront us need a weak and ill state." Full Story

No Agreement in Kosovo Discussion
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:28am
Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders have failed to reach agreement at talks aimed at settling the status of the UN-administered province. The Kosovo Albanian delegation included former guerrilla Hashim Thaci, who claimed victory in polls last weekend boycotted by Kosovo's Serb minority. He has said Kosovo could declare independence if talks fail to yield a deal by 10 December - the UN deadline. Full Story

EU Aims to Expand Membership Talks with Turkey Despite French Reservations
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 9:33am
The European Union's executive office said Tuesday it wants to move ahead with its membership negotiations with Turkey next month despite reservations by France and other EU nations. Olli Rehn, the EU official in charge of the 27-nation bloc's expansion, said the talks would progress into two new policy areas  health and consumer policies and transport on Dec. 18. Talks in several other areas remain frozen by the EU because of Ankara's difficult relations with EU member Cyprus. Full Story

First Top Level Military Three Way Meeting Takes Place in Ankara
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:12am
The first top level military official meeting concerning moves against the PKK, following Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's November 5 meeting with US President George W. Bush at the White House, took place yesterday in Ankara. US military commanders General David Petraeus and General James Cartwright arrived in the Turkish capital yesterday early to meet with Turkish General Ergin Saygun. Full Story

Signing Energy Deal With Iran, Ankara Vows to Defy US Pressure
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:21am
Ankara and Tehran signed a new energy deal on Tuesday and Turkey pledged to sign further energy accords with neighboring Iran, including natural gas deals, in clear defiance of US pressure on its allies to avoid such ties with Iran. Full Story

Georgia: Analysts Believe Chances for NATO Slim
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:31am
In a sharp reversal from Georgias earlier optimism, some Georgian analysts now believe that the November 7 protest crackdown in Tbilisi has marred  if not shattered  the South Caucasus state's chances for accelerated integration into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.Georgia had hoped to receive a Membership Action Plan (MAP), the last step for applicant countries before completing the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) membership process, during the alliance's April 2008 Bucharest summit. Senior diplomats from the United States, the country's closest Western ally, now stress the January 2008 presidential elections are the key test for whether Georgian democracy is back on track to reach that step. Full Story

Pakistan's Khan released from jail
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 10:58am
Pakistani authorities Wednesday freed hunger-striking cricket legend Imran Khan from prison, where he has been detained for the last week under anti-terrorism laws, jail officials said. "We have released Imran Khan on the instructions of the provincial government," Sheikh Inamur Rehman, superintendent of Dera Ghazi Khan prison in central Punjab province, told AFP. Full Story
Wanted: Participants for Mideast Talks
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:16am
The Bush administration finally acknowledged publicly on Tuesday that it had issued formal invitations to 40 countries and organizations that it hopes will attend a heavily anticipated Middle East peace conference scheduled for next week in Annapolis, Md.

But the long, drawn-out route that State Department officials followed before making the acknowledgment reflected the high-stakes gamble that the administration is taking, as well as the unsettled nature of the outcome. Even late Tuesday afternoon, administration officials were still in negotiations with their Arab counterparts over whether Saudi Arabia and Syria would send their foreign ministers to the conference, or make do with lower-level envoys. Full Story

Palestinians to get armoured cars
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:17am
Israel has approved the transfer of 25 armoured vehicles to Palestinian security forces in the West Bank. The move has long been opposed by Israeli security forces but officials described it as a goodwill gesture.

The Russian-made vehicles are to be deployed in Nablus. Israel also allowed provision of 1,000 guns and 2m bullets. The moves are meant to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, who will attend peace talks next week in the US city of Annapolis. Full Story

Iraq grants Lebanon $2 million to ease refugee burden
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 11:18am
The Iraqi government extended $2 million to Lebanon Tuesday to ameliorate the living conditions of the Iraqi refugees in Lebanon. The Iraqi Cabinet ratified a decision that gives Syria, Jordan and Lebanon $25 million "to [ease] the repercussions of the presence of Iraqi refugees' in these countries," Iraq's Al-Sumariya TV reported. An official source in the Iraqi Immigration Ministry told the television station that the monetary donation aims "to soothe the burden that the huge number of Iraqi refugees' might cause for these countries." The same source added that the amount was divided according to the proportion of the refugees present in these countries.

Hence, Syria was granted $15 million, Jordan was granted $8 million and Lebanon was given $2 million.
Prague airport to test unique liquid detector
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 2:15pm
The Prague-Ruzyne international airport will be the first to test the unique "anti-terrorist" device Emili 1 that is able to detect liquids, and thereby eliminate the hazardous ones such as acids and combustibles, the daily Lidove noviny (LN) reports. If the test operation, starting next week, were successful, passengers might be again allowed to take higher amounts of drinks aboard, the paper adds. Full Story

Airline passengers unscreened for Las Vegas flight
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:30am
Three times a week, you can board a flight to Las Vegas from the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport in the East Valley. But unlike at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, our cameras found that on more than one occasion, you'll never pass through a metal detector or undergo any security screening at all. The carrier, Vision Airlines, calls itself a charter airline even though it offers scheduled flights at the same day and time. Full Story

Track money trails to combat terrorism call
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:32am
Financial records and audits provide "blueprints of the architecture" of terrorist organisations, a top banker said yesterday. "By following money trails through financial information sharing worldwide, we can unearth terrorist cells and networks, and save lives," Ithmaar Bank chief executive officer Michael Lee told delegates at the Middle East: Homeland and Global Security Forum. Full Story

Danish authorities criticize captain of ship hijacked off Somalia
Posted on Thursday, November 22, 2007 at 4:35am
The Danish Maritime Authority on Wednesday partly blamed the captain of a cargo ship for a hijacking off Somalia, saying he did not do enough to protect the vessel from pirates. Somali pirates seized the Danica White on June 1 and held the ship and its five-man crew for 83 days. The ship and crew were released on Aug. 12 after the ship owner paid a ransom. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Olmert to remove unauthorized outposts
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 5:08am
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday told his Cabinet that he will remove all unauthorized settlement outposts in the West Bank, pledging to meet a key Israeli commitment under the "road map" peace plan, a government spokeswoman said. Olmert also said Israel will not build any new settlements in the West Bank, though he stopped short of promising a freeze in construction in existing settlements. The road map calls for a halt in all settlement activity. Full Story

Balkans to splinter if Kosovo breaks away- Serbia
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 5:21am
Serbia is warning the West ahead of a new round of talks on its breakaway Kosovo province that a declaration of independence by the Albanian majority would lead to new secessionist moves in the Balkans. "If the independence of Kosovo is recognised, it would not be the final stage of the disintegration of the former Yugoslavia, but the first stage of new disintegration and secession in the Balkans," Serbia's Kosovo minister, Slobodan Samardzic, said. Full Story

France in last-ditch effort to press Lebanon deal
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 5:46am
France's foreign minister, on his second visit to Lebanon in under a week, met Lebanese leaders on Monday to press them to agree a consensus nominee for president, two days before the deadline for a parliamentary vote. Bernard Kouchner returned to Beirut on Sunday night to pursue a French-sponsored initiative aimed at averting a presidential crisis that threatens to leave Lebanon with two rival governments and possible bloodshed. Full Story

India opposition, Maoists protest land row violence
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 8:24am
India's parliament was adjourned on Monday and Maoist rebels enforced a two-day strike in remote rural strongholds, as protests mounted over the killing of villagers in a land row in the east this month. Opposition lawmakers from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) disrupted both houses of parliament after demanding a debate over the violence in the Nandigram area, which has been blamed on the communist government of West Bengal state. Full Story

Three men face murder charges in Manila bomb probe
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 8:26am
Philippine police have sought murder charges against three men for last week's suspected assassination of a Muslim lamaker in a bomb attack at the Congress building, officials said on Monday. State lawyers will question police and the three men late next week and then decide whether there is sufficient evidence to bring them to trial. Full Story

Asean finalises historic charter
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 8:46am
South East Asian foreign ministers have agreed new rules for the regional group Asean, committing members to promoting human rights and bolstering democracy. The charter is due to be signed at a summit on Tuesday by the bloc's 10 member states, including Burma. Full Story

Malaysian authorities bust largest-ever secret disc burner lab
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 9:09am
Cinema chiefs announced Monday that local authorities had busted a 52 million dollar secret optical disc burner lab -- the biggest pirate lab ever to be found in Malaysia. Mike Ellis, the Motion Picture Association's (MPA) regional director said the raid was conducted last Friday by a team of 20 officers from Malaysia's ministry of domestic trade and consumer affairs. Full Story

Berlusconi to launch 'mass party'
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 9:23am
Silvio Berlusconi, Italy's flamboyant former prime minister, is to launch a new party of the centre-right. He told supporters in a Milan piazza the party would unite Italians "against the old fogeys of politics". Mr Berlusconi said he hoped all his coalition partners would join the new party, despite recent criticisms by key allies on the centre-right. Full Story

Georgia ends state of emergency
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 9:30am
Georgia has lifted the state of emergency it imposed nine days ago amid a wave of opposition protests. An interior ministry spokesman said the situation was "back to normal". The move came as President Mikhail Saakashvili announced he was replacing PM Zurab Noghaideli, and appointing Lado Gurgenidze, a banker, to the post. Full Story

Israel agrees prisoner release
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:04am
The Israeli government has approved a request by Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, to release up to 450 Palestinian prisoners ahead of his meeting with Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president. The number falls short of the 2,000 prisoners requested by Abbas and represents only a fraction of the 10,000 believed to be held by Israel. Full Story

Olmert Acts to Bolster Abbas
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:05am
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sought wide Arab support on Monday for a U.S.-led peace conference by agreeing to release 441 Palestinian prisoners and reaffirming a pledge not to build new Jewish settlements. Olmert held talks in Jerusalem with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in a last-ditch bid to narrow differences a week ahead of the Annapolis, Maryland meeting. Full Story

Oil prices rise after Opec summit
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:07am
Oil prices have risen in Monday trading, after leaders of producers' cartel Opec decided not to boost production at their latest meeting. US light crude was up 69 cents to $94.53 a barrel by early afternoon trading in Europe, having earlier risen by more than $1. Full Story

Critics Assail Weak Dollar at OPEC Event
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:08am
A rare meeting of the heads of state of the OPEC countries ended here today on a political note, with two leaders  President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela and President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran  blaming the weakness of the United States dollar for high oil prices. Despite the best efforts of the host country, Saudi Arabia, to steer the meeting away from politics and promote OPECs environmental concerns, the leaders of Venezuela and Iran let loose some show-stealing statements. Full Story

U.S. Says Attacks in Iraq Fell to the Level of Feb. 2006
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:09am
The American military said Sunday that the weekly number of attacks in Iraq had fallen to the lowest level since just before the February 2006 bombing of the Shiite shrine in Samarra, an event commonly used as a benchmark for the countrys worst spasm of bloodletting after the American invasion nearly five years ago. Data released at a news conference in Baghdad showed that attacks had declined to the lowest level since January 2006. It is the third week in a row that attacks have been at this reduced level. Full Story

Dubai eyes US investment bargains
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:16am
An investment agency owned by the Dubai government says the US mortgage crisis has created a wealth of cheap American investment opportunities. Omar bin Sulaiman, governor of DIFC Investments, told the Reuters news agency that the crisis had driven down the share prices of US firms. Full Story

Norwegian suspect held over YouTube school threat
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 11:10am
Police held a suspect for questioning after video threats were made against a Norwegian junior high school similar to those published before a school massacre in Finland, Norwegian media reported on Monday. The threats against Erdal junior high school in western Norway were made in a video posted on the website YouTube, and had direct links to reports of a school massacre in Finland earlier this month, including a picture of the school. Full Story

Germany 'foils school massacre'
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 11:15am
German police say they have thwarted a plot by two students to carry out a massacre at their school. One suspect, aged 17, committed suicide after being questioned about the plot and his alleged accomplice, 18, is under arrest, police said. A school in the western city of Cologne is believed to have been the target. Full Story

Rescuers fear soaring death toll in Bangladesh
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 12:26pm
Helicopters airlifted food to hungry survivors Monday while rescuers struggled to reach remote areas devastated by Bangladesh's worst cyclone in a decade, amid fears the death toll could be far higher than the official figure of 2,400. The army helicopters carried mostly high-protein cookies supplied by the World Food Program, said Emamul Haque, a spokesman for the organization's office in the capital, Dhaka, which was coordinating international relief efforts. Full Story

Hong Kong democrats suffer heavy defeat
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 12:37pm
Hong Kong democrats suffered a heavy defeat in local elections on Monday with pro-Beijing politicians winning a majority. The result dealt a blow to the democrats amid an ongoing debate on establishing full democracy. Full Story

Algerian forces say arrested top member of Al-Qaeda branch
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 2:44pm
Algerian security services said Monday they had arrested top regional Islamic chief Fateh Bouderbala, alias Abdelfatah Abou Bassir, an alleged member of Al-Qaeda's North African branch. Full Story

Algerian voters apathetic amid claims of election rigging
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 4:35pm
The campaign for the November 29th elections began amidst fears of rigging by the administration in favour of parties belonging to the ruling coalition: the National Liberation Front (FLN), the National Rally for Democracy (RND) and the Movement of Society for Peace (MSP). Suspicions mounted when the government refused to create an independent political commission to monitor the elections. Full Story

European bank grants over $8m to Moroccan investment fund
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 4:36pm
The European Investment Bank (EIB) has granted $8.7m to a new investment fund in Morocco dubbed "CapMezzanine," MAP quoted a bank press release from of bank as saying. Initiated by Morocco's state-run fund of deposit management and the Facility for Euro Mediterranean Investment and Partnership (FEMIP), the $64.4m fund aims to support SMEs in Morocco. Morocco has focused on SME development as a main driving force for economic growth. The country allocated nearly $2 billion to fund micro-credit projects in 2006. Full Story

Zimbabwe Teachers Union Threatens Strike If Members Are Politically Harassed
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 4:38pm
The head of the Progressive Teachers Union of Zimbabwe said Monday that the organization will strike if its members are harassed on political grounds in the runup to national elections which the government has slated for March 2008.Full Story

Foreigners held for Iraq shooting
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 4:39pm
At least 33 foreigners have been detained in Baghdad after a shooting incident in which a woman was injured, say Iraqi government officials. Full Story

Sustainable development experts meet in Tunis
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 4:42pm
A meeting of experts on sustainable development in North Africa opened Sunday (November 18th) in Tunis, organised by the North African bureau of the United Nations, the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), with the collaboration of the Observatory for Sahara and the Sahel and the Tunisian environment minister. Full Story

Colombia puts year-end deadline on hostage talks
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:31pm
Colombia on Monday placed a year-end deadline on talks led by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez aimed at freeing rebel-held kidnap victims including French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt. The statement released by the government puts pressure on left-winger Chavez, who is trying to broker an exchange of the hostages for rebels held in government jails. Full Story

New bid to break Kosovo stalemate as deadline nears
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:32pm
Serbian and Kosovo Albanian leaders will meet on Tuesday to try to reach a compromise over the breakaway Serb province of Kosovo as a December 10 deadline for a deal draws near. While few expect a breakthrough after months of fruitless wrangling, Western capitals want all options to be explored before leaders of the province's majority Albanians press ahead with an independence push. Full Story

ASEAN leaders open formal summit
Posted on Monday, November 19, 2007 at 10:33pm
Southeast Asian leaders opened their annual summit Tuesday with the signing of their first charter overshadowed by Myanmar, which embarrassed the region by blocking a UN briefing on the military state. The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) has come under mounting international pressure to rein in member state Myanmar after its campaign to suppress pro-democracy protests left at least 15 dead. Full Story

Another arrest in Philippine Congress bomb plot
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 12:28am
Philippine security forces have arrested a fourth suspect in a bomb attack at the Congress building that killed four people, including a Muslim lawmaker, Manila's police chief said on Tuesday. Roberto Rosales said a man suspected of assembling the bomb to assassinate Congressman Wahab Akbar was arrested during a raid at an apartment in the capital's Malate district on Monday night, where traces of explosives were also found. Full Story

MP accuses Hezbollah of plot to change Lebanon's regime
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 12:30am
Member of Parliament Akram Shehayeb accused Hezbollah of plotting to control Lebanon and change its regime, a local newspaper reported on Tuesday. "Hezbollah is for a pre-emptive war to control state institutions  to torpedo the Taif accord," Shehayeb told Naharnet newspaper, referring to 1989 national reconciliation accord. Full Story

Maoists blow up Indian rail track to protest killings
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 1:01am
Maoist insurgents blew up a railway track in eastern India on Tuesday, severely disrupting the rail network on the second day of protests over the killing of villagers in a land row. Dozens of trains were held up or cancelled after the attack in Bihar's Lakhisarai district, railway officials and police said. Full Story

Thousands flee NW Pakistan valley ahead of offensive
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 1:50am
Thousands of people are fleeing a valley in northwestern Pakistan after security forces warned them to leave ahead of a major operation against pro-Taliban militants, witnesses and officials said on Tuesday. Helicopter gunships and artillery fire killed about 18 militants on Monday, the military said, as troops intensified efforts to drive rebel fighters out of the scenic Swat valley where they are trying to impose a strict Islamic code. Full Story

Officials set Pakistan general elections for Jan 8
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 1:52am
Pakistan is to hold general elections on January 8, officials said Tuesday, more than two weeks after President Pervez Musharraf declared a state of emergency. "The final list of candidates will be issued on December 15 and elections will be held on January 8," a government official told AFP on condition of anonymity. Full Story

Quake hits Iranian oil-rich area, no damage reports
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:48am
A 5.1 magnitude earthquake jolted Iran's oil-rich southwest on Tuesday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or casualties, official Iranian media said. The quake occurred at 0520 GMT near the town of Ghaleh-tal in an eastern part of Khuzestan province and the tremor was felt in the provincial capital Ahvaz and elsewhere, IRNA news agency said. Full Story

Iran says agrees to new talks with U.S. on Iraq
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:49am
Iran's foreign minister said on Tuesday Tehran would agree to a U.S. request for a new round of talks on security in Iraq, Iranian news agencies reported. "These negotiations will be held in a near future," Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki said according to the ISNA news agency. The official IRNA news agency carried a similar report. Full Story

Sri Lanka says 25 people killed in fighting:defence ministry
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:51am
Clashes have left at least 21 Tamil rebels and four government soldiers dead in Sri Lanka's embattled northern regions, the defence ministry said Tuesday. Fighting along the de facto border into rebel-held territory in the Vavuniya district killed 18 members of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as well as three security personnel on Monday, the ministry said. Full Story

Up to 30 militants killed in latest Pakistan offensive: army
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 2:58am
Up to 30 more militants loyal to a pro-Taliban cleric were killed in clashes with Pakistani security forces in a remote northwest tourist valley, the army said Tuesday. The latest deaths take the toll reported by the army from a week of fighting in the scenic Swat Valley to around 150. Full Story

Pakistan releases opposition supporters
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 3:15am
Authorities said Tuesday they have begun releasing some of the thousands of opposition supporters detained since emergency rule was imposed earlier this month, while Pakistan's military leader departed for a visit to Saudi Arabia. The releases came hours after judges hand-picked by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf quashed legal challenges to his disputed re-election as president. Full Story

Putin: Russian nuclear forces ready for any attack
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 5:26am
President Vladimir Putin said on Tuesday that Russia's nuclear forces must be ready for an adequate response to any aggressor and warned Moscow could not remain indifferent to what he termed NATO's "muscle-flexing." Putin, speaking to top generals less than two weeks before December 2 parliamentary elections, said the NATO military alliance had built up its forces close to Russia's borders. Full Story

Risk of Turkish incursion into Iraq diminished-FM
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 5:34am
The risk of a major Turkish incursion into northern Iraq to strike at Kurdish PKK guerrillas has diminished because of better cooperation between Baghdad and Ankara, Iraq's foreign minister said on Tuesday. "The danger is still there to be honest ... but I think the chances of a major invasion are less now," Hoshiyar Zebari told reporters on arriving for a meeting with EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana in Brussels. Full Story

Ukraine's mine death toll rises
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 8:33am
The death toll from Sunday's blast at a mine in Ukraine has risen to 88, making it the worst mining accident in the country's history, officials say. They say 12 miners are still missing in the Zasyadko coal mine in the eastern Donetsk region. Fires have hindered rescue efforts, and a senior union official has said there is no chance of finding survivors. Full Story

Nepal civil servants resign over security concerns
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:40am
Scores of junior civil servants resigned in southern Nepal on Tuesday, the latest among hundreds of village administrators who have quit citing a lack of security in the troubled region, an official said. Government employees are among more than 80 people killed this year by rebels in violent protests by an ethnic Madhesi group, in clashes with Maoists and in other local disputes in the southern plains. Full Story

Vietnam arrests foreign citizens: political group
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:46am
Vietnamese police have arrested six political activists, including citizens of the United States, France and Thailand, a U.S.-based group opposed to one-party communist rule said. A Vietnam government official declined immediate comment on Wednesday and a U.S. embassy official said it had confirmation of the arrest of one U.S. citizen and had asked Hanoi for access. Full Story

Jordan holds parliamentary vote
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:48am
Jordanians are voting in parliamentary elections being seen as key to the country's transition to democracy. About 880 candidates, including a record 199 women, are contesting 110 seats in the lower house of parliament. The Islamic Action Front (IAF) is the main opposition but independents, who are mainly loyal to King Abdullah, are expected to dominate the polls. Full Story

43 in Contractors Convoy Held After Baghdad Shooting
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:51am
The Iraqi military detained 43 people in a convoy for a contractor with the United States military on Monday after the shooting of an 18-year-old woman in central Baghdad, the military said. Witnesses and an Iraqi Army sergeant said a guard on the convoy wounded the teenager in the leg as she crossed the street in the bustling, mixed neighborhood of Karada. While some early accounts said American security guards had been arrested, Maj. Brad Leighton, a spokesman for the military, said none of those arrested were Americans. The military said the episode involved Almco, a Dubai-based company under contract to the military. Full Story

Halting Steps Taken to Frame Mideast Talks
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:53am
Israeli and Palestinian leaders made new efforts on Monday toward preparing a joint statement before an international peace gathering planned for next week, but some issues have yet to be resolved, Israeli and Palestinian officials said. The Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, met at the prime ministers residence here to try to salvage efforts to agree on a short written text. The statement would be presented at the American-sponsored gathering tentatively scheduled for Nov. 26 and 27 in Annapolis, Md. Full Story

Rising player with a vision for Shiite Iraq
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:56am
Ammar al-Hakim is presiding over an Iraqi Shiite building boom. His austere Shaheed al-Mihrab Foundation has raised 400 mosques in Iraq since 2003. It's building the largest seminary here in the holy city of Najaf and opening a chain of schools. And it now has 95 offices throughout the country. What's more, Mr. Hakim's foundation is winning over adherents to his party  the Islamic Supreme Council of Iraq (ISCI)  through all-expenses-paid mass marriages along with cash payments and gifts for the newlyweds, free education and stipends at his new schools, and an array of other charitable projects such as caring for orphans and displaced families. All of this is being done to promote ISCI's core vision: a federation of nine provinces where conservative Shiite Islam would reign. Full Story

Hamas-controlled Gaza muddles through amid apathy
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 9:59am
Since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip on June 15, governance has barely functioned. Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyya in a November 4 speech expressed his dissatisfaction with the paralysis afflicting the executive, judicial and legislative institutions, accusing the Ramallah government of responsibility. Haniyya also justified the Hamas government's taking illegal steps, even if he did not call them such, as a substitute. Legally, the Haniyya government is a caretaker government, but the law does not give it the authority to make major decisions. Full Story

Khmer Rouge prison chief faces a long-delayed day in court
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 10:03am
More than 28 years after the killing stopped, the first Khmer Rouge defendant stepped into a public courtroom Tuesday to answer for the deaths of 1.7 million people - a tiny, self-effacing man who once commanded an efficient and ruthless torture house. The defendant, Kaing Guek Eav, 66, known as Duch, was seeking bail on charges of crimes against humanity. His lawyer's claim that Duch's human rights were being violated by his long detention drew laughter from Cambodian spectators. Full Story

Australian bank may outsource more jobs to India
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 10:05am
The National Australia Bank (NAB), one of Australia's leading banks, is considering outsourcing more IT jobs to India, causing much ire among its IT workforce here. According to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald Tuesday, NAB is considering proposals that threaten the jobs of about 400 IT employees, causing angst throughout the bank's 2,700-strong IT workforce. Full Story

Storm displaces thousands in PhilippinesPosted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 10:34amAt least 11 people have been killed in the Philippines in floods and landslides triggered by tropical storm Gale. Our reporter Shirley Escalante reports from Manila, thousands of people have also been displaced. Full Story

APDM protest on 23rdPosted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 10:40amThe All Parties Democratic Movement (APDM) on Monday announced a countrywide protest on Nov 23 against the imposition of the state of emergency. It welcomed a proposal by PPP chairperson Benazir Bhutto for a conference of all opposition parties to chalk out a joint strategy for restoration of Constitution and judiciary. Full Story

Iran agrees to Iraq talks with US
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 10:42am
Iran says it has agreed to a US proposal for a new round of talks on improving security in Iraq. The talks would be held in the near future, said Iran's Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki. Mr Mottaki said Iran had agreed to the talks as part of a policy of helping the Iraqi people. The talks have yet to be confirmed by Washington but if they go ahead they will be the fourth round of discussions between the US and Iran over Iraq. "The Swiss Embassy in Tehran has handed over to Iran a message from the US government for a new round of talks concerning Iraq," Mr Mottaki told reporters on Monday. Full Story

China wins major Afghan contract
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 11:33am
A Chinese mining company has won a tender to develop one of the world's largest copper mines in Afghanistan. The state-owned China Metallurgical Group says it will invest nearly $3bn in the mine at Aynak in the province of Logar, south of Kabul. Officials say it will be the largest foreign investment in Afghan history and will employ 10,000 people. Full Story

Putin rattles nuclear sabre at Nato
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 4:43pm
President Putin accused Nato yesterday of threatening Russias security and ordered the military to place the countrys strategic nuclear arsenal on a higher state of alert. Full Story

Thousands freed but Musharraf is shunned by his exiled rival
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 4:44pm
Thousands of opposition activists who had been detained under emergency rule were freed in Pakistan yesterday, as President Musharraf left the country for Saudi Arabia. Full Story

Video threatens Germany, Austria over Afghanistan
Posted on Tuesday, November 20, 2007 at 6:28pm
An Islamist group calling itself the "Global Islamic Media Front" has sent a video demanding Germany and Austria withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, Austria's interior ministry said on Tuesday. Full Story

Explosives seized in raid after Philippines Congress blast: military
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 1:46am
Security forces seized explosives during raids on buildings allegedly linked to last week's bomb attack at the Philippines House of Representatives that killed a congressman, the military said on Wednesday. Military and police agents found bomb components in a central Manila house late Tuesday, said Philippine Army spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Ernesto Torres. Full Story

Border Fence Project Raises Environmental Concerns
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 1:49am
The Department of Homeland Security is ahead of schedule in building some 700 miles of fencing along the Mexican border, but some environmental groups, elected officials and local Indian tribes say too little attention is being paid to the environmental consequences of the barriers. Full Story

Car bomb in Iraq's Ramadi kills six: police
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 3:59am
A car bomb killed at least six people, including women and children, in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Wednesday in a rare attack on a region that has become one of the safest in the country. Major Mohammed Arak said a parked car exploded outside a courthouse being guarded by police in the middle of Ramadi, capital of western Anbar province. A separate police source said a suicide car bomber was responsible. Full Story

Sabotage hits French railways, strike continues
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:19am
Widespread sabotage has damaged France's high-speed rail network and caused huge delays to services already hit by an 8-day transport strike, a senior executive at the SNCF state railways said on Wednesday. Full Story

Musharraf to quit army by weekend
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:24am
PAKISTAN'S Prime Minister Pervez Musharraf will step down as army chief and swear a new oath of office as a civilian president by the weekend, the country's attorney general said today. Malik Mohammad Qayyum said that if the Supreme Court threw out a final legal challenge tomorrow to General Musharraf's re-election as expected, the military ruler would hang up his uniform within days. Full Story

Tajik opposition fears crackdown after explosions
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:33am
Tajikistan's opposition expects a further clampdown on civil liberties by the government which is worried by what it regards as growing Islamist militancy. No one has claimed responsibility for last week's explosion in a building where the Tajik prime minister had been due to attend a conference, nor for a blast in June at the Supreme Court building. One person died in the Nov. 14 blast. Full Story

London bomb conspirator sentenced
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:36am
One member of a group that conspired to detonate suicide bombs on the London transport system in 2005 was sentenced Tuesday to 33 years in prison. Manfo Kwaku Asiedu, 34, pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to cause explosions. Prosecutors said he lost his nerve and dumped a backpack containing his device in a park. It was shown to the jury as evidence. Full Story

Death toll mounts as Pakistan troops battle militants
Posted on Wednesday, November 21, 2007 at 4:38am
More than 40 people have been killed in two days of fighting in a northwest Pakistani valley as troops seek to wipe out militants trying to enforce Taliban-style rule, the military and witnesses said on Wednesday. Major Amjad Iqbal, an army spokesman, said 17 militants were killed in Swat valley's Shangla district in gunbattles overnight, taking the death toll since Tuesday to 40. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.