Tuesday, December 4, 2007


US envoy on N Korea nuclear visit
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 8:21am
The United States' chief negotiator with North Korea, Christopher Hill, is to visit the country's nuclear complex at Yongbyon. Mr Hill, who is in North Korea until Wednesday, will be the highest-level US diplomat to visit the site. Full Story

Indonesian militants jailed over Christian attacks
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 8:26am
Six Indonesian Islamic militants were jailed for up to 19 years on Monday over a string of deadly attacks against Christians in a religiously divided region of Sulawesi island. Their crimes included the assassination of a Protestant minister, the beheading of three Christian schoolgirls and a bomb attack on a market that killed 22 people. Full Story

Pakistan rejects Sharif's candidacy: officials
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 8:32am
Pakistani authorities on Monday rejected former prime minister Nawaz Sharif's candidacy for general elections to be held on January 8, officials said, further damaging the credibility of a vote that the opposition may boycott. The ruling came as Sharif prepared to hold crunch talks with fellow opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, in which he aimed to persuade her not to participate in the emergency-ruled nation's polls on January 8. Full Story

Chinese leaders hold economic work meet
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 8:50am
China's leaders met Monday in Beijing to thrash out economic policy for 2008, seeking to cool inflation and excess investment without stifling the growth needed to keep incomes and employment rising. Meanwhile, a government think tank issued a report forecasting economic growth in 2008 at 10.8 percent, just slightly below the 11.5 percent growth expected for 2007. Full Story

Ex-Bangladesh PM appears in court to face extortion charges
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 8:53am
Former Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina appeared in court Monday where it was confirmed she would be facing extortion charges, a state prosecutor said. The leader of the Awami League, one of Bangladesh's main parties, was led to the dock amid high security at the special courtroom in the parliament complex in Dhaka, said state prosecutor Mohammad Borhanuddin. Full Story

Outgoing Belgian PM to lead 'emergency' cabinet
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:37am
Outgoing Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is set to lead an "emergency" cabinet, with the country still without a new government six months after elections, media reported Monday. Verhofstadt was to meet King Albert II at 11:30 am (1030 GMT) at the royal palace, with Belgian media reporting that the premier could be given powers allowing him to do more than carry out daily business, as is the case now. Full Story

Europe urges Russia election probe
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:39am
Europe joined the United States on Monday in demanding Russia probe alleged abuses in an election won overwhelmingly by President Vladimir Putin's party, and Germany denounced the poll as undemocratic. European states expressed alarm over the outcome of Sunday's parliamentary poll after rights watchdogs said the campaign had been marred by biased media coverage and abuse of government resources in favor of Putin's United Russia. Full Story

Iran proposes Gulf security pact
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:41am
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has told Gulf Arab leaders that Iran wants economic and security pacts with the Gulf Co-operation Council (GCC). Mr Ahmadinejad was speaking in Qatar, where he is attending a GCC summit - the first Iranian president to do so. Full Story

Qatar: Gulf faces 'serious threats'
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:43am
The Gulf region is facing "serious threats" to its security and prosperity, the emir of Qatar has warned a summit of Arab leaders. "... the mounting crises in the region have their reasons and backgrounds," Sheik Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani told delegates from the Gulf Co-operation Council meeting in Doha, the capital of Qatar, on Monday. Full Story

British teacher in teddy bear scandal freed from jail
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 10:45am
A British teacher behind bars after she allowed her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad was released today hours after Sudan's president pardoned her, a British Embassy spokesman said. The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, said she did not intend to offend anyone and had great respect for Islam. Full Story

Key climate meeting opens in Bali as Australia ratifies Kyoto
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 11:33am
A major United Nations climate change conference opened on Indonesia's Bali on Monday, buoyed by the new Australian prime minister's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. As delegates gathered to craft a road map for talks leading to a new pact addressing global warming, Kevin Rudd ratified the landmark UN treaty as his first official act after being sworn in as Australia's leader following elections last month. Full Story

Fatal blast at Pakistan madrassa
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 1:13pm
A bomb at an Islamic religious school in south-west Pakistan has killed at least six people, officials say. Several others were injured in the blast in Qila Saifullah in Balochistan province near the Afghan border. All casualties were students attending the madrassa, officials said. Full Story

Pentagon chief in Afghanistan as al Qaeda regroups
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 1:29pm
U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates landed in Afghanistan on Monday to gauge military commanders' needs as they face a strengthened Taliban and signs that al Qaeda is regrouping in the country. More than six years after a U.S.-led invasion drove the Taliban from power, Gates said he was concerned about the rising violence but he did not think Afghanistan was moving backward. Full Story

Sarkozy tested on Algeria visit
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:32pm
French President Nicolas Sarkozy is expected to finalise a series of big business deals on a visit to Algeria. The contracts include billion-dollar investments in the Algerian oil and gas business by the French energy companies Total and Gaz de France. France is already the biggest investor in Algeria outside the energy sector. Full Story

Olympic 'facing difficult future'
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:33pm
The Greek government has said that national carrier Olympic Airlines has a 'more difficult future' amid speculation it may soon be grounded. Athens is under increased pressure to reclaim illegal state aid that it paid to the airline. And Ryanair is taking the European Commission to court for failing to act on further state subsidies it alleges were paid to Olympic. Full Story

Spain buries murdered policeman
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:36pm
Spanish prime minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has attended the funeral in Madrid of a Spanish civil guard killed in south-west France. Two plain-clothed officers were shot by suspected members of the Basque group Eta while carrying out a surveillance operation with French police. The second officer, said to be badly wounded at the time, is now reported to be in a deep coma in hospital. Full Story

Belgium coalition talks collapse
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:42pm
The head of Belgium's Flemish Christian Democrats, Yves Leterme, has abandoned efforts to form a coalition government. Mr Leterme informed King Albert II that he had been unable to come up with a plan acceptable to both Dutch- and French-speaking politicians. French-speaking politicians in Wallonia have rejected his demands for greater autonomy for the country's regions. Full Story

Turkish army fires on PKK in Iraq
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:44pm
The Turkish army says it has inflicted "heavy losses" on rebels from the Kurdish separatist PKK movement across the border in Iraq. The army said it fired on a group of about 50 rebels, though the statement did not say troops entered Iraq. In October, Turkey's parliament voted to allow the military to launch operations into Iraq to combat the PKK, which had stepped up attacks in Turkey. Full Story

EU eases foot-and-mouth restrictions on Britain, Cyprus
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 2:51pm
EU nations on Monday agreed to ease their foot-and-mouth disease restrictions on Britain and Cyprus, as no new cases have been discovered recently, the European Commission said in a statement. European veterinary experts agreed, along with the Commission, that meat and meat products could once again be exported from anywhere in Britain, although a ban on livestock would remain in place for animals from the Surrey area of southeast England where the disease first surfaced in September. Full Story

Myanmar rejects calls to include Suu Kyi in reforms
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 3:54pm
Military-ruled Myanmar on Monday brushed off mass pro-democracy protests as "trivial" and refused to include detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi in its own plodding reform plans. Top officials spoke to reporters at the first press conference since the military staged a deadly crackdown on protests in September, leaving at least 15 dead and 3,000 jailed, according to a UN envoy. Full Story

Chavez: Plan may have been too ambitious
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 4:39pm
Humbled by his first electoral defeat, President Hugo Chavez said Monday he may have been too ambitious in asking voters to let him stand indefinitely for re-election and endorse a huge leap to a socialist state. "I understand and accept that the proposal I made was quite profound and intense," he said after voters narrowly rejected the sweeping constitutional reform by 51 percent to 49 percent. Full Story

Egypt detains 11 Muslim Brotherhood members
Posted on Monday, December 3, 2007 at 4:41pm
Egyptian security forces have arrested 11 members of the Muslim Brotherhood in Sohag, south of the Egyptian capital, in the latest crackdown on the opposition Islamist movement, security sources said on Monday. The sources said the men were arrested during raids on their homes on Sunday on charges of belonging to a banned group and possessing anti-government literature. They were ordered to be detained for 15 days on Monday. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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