Wednesday, December 12, 2007


Polish PM on first German visit
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 8:40am
Poland's Prime Minister Donald Tusk is starting his first visit to Germany since taking office last month. Both Poland and Germany have promised a new chapter in their relations which worsened significantly under Poland's previous conservative government. Mr Tusk will meet both the German chancellor and president during his brief visit to Berlin. Full Story

Iraq rejects permanent U.S. bases-adviser
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 8:45am
Iraq will never allow the United States to have permanent military bases on its soil, the government's national security adviser said. "We need the United States in our war against terrorism, we need them to guard our border sometimes, we need them for economic support and we need them for diplomatic and political support," Mowaffaq al-Rubaie said.

"But I say one thing, permanent forces or bases in Iraq for any foreign forces is a red line that cannot be accepted by any nationalist Iraqi," he told Dubai-based al Arabiya television in an interview broadcast late on Monday.

His comments were the clearest sign yet that Iraq's leaders are looking ahead to the days when they have full responsibility for its defence. The United States has around 160,000 troops in Iraq, officially under a United Nations mandate enacted after the U.S.-led invasion in 2003. Iraq formally asked the United Nations on Monday to renew that mandate for a year until the end of 2008.

It made clear it would n ot extend the mandate beyond next year and the mandate could be revoked sooner at Iraq's request. Full Story

Gazans Passage to Mecca Seen as an Insult to Abbas
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 8:55am
What appeared to have been a decision by Egypt and Saudi Arabia to cooperate with Hamas rather than with the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in allowing 2,000 people to leave Gaza last week for a pilgrimage to Mecca is causing friction in Palestinian, Israeli and Western circles.

Some officials said the move was an insult to Mr. Abbas, a moderate. Only two weeks ago, Egyptian, Saudi and other international representatives gathered in Annapolis, Md., to support him and the embryonic Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

The pilgrims crossed directly from Gaza, which is under Hamas control, into Egypt, through the Rafah border terminal. From Egypt, they traveled on to Saudi Arabia, where the pilgrimage, called a hajj, is to take place this month. Full Story

Malaysia flood death toll rises, thousands more evacuated
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 8:57am
The death toll from widespread floods in Malaysia has risen to six and the number of people evacuated to relief centres increased sharply as heavy rains continued to fall, officials and reports said Tuesday. A 15-year-old boy is thought to have drowned after he went swimming in a canal in north eastern Kelantan state, the official Bernama news agency reported. Full Story

Israeli tanks push deep into Gaza
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:14am
Israeli tanks and bulldozers have moved deep into the southern Gaza Strip in the biggest incursion into the territory in months. Three Palestinian militants were killed early in the fighting, local medical officials said. Israeli military officials say two soldiers were wounded. Reports speak of 30 or more tanks being involved. Full Story

First regular inter-Korean train service begins
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:25am
North and South Korea began regular cargo train service across their heavily armed border Tuesday for the first time in more than a half century, in another symbolic step in their reconciliation.

The 12-car train carried construction materials to a North Korean border station, and then returned home carrying shoes, underwear and other items produced at a South-North joint industrial complex in the North Korean border city of Kaesong. Full Story

Suicide bomber strikes Baghdad
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:27am
A suicide car bomber has targeted the offices of Iraq's former prime minister and a Sunni parliament member, killing two policemen, agencies report. Police and hospital officials said at least 12 people were wounded in addition to the deaths as a result of Tuesday morning's attack.

The bombing took place in western Baghdad, less than 150 yards from a series of buildings that included offices of Iyad Allawi, Iraq's first post-Saddam prime minister and a secular Shia, and those of Saleh al-Mutlaq, leader of the National Dialogue Front, according to police. Full Story

China's inflation rate jumps in NovemberPosted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 9:32amChina's inflation surged to its highest rate in 11 years last month while its trade surplus swelled, the government said Tuesday, adding to pressure for the central bank to raise interest rates and loosen currency controls.

Rising food and oil prices lifted November's consumer price index 6.9 percent from the same period last year, the National Bureau of Statistics said. That is well above the government's inflation target of 3 percent and was the biggest increase since 1996, according to Xinhua News Agency. Full Story

Spain: Terror threat behind nuclear security boost
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 10:12am
The government and the Nuclear Security Council (CSN) have boosted protection of the country's nuclear power plants in the face of the perceived threat from Al Qaeda-related organisations, a recent report by the National Intelligence Centre (CNI) shows.

Madrid has also drawn up a list that includes some 4,000 vital infrastructure locations that could be possible targets for extreme Islamist groups. Security at nuclear power plants has been beefed up since February, prompted by the trial of those responsible for the 11 March 2004 bomb attacks in Madrid.

In June 2006, the CSN said in a report that those attacks "highlight the existence of threats that could affect installations and nuclear or radioactive material." Full Story

Hanoi gives no "terrorism" arrest evidence: US
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 10:56am
Vietnam has not given the United States any evidence of reports in state-run media that four Vietnamese-Americans arrested last month were suspected of terrorism, the U.S. Ambassador said on Tuesday.

Envoy Michael Michalak also said he had not yet been told of any charges against the four U.S. citizens, although consular officials have been allowed to visit them at a detention centre. "If they are being detained for peaceful expression of their political views then we will protest vigorously and call for their release," Michalak said at a media briefing. Full Story

Darfur rebels claim attack on Chinese-run oilfield in Sudan
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:48pm
Darfur rebel group the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) said on Tuesday it had attacked and taken over a Chinese-run oilfield in central Sudan. "We attacked the oilfield of Rahaw this morning at 6:00 am (0300 GMT) and took control of the facility" in the south Kordofan region, JEM commander Abdel Aziz Nur al-Ashr told AFP by telephone. Full Story

Seven candidates to run for presidency in Georgia
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:49pm
Georgian leader Mikhail Saakashvili will face six rivals in a presidential election on January 5, the electoral commission said on Tuesday.Saakashvili, 39, stepped down in November to run in the election after crushing opposition protests with riot police and closing Georgia's biggest opposition television station, Imedi. Full Story

Citizenship amendments fall short, critics say
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:50pm
Critics are urging the federal government to draft a new citizenship act rather than implement patchwork reforms to the archaic legislation now on the books. Liberal MP Andrew Telegdi and Don Chapman, who represents many so-called lost Canadians, say Conservative government proposals to amend the Citizenship Act are admirable but fall short. Full Story

Security to be beefed up in Bangkok during holidays
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:51pm
Police will beef up security around Bangkok for the approaching New Year Festival especially at banks, gold shops, gas stations and convenient stores as precaution, said Metropolitan police chief Pol Lt Gen Assawin Kwanmuang Tuesday. Full Story

Transport strike set Dec. 13-14
Posted on Tuesday, December 11, 2007 at 12:53pm
TRANSPORT groups in Davao City are planning to stage a 36-hour strike from 12 noon of December 13 to midnight of December 14 in protest of the continuous oil price increases. Transport of Southern Mindanao for Solidarity, Independence, and Nationalism-Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Opereytor Nationwide (Transmision-Piston), in an email, said 95 percent of all associations of jeepneys, tricycle, and operators in Davao City will join the nationwide-coordinated strike. Full Story

Sri Lanka says 36 killed in heavy fighting
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:16am
Sri Lankan troops and Tamil Tiger rebels were locked in heavy combat across their de facto borders in the north of the island where at least 36 combatants were killed, the defence ministry said Wednesday. Intense clashes along the Mannar and vavuniya districts left 20 guerrillas and three soldiers killed on Tuesday, the ministry said adding that another 12 guerrillas and a soldier were killed further north in the Jaffna peninsula. Full Story

Japan tanker seized off Somalia released
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:17am
Pirates freed a Japanese chemical tanker loaded with highly explosive benzene off the coast of Somalia Wednesday, six weeks after seizing the vessel and its crew, a U.S. Navy spokesman said. All 22 crew members were unhurt and the pirates were seen heading toward the Somali coast, the Navy said. Full Story

Al-Qaida claims bloody Algiers bombings
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:18am
Two truck bombs set off in quick succession sheared off the fronts of U.N. offices and a government building in Algeria's capital Tuesday, killing at least 26 people and wounding nearly 200 in an attack claimed by an affiliate of al-Qaida. Al-Qaida in Islamic North Africa, in a posting on a militant Web site, called the U.N. offices "the headquarters of the international infidels' den." A U.N. official said at least 11 of its employees died. Full Story

Italian truckers defy government order to end strike
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:19am
Thousands of trucks continued to block Italian roads early Wednesday defying an order by Italy's transport minister to end a highly-disruptive truck drivers' strike at midnight. Alessandro Bianchi issued the decree after talks broke down between unions and government on the second day of a planned five-day strike, saying the move was necessary to protect the delivery of essential supplies. Full Story

Venezuela's Chavez again demands Spain apology
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:19am
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Tuesday repeated his demands that the King of Spain apologize for telling him to shut up in November, saying bilateral relations would deteriorate if he does not. "If the King of Spain does nothing to apologize, this will continue to deteriorate," Chavez told reporters at the end of a three-day visit to Argentina where he attended the inauguration of President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner. Full Story

Explosion rocks Beirut suburb
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 1:20am
A loud explosion rocked a Christian suburb east of Beirut early Wednesday, killing four people and injuring dozens, the state-run news agency and other media reported. The explosion, which occurred before 7 a.m. (12 a.m. EST), was heard by residents on the edge of the Lebanese capital. Full Story

H5N1 bird flu found at fifth site in Poland
Posted on Wednesday, December 12, 2007 at 2:03am
The deadly H5N1 bird flu virus has been found in wild birds at a fifth site in Poland, officials said on Wednesday. A stork and two buzzards, which died from the virus, were being kept at a wild bird rehabilitation centre near the town of Orneta, northeastern Poland, regional government veterinarian Ludwik Bartoszewicz was quoted as saying on the TVN24 Web site. Full Story

Curtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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