Monday, December 17, 2007


EU, eyes on Kosovo, to offer Serbia fast track
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 6:10am
European Union leaders, worried that Kosovo's push for independence could trigger instability in the Balkans, were set to offer Serbia a fast-track route to joining the bloc at a summit on Friday. A day after signing a treaty to end a long institutional stalemate, the leaders switched focus to challenges posed by the Balkans -- a test of the EU's new hopes of strengthening its foreign policy clout -- and by globalization and immigration. Full Story

UN expert: Tapes point to CIA torture
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 8:04am
The destruction of CIA interrogation tapes supports suspicions that the agency used torture to gather information from terrorism suspects at Guantanamo Bay, a U.N. human rights expert who recently visited the prison said Thursday. Martin Scheinin, the U.N. independent investigator on human rights in the fight against terrorism, also said he had reason to believe the CIA continues to use interrogation methods that violate international law. Full Story

US, Russian soldiers train in Germany
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 8:08am
U.S. and Russian generals, undeterred by political tensions over a proposed American missile shield in Europe, said Thursday that their joint training exercises in Germany should expand because of a common enemy: global terrorism. Lt. Gens. Kenneth Hunzeker of the U.S. and Vladimir Chirkin of Russia outlined the two-week exercise in southern Germany that put soldiers from both countries against an opposing force in an effort to better coordinate strategy, communications and tactics. It began Dec. 2 and ends Friday. Full Story

Bitter divisions exposed at Bali climate talks
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 8:42am
With governments at a United Nations meeting here on global warming bitterly divided, Germany's environment minister said Thursday that European Union countries would boycott a separate meeting next month proposed by the Bush administration if a deal was not reached here this week. The United States and the European Union remain at odds on many major points, including whether an agreement signed here should include numerical targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a move that the United States and a few other countries, including Russia, oppose. Full Story

Japan deadlocked over US warships
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 8:46am
Japan's government has extended the parliamentary session into the new year for the first time in 14 years, in an effort to pass a controversial bill. Opposition MPs, who control the upper house, are blocking the bill, which would allow Japan to refuel US warships involved in conflict in Afghanistan. Full Story

Three jailed over Maldives tourist bombing: police
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 9:00am
A court in the Maldives has sentenced three Islamic militants to 15 years each behind bars in connection with the holiday archipelago's first ever terror attack, police said Friday. The men admitted to planting and detonating a bomb at the Sultan Park in the capital island of Male on September 29. Full Story

Rebel group targeting foreigners in S Philippines
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 9:20am
The Philippine rebel group Abu Sayyaf has been eyeing foreigners, including U.S. servicemen deployed in the country's southern region of Mindanao, as their new kidnapping targets, the Philippine National Police said in a statement on Friday.

Quoting a report from the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA), Police Director General Avelino Razon told reporters that the group was planning to carry out attacks and kidnappings in Zamboanga City and Basilan and was out to "replenish its depleted resources." Full Story

Survivors blast dam decision
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 9:44am
Survivors of a devastating flood lashed out at authorities Thursday for not warning that a dam's floodgates were being opened during Tropical Storm Olga, unleashing a wall of water that killed as many as 20 people. President Leonel Fernandez, who promised aid while touring the area to view the destruction, did not comment on the decision to rapidly release the water. He blamed global warming for the rare December storm with torrential rains. Full Story

Bolivian regions in autonomy push
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 10:54am
Bolivia's wealthiest region has taken steps to declare autonomy from the central government amid a bitter dispute over constitutional changes. The Santa Cruz assembly backed a statute under which the region would keep two-thirds of its tax revenues. Full Story

India moves troops to China border
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 10:55am
The Indian army has moved more than 6,000 troops to the Sino-India border following reports of Chinese intrusions in Bhutan. Chief of Army Staff Gen. Deepak Kapoor said the reported intrusion of Chinese forces into Bhutan was a matter between the two countries, adding the Indian army has moved more than 6,000 troops to the border with China. Full Story

Biggest Swiss political party quits cabinet
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 10:59am
Switzerland's biggest political party quit the cabinet Thursday, ending nearly half a century of government by consensus and opening what analysts see as a period of uncertainty in the previously predictable world of Swiss politics.

The rightist Swiss People's Party announced its decision to go into opposition a day after Parliament voted to remove its preferred candidate, the controversial industrialist Christoph Blocher, from the seven-member Federal Council, which serves as Switzerland's cabinet. Full Story

Sri Lanka's war budget approved despite defections
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 1:15pm
Sri Lanka's shaky coalition government on Friday won parliamentary approval for the island's biggest ever war budget, despite a series of defections to the opposition.

Parliament voted 114 to 67 in favour of the 2008 budget unveiled last month by President Mahinda Rajapakse, and which has allocated 166.44 billion rupees (1.51 billion dollars) for defence amid an upsurge in fighting with Tamil Tiger rebels. Full Story

'Freed terrorists behind U.N. bomb'
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 1:35pm
Two convicted terrorists who had been freed in an amnesty carried out the suicide bombings at U.N. and government buildings that killed 37 people, an Algerian security official has said. Rescuers in the shaken city Thursday were still extracting the living and the dead from the crumpled remains of U.N. offices in Algiers that were bombed by al-Qaeda's self-styled North African affiliate. Full Story

Pakistani men suspected of being country's first bird flu victims
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 3:40pm
Two brothers who suddenly died after becoming ill at a chicken farm in north-west Pakistan are suspected of being the country's first bird-flu victims, health officials said Friday. The men died at least 10 days ago, but the Pakistani government did not disclose their deaths and has refused to confirm test results of whether they succumbed to the H5N1 avian influenza virus. Full Story

Iraqi oil exceeds pre-war output
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 3:47pm
Iraqi oil production is above the levels seen before the US-led invasion of the country in 2003, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). The IEA said Iraqi crude production is now running at 2.3 million barrels per day, compared with 1.9 million barrels at the start of this year. It puts the rise down to the improving security situation in Iraq, especially in the north of the country. Full Story

U.S., Japan tighten missile-defense ties
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 6:33pm
The U.S. and Japanese navies have worked out common rules for their advanced warships designed to shoot down enemy ballistic missiles, the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet said on Friday ahead of a milestone test. Full Story

ETA says it killed 2 Spanish police
Posted on Friday, December 14, 2007 at 6:36pm
The armed Basque group ETA has claimed responsibility for the killing of two Spanish Civil Guards in southern France earlier this month and warns it will attack Spain's security forces "wherever they may be," a Basque newspaper reported Friday. Full Story

17 UN staffers killed in Algiers bombings: spokeswoman
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 8:22am
The United Nations on Friday said 17 of its staffers were now confirmed to have died in this week's car bombings in Algiers along with "a devastatingly high number" of Algerians. Full Story

Colombia Destroys Thousands of Weapons from Paramilitary Fighters
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 11:04am
Colombian and Organization of American States officials have supervised the destruction of thousands of weapons surrendered by demobilized right-wing paramilitary fighters. Full Story

Hakim confident Iraqi forces can keep order in Basra
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 11:05am
One of Iraq's most influential Shiite figures has said he is confident the country's security forces will be able to maintain order in the mainly Shiite province of Basra, which is to be handed over by British troops on Sunday. Full Story

Philippine Muslim rebels reject govt homeland plan
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 11:06am
Philippine Muslim rebels on Saturday rejected a government draft on a proposed ancestral homeland for Muslims in southern Philippines, officials said, dealing a surprise blow to peace talks. Full Story

Arrested in Kirkuk a gang specialised in kidnapping Christian doctors
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 12:09pm
Yesterday in Kirkuk Iraqi police captured the remaining members of the criminal organisation; 4 brothers who have all confessed: we did it for the money. The medical profession is among the worst hit by terrorism and criminality: leaders in the field and simple doctors emigrate or are killed, depriving Iraq of a vital resource. Full Story

Iraqi Kurds: No Kurdish state but long term presence of US
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 12:10pm
Iraqi Kurdish leaders rule out a Kurdish state but stress they want continued American presence in northern Iraq and establish a strategic alliance with the United States similar to that between the Washington and Baghdad. Full Story

Officials: U.K. terror suspect escaped
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 4:28pm
Rashid Rauf, a British suspect in an alleged plot to blow up trans-Atlantic jetliners, escaped from police custody in Pakistan on Saturday, officials said. Full Story

Gadhafi Wraps Up Visit to France
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 4:29pm
Mr. Gadhafi got the red carpet treatment from French President Nicolas Sarkozy during his five-day visit here. The Libyan leader was the featured guest at a state dinner. The Libyan and French leaders also signed a number of contracts worth billions of dollars. Full Story

Israel: US report on Iran may spark war
Posted on Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 4:42pm
Israel's public security minister warned Saturday that a U.S. intelligence report that said Iran is no longer developing nuclear arms could lead to a regional war that would threaten the Jewish state. Full Story

28 LTTE rebels killed in fresh clashes in Sri Lanka
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 7:50am
At least 28 LTTE militants and a soldier were killed in a spate of clashes in the restive northern Sri Lanka, the Army said here on Saturday. Full Story

Darfur rebels say attack Sudan army, capture 29
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 8:29am
Darfur rebels said on Sunday they had inflicted a crushing defeat on Sudan's army in West Darfur in an overnight battle during which they captured 29 soldiers, 32 vehicles and heavy weaponry. Full Story

Pakistan campaign kicks off after emergency lifted
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 9:30am
Israel's Aman military intelligence does not think that Syria or Lebanon's Hezbollah militia will carry out a largescale offensive against Israel in 2008, an Israeli daily said on Sunday. Full Story

40 Maoists escape from Dantewada jail
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 10:29am
In a daring act, about forty naxalities on Sunday escaped from the Dantewada jail in Chhattisgarh after overpowering jail guards, police sources said. Full Story

Egyptian police arrest 7 after Christian shops burned
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 10:31am
Police arrested at least seven Egyptian Muslims after a riot in the southern city of Isna on Sunday that left at least 13 Christian-owned shops smashed up or burned and a church front damaged, security sources said. Full Story

Saudis tighten security for Hajj
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 11:29am
Saudi Arabia has tightened security measures in the kingdom before the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which begins on Monday. Full Story

Kyrgyzstan votes in election, opposition cries foul
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 11:30am
Kyrgyzstan voted on Sunday in a snap parliamentary election expected to hand President Kurmanbek Bakiyev's party a landslide victory but which the opposition quickly condemned as rigged. Full Story

Iran shuts down 24 cafes in Internet crackdown
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:24pm
Iranian police have closed down 24 Internet cafes and other coffee shops in as many hours, detaining 23 people, as part of a broad crackdown on "immoral behaviour" in the Islamic state, official media said on Sunday. Full Story

Russia orders new strategic nukes
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:25pm
Russia's military has commissioned another batch of new intercontinental ballistic missiles  nuclear weapons officials boast can penetrate any prospective missile shield, reports said Sunday. Full Story

Russia expels anti-Kremlin journalist
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 12:27pm
Russian authorities expelled a Moldovan journalist critical of the Kremlin on Sunday in a move condemned by media watchdogs. Full Story

Top Turk general says US approved strikes in N.Iraq
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 4:02pm
The head of Turkey's military General Staff said it had U.S. approval for Turkish air strikes on Sunday against Kurdish PKK rebel targets in northern Iraq. Full Story

US: Afghan border attacks drop 40%.
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 4:03pm
A top American general said Sunday that attacks along the Afghan-Pakistan border have dropped more than 40 percent since July and the U.S. and its allies are making progress in the fight against the Taliban. Full Story

General: Iraq at its quietest since '04
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 5:54pm
Violence in Iraq is at its lowest levels since the first year of the American invasion, finally opening a window for reconciliation among rival sects, the second-ranking U.S. general said Sunday as Iraqi forces formally took control of security across half the country. Full Story

Communist leader to run for president in Russia
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 5:56pm
The Communist Party of Russia has nominated its party leader, Gennady Zyuganov, to run in the March presidential election - a vote that is widely expected to be won by President Vladimir Putin's personal choice. Full Story

Al-Zawahri video: US failing in Iraq
Posted on Sunday, December 16, 2007 at 7:23pm
Al-Qaida's No. 2 Ayman al-Zawahri said in a new video posted Monday that the United States is trying to hide its failures in Iraq and warned that the mujahedeen there are increasing in strength. "We are seeing a triple failure for the Americans in Iraq," al-Zawahri said in the 90-minute videotape. "No matter how much the gigantic propaganda machine in America tries to deceive the people, the reality is stronger and worse than all the deceptions." Full Story

Sri Lanka ministry says 22 killed in fresh violence
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:13am
Renewed violence between Tamil rebels and government forces left at least 22 people dead in northern Sri Lanka, the defence ministry said Monday. Among the dead were two civilians killed by unidentified attackers in the Jaffna peninsula where 15 Tamil Tiger rebels also died in clashes with troops on Sunday, the ministry said in a statement. Full Story

Cambodian monks fight police at Vietnam embassy: police
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:15am
About 40 Cambodian Buddhist monks fought with police, knocking one unconscious before being beaten back with batons, as they tried to hand a petition to Vietnam's embassy, officials said Monday. The clash broke out when 100 police refused to allow the monks to approach the embassy in the Cambodian capital. Full Story

Rebels say no talks unless Manila sticks to deal
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:15am
The Philippines' largest Islamic separatist group will not return to peace talks, unless Manila honors a previous pledge to create a Muslim homeland in the south, the rebels' chief negotiator said on Monday. Negotiations to formalize an agreement on ancestral domain were shelved over the weekend in Kuala Lumpur after the government said a deal would need the approval of Congress, something earlier drafts did not require. Full Story

Russia test-fires intercontinental missile
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:17am
Russia successfully conducted a test launch on Monday of a new intercontinental ballistic missile, the navy said. A statement said the missile was launched from the Tula nuclear powered submarine in the Barents Sea in the Arctic and hit a designated area in the Kura testing ground on the Kamchatka Peninsula on Russia's Pacific coast. Full Story

Russia sends nuclear fuel to Iran
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 2:36am
Russia has completed its first shipment of nuclear fuel to Iran's Bushehr plant, which is at the center of the international tensions over Iran's nuclear program, Russian news agencies reported Monday. Iran contends the nuclear power plant operation in Bushehr is strictly for civilian purposes, but many critics suspect Iran intends to use the plant as part of an alleged effort to develop nuclear weapons. Full Story

Philippines communist rebels reject ceasefire, order more attacks
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:14am
Communist guerrillas on Monday rejected the Philippines military's three-year ceasefire proposal and vowed to mount more attacks as government forces observed a unilateral three-week Christmas truce. Three Marines were slain by New People's Army (NPA) rebels on the western island of Palawan on Sunday, within hours of the military's "suspension of offensive military operations". Full Story

Around 9,000 to contest Pakistan polls: official
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:15am
Around 9,000 candidates will contest next month's parliamentary elections in Pakistan, officials said, as the country's main opposition leaders hit the campaign trail. With the January 8 vote three weeks away, the election commission approved the final candidates list, commission official Khurshid Alam told AFP. Full Story

Ten killed in Pakistani bomb attack
Posted on Monday, December 17, 2007 at 3:37am
A suicide bomber killed at least 10 people in northwest Pakistan on Monday in an attack on a security checkpost, military officials said. The attack was near an army-run school in Kohat town in North West Frontier Province, where militants have made repeated attacks on security forces in recent months. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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