Saturday, December 29, 2007


Security tight ahead of Bhutto rally
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 5:24am
Hundreds of riot police manned security checkpoints Thursday as opposition leader Benazir Bhutto prepared to hold her first campaign rally since returning from exile two months ago. Bhutto had planned an earlier rally in the city, but Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf forced her to cancel it, citing security fears. In October, suicide bombers struck a parade celebrating Bhutto's return, killing more than 140 people in the southern city of Karachi. Full Story

Several hurt in Pakistani election shooting
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 5:39am
Gunmen opened fire on supporters of former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif on Thursday while he was campaigning for a January election, wounding several of them, Sharif said. Sharif blamed supporters of the party that supports President Pervez Musharraf for the violence near the city of Rawalpindi. Police confirmed several people had been hurt in shooting. Full Story

Diplomats expelled by Afghanistan
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 9:29am
Two diplomats accused by Afghan officials of making contacts with the Taleban have left the country after talks to stop their expulsions failed. One is a high-ranking British UN employee, Mervyn Patterson. The other is the acting head of the EU mission in Afghanistan, Irishman Michael Semple. The Kabul-based pair were accused of posing a threat to national security during a visit to Helmand province. Full Story

Somali troops hunt for kidnappers
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 9:34am
The Somali security forces are hunting for the gang which kidnapped two women who work for an aid agency. The pair, a Spanish doctor and an Argentine nurse, were seized near the northern port of Bossasso, in the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. They work for the aid agency Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF). Full Story

Pakistan on the brink as suicide attack kills Benazir Bhutto
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:25am
Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was killed by a suicide bomber as she left a public rally today, threatening to plunge Pakistan into a civil war. The former prime minister was caught by the blast as she was driven from the rally in the city of Rawalpindi. Full Story

Little-known mafia is cocaine 'king'
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:28am
Europe is fast overtaking the U.S. as the leading destination for the world's cocaine, and a single Italian mafia is largely responsible. The 'Ndrangheta crime syndicate, a ruthless and mysterious network of 155 families born in the rough hills here in southern Italy's Calabria region, now dominates the European drug trade. Full Story

Iran and Malaysia signed $16 billion agreement
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:34am
Iran's Pars Oil and Gas Company (POGC) and Malaysia's SKS Ventures signed the multibillion dollar contract to develop Golshan and Ferdows gas fields in southern Iran. Iran and Malaysia signed a $16 billion agreement to develop two Iranian gas fields, state-run television reported Wednesday, describing the deal as the largest energy contract in Iran.

Sri Lanka says fighter jets destroy Sea Tiger base
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 10:35am
Sri Lankan jets bombed and destroyed a northern Tamil Tiger naval base on Thursday, the military said, a day after a fierce sea battle that left up to 52 rebels and navy sailors dead. The bombing raid by MiGs and Israeli-made Kfir jets is the latest in a series of air strikes in recent months as President Mahinda Rajapaksa's government seeks to destroy the Tigers militarily to end a new chapter in a 25-year civil war. Full Story

Dozens of vehicles torched and vandalized in Turkey
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:36am
Assailants wearing balaclavas torched at least 10 vehicles overnight in Istanbul and the southern city of Adana, news agencies reported Thursday, raising the number of vehicles vandalized across Turkey in the past two weeks to more than 40. The attacks have coincided with a Turkish military assault against separatist Kurdish rebel hideouts both inside Turkey and across the border in northern Iraq. Full Story

Turkish Jets Strike Kurdish Rebels
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:37am
Turkish warplanes attacked Kurdish rebel camps in northern Iraq on Wednesday, the Turkish military said, acknowledging its second cross-border airstrike this week and its third in recent days. The warplanes shelled eight locations in the Zap region of northern Iraq, across Turkeys southeastern border, the army said in a statement. It gave no information on any casualties or injuries. Full Story

4 Sunni Allies of U.S. Killed in Iraq
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:41am
Four members of an American-backed neighborhood watch group in Diyala Province were killed Wednesday when a house they were raiding exploded, the police said. The blast, north of Baquba, the provincial capital, also wounded at least four people. It was one of several attacks this month against the volunteer Awakening groups and their members, who are also known as Concerned Local Citizens. On Tuesday, several members of an Awakening group were killed by a suicide truck bomber near a checkpoint outside the Baiji oil refinery, in northern Iraq. Full Story

Egypt and Israel Meet Over Arms Smuggling
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:43am
Israels defense minister, Ehud Barak, met President Hosni Mubarak of Egypt in Sharm el Sheik, Egypt, amid tension over weapons smuggling from Egypt into Gaza. Earlier in the day, Egypts foreign minister, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, had complained about the Israeli lobbys efforts to harm Egypts interests with the Congress, referring to moves to make some American military aid to Egypt conditional on its taking steps to stop the smuggling and protect human rights. After the meeting, Mr. Barak said, Whenever we have points of dispute, we will discuss them through face-to-face dialogue in good faith.

New Air Defense System for Iran
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:44am
Russia is preparing to equip Iran with a powerful new air defense system that would significantly increase its ability to repel an attack, Irans defense minister said Wednesday. The S-300 antiaircraft missile defense system is capable of shooting down aircraft, cruise missiles and ballistic missile warheads at over 90 miles and at altitudes of about 90,000 feet. The S-300 is an improvement over the Tor-M1 air defense missile system. Russia delivered 29 Tor-M1s to Iran this year under a $700 million contract signed in 2005. Full Story

Belgium Frees 14 Held as Plot Suspects
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 11:53am
A judge on Saturday released 14 men who had been accused of plotting to break a suspected supporter of Al Qaeda out of prison here, saying there was too little evidence to hold them. Prosecutors said the investigation would continue, as would heightened security measures imposed across the country after the men were detained in raids on Friday. Full Story

Palestinians killed in Israeli raid
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 12:20pm
Three Palestinians have been killed and six others wounded in Gaza Strip during the latest Israeli army incursion in the Hamas-run territory. Two of the victims belonged to the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group and the third was a member of the armed wing of Hamas, medics and witnesses said. The Israeli army carried out an air raid and fired artillery into an area around the southern town of Khan Yunis on Thursday, they said. Full Story

Brown condemns Bhutto killers as 'cowards'
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 12:22pm
Prime Minister Gordon Brown condemned the killing of Benazir Bhutto Thursday, saying she was "assassinated by cowards afraid of democracy". He described the Pakistani opposition leader as a woman of "immense personal courage and bravery", adding, "This atrocity strengthens our resolve that terrorists will not win there, here or anywhere in the world". Full Story

Israeli building plan clouds talks
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 12:23pm
An Israeli building programme planned for East Jerusalem is set to overshadow a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian leaders. Thursday's summit between Ehud Olmert, the Israeli prime minister, and Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian president, is the first since the two agreed to renew peace talks at the US-sponsored Annapolis meeting last month. The Jerusalem dispute has already clouded earlier meetings between negotiating teams. Full Story

London shares close up
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 2:55pm
Leading shares gained momentum in late afternoon deals to close higher after the assassination of Pakistan's opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, reignited geopolitical concerns and sent oil prices to a fresh 1-month high, fuelling oil heavyweight share prices. The FTSE 100 index closed up 18.5 points at 6,497.8, while the FTSE 250 index ended 21.6 points ahead at 10,608.3. Full Story

Energy sector fuels gains on Europe's bourses
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 3:04pm
European equities shrugged off negative sentiment on Wall Street to end narrowly higher as rising commodities prices gave a lift to energy and resources companies across the continent. The FTSE Eurofirst 300 closed up 0.1 per cent at 1,509.10 as European companies looked to China and other emerging markets for growth in 2008. Stocks pared early gains after the assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto and poor US economic data cast a pall over markets. Full Story

British airport strike talks deadlocked
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 8:42pm
Talks between unions and management aimed at averting strikes next month at some of Britain's busiest airports ended without agreement Thursday night, officials said. Workers at seven airports, including London's Heathrow and Gatwick, voted last week to stage three strikes in the new year after airport operator BAA PLC announced plans to change its employee pension plan. Full Story

WHO confirms inter-human bird flu transmission in Pakistan
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 8:42pm
Experts with the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday confirmed the first case of inter-human transmission of bird flu in Pakistan, but ruled out any risk of a widespread outbreak. Laboratory tests established that the person had been infected with the potentially fatal H5N1 strain of the virus, even though had not been in contact with contaminated poultry. Full Story

German Neo-Nazi Party Under Investigation for Fraud
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 8:43pm
While an outright ban of the extreme right-wing NPD party has proven difficult, the neo-Nazis may now face a different kind of legal trouble. The party may have defrauded the state out of federal matching funds for political donations. The letter, addressed to the "Dear Comrades" of the right-extremist National Democratic Party (NPD) leadership in the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein, arrived just in time for Christmas and contained its share of holiday surprises.

Under the heading "Memorandum about incorrect reporting," the head of the NPD's local organization in the Lauenburg-Stormarn county informed his party leaders in the state capital Kiel about unsavory details of an affair that could prove disastrous for the nationalist party. Full Story

Group: Bin Laden to release Iraq message
Posted on Thursday, December 27, 2007 at 9:24pm
Terror leader Osama bin Laden will release a new Internet message that focuses on Iraq, a terrorism monitoring group said Thursday. The SITE intelligence group said it has learned that the al-Qaida leader will discuss Iraq and the insurgent group the Islamic State of Iraq, which is a front organization for al-Qaida. Full Story

Taiwan court clears presidential candidate of corruption
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 12:12am
Taiwan's High Court cleared opposition leader and presidential favourite Ma Ying-jeou of corruption Friday in a high-profile ruling that frees him to stand in the March vote. Ma, who is representing the Kuomintang (KMT) party, could have been barred from running for president in the March vote if he had been convicted. Full Story

Bhutto's body flown to home province
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 12:13am
The body of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was taken to her family village for burial on Friday, a day after her assassination plunged the nuclear-armed country into one of the worst crises in its 60-year history. Her killing after an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi triggered a wave of violence, especially in her native Sindh province, and stoked fears a January 8 election meant to return Pakistan to civilian-led democracy could be put off. Full Story

Sri Lanka says kills 29 Tamil Tigers
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:16am
Sri Lanka's military said on Friday troops had killed 29 Tamil Tigers in a series of land clashes over 24 hours, as the death toll from renewed civil war continued its inexorable climb. The army said troops battled the rebels in the northern district of Vavuniya on Thursday killing 25 rebels, and killed four more in Jaffna on Friday. Full Story

Tamil Nadu police combs coastal areas for LTTE men
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:17am
Tamil Nadu police and its intelligence wing "Q Branch" have launched a combing operation following reports that a group of LTTE militants had sneaked into the coastal areas of Ramanathapuram district. "We have asked all the lodges and hotels to be checked," a police official said here on Friday. Full Story

Iran gets 2nd Russian fuel shipment
Posted on Friday,
December 28, 2007 at 3:26am
Iran received the second shipment of nuclear fuel from Russia on Friday for a power plant being constructed in the southern Iranian town of Bushehr, the official news agency IRNA reported. The delivery signaled continued momentum toward beginning operations at the long-delayed 1,000 megawatt light-water reactor, which the Russians are helping to construct and the Iranians say will come online in 2008. Full Story

Russia says no plans to sell missile system to Iran
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:46am
Russia has no plans to sell its advanced S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran, a Russian government agency said on Friday. "The issue of supplying Iran with S-300 anti-aircraft missile systems, raised by mass media, is not on the agenda, is not being considered and is not being discussed with the Iranian side at the moment," Russia's Federal Military and Technical Cooperation Service said on its Web site. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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