Monday, December 31, 2007


Car bomb in Baghdad kills 11; wounds 64
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 6:31am
A car bomb detonated in the middle of a busy market in central Baghdad on Friday, killing at least 11 people and wounding 64, police and hospital officials said. At least one woman and a child were killed in the blast, a police officer said on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to talk to the press. Full Story

Sixteen dead in violence in Pakistan's Sindh
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 6:33am
Sixteen people, including three policemen, have been killed in violent protests in Sindh province since Thursday's assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, a provincial government minister said on Friday. Sindh Interior Minister Akhtar Zaman said the toll of 16 covered the period from 6 p.m. on Thursday when violence erupted as word spread of Bhutto's killing after an election rally in Rawalpindi. Full Story

French convicts flown out of Chad
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 8:40am
Six French aid workers who were jailed in Chad on child trafficking charges have flown out of the capital N'Djamena, bound for France. The six were sentenced to eight years' hard labour in Chad on Wednesday for attempting to kidnap 103 children. Full Story

Two Israelis killed in West Bank
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:00am
Two Israeli settlers have been shot dead in the West Bank, Israeli officials have said. The two men - both in their 20s - were shot while walking in the hills near the town of Hebron, which is divided between Israelis and Palestinians. The victims lived in a settlement near Hebron. An Israeli police official said the attackers had not been found. Full Story

Lebanon vote to be delayed until next week
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:14am
Lebanon's presidential election will be delayed until "the end of next week", a senior political source said on Friday, in what would be the eleventh delay to a vote first scheduled to take place more than three months ago. The vote had been set for Saturday.

While rival leaders have agreed on army chief General Michel Suleiman as a consensus candidate for the presidency, they are still wrangling over how to share power once he takes office. "Complications in regional and international negotiations and the severing of domestic talks contributed to the delay of tomorrow's session until the end of next week," the source told Reuters. Full Story

Nepal lawmakers approve abolition of monarchy
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:16am
Nepal lawmakers formally approved a decision to abolish the monarchy and declare the country a republic as part of a deal with former Maoist rebels.

However, King Gyanendra will remain on the throne for the time being as the agreement between the Maoists and the government last weekend to make Nepal a republic can only be put into effect at the first meeting of a new constituent assembly. Full Story

Italian deficit lower than expected, Prodi says
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:23am
Prime Minister Romano Prodi of Italy said Thursday that the budget deficit this year would be significantly below the official government target, thanks in part to his measures to combat tax evasion. In his end-of-year news conference, Prodi said the deficit would amount to about 2 percent of gross domestic product, compared with the official forecast of 2.4 percent, as revenues continued to exceed expectations. Full Story

U.S. Troops Kill 11 Shiite Militiamen
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:26am
American soldiers raided a neighborhood in the southern Iraqi city of Kut early Thursday morning, killing 11 members of the Mahdi Army, the militia loyal to the anti-American Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, the American military and witnesses said. Leaders of the Sadr movement, which has abided by a cease-fire for several months, condemned the American operation.

Witnesses said that explosions, thumping helicopters and bursts of automatic-weapons fire echoed through the Kut neighborhood of Al Jameea for at least three hours as American forces fought Mahdi militiamen. At least four people were wounded during the clash, the police said. Full Story

FM: Estonia ready to join Conventional Forces in Europe treaty
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:34am
Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet has said in a recent interview with Interfax news agency that the nation would seek to join the Conventional Forces in Europe (CFE) treaty immediately after its ratification, news from the Estonian capital Tallin said Thursday. Full Story

Kosovo Armed Group Issues Warning
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:37am
A shadowy armed group in Kosovo, the Albanian National Army, is preparing for potential trouble in the Serb-inhabited north of the region after Kosovos expected declaration of independence, Balkan Insight can reveal. Full Story

Britain urges democracy in Pakistan after Bhutto killing
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:38am
Prime Minister Gordon Brown urged Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf Friday to "stick to the course he has outlined to build democracy" after the death of Benazir Bhutto.

Brown called Musharraf to pass on Britain's condolences over Bhutto's death and later his Downing Street office issued a statement in which he also pledged extra support to help Pakistan combat the Al-Qaeda network if necessary. Full Story

Israeli and Palestinian Leaders Meet to Ease Tensions
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:47am
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, met here on Thursday to try to dispel the tensions of recent days, and they recommitted themselves to refrain from acts that would prejudice a final peace treaty while they try to negotiate one, officials from both sides said.

This was the first meeting of the two men since the Middle East conference convened by the United States in Annapolis, Md., a month ago, when they agreed to try to negotiate a final peace settlement before the end of 2008. Their negotiating teams had met twice since then, but both times fruitlessly, as mutual grievances were aired.

Mr. Abbas and Mr. Olmert get along well, their aides say, and Thursdays meeting in Mr. Olmerts official residence here was described as cordial and positive. The two men met with their three lead negotiators for an hour, then met alone for another hour, but little of substance emerged regarding the task before the two sides. Full Story

March 14 MPs deliver petition calling for Parliament session
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:57am
The March 14 coalition delivered to Parliament Thursday a petition signed by 13 MPs calling for an emergency session to discuss and ratify an amendment to Article 49 of the Lebanese Constitution.

The amendment would pave the way for the election of Lebanese Armed Forces commander General Michel Suleiman as president. Lebanese Forces MP Antoine Zahra, Democratic Gathering MP Akram Chehayeb and Future Movement MP Ammar Houri presented the petition to the Parliament Secretary General Adnan Daher at noon on Thursday. Full Story

Britain tightens Pakistan travel advice
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 9:59am
Britain strengthened its advice to travellers to Pakistan Friday, warning against "all but essential travel" following the death of Benazir Bhutto. The Foreign Office said it was also advising travellers already in Pakistan to stay indoors "until the situation becomes clearer". Full Story

Iraq says captures senior al Qaeda figure
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 10:01am
The Iraqi army captured a senior al Qaeda militant in a clash south of Baghdad on Thursday, a government security spokesman said.Baghdad security spokesman Qassim al-Moussawi said the militant, Ahmed Turki Abbas, claimed the rank of defense minister of the al Qaeda-linked group Islamic State of Iraq.

Moussawi said Abbas was lightly wounded and was in the custody of Iraqi forces after being captured in the clash near the town of Mahmudiya, 30 km south of Baghdad. Violence in Iraq has declined in recent months after Sunni Arab tribes turned against strict Islamist militants from al Qaeda and related groups. But U.S. commanders say al Qaeda remains a dangerous foe in Iraq.

Poland to send additional 400 troops to AfghanistanPosted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 10:37amPoland's government is expected to send 400 additional troops to its mission in Afghanistan, a move of increased importance amid destabilization in neighboring Pakistan, the nation's defense minister said Friday.

Some 1,200 Polish troops already serve as part of the NATO-led mission in Afghanistan. Earlier this month the country pledged to strengthen that force with more troops and eight helicopters. Full Story

Pakistan PM: Jan. 8 election to go ahead
Posted on Friday, December 28, 2007 at 11:19am
Pakistan's prime minister said Friday the government has no immediate plan to postpone Jan. 8 parliamentary elections after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. Mohammedmian Soomro, head of the interim government that is meant to oversee the vote, said that if there was any decision on delaying the election it would be done in consultation with all political parties. Full Story

Sri Lanka defence secretary calls for formal end to truce
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 10:57am
Sri Lanka's defence secretary said the government should formally pull out of a ceasefire with Tamil Tiger rebels amid escalating fighting in the island, a state-run daily reported Saturday. Full Story

Malaysia frees four alleged JI militants, says rights group
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 11:54am
The government here has released four alleged members of the militant group Jemaah Islamiyah after holding most for nearly five years, a rights group said Saturday. Full Story

Qaeda Network Expands Base in Pakistan
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:12pm
The Qaeda network accused by Pakistans government of killing the opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is increasingly made up not of foreign fighters but of homegrown Pakistani militants bent on destabilizing the country, analysts and security officials here say. Full Story

"Kremlin turf war" moves into Russian court
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:13pm
Russia's state arms exporter has filed a lawsuit against a businessman who said it was seeking to grab private assets, the latest salvo in what analysts have said is a turf war raging behind the scenes between Kremlin clans. Full Story

Kenya's election deadlock sparks violence
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:14pm
Tensions over Kenya's closest-ever election erupted into violence Saturday as supporters of both President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga predicted victory. Full Story

Chavez launches hostage mission
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:16pm
A sensitive mission to retrieve three hostages from the rebel-held jungle this weekend entered a key phase as two helicopters sent by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez arrived in Colombia. Full Story

Algerian troops kill at least six suspected Islamist militants
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:17pm
The Algerian army has killed at least six suspected Islamists during operations in the east of the country against the North African arm of the al-Qaeda terror network, Algerian media reported Saturday. The army was engaged with militants of the al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb movement in Tebessa, around 600 kilometres east of the capital Algiers, reports said. Full Story

Pro-Abbas security arrests 14 Hamas members in West Bank
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 2:20pm
Palestinian security forces arrested 14 members of Hamas as part of a West Bank crackdown on the Islamic movement, Hamas said Saturday. Full Story

Bin Laden warns Iraqi Sunnis, threatens Israel
Posted on Saturday, December 29, 2007 at 4:18pm
Osama bin Laden warned Iraq's Sunni Arabs against joining tribal councils fighting al-Qaida or participating in any unity government in a new audiotape posted on the Web on Saturday. Full Story

Police die in Mexico convoy raid
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 8:29am
Seven police officers have died after gunmen attacked a convoy carrying three alleged kidnappers arrested in northern Mexico, officials have said. Full Story

Bhutto's party discusses successor
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 8:30am
The party of slain opposition leader Benazir Bhutto is to meet Sunday to discuss her successor and whether to boycott Pakistan's election. Full Story

Kibaki named victor in Kenya vote
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 10:03am
Kenya's President Mwai Kibaki has won the country's closely-fought election, the Electoral Commission has declared. The announcement came after opposition leader Raila Odinga accused Mr Kibaki of electoral fraud and called for a full re-assessment of the results. Full Story

Taliban commander denies being sacked
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 10:45am
A key Taliban commander has denied he has been sacked by the rebels' leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar, claiming the report was part of a "conspiracy" against him. Full Story

Sharif's party says likely to run in Pakistan vote
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 10:46am
Pakistani opposition leader Nawaz Sharif's party is likely to abandon plans to boycott an upcoming general election, a party spokesman said on Sunday. Full Story

Ten die in anti-Kibaki protests in west Kenya - TV
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 11:24am
Ten people have died in west Kenya as protests against President Mwai Kibaki's controversial re-election erupted around the nation, the respected local broadcaster Nation Television (NTV) said. Full Story

Brussels cancels New Year fireworks over security
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 11:25am
The city of Brussels has cancelled its traditional fireworks display to see in the New Year on Monday night due to an ongoing state of heightened security. Full Story

Egyptian woman dies of bird flu, 2nd in week
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 4:00pm
A 25-year-old Egyptian woman died of bird flu on Sunday, the second fatality among humans in Egypt in less than one week, the Health Ministry said. Full Story

Iran sets summer date for launching 1st nuke plant
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 4:01pm
Iran said Sunday that it will begin operation of the country's first nuclear power plant in the summer of 2008 using half its 1,000 megawatt capacity, the official news agency IRNA reported. Full Story

Election test for Georgian democracy
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 5:24pm
Young, energetic and friendly to the West, Mikhail Saakashvili became a symbol of democratic reform in the former Soviet Union in 2003 for leading street rallies that ousted a graying veteran of the Communist era and catapulted him into power. Full Story

1 NATO Soldier Killed in Bomb Attack
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 5:26pm
A roadside bomb killed a NATO soldier and wounded four others in southern Afghanistan on Sunday, while a Taliban ambush left eight Afghan security personnel dead, officials said. Full Story

Pakistan's Largest City Paralyzed
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 5:27pm
Residents of Pakistan's largest city cautiously emerged from their homes Sunday and struggled to find food and fuel amid the blackened buildings, shattered glass and burnt-out vehicles littering the streets of Karachi. Full Story

Mortar kills Somali mother, 5 children
Posted on Sunday, December 30, 2007 at 6:21pm
A mother and her five children were killed Sunday by a mortar round fired during fighting between Somali insurgents and Ethiopian troops. Full Story

Dozens injured in bombings in Thai south: police
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 12:27am
Five bombs planted by suspected separatist rebels rocked Thailand's troubled south early Monday, injuring dozens of people in a town on the Malaysian border, police said. Explosives planted at entertainment venues across Sun Ngai Kolok town in Narathiwat province wounded 27 people, two of them seriously, police said. Full Story

NKorea set to miss nuclear deadline
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 12:28am
North Korea showed no signs of meeting its deadline Monday for declaring all of its nuclear programs, a key component of its agreement to disarm in exchange for economic aid. The United States expressed disappointment and urged the North to meet its commitments.

But there was no indication that North Korea would immediately face any sanction over the delay  suggesting countries involved in negotiating the agreement were reluctant to raise tensions after a year of progress in the long-standing dispute. Full Story

Bhutto's son, husband to lead her party
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 12:29am
Benazir Bhutto's 19-year-old son  a student with no political experience  was named symbolic leader of her party Sunday, while her husband took effective control, extending Pakistan's most enduring political dynasty.

The major parties appeared to agree that the elections should take place as scheduled on Jan. 8 despite street violence and political turmoil triggered by the assassination of Bhutto. The Election Commission is to discuss the timing of the polls Monday. Full Story

Pakistan vote 'likely' delayed several weeks: official
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 2:39am
Pakistan's election will "likely" be delayed a few weeks after Benazir Bhutto's killing, followed by unrest that destroyed dozens of election offices, a senior government official told AFP on Monday. "It is likely that the elections will be delayed for a few weeks," the official said. The parliament vote is scheduled for January 8. Full Story

Iraq on alert for Saddam anniversary
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 3:53am
Hundreds of people, including many children, chanted slogans praising Saddam Hussein on Sunday as they tossed flowers onto his tomb one year after he was executed.

The muted anniversary of Saddam's death saw little violence, a far cry from the blood spilled on the day the former Iraqi leader was executed and the horrific wave of killing that ensued until the surge of U.S. troops six months later. Full Story

Thai party says it can form coalition
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:27am
The political party allied with deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra announced Monday it had enough seats to form a coalition government after Thailand's first post-military coup election.

Samak Sundaravej  the leading candidate to become Thailand's next leader  said his pro-Thaksin People's Power Party had formed a government after wooing three small political parties. Full Story

Sri Lanka vows victory against Tigers in 2008
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:28am
Sri Lanka's top military commanders have vowed to win the decades-old war against Tamil separatists in the new year, a state-run daily said. Army chief Sarath Fonseka said he hoped government forces would be able to dislodge the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) from the line of bunkers guarding their de facto mini-state in the north of the island. Full Story

Protests in Kenya as leader re-elected
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:56am
Kenya's opposition leader compared President Mwai Kibaki to a military dictator Monday amid protests and violent clashes over an election marred by allegations that Kibaki stole the vote. Several people were shot as heavily armed police tried to contain demonstrations in Nairobi's slums.

"There is no difference between him (Kibaki) and Idi Amin and other military dictators who have seized power through the barrel of the gun," Raila Odinga said Monday. Full Story

25 police, soldiers killed in Afghanistan: officials
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:57am
Twenty-five policemen and soldiers have been killed across insurgency-hit Afghanistan in fresh -- mainly Taliban-linked -- violence, authorities said. Sixteen policemen were killed when their post in the southern province of Kandahar -- a hotbed of Taliban activities -- was attacked by Islamic rebels on Saturday, the interior ministry said. Full Story

Video, report spur Bhutto controversy
Posted on Monday, December 31, 2007 at 4:58am
A newly released video of Benazir Bhutto's assassination and an inconclusive medical report raised new doubts Monday about the official explanation of her death and were likely to intensify calls for an independent, international investigation. The footage, obtained by Britain's Channel 4 television, showed a man firing a pistol at Bhutto from just feet away as she greeted supporters through the sunroof of her armored vehicle after a rally Thursday. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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