Saturday, March 15, 2008


Two Bangladesh terrorists killed in MumbaiPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:11am

In its first encounter this year, the anti-terrorism squad (ATS) intercepted and killed two alleged Bangladeshi terrorists in Kashimira in Thane district (Watch) around 9.15pm on Tuesday. The men were carrying firearms, Rs 2 lakh fake currency and a powder-like substance suspected to be RDX. Full Story

Taiwan's quest for independence likely to wane after electionPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:28am

The two candidates in Taiwan's fiercely contested presidential election are both pushing for closer ties with mainland China, signaling that no matter who wins the vote on March 22, the government here will probably move to defuse tensions arising from a fervent independence movement supported by the current president. Full Story

US troops clash with Iraq militiaPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:32am

The US says it has killed a number of militants in clashes in the mainly-Shia Muslim city of Kut in southern Iraq. Local medics said at least 17 people were killed, including five children, during gun battles on Tuesday between troops and Mehdi Army militiamen. Full Story

Thai Muslims Protest Danish CartoonPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:32am

About 800 Thai Muslims protested outside Denmark's embassy Wednesday against Danish newspapers' reprinting of a cartoon perceived as insulting to Islam. Full Story

Hamas sets terms for ceasefire with IsraelPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:34am

Hamas publicly set its terms on Wednesday for a ceasefire with Israel, calling for an end to Israeli raids in Palestinian territory and a reopening of Gaza border crossings. Egypt has been trying to broker a truce that would also end Gaza rocket attacks against Israel by militants from Hamas and another Palestinian group, Islamic Jihad. Full Story

Jordan releases leading al Qaeda mentorPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:35am

Jordanian authorities on Wednesday released Jordanian Sheikh Abu Mohammad al-Maqdisi, a leading al-Qaeda mentor, after several years imprisonment without trial, security sources said. Full Story

Pakistani security forces miss target, kill 11 civiliansPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:35am

Pakistan's security forces missed the militant hideout they were aiming for and killed 11 civilians in an artillery barrage that landed in a residential area in the restive tribal areas bordering Afghanistan, local media reported Wednesday. Full Story

Anti-Thaksin group vows to protest again in ThailandPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 8:58am

Leaders of the 2006 street rallies against former Thai premier Thaksin Shinawatra vowed Wednesday to rally the public against him again over alleged interference in his graft trial. Full Story

Police fire tear gas at Tibetan monksPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 9:07am

Chinese police used tear gas to disperse hundreds of Buddhist monks who held a second day of rare protests near Tibet's capital, U.S. government-funded Radio Free Asia reported Wednesday. Full Story

Turkey plans $12 billion infusion for Kurdish regionPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 9:49am

Turkey's government is planning a broad series of investments worth as much as $12 billion in the country's largely Kurdish southeast to create jobs and draw young men away from militancy, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday.The initiative is designed to drain support for the militant Kurdistan Workers' Party by improving the lives of the impoverished Kurdish minority, Erdogan said in an interview.

As part of the push, the government will dedicate a state television channel to Kurdish language broadcasting, a measure that Kurds in Turkey have sought for years. Full Story

Turkish court suspends decree on headscarvesPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 9:57am

Turkeys highest court has moved to block the lifting of the ban on women wearing the Islamic headscarf at the countrys universities, ruling that an order issued by the head of the Higher Board of Education (YOK) was invalid. Full Story

Turkey, Iraq, Syria to initiate water talksPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 10:41am

Turkey, Syria and Iraq have decided to bury the hatchet over water issues and cooperate by establishing a water institute that will consist of 18 water experts from each country to work toward the solution of water-related problems among the three. Full Story

Gates, Turkish leaders held missile defense talks, US saysPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:37pm

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates and top Turkish military and civilian leaders discussed American plans for a missile defense system to counter Iran during his visit to Ankara late February, the Pentagon said Monday. Asked at a briefing if the missile defense was an agenda item during Gates' talks in Turkey, Pentagon Spokesman Geoff Morrell admitted that it was. Full Story


Burdened with an excessive foreign debt and facing a severe humanitarian crisis, the government of Tajikistan now finds itself disgraced in the eyes of the international community.

One of the Central Asian nations leading creditors, the International Monetary Fund, is demanding repayment of over $47 million in loans after determining Dushanbe cooked its books in order to makes itself seem more creditworthy.

The IMF Executive Board, meeting earlier in March, determined that the Tajik National Bank had supplied the international lender with "inaccurate information" about the countrys cotton sector, Tajikistans primary export earner, as well as top employer.

The bank also doctored data concerning the size of international reserves, its net domestic assets and its credit policy. The deception pre-dated the onset of Tajikistans current crisis, in which severe winter weather has caused alarming shortages of heat and electricity. Full Story

Central Asia: Uzbek, Turkmen Leaders Pursue Better RelationsPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:49pm

In the latest sign that Central Asia's major gas suppliers are getting closer after a long period of tension, Uzbek President Islam Karimov and Berdymukhammedov concluded two days of talks on March 11 by signing a series of documents on improving bilateral relations. The meetings were watched closely in Moscow,
Washington, and Beijing -- the powers competing for the energy resources of the two neighbors. Full Story

Hong Kong schools shut amid flu outbreakPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 12:52pm

Hong Kong's government ordered Wednesday that all kindergartens and primary schools be closed for two weeks amid a flu outbreak. The government has also asked one of its top scientists to study three child deaths over the past week. Full Story

S.Ossetia to raise independence issue in Russia's parliamentPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 1:02pmOfficials from South Ossetia will address Russia's parliament on the issue of the breakaway republic's independence on Thursday, the region's envoy to Russia said on Wednesday.

Parliament's lower house, the State Duma, will hold hearings on Thursday on appeals from Georgia's two breakaway republics, Abkhazia and South Ossetia, as well as Moldova's Transdnestr, to recognize their independence. Parliamentary speakers from Georgia and Moldova will also attend. Full Story

Taleban threat hits Afghan phonesPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 1:19pm

Afghan mobile phone companies have begun switching off their signals at night in parts of the restive south after several attacks by the Taleban. Ten mobile phone masts were attacked in recent weeks, the latest on Tuesday night, the Afghan government says. Full Story

Iran warns Dutch lawmaker's anti-Quran film would 'breed violence'Posted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:03pm

Iran warned on Tuesday that an anti-Quran film by a maverick right-wing Dutch lawmaker would "breed violence" and said the Dutch government could ban it based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Geert Wilders, leader of the Freedom Party, has said he plans to air the film this month, though no date has been set. The government says it is powerless to ban the film before seeing its contents and is wary of breaching Wilders' right to freedom of expression. Full Story

'Magic is over' for the U.S., says foreign minister of FrancePosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:04pm

Bernard Kouchner, the foreign minister of France and a longtime humanitarian, diplomatic and political activist on the international scene, says that whoever succeeds President George W. Bush may restore something of the United States' battered image and standing overseas, but that "the magic is over." In a wide-ranging conversation with Roger Cohen of the International Herald Tribune at the launch of a Forum for New Diplomacy in Paris, Kouchner on Tuesday also held out the hope of talking with Hamas, the Palestinian faction that rules the Gaza Strip but has been ostracized by the West and by its Palestinian rival, Fatah, because it opposes peace talks with Israel and denies that Israel has a right to exist. Full Story

Sarkozy and Merkel draft agreement detailing role of nations on EU's southern borderPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:05pm

President Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany will end months of wrangling Thursday by presenting a joint plan to strengthen Europe's ties with countries on its southern borders. The French and German leaders, whose relationship has been marred by a series of differences, will brief colleagues at a summit in Brussels on proposals for a Union for the Mediterranean designed to intensify cooperation in the region. The idea provoked fierce opposition from Berlin when it was put forward by Sarkozy last year. Full Story

Cyprus leaders to meet next weekPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:07pm

The new Cyprus president, Demetris Christofias, is due to meet the Turkish Cypriot leader on 21 March, according to a UN office on the divided island. After he was elected last month, Mr Christofias asked the UN to arrange a meeting with Mehmet Ali Talat to revive peace talks which stalled in 2004. Full Story

US envoy leaves in Belarus rowPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:08pmThe American ambassador to Belarus has left the embassy in the capital, Minsk, because of a diplomatic dispute. A spokesman at the embassy told the BBC that Karen Stewart had not been expelled and her absence was temporary. Full Story

Airstrike kills Afghan civiliansPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:10pm

Four Afghan civilians have been killed in an airstrike by British forces, the Ministry of Defence said. The attack happened when troops called for help during a Taleban ambush in Helmand province, south Afghanistan. "We deeply regret that this incident happened and do everything we can to mitigate this from happening," the Ministry of Defence (MoD) said. Full Story

EU urged to cut 'green' goods taxPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:13pm

Gordon Brown has renewed calls for the European Union to reduce duties on environmentally friendly goods, ahead of a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels. He said he hoped his proposal to reduce VAT on items like low-energy light bulbs and fridges would be considered. Full Story

US signs agreement on visa-free travel for Estonia, Latvia over EU objectionsPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:14pm

The United States signed agreements Wednesday with EU members Latvia and Estonia that will enable the tiny Baltic nations to join the U.S. visa waiver program this year. In Estonia, Interior Minister Juri Pihl and Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff signed a memo of understanding that will enable the two nations' law enforcement authorities to share passenger data and air travel information necessary for the visa waiver program. Full Story

'Oldie' honour for Ian PaisleyPosted on Wednesday, March 12, 2008 at 6:16pm

Ian Paisley has received a new title, as he was honoured with the 'Oldie of the Year' award. Mr Paisley took the accolade for "agreeing to share power with Sinn Fein," Oldie magazine said. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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