Monday, March 10, 2008

EXPANDED COMPLETE CONFLICT & TERROR 03/10

Russian arms dealer to face trial in Thailand Posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 8:51am

Viktor Bout, the Russian alleged "Merchant of Death" of the clandestine arms trade arrested in a U.S. sting operation in Thailand, will stand trial in Bangkok before extradition is considered, police said on Friday. Full Story

Ex-official killed in Basque areaPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 8:59am

A former Socialist town councillor has been shot and killed in Spain's northern Basque region. The attack in the town of Mondragon came just two days before a general election. Isaias Carrasco, 42, was shot outside his house and died in hospital. The Basque separatist group Eta has carried out similar attacks in the past. There has been no claim of responsibility for the latest shooting. Spain's Socialist prime minister is seeking a second term in Sunday's poll. Full Story

Abkhazia in independence appealPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:01am

The breakaway Abkhazia region in Georgia has called on the UN and other international bodies to recognise it as independent. The appeal was made by the separatist Abkhaz parliament on Friday, a day after Russia said it was lifting trade restrictions on the territory. Full Story

Last push to woo Spanish votersPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:04am

Spain is in the final day of official campaigning ahead of Sunday's general election, in which the Socialist prime minister is seeking a second term. Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has faced questions about the slowing economy. Inflation is at a 10-year high and unemployment an eight-year high. The Spanish housing boom has faltered. Full Story

Brown condemns no-uniform advicePosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:11am

Gordon Brown has condemned reports that RAF personnel at a Cambridgeshire base were advised not to wear uniform in public for fear of verbal abuse. He said armed forces members should be "encouraged to wear their uniform in public and have the respect and gratitude of the British people". Full Story

Norwegian named as new UN envoy to AfghanistanPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:28am

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon named Norwegian diplomat Kai Eide on Thursday as his new envoy for Afghanistan, an appointment the West hopes will beef up the international presence in the war-torn country. Full Story

Lockerbie bomb document bid failsPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:33am

The man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing has failed in his latest attempt to persuade judges that secret documents should be handed over. Abdelbaset Ali Mohmed al-Megrahi claims the documents could assist his appeal over the 1988 massacre. The documents were issued by a foreign government to prosecutors before Megrahi's trial but have never been seen by the defence. Full Story

Chinese rights activist reported missingPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:35am

A Chinese human rights lawyer who has defended dissidents and urged stronger citizens rights ahead of the 2008 Summer Olympics is missing, family and colleagues said on Friday, fearful that he may have been secretly detained by the police. Full Story

Condoleezza Rice pushes NATO allies to increase Afghanistan contributionsPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:46am

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, tiptoeing through a minefield of intra-European squabbling, urged NATO allies on Thursday to step up troop contributions and other efforts to help defeat the Taliban in Afghanistan. Rice spent a day at NATO headquarters holding talks on everything from Greece's refusal to let the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia have full membership to whether letting Georgia and Ukraine join is a good idea in light of Russia's opposition. Full Story

Sarkozy faces first test in local elections in FrancePosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:48amThe elections this weekend and next concern local issues in towns and villages across France, but they will provide a snapshot of the political mood. Ten months after President Nicolas Sarkozy was swept into power on a wave of optimism, his party faces its first electoral test in local elections this weekend and next. Full Story

Whaling protester scales embassyPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:48amA campaigner protesting against whaling by the Japanese has been arrested after chaining himself to the front of the country's embassy in London. Full Story

Britain lays out details of national ID card programPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:50am

The British government announced plans Thursday to begin its national identity card program, with the first wave of cards going to airport workers, foreigners and students. Foreign nationals will need to provide fingerprints and personal information for a database linked to the plan starting in November, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said. The program will cost an estimated $11.1 billion and involve the creation of a new national database, which will store a wide range of individual information. Full Story

Bird flu detected in Vietnam's capitalPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:51am

Vietnamese officials said on Friday that bird flu has made a comeback in Vietnam's capital after being held at bay for more than a year, and chided farmers for negligence in fighting the virus. Full Story

Scores killed in Sri Lanka battlesPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:53amSri Lankan troops have clashed with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) in northern and northwestern Sri Lanka as a part of a wider operation to reclaim rebel-held terrain. Full Story

Taleban convicts are recapturedPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 9:58am

The Afghan justice minister has said six Taleban prisoners who tried to escape from a jail east of the capital, Kabul, have been recaptured. Earlier, the prison authorities said seven prisoners tried to escape on Wednesday evening, and that all but one had been caught. Full Story

Croatian, Italian kidnapped in CameroonPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 10:10am

Croatia's Foreign Ministry says a Croatian woman was kidnapped last week in Cameroon along with an Italian citizen. The two were seized in the coastal city of Douala. The ministry gave no details Thursday about when and how the kidnap occurred, nor about either hostage, but said it was working for their release. Full Story

Basque killing halts Spanish election campaignPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 10:31am

Spain's main political parties canceled closing campaign rallies on Friday, two days before an election, after a former councilor from the governing Socialist Party was shot and killed in the Basque Country. The government immediately blamed ETA separatists for the killing of Isaias Carrasco, who was shot several times in front of his wife and young daughter outside his house in the town of Mondragon. Full Story

Belarus expels US ambassadorPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 10:38am

The Belarusian Foreign Ministry said Friday it has demanded that the U.S. ambassador leave the country and recalled its ambassador in the U.S. over Washington's economic sanctions against the ex-Soviet nation. A spokesman for President Bush called the move "deeply disappointing." Full Story

Fire in Denmark kills 1; police suspect arson, arrest 2Posted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 11:11am

A pre-dawn explosion and fire destroyed a restaurant in western Denmark on Friday, killing a woman who lived in the building and injuring 2 men, police said. Police said they suspect arson and that two men were arrested, but they did not release any details about a possible motive. Full Story

Smith targets public sector in ID card hard-sellPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 12:35pm

The home secretary, Jacqui Smith, yesterday gave a broad indication that millions of public-sector teachers, nurses and care staff in "positions of trust" are to be given a fast-track incentive to sign up early for an ID card to get the "critical mass" she needs for the controversial scheme. She promised to speed up the introduction of the scheme by allowing people to get a card without waiting to renew their passport, enabling its full introduction by 2017, two years ahead of previous plans. Full Story

ETA blamed for politician's deathPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 12:52pm

A man shot and killed a former town councilman from the ruling Socialist Party in northern Spain on Friday, just two days before national elections, in an attack blamed on the Basque separatist group ETA. "ETA has killed Isaias Carrasco, a former councilman in Mondragon," said Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba in a nationally-televised news conference. Full Story

Asian markets tumble after Wall Street's dropPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 1:14pm

Asian markets plunged Friday after another overnight drop on Wall Street that was spurred by news about rising foreclosures on U.S. mortgages. That intensified concerns about the U.S. credit crisis and broader economy, a vital export market for Asian companies. Full Story

Indian prisoner released by Pakistan admits to spyingPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 1:56pm

An Indian who insisted he was not a spy during more than three decades on Pakistan's death row has admitted he was a secret agent after his return to his home country, a report said on Friday. Full Story

EU report cites climate change threatsPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2:19pm

Climate change will worsen tensions and instability between nations competing for arable land, water and other resources, according to a European Union report. The report prepared for a meeting of the 27 EU leaders said member nations must lose no time in preparing for the impact of climate change on the security of Western Europe. Full Story

US needs 6 months for offer to PolandPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2:20pm

The U.S. has asked for six months to prepare an offer for modernizing Poland's army in return for permission to locate a missile defense base in the country, the Polish prime minister said. The U.S. proposal to base 10 interceptor missiles in Poland as part of a global missile defense shield is expected to be on the agenda when Prime Minister Donald Tusk meets President Bush in Washington on Monday. Full Story

German railway seeks court order to block strikePosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2:22pm

German state-owned rail operator Deutsche Bahn on Friday said it had gone to court in a bid to block a threatened strike by train drivers next week. A spokesman said Deutsche Bahn has lodged a complaint with the labour court in Frankfurt and was expecting a ruling on Monday morning. Full Story

British terror camp organizers sentencedPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2:25pm

A judge sentenced two extremist preachers on Friday who had run a network of military-style terrorism training camps across the English countryside. Mohammed Hamid, who dubbed himself "Osama bin London," was sentenced to at least 7 1/2 years, but was told he could remain in jail for longer if authorities believe he continues to pose a risk to national security. Full Story

Medvedev wins 70 percent of Russia votePosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 2:29pm

Dmitry Medvedev has won Russia's presidential election with over 70 percent of the vote, according to final results released Friday. Russia's Central Election Commission said Medvedev won Sunday's election with 70.28 percent of the vote. Turnout was 69.81 percent. Full Story

Report: Kurdish rebels kill 1 civilianPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 3:09pm

Suspected Kurdish rebels killed a civilian and took another hostage Friday in a southern Turkish province near the border with Syria, a local official told state-run media. Rebels hiding in a mountainous part of Hatay province killed the man after forcing him to bring them provisions, Governor Ahmet Kayhan told the Anatolia news agency. Rebels had accused him of informing security forces of their whereabouts, Kayhan said. Full Story

Colombia says 2nd rebel leader killedPosted on Friday, March 7, 2008 at 4:53pm

A top rebel leader was killed by his own chief of security, who gave Colombian troops the leader's severed hand as proof, the defense minister said Friday. Full Story

Afghans protest over Danish cartoonPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:04am

Thousands of Afghans packed a sports stadium in the western Afghanistan city Herat Saturday to protest the reprinting of the same Danish cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed that sparked rage in the Muslim world two years ago.Several newspapers in Denmark reprinted the controversial drawing last month after Danish authorities arrested several people who allegedly were plotting a "terror-related assassination" of the cartoonist Kurt Westergaard. Full Story

Chinese press muzzled at parliament meetingPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:06am

China is making a big publicity push at this year's annual meeting of parliament to show how open it is to the media, but when it comes to Chinese reporters many of the old propaganda and censorship rules still apply. Full Story

Roadside bombs kill four in IraqPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:08am

Two roadside bombs killed four people in the confessionally divided province of Diyala, northeast of Baghdad, on Friday, police said. A woman and her daughter and son were killed when their vehicle was struck by a bomb in Al-Siniya village, east of the provincial capital Baquba, police Major Mohammed al-Karkhi told AFP. Full Story

Australian PM says Pacific relations 'back on track'Posted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:09am

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd said his country's sometimes tense relations with its Pacific neighbors were "back on track" Saturday during a visit to the Solomon Islands. Rudd reiterated Australia's commitment to a regional assistance mission in the Solomons and pledged an extra 14.5 million dollars (13.4 million US) in help for victims of an earthquake that triggered a tsunami last year. Full Story

Malaysia police battle mob in Islamist strongholdPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:10am

Malaysian police fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse an angry crowd of people, mainly supporters of an Islamic party, following clashes over alleged unregistered voters in Saturday's general election, police said. Police arrested 22 supporters of Parti Islam se-Malaysia (PAS) after they were attacked with bottles, sticks and stones, and the windscreens of three police cars were smashed, witnesses said. Full Story

Death toll in Baghdad bombing rises to 68Posted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:11am

The death toll from twin bombings in Baghdad on Thursday has risen to 68 with at least 120 others wounded, including women and children. The attack was one of the deadliest this year and came as the U.S. military announced plans to withdraw 2,000 troops from Baghdad. Full Story

Iraq's leader to cooperate with Turkey on PKKPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:13am

Iraq's president insisted Friday that Kurdish rebels would not be tolerated inside its borders as he sought to allay tensions following neighboring Turkey's eight-day military mission inside Iraq. Speaking during a visit to Turkey, Jalal Talabani said Iraq was continuing to put pressure on Kurdish rebels to lay down their arms and said the two countries would discuss wide-ranging security measures to combat their threat. Full Story

Roadside blast kills soldier in Sri Lanka: policePosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:14am

At least one soldier was killed and two others critically wounded in southern Sri Lanka Saturday when their vehicle was hit by a roadside blast, police said. The victims were being transported to hospital in the Moneragala district where several similar attacks have been reported in recent weeks, police said. Full Story

Bolivian court suspends vote on Morales' proposed constitutionPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:15am

Bolivia's top electoral authority on Friday indefinitely postponed a May 4 referendum on a new constitution intended to give more political power to the nation's long-oppressed indigenous groups. Citing logistical concerns, the National Electoral Court ruled that it would be impossible to ensure the legal guarantees, sufficient time and adequate electoral environment on such short notice for the referendum, which is backed by President Evo Morales. Full Story

Mexico Seizes Arsenal, Drugs in TijuanaPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:16am

Soldiers seized assault rifles, grenades, marijuana and bulletproof vests bearing police insignia after a brief shootout in the Mexican border city of Tijuana. No one was wounded in the overnight exchange of fire with three suspects hunkered down in a house in La Mesa district, army Gen. Sergio Aponte Polito told reporters Friday. Full Story

Police arrest 22 in Malaysian protestPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:17am

Malaysian police fired tear gas Saturday at hundreds of rock-throwing opposition supporters who claimed the ruling coalition was transporting unregistered voters to cast ballots in the general election. Police said they arrested 22 people and seven police cars were also damaged in the incident. Full Story

Islamist fighters seize 2nd strategic town in Somalia within 24 hoursPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:19am

Islamist insurgents killed five government soldiers while briefly taking a strategic town in central Somalia, police and residents said, the second such seizure within 24 hours. The attack late Thursday took place in Belet Weyne, near a critical road junction that links Somalia to the border with Ethiopia. Hundreds of troops are stationed at the junction, which is also Ethiopia's main supply route. Full Story

Myanmar junta rules out Aung San Suu Kyi participation in pollsPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:20am

Myanmar's ruling junta informed visiting United Nations envoy Ibrahim Gambari that they will not amend a draft constitution to allow opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi to contest the planned 2010 polls, media reports said Saturday. The military regime on Friday turned down a request by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon that the regime amend the new constitution to "ensure inclusiveness," Information Minister Brigadier-General Kyaw Hsan told Gambari in a long lecture to the visiting envoy that was printed in all state-controlled media Saturday. Full Story

Israel says talks will go forward despite deadly Jerusalem attackPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:26pmIsraeli-Palestinian peace talks will proceed within days despite a shooting attack that killed eight students at a Jewish seminary, Israeli officials said Saturday. Full Story

Serbian PM resigns, calls for May electionsPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:27pm

Serbian nationalist Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica resigned on Saturday following a government crisis over the independence of Kosovo and the country's EU future. Full Story

Russian arms dealer sent to Thai prisonPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:28pm

A Thai court Saturday sent Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout to a maximum security prison, as his lawyer denied that the man known as the "Merchant of Death" was supplying arms to Colombian rebels. Full Story

Iraq seeks partnership with TurkeyPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:29pm

Iraq's president said Saturday that he wants to promote more Turkish investment in his country, where Turkish troops recently carried out an eight-day ground incursion. Full Story

One dead, 24 hurt in northeast India blastsPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 6:31pm

At least one person was killed and 24 others injured, two of them critically, on Saturday in a series of explosions in India's restive northeast blamed on rebel groups, officials said. Full Story

Egypt discovers and destroys six smuggling tunnelsPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 8:29pm

Six underground tunnels used to smuggle weapons and contraband between Egypt and the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip were detected and destroyed, Egyptian authorities said on Saturday. Full Story

'Syria may be thwarting cease-fire'Posted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 8:30pmEfforts by Egypt to put together a package deal that would include a cease-fire in Gaza and a new border arrangement between Gaza and Egypt was put on hold following Thursday's terrorist attack at the Mercaz Harav Yeshiva in Jerusalem. Full Story

Sadr takes break from politics, cites failuresPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 8:31pm

Iraq's elusive Shiite cleric Moqtada Sadr has decided to drop out of politics for the time being because his disillusionment with the political scene in Iraq has left him sick and anxious, he said in an unusually personal letter to his followers released Friday. Full Story

Afghans protest over prophet cartoonsPosted on Saturday, March 8, 2008 at 9:22pm

Thousands of Afghans demonstrated Saturday in western Afghanistan, shouting angry slogans against Denmark and the Netherlands for alleged insults against Islam. Full Story

Sri Lanka military claims 17 rebels killedPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 4:53am

Seventeen Tamil Tiger rebels died and four soldiers were injured in fighting with government troops in northern Sri Lanka, government officials said Saturday. Full Story

NKorea denounces Taiwan's UN membership bidPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 4:54am

North Korea has denounced Taiwan's bid for UN membership, saying it would fuel tension in Northeast Asia, according to state media monitored here Sunday. The island plans two referendums on joining the United Nations at the same time as its March 22 presidential election. Full Story

Fatah Leader, School Books Supports Terrorism Against US in IraqPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:18am

A leader of Mahmoud Abbas's US-backed Fatah party has come out in support of the terrorist war being fought against US and British forces in Iraq. PA text books for school children also push attacks on American and British forces. Full Story

Malaysian PM has 'no intention' of stepping downPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:19am

Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has no plans to resign, his spokesman said, despite leading the ruling coalition to its worst ever election results. Full Story

Lawyers demand release of judges in PakistanPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:20am

Beside racks of hanging meat and barrows of oranges in the alleys of the old town here, Aitzaz Ahsan, leader of the lawyers movement in Pakistan, was back on the campaign trail on Saturday, calling for the release of top justices from house arrest. Full Story

Thailand a 'heaven' for international criminals, police admitPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:22am

Thailand, where the world's most notorious weapons trafficker Viktor Bout was arrested last week, provides a "heaven" for international criminals because of poor immigration data and Thai friendliness, media reports said Sunday. Full Story

Georgia's rebel Abkhazia calls for independence recognitionPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:24am

Georgia's breakaway region of Abkhazia appealed to the international community Friday to recognize its self-declared independence, citing Kosovo as a precedent."After the recognition of the independence of Kosovo by a large number of Western states... conditions favourable to the recognition of Abkhazia's independence have appeared," the Abkhaz parliament said in a statement. Full Story

Thai PM vows not to interfere in Thaksin graft trialsPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:24am

Thailand's prime minister on Sunday vowed not to interfere in the trial of his old ally Thaksin Shinawatra, the ousted premier who is due in court this week to face corruption charges. Full Story

Israel expands settlementsPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 3:27pm

Israel announced plans to build hundreds of homes in the West Bank and disputed east Jerusalem on Sunday, drawing Palestinian condemnation just days before a visit by a U.S. general to monitor the troubled peace process. Full Story

Plane engines, explosives, and another grave found in IraqPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 3:29pm

An Iraqi army force discovered a weapons cache including plane engines and containers of TNT explosives in the central Iraqi Diyala province where another grave was also uncovered. Full Story

Pakistan Rivals Join to Fight MusharrafPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 3:35pm

The leaders of the two major political parties, in an unexpectedly strong show of unity against President Pervez Musharraf, agreed Sunday that they would reinstate judges fired by the president and would seek to strip him of crucial powers. Full Story

Venezuela nabs suspected Colombian cocaine kingpinPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 3:37pm

Venezuelan authorities have arrested a suspected drug lord and arms smuggler with paramilitary links wanted in the United States on charges of trafficking cocaine, a television station reported on Sunday. Full Story

German train strike is called offPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 4:14pm

German train drivers' union, GDL, says it will not strike on Monday after reaching an agreement with the railway operator Deutsche Bahn. Full Story

Exit polls: Socialists win in SpainPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 4:50pm

Exit polls gave Spain's ruling Socialists the victory in general elections Sunday, but it was not clear whether they would win an absolute majority. Full Story

Israeli minister says sack ElBaradei over IranPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:09pm

An Israeli cabinet minister called on Sunday for the dismissal of the head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog for not doing enough to curb Iranian atomic projects with bomb-making potential. Full Story

Qaeda in north Africa says kills 20 Algeria troopsPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:11pm

Al Qaeda's wing in north Africa says it has killed 20 Algerian soldiers and wounded 30 in clashes in its eastern stronghold, where the army has launched a campaign against the rebels. Full Story

U.S. leads in preparing for war in spacePosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 5:12pm

It does not take much imagination to realize how badly war in space could unfold. An enemy - say, China in a confrontation over Taiwan, or Iran staring down America over the Iranian nuclear program - could knock out the U.S. satellite system in a barrage of antisatellite weapons, instantly paralyzing American troops, planes and ships around the world. Full Story
Studies: Iraq costs US $12B per monthPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:31pm

The flow of blood may be ebbing, but the flood of money into the Iraq war is steadily rising, new analyses show. In 2008, its sixth year, the war will cost approximately $12 billion a month, triple the "burn" rate of its earliest years, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph E. Stiglitz and co-author Linda J. Bilmes report in a new book. Full Story

US military deaths in Iraq at 3,974Posted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:34pm

March 9, 2008, at least 3,974 members of the U.S. military have died since the beginning of the Iraq war in March 2003, according to an Associated Press count. The figure includes eight military civilians. At least 3,237 died as a result of hostile action, according to the military's numbers. Full Story

Lawyer, family visit suspected Niger Delta rebel leaderPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:36pm

The suspected leader of a Niger Delta oil rebel group is alive and well, a lawyer said Sunday, after weeks of uncertainty about his fate since being extradited from Angola to Nigeria on treason charges. Full Story

AU troops head to Comoros for invasion of rebel islandPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:37pm

African Union troops will arrive Monday in the Comoros before launching a military offensive against the island of Anjouan and its rebellious leader, the government of the Indian Ocean nation said. Full Story

Gunmen in Afghanistan kill intelligence officialPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:39pm

A district intelligence official was shot dead by unknown gunmen in southeastern Afghanistan and a roadside bomb blast killed a foreign soldier in a neighbouring province, officials said on Sunday. Full Story

Intelligence paints grim picture for IsraelPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 8:40pm

Intelligence agencies were to paint a bleak picture of threats facing Israel in an annual assessment on Sunday that comes on the heels of the deadliest Palestinian attack in Jerusalem in four years. Full Story

Israel probes Hizbullah link to attackPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 9:30pm

Security officials are investigating whether Hizbullah was involved in Thursday night's massacre at a Jerusalem yeshiva, amid uncertainty over which terror group was responsible for the attack, officials said over the weekend. Full Story

Iranian election fails to fire student passionsPosted on Sunday, March 9, 2008 at 9:46pm

Iranian students, who spearheaded a reform movement blunted by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's election in 2005, doubt that voting for a new parliament on Friday can promote real change. Full Story

Name row threatens Nato talksPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:04am

A dispute over the name of Macedonia could derail Nato plans to invite three Balkan states to join the alliance. Nato foreign ministers have begun discussing whether Albania, Croatia and the former Yugoslav republic should be asked to become members next month. All 26 members of the alliance have to agree, but Greece has threatened to block Macedonia's bid because of the northern Greek region of the same name. Full Story

Cyprus may hold early peace talksPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:19am

The new President of Cyprus, Demetris Christofias, says he expects to meet the Turkish Cypriot leader between 17 and 24 March to revive peace talks. Mr Christofias said earlier that he had asked the United Nations to arrange a meeting with Mehmet Ali Talat. Both leaders have voiced optimism that they can make progress towards reunification of the island. Full Story

Rethink on identity cards plansPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:21am

The government has set out changes to its planned identity scheme - including allowing people to use new "biometric" passports instead of getting ID cards. Most people will not now have to give their fingerprints when getting a passport until 2011/12 - three years later than had previously been planned. And plans to force passport applicants to get an ID card have been dropped. Full Story

UK 'to seek more nuclear power'Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:23am

Britain's reliance on nuclear energy should increase over the next two decades, business secretary John Hutton has told The Financial Times. Mr Hutton announced plans in January for a new generation of nuclear plants to replace the UK's 10 ageing stations. But Mr Hutton told the FT he would be "disappointed" if the proportion of energy generated by nuclear did not rise above the current 19%. Full Story

Two suspected terrorists arrested in LahorePosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:23am

Two suspected terrorists were arrested here on Thursday by Pakistani police along with suicide jackets and explosive materials. The arrests were made after police stepped up security across the city following an attack by two suicide bombers on the Pakistan Navy's War College here on Tuesday that killed seven persons. Full Story

U.S. embassy fears attacks on citizens in LebanonPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:25am

The U.S. embassy in Lebanon has urged its citizens residing there to keep a low profile, citing concern that "extremist groups" may be planning attacks against Americans. Full Story

Cyber-Rebels in Cuba Defy States LimitsPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:27am

A growing underground network of young people armed with computer memory sticks, digital cameras and clandestine Internet hookups has been mounting some challenges to the Cuban government in recent months, spreading news that the official state media try to suppress. Full Story

WA police make $77m drug bustPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:27am

Western Australian Police have seized what is believed to be the state's largest ever haul of methylamphetamine, in a light plane from New South Wales. Full Story

Power outage in Karachi over no bill paymentPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:28am

Pakistans commercial capital Karachi suffered a major power outage on Thursday when the countrys main power utility cut the supply because the citys power company had not paid its bills, an official said. Full Story

Nato says cyber warfare poses as great a threat as a missile attackPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:28am

Nato is treating the threat of cyber warfare as seriously as the risk of a missile strike, according to a senior official. A London conference was told that online espionage and internet-based terrorism now represent some of the gravest threats to global security. Full Story

Experts: Databases needed to deter nuke threatPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:29am

International databases to share information about nuclear and radioactive materials are urgently needed to help deter potential nuclear threats, a team of scientific and policy experts said on Thursday. Full Story

Thaksin hopes to leave Thailand next weekPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:31am

Former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who returned last week to Thailand after nearly 18 months in exile, said on Thursday he would ask a court for permission to leave the country for Britain. Full Story

Vietnam tanker sinks, 14 missingPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:36amFourteen sailors are feared to have died after their oil tanker capsized in rough seas off the coast of Vietnam, maritime authorities have said. Full Story

Cargo plane catches fire on landing in IndonesiaPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:38am

A Hercules cargo airplane caught fire when it landed at an airport in eastern Indonesian province of Papua on Thursday, but all of seven people on board the plane survived, local media reports said. Full Story

Expert says fake DVDs fund militants in PhilippinesPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 8:49am

Proceeds from the sale of counterfeit cigarettes, medicines, CDs and DVDs that are regularly smuggled into the southern Philippines could be helping fund al Qaeda-linked militants in the region, a security expert said on Thursday. Full Story

Dutch government raises terrorism alertPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 9:22am

The Dutch government says it has raised the terrorism alert level from "limited" to "substantial" because of "increased international threats", a justice ministry spokesman said on Thursday. The spokesman also mentioned the film about the Koran that has generated controversy and concern ahead of its release on 28 March as a factor in its decision. Full Story

Egypt presses Hamas on Gaza trucePosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 10:03am

Egypt was trying to persuade Hamas Thursday to accept a truce that would halt rocket attacks on Israel in an effort to put an end to Gaza violence and salvage Middle East peace talks. Deputies of Egypt's intelligence chief Omar Suleiman met with officials from the Islamic militant Hamas and the smaller Islamic Jihad in the Egyptian Sinai city of el-Arish on Thursday, security officials said. Full Story

Iran arming Hezbollah with missiles sent via TurkeyPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 10:05am

Iran is arming Hezbollah with missiles sent via Turkey, according to intelligence received in Israel, the Israeli daily Haaretz reported yesterday. A senior Israeli government source said that Brigadier Gen. Yossi Beiditz, head of the Israel Defense Forces research department, last week told European Union ambassadors in a briefing that Iran continues to transfer arms and equipment to Hezbollah, in spite of Tehran's denials. Full Story

Irans Religious Conservatives Are Expected to Solidify Power at PollsPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 10:07am

With eight days before Irans parliamentary elections, there is little doubt that religious conservatives will tighten their grip on power, pushing aside some of the veteran politicians who helped found the Islamic Republic 29 years ago. Political analysts have been predicting that conservative politicians, many of them close to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, will consolidate their power in the elections, on March 14, a process that began with parliamentary elections four years ago and continued with Mr. Ahmadinejads election in 2005. Full Story

Gaza rallies in Sanaa and Aden draw thousandsPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 10:09am

A crowd of 5,000 people attended a support rally for Gaza sponsored by the presidents ruling General Peoples Congress party. The rally, held in Sanaas Al-Tahrir square, coincided with a similarly staged Anger March in Aden. Full Story

"Fitna won't be aired on television"Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:35pmT

he anti-Koran film from Geert Wilders will not be broadcast on Dutch television. The Volkskrant reports that not a single channel wants to cooperate on the project. The newspaper reports that Freedom party PVV leader Geert Wilders himself no longer believes he will find a broadcaster. No channel wants to agree to Wilders' condition that the film must be shown in its entirety. Full Story

French court paves way for US trial over charter crashPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:37pm

A French court ruling Thursday paved the way for a possible US trial over a 2004 charter aircraft crash in Egypt that killed 134 French tourists, focusing on the responsibility of US plane maker Boeing. The Paris court of appeal ruled in favour of families of the victims of the crash off the Red Sea resort of Sharm-el-Sheikh, who argued the civil case fell outside French jurisdiction and should be tried in the United States. Full Story

Alexander will not be prosecutedPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:45pm

Scottish Labour leader Wendy Alexander will not be prosecuted over failing to register donations, the Crown Office has confirmed. The Holyrood watchdog referred her to the procurator fiscal for not recording gifts to her leadership campaign in the MSPs' register of interests. Full Story

UN war crimes chief visits BosniaPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:46pm

The new chief prosecutor of the UN war crimes tribunal is due to meet top officials in Bosnia-Hercegovina. Serge Brammertz says his priority is to catch the two leading fugitives - ex-Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic and his army chief Ratko Mladic. Full Story

IRA Gibraltar woman event blockedPosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:48pm

New rules have been adopted which mean the blocking of a Sinn Fiin event at Stormont's Long Gallery to celebrate the life of IRA member Mairead Farrell. Functions in the Long Gallery now need the cross-community backing of three MLAs under the interim rules. The only member to object at the Assembly Commission, which runs the estate, was Sinn Fiin's Paul Butler. Full Story

Paisley Jnr defends board movePosted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:51pm

Ian Paisley Jnr has denied that many DUP assembly members are unhappy he was reappointed to the Policing Board after stepping down as a junior minister. t had been claimed that anger over that contributed to his father's decision to announce his resignation as first minister and party leader. Full Story

DUP successor 'must do business'Posted on Thursday, March 6, 2008 at 3:53pm

Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has said he is not concerned if the new first minister has a more distant relationship with him than Ian Paisley. Mr Paisley announced on Tuesday that he would stand down as first minister and DUP leader in May. Ful l Story

MK Eitam to Arab MKs: One day we will expel you from IsraelPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:47am

Tempers flared Wednesday during Knesset plenary session when National Union MK Effie Eitam told Arab MKs that "one day we will expel you from this house, and from the national home of the Jewish people." Eitam expressed his anger at Tuesday's rally in Umm al-Fahm, where demonstrators chanted slogans calling Israel "a Zionazi state" and urging "Gaza martyrs" to carry on with their struggle. Full Story

Israelis, Palestinians to resume peace talks: RicePosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:48am

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Wednesday that Israelis and Palestinians intend to resume peace negotiations which have been frozen because of a military blitz on the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. Full Story

BasraRed Crescent on Alert Due to H5N1 VirusPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:49am

The Red Crescent Directorate in Basra is on alert after Bird Flu (H5N1) cases were confirmed in the city. Full Story

Protests Flare at 2 Iranian CampusesPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:50am

Hundreds of students at two Iranian universities have mounted protests in recent days to decry the expulsion of student activists and call for the resignation of a government-appointed campus president. Full Story

Indonesians in Java village scared by seeping gasPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:58am

Gas seeping from the ground in a village hit by a mud volcano in Indonesia's East Java province is triggering safety concerns and calls for an evacuation, residents said on Wednesday. Full Story

Death for Pakistani for murder of U.S. diplomatPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:39am

A Pakistani anti-terrorism court sentenced an al Qaeda-linked militant to death on Wednesday for a 2006 suicide attack in Karachi that killed a U.S. diplomat, a government lawyer said. Full Story

UN 'reclaims' Kosovo rail linePosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:50am

The UN mission in Kosovo has said it retook control from Serbia over a northern railway line in the territory.Unmik said its move "reverses the challenge" to its authority from Belgrade over the 50km (30-mile) line in the Serb-dominated part of Kosovo.On Monday, Serbia's state-run railway company said it had taken over the Lesak-Zvecan railway line. Full Story

Troops capture rebel territory in Sri LankaPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:51am

Government troops backed by artillery and mortar fire attacked Tamil separatists guarding a front line in northern Sri Lanka, killing seven rebels yesterday and capturing a small piece of territory, the military said. Full Story

EU nations challenge Iran nuclear answers to IAEAPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:51am

Britain, France and Germany on Wednesday challenged Iran's answers to questions about its nuclear program accepted by the U.N. atomic watchdog, calling them unsatisfactory and Iran's record of cooperation "abysmal". International Atomic Energy Agency Director Mohamed ElBaradei had said on Monday his inspectors had clarified all but one remaining issue of nuclear proliferation concern. The rest were "no longer outstanding" and this "was encouraging". Full Story

British PM rejects EU referendum, as MPs votePosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:52am

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Wednesday defended his refusal to hold a referendum on the European Union's controversial new treaty, ahead of a crunch vote in parliament. His government was not expected to lose the vote in the lower House of Commons Wednesday evening, but the prime minister was keen to minimise a rebellion from his own side as they clashed with opposition lawmakers. Full Story

Ethnic Albanians chart Kosovo pathPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:54amBekim Kuqi has braved civil war, exile, bombs falling on his factories and a remote-controlled car filled with explosives detonating inside one of his stores. So the ethnic Albanian entrepreneur says he is prepared for the daunting challenge of doing business in the newly independent Kosovo.

The electricity grid is so unreliable that just keeping the lights on in his retail stores is a daily struggle, forcing Kuqi, 33, to spend 1,000 a day, or about $1,500, on 25 backup generators. Even then, shoppers browse with the lights flickering on and off. He is encouraged by the strong hunger for consumer goods in a place where half the 1.9 million inhabitants are under 25.

But he also despairs that the average monthly wage of roughly $220 means most people can afford little more than a Coca-Cola at one of his stores. Full Story

Would-be London bombers launch appeal bidPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:55am

Four men jailed for life for trying to bomb London's transport system in 2005 have launched an appeal, saying their bomb plot was a hoax designed to send a political statement about the war in Iraq. The four were convicted last year of a plan to replicate the London suicide bombings of July 7, which had killed 52 commuters just two weeks earlier. Full Story

Turkish court rules against compulsory religious educationPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:57am

One of Turkeys highest courts has ruled school students cannot be compelled to attend classes on religious culture and ethics in primary and secondary schools.The Council of State handed down a decision on two suits opened by parents of children of the Alevi sect of Islam that it was against the law to force students to take part in classes that did not comply with their own beliefs. Full Story

Court drops cases against ZardariPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 10:58am

A Pakistani court has dropped five corruption cases against Asif Ali Zardari, the husband of assassinated ex-PM Benazir Bhutto, his lawyer says. The ruling also reportedly unfreezes Mr Zardari's financial assets. Full Story

Opposition targets army in troop withdrawal controversyPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:01am

The opposition increased its pressure on the military and the government yesterday for having ended a ground offensive against the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in northern Iraq "all of a sudden" and under pressure from the US, although the top Turkish military chief stressed on Monday that the operation was concluded because all planned goals had been achieved, threatening to step down from his post if critics can back up their accusations. Full Story

Turkish Banks Come back with VengeancePosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:09am

As global banking giants wrestle with multibillion-dollar writeoffs due to the impact of the U.S.-based subprime mortgage turmoil, Turkish banks are beating even the most optimistic profit estimates.In 2007, Turkish banks made an overall profit of YTL 40.8 million a day, YTL 1.7 million in an hour and YTL 28,400 in a minute. One of the major reasons for this “return with a vengeance” is that the sector has undergone a crucial transformation in the aftermath of the 2001 crisis.

Changes in the global economic and political architecture after the Sept. 11 attacks, as well as the domestic stability attained with the one-party government, positive developments in the European Union accession process and the government's sticking to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program are other reasons. Full Story

Armenia: Is a Government Cover-Up In Progress?Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:11am

In the center of the Armenian capital Yerevan, the debris left by the March 1 violent clash between opposition protesters and security forces is being carted away. Outside of the country, meanwhile, political analysts and human rights activists are wondering whether Robert Kocharians administration is also striving to cleanse the narrative of the March 1 events.

With the government controlling all channels of information, it is difficult to determine the extent of the brutality. However, the initial impression of some observers is that state security forces used excessive force. Full Story

Taliban reportedly die in AfghanistanPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:20am

Afghan and U.S.-led coalition forces killed several Taliban insurgents and discovered cave complexes containing three car bombs and other explosive materials in southern Afghanistan, the coalition said Wednesday. Full Story

Georgia's breakaway republics aim for recognitionPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:23am

Governments in Georgia's breakaway republics, South Ossetia and Abkhazia, are stepping up efforts to get their claims for independence recognized by the international community.The parliament in South Ossetia, a tiny territory with a population of less than 100,000, has sent an appeal to the UN, the European Union, the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), and Russia. Full Story

Gazprom ends supply cut to UkrainePosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:25am

Russian gas monopoly Gazprom and Ukraine's Naftogaz announced Wednesday that Russian gas supplies have been restored to Ukraine, ending a three-day crisis between the neighbouring countries. Full Story

Airport strike hits GermanyPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:35am

Scores of flights were canceled Wednesday as hundreds of airport workers walked off the job at several German airports, part of a wider labor action to win higher pay for public service workers. At Frankfurt International Airport  Germany's largest and the third busiest in Europe  hundreds of ver.di union ground crew workers walked off the job early in the morning. Full Story

Philippines faces typhoid outbreakPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 11:41am

More than 1,400 people have displayed typhoid symptoms in less than a month in a city near the Philippine capital, prompting authorities to declare a state of calamity, health officials said Wednesday. Full Story

The Netherlands recognises independent KosovoPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 12:24pm

The Netherlands recognises an independent Kosovo, a spokesman for Dutch foreign minister Maxime Verhagen said Tuesday after the Dutch embassy in Pristina had informed the Kosovar government of the decision. Verhagen, a member of the Christian Democrats party, said the Dutch government decided to recognise Kosovo's independence during the weekly governmental meeting last Friday. Full Story

Ian Paisley to quit party, top post in Northern IrelandPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 1:45pm

Having achieved the unlikely pinnacle of power in a peaceful Northern Ireland, Ian Paisley announced Tuesday that he would be stepping down as first minister of the Northern Ireland government and as leader of the party he founded.

The 81-year-old Protestant preacher is yielding to age and to pressure from hard-liners within his party who have grown uncomfortable with Paisley's surprisingly amicable relations with his former sworn enemy, Sinn Fein's Martin McGuinness, the deputy first minister. Full Story


Pope to hold seminar with MuslimsPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 2:05pm

Pope Benedict XVI plans to meet with Muslim scholars and religious leaders this autumn at a Catholic-Muslim seminar in Rome, the Vatican said Wednesday. Two dozen scholars and leaders will be meeting November 4-6. The pope -- who will be receiving the seminar participants -- is scheduled to meet with Muslim scholars on the last day of the conference. Full Story

Failed London transit bombers make legal bid to overturn convictionsPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 2:12pm

Four men who carried knapsacks laden with explosives onto London's transit system began a legal bid Wednesday to overturn their convictions. The four men were sentenced to life last year for the failed bombings on July 21, 2005. Two weeks earlier, suicide bombers had killed 52 commuters on three London subway trains and a bus. Full Story

Polls give Zapatero edge in nasty debate before Spanish electionPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 2:20pm

Josi Luis Rodrmguez Zapatero, the Socialist prime minister, prevailed over his conservative rival, Mariano Rajoy, in a televised debate Monday, according to overnight opinion polls. However, Spaniards hoping for a glimpse of the candidates' offerings for the future will have been disappointed, analysts said Tuesday. Full Story

EU begins crackdown against 'tax paradises'Posted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 2:23pm

In the shadow of the Lichtenstein scandal and under pressure from Germany, the European Commission will issue new proposals this year that are likely to widen the scope of tax evasion laws. Jolted by the Lichtenstein tax scandal, European countries on Tuesday took the first steps toward enacting a fresh clamp down on tax havens on their doorstep. Full Story

Iraqi security: Turkish planes bomb borderPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 4:01pm

Turkish warplanes bombed areas in northern Iraq in an attack against separatist Kurdish rebels Wednesday, an Iraqi security official said. If confirmed by Turkey, they would be the first airstrikes since the military ended an eight-day ground incursion Friday. Full Story

Seized laptop shows Chavez-rebel tiesPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 6:06pm

A single laptop can reveal much, and so it is with the digital treasure chest that Colombian commandos found in the jungle quarters of slain rebel leader Raul Reyes. Files in the computer seized in Saturday's raid into Ecuador that claimed the lives of Reyes and 23 of his comrades offer an intimate portrait of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez's desire to undermine Colombia's U.S.-allied government. Full Story

Terror 'how to' book released by al-QaidaPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 6:07pm

Al-Qaida has released a Pashto-language terror training manual in Afghanistan with explicit details on how to wage the insurgency. Full Story

Nigeria unveils charges against rebel chiefsPosted on Wednesday, March 5, 2008 at 9:15pm

Two militant separatist leaders extradited to Nigeria from Angola are to be charged with treason, terrorism and other offences, a government lawyer said Wednesday. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

1 comment:

Alex said...

That was a Hezbollah attack in revenge for Israel killing Mughniyeh in Syria,
look here: samsonblinded.org/news/hezbollah-revenges-for-mughniyeh-assassination-1869