Thursday, April 10, 2008

CONFLICT & TERROR 04/10

Nepal police fire on protesters, killing at least onePosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:06am

Police opened fire on rampaging protesters in western Nepal on Wednesday, killing at least one of them a day ahead of a landmark election to chart the country's political future, officials said. Full Story

Two-party system takes shape in MalaysiaPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:09am

Following its big gains in the March 8 polls, Malaysia's once disparate opposition, led by the charismatic former deputy prime minister Anwar Ibrahim, has forged a formal coalition capable of taking on the ruling 14-party National Front (NF) coalition. Full Story

Pakistan: New Government Announces Major Reforms In Tribal AreasPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:15am

Pakistan's new coalition government has announced plans to abolish the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulations in the troubled tribal areas along the Afghan border as one of its major reform initiatives. The century-old legal regime has long been seen as violating basic human rights while secluding these underdeveloped regions from modernity and progress. Full Story

Philippines Police Seize Bomb MaterialsPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:17am

Police seized hundreds of components for making bombs in a raid on a suspected terrorist hide-out in the northern Philippines, officials said Wednesday. The target of Tuesday's raid in Laguna province's Alaminos town was Khalid Pagayao, a Filipino allegedly tied to the al-Qaida-linked Jemaah Islamiyah network and a plot to bomb Western embassies in the Philippines. Full Story

Six abducted by Al-Qaeda-linked group in PhilippinesPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:25am

Philippine police have mounted a search for six people abducted by Al-Qaeda-linked Muslim militants from a minibus in the south of the country, police said Wednesday. The six, all local Muslim residents, were passengers on the bus in Maimbung town on the island of Jolo when the militants seized them on Monday, said provincial police chief, Superintendent Julasirim Kasim. Full Story

Iran tests advanced, 'efficient' centrifugesPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:50amPresident Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says Iran has tested new advanced centrifuges, a breakthrough in a uranium enrichment program that the U.N. has demanded the country halt. The hard-line president says a "new machine was put to test" that is smaller but five times more efficient than the P-1 centrifuges already in use. Full Story

Iraq's Sadr threatens to scrap ceasefirePosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:52am

Shi'ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr threatened on Tuesday to end a truce he imposed on his militia last year, raising the prospect of worsening violence on a day when top U.S. officials testified on Iraq in Washington. Full Story

Security Council yet to agree on Lebanon statementPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:54am

The UN Security Council has reportedly not yet agreed on a statement on Lebanon, the Saudi daily Okaz reported Tuesday. Citing Western diplomatic sources in Beirut, Okaz said the Security Council was due to discuss on Tuesday a draft statement on Lebanon that would pave the way for the a resolution of the country's ongoing political crisis in line with Resolution 1559. Full Story

Trouble brews in KirkukPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 8:57am

The question of who will control Iraq's disputed oil province of Kirkuk is looming large as a UN-brokered deadline for a vote on its future approaches amid continuing ethnic and political tensions. It is five years since US-led forces toppled Saddam Hussein, who had tried to remake the area by driving out its Kurdish residents and bringing in Arabs, and the debate still rages as each side claims the territory belongs to them. Full Story

Dominant Russian party to nominate Putin as leaderPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:14am

The leader of Russia's lower house of Parliament says the dominant United Russia political party will nominate Vladimir Putin as its leader, a role that would further bolster Putin's influence after he steps down from the presidency next month. Putin has said he will become prime minister after his successor, Dmitri Medvedev, is sworn in on May 7, but leadership of the pro-Kremlin United Russia party would effectively give him control of Parliament, where the party has a large majority. Full Story

Kosovo's actions hearten a Hungarian enclavePosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:16am

Dozens of wreaths trailing ribbons in red, white and green, the colors of the Hungarian flag, covered the base of a memorial to the 1848 revolution in the town park here on a recent day. Deep in the heart of Romania, just one lonely garland bears the country's own blue, yellow and red banner. New Year's is celebrated twice here, first at the stroke of midnight and then an hour later, when it is midnight in Budapest. When Kosovo declared its independence from Serbia in February, hundreds of the town's Hungarians took to the main square to demonstrate in favor of Kosovo, and by extension their own aspirations for autonomy. Full Story

Turkeys ruling party expels maverick ex-MPPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:20am

The disciplinary board of Turkeys ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) has expelled a former parliamentary deputy with a reputation for criticizing senior ministers. Late on Tuesday, the AKPs disciplinary board announced it had expelled Turhan Comez, who had represented the party in the parliament for the western province of Balikesir until the July 22 general election. Comez did not stand in the last general election. Full Story

Turkey needs more reforms to meet EU target, says Foreign MinisterPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:24am

Turkey will have to make further amendments to its constitution and laws to reinforce previous reforms intended to bring the countrys legislation into line with that of the European Union, Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said Tuesday. Full Story

Not even a day of respect for RomaPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:28am

The whole Sulukule Roma neighborhood looked like a battlefield with all the wrecks, people trying to find shelter by building tents amid the cries of children, whereas they were supposed to celebrate the international Roma day. People were devastated both physically and spiritually. In place of festivities celebrating Roma culture, the 18th annual “International Roma Day" was marked in the world's oldest Roma settlement in Istanbul yesterday amid despair and demolition. Full Story

PM pledges to uphold democracy in face of closure casePosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:35am

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdo─čan said on Tuesday his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) would defend democracy as fiercely as it had up to this point, despite a closure case facing the party. "The process that we are involved in will not in the slightest lessen our fervor for serving the country or dampen our struggle for democracy," he told an AK Party parliamentary group meeting yesterday. Full Story

New Armenian leader promises to work with opponentsPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:38am

Armenian President Serzh Sarksyan promised at his inauguration on Wednesday to heal rifts with his opponents, one month after clashes between police and protesters killed eight people. After the inauguration Sarksyan, as expected, appointed central bank chief Tigran Sarksyan to be his replacement as prime minister. The two men are not related. With his right hand lying on the Armenian constitution and an ancient religious text, Serzh Sarksyan was sworn in as president at Yerevan's opera house in front of an audience of hundreds including parliamentarians and foreign guests. Full Story

Group was plotting to kill Serb prosecutor-officialPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:41am

Serbian police are investigating an alleged assassination plot targeting war crimes prosecutor Vladimir Vukcevic, who has angered nationalists by pursuing suspects from the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The plan involved Bosnian Serb former security officers, and was uncovered through the testimony of a man that the plotters tried to recruit, the prosecutor's spokesman Bruno Vekaric told Reuters on Wednesday. "We believe the reason for this assassination plot is that Vukcevic is active in chasing war crime fugitives indicted by The Hague," Vekaric said. Full Story

Uzbekistan: Shadowy Group Agitates For 'Free Karakalpakstan'Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:45am

They call their group the "Free Karakalpakstan National Revival Party." And they accuse Uzbekistan of genocide against "Karakalpaks as an ethnicity." Supporters of the group have been vocal on Internet chat boards. One person identifying himself as Yernazar Konyratov wrote on March 5 that "devastation, chaos, poverty, [and] environmental disaster" have gripped Karakalpakstan. He went on to call for a referendum on the autonomous republic's independence from Tashkent. Full Story

Tajikistan: National Bank Admits Lying To IMF To Secure LoansPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:48am

The new chief of the National Bank of Tajikistan has admitted that the bank intentionally gave incorrect information to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to secure essential loans worth nearly $48 million. "We have to support the agricultural sector somehow, and this was one of the ways to support it," said Sharif Rahimzoda. "As of today, the Tajik National Bank will no longer engage in such [dishonest] activities." Rahimzoda replaced Murodali Alimardon in January.

Alimardon had been in charge of the bank for 13 years and headed it when the false information was given to the IMF. Tajikistan is in the process of repaying the loans in question. Many in Tajikistan believe that international lending organizations like the IMF will now be reluctant to give money to Tajikistan, one of the world's poorest countries. Full Story

Russia, Poland in deadlock over missile shieldPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 9:58amRussia and Poland have failed again to reach an agreement over the proposed U.S. missile shield in Central Europe, Russia's Foreign Ministry said on Wednesday. Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Kislyak and his Polish counterpart, Witold Waszczykowski, met on Tuesday in Moscow to discuss U.S. plans to deploy elements of its missile defense system in Poland. "The new round of [Russian-Polish] consultations confirmed the presence of serious differences in the approach to the proposed U.S. interceptor missile base in Poland," the ministry said in a statement. Full Story

New Irish governing party leaderPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 11:45am

Brian Cowen has been formally elected leader of the Irish Republic's ruling party, replacing Bertie Ahern. However, the 48-year-old will not succeed Mr Ahern as taoiseach (prime minister) for another four weeks. Full Story

France vows to trace BetancourtPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 11:59am

French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner has vowed France will not abandon its efforts to free Colombian hostage Ingrid Betancourt. He spoke a day after the breakdown of a humanitarian mission sent by France to help the missing 46-year-old, who has Colombian and French nationality. Full Story

Denmark 'most networked economy'Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 12:01pm

Denmark has topped the table of most networked economies from the World Economic Forum (WEF). It was followed for the second year running by Sweden, with Switzerland going up two places into third. Full Story

Preacher Abu Qatada wins appealPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 12:48pm

Islamic preacher Abu Qatada has won an appeal against deportation from the UK which could lead to him being freed. Qatada - in prison pending deportation to Jordan - has been dubbed "Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe". Full Story
Shoukri admits being UDA memberPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 12:50pmNorth Belfast loyalist Ihab Shoukri has pleaded guilty to being a member of the UDA at Belfast Crown Court. Shoukri and five other men were arrested at a bar in March 2006. The court was told they were involved in a rehearsal for a UDA show of strength. Full Story

IMF slashes world growth forecastPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 12:51pm

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that the world economy will grow much more slowly in the next two years as a result of the credit crunch. In its latest economic forecast, the IMF says that world economic growth will slow to 3.7% in 2008 and 2009, 1.25% lower than growth in 2007. Full Story

Top Al Qaeda Leader Abu Ubaida al-Masri Confirmed Dead in PakistanPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:32pm

Abu Ubaida al-Masri, one of Al Qaeda's top operatives and the mastermind behind a plot to use liquid explosives to blow British passenger jets out of the sky, is dead, a U.S. official confirmed to FOX News Wednesday. The unidentified official said it is believed that al-Masri died of natural causes, possibly hepatitis, in Pakistan, and are staying away from a report that he was killed in a January CIA predator strike. Full Story

Kosovo assembly approves constitutionPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:43pm

Kosovo's lawmakers unanimously adopted a constitution Wednesday and pledged to build a state with broad provisions for Serb and other minorities. The protection of minorities is a key issue because many of Kosovo's Serbs fear they will not be safe in newly independent Kosovo, which is 90 percent ethnic Albanian. Full Story

London shares close lower Posted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 1:54pm

UK blue chips closed lower after a cautious session ahead of the Bank of England's rate decision on Thursday, following a weaker start to Wall Street, with HBOS among the main faller after a broker downgrade. At the close, the FTSE 100 was 6.3 points down to 5,983.9, off the session low of 5,947.2, with the FTSE 250 index down 36.9 points to 10,071.8. Full Story

Spanish leader promises to spur the economyPosted on Wednesday, April 9, 2008 at 3:20pm

Prime Minister Josi Luis Rodrmguez Zapatero promised a raft of measures to stimulate Spain's ailing economy on Tuesday and challenged the conservative opposition to support the Socialist government in fighting Basque terrorism. In a 90-minute speech to Parliament that was a curtain raiser to Zapatero's second term in office, the prime minister, who was re-elected in March, said that economic growth and employment rates would be lower than during his first term but insisted that Spain faced the downturn "in very good condition." Full Story

Courtresy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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