Thursday, December 18, 2008


Ways to mine out this financial crisisPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:20pmListening to several economists and industry professionals at a recently held mutual fund conference in the region, one finally gets a sense that the industry has started to get its head around the chronology of events and the main reasons that have resulted in the current global economic crisis. Full Story

Tehran demonstrations touch a raw nerve in CairoPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:21pmEgyptian officials and media have reacted with anger to recent demonstrations held by Islamist students outside the Egyptian embassy in Tehran. Full Story

Security Council hosts Arabs over IranPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:22pmMinisters from the six nations involved in talks on Iran's nuclear programme prepared to meet on Tuesday to assure several Arab countries they will maintain pressure on Iran to abandon its nuclear ambitions. Full Story

Labour Ministry under firePosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:23pmThe Federal National Council (FNC) on Tuesday criticised the Labour Ministry for failing to do enough to control the labour market. Abdullah Bin Huwailil Al Mansouri, a FNC member from Abu Dhabi, said foreign workers accounted for 85 per cent of the total population. Full Story

Pools of sewage affecting health of residentsPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:23pmLarge pools of stagnant sewage water, infected with mosquitoes and flies, are making life miserable for people living in an area of the Al Quoz Industrial Area-3. Full Story

Iran Scaling Back in IraqPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:24pmThe US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said on Monday that Iran has chosen to scale back much of its most troubling interference in Iraq, and she credits the strength of US pressure for this. Full Story

As Iraq calms, Mosul still a battle frontPosted on Wednesday, December
17, 2008 at 12:25pmAttacks have dropped dramatically across Iraq, falling by 80 percent since March, when US and Iraqi forces were locked in deadly fights with Sunni insurgents and Shiite militiamen. Today conditions in many parts of the country appear ripe for US forces to begin pulling back and for Iraqis to take the lead. Full Story

British PM announces Iraq troop withdrawal planPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:27pmPrime Minister Gordon Brown announced the end of Britain's involvement in the Iraq war on Wednesday, saying almost all its troops would be out by the end of July next year. Full Story
Hale warns against rearming HezbollahPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:33pmUS Deputy Assistant to the Secretary of State for Asia and Near East Affairs David Hale has warned that the rearmament of Hezbollah through Syria and Iran may re-incite confrontation with Israel, which could destroy Lebanon once again.
Full Story

Palestinians got $1.7bln in aid last yearPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:33pmThe international community has given 1.7 billion dollars (1.18 billion euros) in aid to the Palestinian Authority over the last year, the French foreign ministry said Wednesday. That was 0.6 billion dollars more than was promised at a major donor conference held last December in Paris, spokesman Frederic Desagneaux said. Full Story

Army says Gaza militants fire 9 rockets at IsraelPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:35pmIsrael's army says Gaza militants have fired nine rockets at Israel. Wednesday's rocket fire came just two days before militants say a truce along the Gaza border is to expire. The rockets were fired by three small militant groups and caused no injuries, the army said. Full Story

Israel's Kadima holds party votePosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:36pmMembers of Israel's ruling Kadima party were voting on Wednesday to choose the list of candidates for the February 10 legislative election. About 80,000 people were eligible to cast their
ballots but Kadima feared a low turnout in the election, which was to conclude at midnight (2200 GMT.) Full Story

Netanyahu 'not afraid' of face-offPosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:37pmLikud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu's advisers responded Tuesday to Kadima Leader Tzipi Livni's debate challenge by saying that he had not made up his mind yet about whether to agree to a debate, but that he was "not afraid" to face off against her. Full Story

Israeli-Palestinian peace process is irreversiblePosted on Wednesday, December 17, 2008 at 12:37pmThe U.N. Security Council approved a resolution Tuesday stressing that the Israeli-Palestinian peace process initiated by the United States last year is irreversible and urging intensified efforts to achieve peace throughout the Middle East. Full Story

Argentina votes to seize airlinePosted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 8:16amArgentina's senate yesterday passed into law a bill to expropriate the troubled national airline, Aerolmneas Argentinas, after nearly two decades in Spanish hands. Approval of the law, by 42 votes to 21, comes as "no surprise . . . but it still hurts", Jorge Molina, an Aerolmneas director, told the Financial Times. Full Story

Gunmen open fire in Tijuana attorney general's officePosted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 8:16amGunmen opened fire in the state attorney general's office in Tijuana on Wednesday, wounding three agents, police said. One of the state officers was in serious condition after the 1:30 a.m. attack, a news release from the Tijuana police department said. Full Story

Venezuela to cut oil output by 189,000 barrelsPosted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 8:18amVenezuela says it will slash oil output by 189,000 barrels per day under new OPEC production cuts. Venezuela's Energy Ministry announced the figure in a statement Wednesday after the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries agreed to a historic 2.2 million-barrel-per-day reduction. Full Story

US anti-kidnap expert followed abductors willinglyPosted on Thursday, December 18, 2008 at 8:20amU.S. anti-kidnapping expert Felix Batista went willingly with his abductors and no ransom demand has been made in the week since he disappeared, a Mexican prosecutor said Wednesday. Coahuila state Attorney General Jesus Torres said Batista apparently bade farewell to some acquaintances he was dining with, and asked them to call his associates in case anything happened to him, before leaving a restaurant in the northern state of Coahuila on Dec. 10. Full Story

Palestinian elections 'very soon'Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:34amPalestinian president Mahmud Abbas said on Tuesday he will "very soon" schedule Palestinian elections in the West Bank in the absence of reconciliation with the Hamas rulers of Gaza. Full Story

Calls Shed Light on Gunmen's MotivesPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:35amDuring the three-day siege of Mumbai, an Indian television news anchor took a call from one of the suspected attackers, a young man who identified himself as Imran Babar. "You're surrounded. You're definitely going to die. Why don't you surrender?" the anchor at India TV implored him. Full Story

Big Oil Projects Put in Jeopardy by Fall in PricesPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:36am>From the plains of North Dakota to the deep waters of Brazil, dozens of major oil and gas projects have been suspended or canceled in recent weeks as companies scramble to adjust to the collapse in energy markets. Full Story

Inflation tumbles to 4.1% on fuel price fallPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:37amPlunging prices for petrol and oil recorded their steepest fall for more than a decade last month sending Britains inflation rate tumbling again. Headline inflation in November on the consumer prices index dropped sharply again, to 4.1 per cent. This was down from 4.5 per cent in October and from record levels of 5.2 per cent in September to its lowest since June. Full Story

Israel court orders barrier rerouted in flashpoint villagePosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:37amThe Israeli High Court ordered the government on Monday to change the route of its controversial West Bank separation barrier around the flashpoint village of Bilin, the scene of weekly protests. The court ruled that the government had failed to heed an earlier order handed down 18 months ago to revise its plans to reduce the impact of the barrier on private Palestinian property. Full Story

Court rejects new Bil'in barrier routePosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:38amThe Defense Ministry will have to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new route for the security barrier separating two new neighborhoods of Modi'in Illit from the Palestinian village of Bil'in, after the High Court of Justice found the state in contempt. It marks the third time in recent weeks that the court has found the state in contempt of court for failing to implement one its rulings. Full Story

Renewed rocket fire as Gaza truce nears endPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:42amMilitants in Gaza fired rockets at Israel on Tuesday, just two days before the end of a troubled six-month truce which the Palestinian territory's Hamas rulers say they will probably not renew. Three rockets landed in open areas in southern Israel where they caused no casualties or damage, an army spokeswoman said. Full Story

In new ads, Palestinians try to sway Israeli public on peace planPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:53amAlong Route 2, which follows the Mediterranean coastline, motorists are seeing an unusual sight: a Palestinian flag next to an Israeli one. Below the image appearing on billboards is a message in Hebrew: There's a viable peace initiative on offer from Arab states. Reach a land-for-peace deal with Palestinians, and we will recognize you. The signature? The flags of 57 Arab and Muslim states  all except Iran. Full Story

Syria's Assad seeks Israeli stance on GolanPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:54amSyria has drafted a document defining the boundaries of the occupied Golan Heights and was waiting for an Israeli reply through Turkish mediators, sources familiar with the talks said this week. President Bashar al-Assad recently told Western officials that Damascus wants Israel to take a clear position on the territorial problem between the two countries before agreeing to push stalled peace talks forward. Full Story

Diesel prices to be slashed at Dubai pumpsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:55amDubai oil retailers plan to slash the price of diesel at the pumps by Dh1 a gallon effective Thursday to reflect the downturn in international oil prices at the local pumps, an executive representing two oil retailing firms told Gulf News yesterday. Full Story

Egypt confirms 23rd bird flu deathPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:56amBird flu claimed its 23rd victim in Egypt on Monday, the Egyptian Mena news agency reported. The 16-year-old girl, Samiyah Salem, died of bird flu on Monday evening in the village of Asyut, said Health Ministry spokesman Abdel Rahman Shahin. Full Story

Palestinian fighter killed in West BankPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:57amIsraeli troops shot a Palestinian fighter in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, security forces said. The Palestinian was shot outside a shop near the town of Jenin. He died on the way to the hospital. Full Story

UAE Vice-President approves designs of Dubai Metro stationsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:58amHis Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, approved the heritage-inspired design of Al Ras and Al Ghubaiba stations on the Green Line of Dubai Metro. Full Story

Iran to Participate in 9 Oil Wells Drilling Plan in North BaghdadPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 8:59amManaging Director of Irans Oil Industry Investment Company, Ahmad Nasiri, told ISNA that Iran will cooperate with Iraq on 9 oil wells drilling program in north Baghdad. Iran and an Iraqi company are partners in the venture with a total amount of 25 million Euros and are slated to get it done in 18 months. Full Story

Iraqi PM Brushes Aside Comment US to Stay LongerPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:00amThousands of U.S. troops will remain in Iraqi cities after a deadline for combat soldiers to leaveurban areas, the top U.S. commander said Saturday, as the prime minister dismissed suggestions that some troops might stay after most leave Iraq by 2012, according to AP.Those statements are likely to rekindle debate here about the U.S.-Iraqi security agreement, which calls for U.S. combat troops to leave Iraqi cities by June 30 and withdraw entirely from Iraq by the end of 2011. Full Story

Bomb in downtown Baghdad wounds 6Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:01amIraqi police say a bomb blast in central Baghdad has wounded three officers and three civilians. Police officer Salam Mohammed says the bomb went off Tuesday morning, targeting a police patrol near Andalus Square in central Baghdad. Details on the blast and the condition of the wounded were not immediately available. Full Story
Students challenge Chavez term planPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:29amA constitutional amendment that would allow Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez to remain in office indefinitely has come under fire by Venezuelan student and youth organizations that called for a national offensive to combat the proposal. Chavez has countered with strong public criticism of the student movements. While pro-Chavez activists and followers gathered signatures supporting the amendment, hundreds of students took to the streets in protest, announcing a relentless campaign that will be carried out during the next three months in opposition to the proposed change to the Venezuelan Constitution.
Full Story

Paraguay protesters take tractors to the streetsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:34amIn what Paraguayans are calling "el tractorazo," protesters parked thousands of tractors and other heavy machinery alongside roads throughout the nation Monday to demand greater security. The protesters say they want an end to violence against laborers and the right to work. Full Story

Mexico drug gangs 'top US threat'Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 9:34amMexican drug traffickers pose the biggest organized crime threat to the US, a justice department report says. Most of the cocaine available in the US is smuggled via the US-Mexican border, while Mexican drug traffickers control most of the US drug market. Full Story

Spanish police detain four suspected ETA members: reportsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:17amSpanish police detained four suspected members of the armed Basque separatist group ETA in the early hours of Tuesday in and around San Sebastian, Spanish media reported. Full Story

EU to open two more chapters in Turkey's accession negotiationsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:18amThe European Union will open the chapters of "free movement of capital" and "information society and media" in Turkey's accessions negotiations with the bloc, ANKA news agency reported on Tuesday. Full Story

Foreigners sell $1 bln in Turkish stock market in 2008Posted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:19amThe Turkish stock market experienced an outflowing of $1 billion in foreign investment funds in 2008, the countrys Capital Markets Board Chairman Turan Erol said on Tuesday. Full Story

Berlin fears economy could contract by 3.0 percent in 2009: reportPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:19amThe German economy ministry expects Europe's biggest economy to contract by 3.0 percent or more next year, a press report said on Tuesday. Full Story

Germany: Far-Right Extremists Are Growing Bolder, Police Official SaysPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:20amIn the wake of a suspected far-right attack on the Passau police chief, DW spoke with the head of the German police union about changes in the neo-Nazi scene. Full Story

Tensions High as German Biker Gang Trial BeginsPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 11:21amThe trial of 14 Hells Angels motorcycle gang members , the largest of its kind ever held in Germany, gots underway in Hanover amid heavy security. Full Story

Anti-Mafia raids under way in ItalyPosted on Tuesday, December 16, 2008 at 3:14pmItalian police say they are carrying out scores of arrests in Palermo and other cities in Sicily in a large anti-Mafia operation. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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