Thursday, December 11, 2008


Taking risks with bailout for automakers

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:36am

When President-elect Barack Obama talked on Sunday about realigning the American automobile industry he was quick to offer a caution, lest he sound more like the incoming leader of France, or perhaps Japan. Full Story

Hardliners top Israeli Netanyahu's election list

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:37am

Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party has chosen hardliners to lead its parliamentary candidates' list in Israel's coming election, dealing a blow to the former prime minister's victory strategy. Netanyahu, tipped by opinion polls to win the Feb. 10 national ballot, had hoped to run alongside key moderates and celebrities he recently recruited to right-wing Likud and draw voters away from the centrist, ruling Kadima party. Full Story

Sony axes 8,000 jobs and shuts down plants

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:38am

Sony, the Japanese electronic giant, is to slash 8,000 jobs from its core electronics division after buckling under the pressures of a soaring yen and the collapse of consumer markets across the globe. The huge layoff scheme which, despite its suddenness and severity, was attacked by some analysts as too little, too late, will see the 5 per cent reductions in permanent staff completed by 2010. Full Story

Pakistan won't hand suspects to India

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:38am

Pakistan says it will not hand over any suspects in the Mumbai bombings to India, after authorities arrested 15 people in a raid on an Islamic charity linked to a banned militant group. Full Story

A Lobbying Frenzy For Federal Funds

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:39am

Last week it was auto industry suppliers. Yesterday it was mayors from the nation's biggest cities. Now, auto dealers from across the country have arrived in Washington. Full Story

Iran Tripled Its Long-Range Missile Arsenal

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:40am

Iran has tripled the number of long-range missiles in its possession since the start of 2008, according to Israel's Channel 10 TV station. According to the Monday night report, Iran possessed about 30 Shihab-3 missiles at the beginning of the year. Currently, the country claims to have more than 100 of the missiles, which are capable of hitting Israel with conventional or atomic warheads. Full Story

EU votes to upgrade Israel relations despite Arab lobbying

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:41am

Throughout some 18 months of talks on the upgraded relationship, Egypt, the PA and other Arab countries lobbied against it. At the least, the Arabs argued, the upgrade should be conditioned on an Israeli settlement freeze. Full Story

First Saudi Arabian ferries delivered

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:41am

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has welcomed the delivery of its two Austal-built 88 metre high speed vehicle-passenger catamarans, 'Riyadh' and 'Cairo' during a handover ceremony in Jeddah attended by King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the Egyptian President Mohammed Hosni Mubarak. Full Story

Nuclear weapons decision awaits Obama

Posted on Tuesday, December 9, 2008 at 6:42am

One of the most important national security decisions facing President-elect Barack Obama will unfold in this remote valley of aging factories, where workers enriched uranium for the first atomic bomb of World War II. Full Story

Chaos as climate protestors storm Stansted

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:08am

Dozens of flights were cancelled at Stansted Airport near London on Monday after activists demonstrating against global warming cut through a fence near the runway. The airport re-opened around 8:00 a.m. after police arrested 57 people who had breached the perimeter fence using bolt-cutters under cover of darkness five hours earlier. Full Story

Greek cities hit by fresh rioting

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:16am

Fresh clashes have broken out between police and protesters in at least three Greek cities, after the fatal shooting of a 15-year-old boy by police. About 300 students battled police in Thessaloniki, while protests turned violent in Trikala and Piraeus. Full Story

Pakistan Arrests Suspected Mastermind of Mumbai Attacks

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:20am

In a move aimed at diffusing tensions with India, Pakistani authorities arrested a suspected ringleader of last month's deadly attacks in Mumbai, along with rounding up several others in a massive raid on an alleged Pakistani terrorist group in the Himalayan territory of Kashmir, according to Pakistani officials, witnesses and members of the group said on Monday. Full Story

More rioting breaks out in Greek cities

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:21am

Riot police fired tear gas at youths smashing storefronts and throwing rocks at a police station in this Greek port city on Monday, one of scattered confrontations around the country on a third day of rioting sparked by the fatal police shooting of a teenager in Athens. Full Story

Ship owners and governments confront piracy crisis

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:22am

The Somali pirates in control of the Saudi supertanker Sirius Star become frustrated in negotiations over their ransom demands. They pump 50,000 gallons of crude oil into the water - a tiny fraction of the tanker's load - and they threaten to leave the pumps running until their demands for $15 million are met. To reinforce their message, they toss a crew member over the side, and he drowns in the oily muck. Full Story

EU to launch anti-piracy mission off Somalia coast

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:23am

The European Union formally launches its anti-piracy task mission off the Somali coast on Monday, preparing to take over from the NATO flotilla guarding one of the world's most important shipping lanes. Full Story

US Homeland security beefs up maritime info reporting

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:25am

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is now requiring new information for maritime cargo destined for the United States. DHS published the Importer Security Filing and Additional Carrier Requirements interim final rule, in the Federal Register on November 25, and will require maritime cargo carriers and importers to submit additional data to US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) before vessels are permitted entry into the country. Full Story

New Cyber Security Push Is Urged

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:26am

A commission of technology experts will propose consolidating cyber security work under a top White House official and using diplomatic, intelligence and military tools to confront threats in cyberspace. Full Story

Special Report: West Africa welcomes Latin America's drug barons

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:28am

A major change in the organisation and planning of global cocaine smuggling is under way. Once, the masterminds lived in South America and sent their narcotics to the United States and Europe, usually via the Caribbean. Full Story

Panel urges Obama to consider hacker-response plan

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:34am

President-elect Barack Obama should create a new White House office to protect cyberspace from hackers, thieves and foreign agents, coordinating security efforts across U.S. military, intelligence and civilian agencies, according to a new report from a panel of leading government and industry experts. Full Story

Terror strikes without warning

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:36am

The recent terrorist attack in Mumbai has shocked the world, more so because we obtained live footage of the 60-hour siege and up-to-date reports from various sources. As the dust settles, we realise just how confused the situation was and how inaccurate the initial reports. The greatest shock is that this chaos was caused by only ten young men. Initial reports referred to 17 coordinated attacks on multiple locations with estimates that about 48 terrorists were involved. It now appears that there were two groups who moved locations, after inflicting as much damage as possible on each location. Full Story

S African president: Top prosecutor to be fired

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:38am

South Africa's top prosecutor, who was suspended after he pursued corruption charges against the national police chief and the head of the country's governing party, should be fired, the president said Monday. President Kgalema Motlanthe's nationally broadcast statement came more than a year after his predecessor suspended chief prosecutor Vusi Pikoli after Pikoli issued a warrant for the arrest of the nation's top cop. Full Story

Poll: 70% applaud air-security effort

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:39am

Americans may not like the process of getting through airport security, but 70% of the public says the federal government is doing an excellent or good job protecting air travel, a new survey shows. Full Story

Somalia's piracy problem is everyone's problem

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 9:41am

Humor has its place, but today's piracy is no laughing matter. Piracy permeates our cultural ethos  it's in children's stories and movies both tragic and comical. In recent months, as pirates off Somalia have proliferated and widened the scope of their capability, newspapers, television newscasts, and bloggers have invariably invoked the terms "arrghh," "avast," and "Pirates of the Caribbean." One essay casually suggested building a Jack Sparrow wing at Guantanamo. Full Story

German Group Petitions to Confiscate Terrorists' Fees

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:10am

If al Qaeda terrorists sell their stories for money, the income should be seized to benefit victims' families, according to a petition sent to Germany's parliament. The news magazine Focus said Saturday the petition was in the name of the 52 members of the German Alliance on Capital Crimes, which represents relatives of victims. Full Story

France floats EU plan on nuclear weapons cuts

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:11am

France's president has presented an ambitious European plan to the United Nations to revive global nuclear disarmament efforts. Nicolas Sarkozy says the EU wants a global ban on nuclear tests, a moratorium on production of fissile material and a treaty banning ground-to-ground short- and medium-range nuclear missiles. Full Story

Barack Obama reveals stimulus package that could exceed $1 trillion

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:54am

Barack Obama warned Americans yesterday that the US economic crisis will deepen next year, as he revealed the first details of a massive stimulus package that could ultimately exceed $1 trillion. Full Story

Hebron shooters surrender themselves to police

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:55am

Two Kiryat Arba residents suspected of shooting a Palestinian father and son during the clashes between settlers and Arabs following Thursday's forced evacuation of Hebron's Beit Hashalom surrendered to police on Saturday. Full Story

Israel threatens tougher action against Gaza rocket fire

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:56am

Israel threatened tougher action against rocket fire from the Gaza Strip on Sunday as the territory's sole power plant again shut down in the face of a crippling month-old blockade. Outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said he has told security chiefs to draw up contingency plans for military action against militant groups in Gaza, although there have been no deaths as a result of the rocket and mortar fire of the past week. Full Story

Israel police detain two settlers over Hebron unrest

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:57am

Israeli police said on Sunday that they were holding two Jewish settlers suspected of opening fire at point blank range on Palestinians in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron last week. Full Story

ElBaradei's comments on Iran are irrelevant

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 10:59am

Diplomatic sources in Jerusalem dismissed as "irrelevant" Saturday night comments made by Mohamed ElBaradei, the head of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), who said efforts to stop Iran's nuclear march have been a failure. Full Story

Holy Land faces uncertain New Year

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:00am

The Holy Land enters the New Year amid renewed political uncertainty with snap elections looming in Israel and a deepening chasm dividing the Palestinian territories. Little more than 12 months ago peace negotiations were relaunched amid great fanfare at an international conference in Annapolis, Maryland, with both sides setting a target of this January for a comprehensive agreement. Full Story

17-year-old who beat Arabs in Jerusalem sentenced to one year

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:01am

A 17-year-old was sentenced to one year in prison by a Jerusalem court on Sunday for assaulting two Arab teens with sticks, clubs and knives along with several other Jewish teenagers on the eve of Holocaust Remembrance Day in a racially-motivated hate crime. Full Story

Olmert calls settler violence a 'pogrom'

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 11:02am

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Sunday called arson and shooting attacks by settlers against Palestinians in Hebron last week a "pogrom" and said that "as a Jew, I am ashamed that Jews could do such a thing." Full Story

Dutch Politician to Tour With Anti-Islam Film 'Fitna'

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 2:02pm

Dutch anti-immigrant politician Geert Wilders confirmed Monday he would tour Britain, France and Israel in the coming months to present his controversial Islam-critical film "Fitna." Full Story

US warned over cyber attacks

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 2:25pm

Cyber attacks against the US have become a strategic issue on par with weapons of mass destruction or global jihad, a new commission reported on Monday as it urged President-elect Barack Obama to raise the issue to the top of his national security agenda. Full Story

Suspected new ETA military chief arrested in France

Posted on Monday, December 8, 2008 at 3:37pm

French anti-terrorism police on Monday arrested three suspected ETA militants including one man identified as the Basque separatist group's new military chief, officials said. Full Story

Dalai Lama says solution of Tibet issue possible

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:20am

The Dalai Lama says he thinks the struggle over Tibet can be resolved "within a few days" if China becomes a more open society. The Tibetan spiritual leader says "if the Chinese leaders use common sense and realistic approach, or face the reality, then there is possibility to find a solution with the totalitarian regime." But he tells a youth group at a gathering of Nobel laureates in honor of Lech Walesa Friday that "it is not in our hands ... I can just hope." Full Story

China releases plans for fuel tax increases

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:23am

China's Cabinet on Friday released details of a fuel tax reform that would raise taxes for gasoline and diesel while eliminating other fees for drivers. The plan, scheduled to take effect Jan. 1, would raise the tax on gasoline to 1 yuan (14 cents) per liter (0.26 gallon) from the current 0.2 yuan (3 cents). The tax on diesel would rise from 0.1 yuan (2 cents) per liter to 0.8 yuan (11 cents). Despite the increase, existing fuel prices would not rise, the State Council, China's Cabinet, said in a notice, presumably because any increase would be absorbed by falling costs resulting from the plunging price of crude oil. Full Story

Kyrgyz state radio suspends BBC broadcasts

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:25am

Kyrgyzstan's national radio station has taken BBC programming off the airwaves, days after withdrawing broadcasting rights from U.S.-funded Radio Liberty's Kyrgyz Service. The British broadcaster says Friday on its Web site that no explanation was given for the suspension, but negotiations are ongoing with the head of the Kyrgyz National Television Corporation in hopes of resolving the situation. The BBC broadcasts news programs three hours daily on the state radio station in Russian and Kyrgyz. It has been operating in the former Soviet nation since the mid-1990s. Full Story

Sri Lanka moves to take key highway inside rebel territory: military

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:26am

Sri Lankan troops leading a heavy offensive against Tamil separatists have secured parts of a key highway running through rebel-held territory, the defence ministry said on Friday. Security forces cleared a stretch of 21 kilometres (13 miles) of the main A-9 highway in an area that had been in no-man's land after the latest military thrust, defence officials said. With troops securing the town of Kankarayankulam, the de-facto frontier post shifted deeper into rebel-held areas, the ministry said. Full Story

US: 14 insurgents killed in southern Afghanistan

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:27am

U.S.-led troops killed 14 militants in two days of clashes in southern Afghanistan, U.S. military statements said Friday. Ten militants were killed by mortar fire following an insurgent attack on a military base in Helmand province's Nar Surkh district on Wednesday, a statement said. Troops killed another four militants in the same district on Thursday, after the insurgents fired on a joint U.S.-Afghan patrol, a second statement said. Full Story

Maoist rebels kill 5 police officers in east India

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:28am

Suspected Maoist rebels killed five police officers Friday in an ambush in eastern India, officials said. The police were returning after a routine patrol to Ranchi, the state capital of Jharkhand, when suspected Maoist rebels sprayed their vehicle with gunfire, said local police official S.N. Pradhan. The rebels killed all five police officers and stole their weapons. The attack occurred near Tamar, a town 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of Ranchi, where Maoists have a strong presence. Full Story

Dalai Lama arrives in Poland for visit that irked China

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:33am

The Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama arrived in Poland Friday for an eight-day tour during which he will meet visiting French President Nicolas Sarkozy to the anger of China. "I'm very happy to be in the city where the historic Solidarity movement was born and where my friend Lech Walesa began his activities", the Dalai Lama said as he arrived at the airport in the Baltic port of Gdansk and was welcomed by the city's mayor, Pawel Adamowicz. The Dalai Lama and other past recipients of the Nobel Peace Prize were invited to a ceremony in Gdansk marking 25 years since Lech Walesa received the honour for leading Poland's Solidarity movement in a peaceful struggle against the then communist regime. Full Story

Deposed Nepal king sees future royal role: report

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:34am

Nepal's deposed king Gyanendra still believes there could be a role for the monarchy in the Himalayan country, he said in an interview carried by a weekly newspaper. Nepal is now a republic run by Maoists who won landmark polls in April and legislated to end to the world's last Hindu monarchy. "It would not be unnatural if citizens see a place for the royal institution in (preserving) national unity and strengthening democracy," the former king said in his first comments since his dynasty was ended six months ago. Full Story

4 die in bombing trap in southern Thailand

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:35am

Four people have been killed by a bomb at a drugstore in southern Thailand suspected to have been planted by Muslim insurgents. Six police who had been lured to the spot to investigate a robbery report were wounded by the Friday blast in Narathiwat province's Chanae district. Police Lt. Col. Tirawut Tissatien said the dead were four villagers killed immediately by the blast. Full Story

Six dead in Pakistan market blast: officials

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 9:36am

A car bomb exploded Friday near a busy market in one of Pakistan's lawless northwest tribal areas, killing at least six people and wounding 12 others, local officials said. The blast in the mountainous Orakzai tribal district came as shoppers prepared for Eid celebrations, local government official Ahmad Ali told AFP. "Six people were killed and 12 wounded in the blast," a security official told AFP, adding that the bomb appeared to have been detonated remotely. Three people were killed instantly and three more died of their injuries in hospital. Full Story

German Navy Thwarts Pirate Attack on Cruise Ship

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:05am

The German Navy warded off a suspected piracy attack on a German cruise ship in the Gulf of Aden, a spokesman for the mission commando has confirmed . Germany has troops in the area to combat piracy. Full Story

Danish navy sinks suspected pirate boat

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:10am

The Danish navy says it has intercepted and sunk a suspected pirate vessel drifting off Somalia. Navy spokesman Lt. Capt. Jesper Lynge says the frigate Absalon evacuated the seven-man crew and seized a stash of weapons before opening fire on the small boat. Full Story

Cops knock on Brotherhood doors

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:27am

Egyptian police raided the homes of members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood on Thursday and took away about 60 of them, including organisers of recent protests against the government's role in the blockade of Gaza. The dawn raids were in the Nile Delta provinces of Sharkia and Gharbia, the Mediterranean city of Alexandria and the Suez Canal town of Ismailia, police and Brotherhood sources said. Full Story

Israeli West Bank forces on alert

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:27am

Israeli forces are on high alert after violence erupted following the eviction of Jewish settlers from a building in the West Bank city of Hebron. Several Palestinians were attacked, with homes set ablaze and mosques desecrated with anti-Muslim graffiti. Full Story

U.S. warns nationals against traveling to Jerusalem amid Hebron tensions

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:28am

U.S. citizens and staff workers at its embassy in Tel Aviv received an advisory on Friday to avoid traveling to Jerusalem in the wake of Thursday's evacuation of a Jewish squatters from a disputed house in the West Bank town of Hebron. The government is also advising Americans to refrain from driving on the main highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Highway 1, due to heavy traffic delays and "ongoing police activity." Full Story

Jordan's Muslim opposition protests Gaza blockade

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:29am

Jordan's largest Muslim opposition group led a march of about 1,500 Jordanians on Friday in the country's capital to protest Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip. Full Story

100,000 Saudi security for hajj pilgrimage

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:30am

Saudi Arabia deployed some 100,000 security personnel to keep order as Muslim pilgrims flooded into the holy city of Mecca in preparation for the annual hajj, beginning on Saturday. Nearly 3 million pilgrims from around the world are expected to perform the hajj in Mecca and its nearby holy sites this year, according to Saudi authorities. Full Story

A good day for Barak

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:31am

Security forces braced on Friday for more violence after Israeli hardliners went on the rampage against Palestinians in retaliation for the eviction of settlers from a disputed Hebron house. Full Story

30 arrested for blocking roads around Jerusalem

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:31am

Twenty teenagers were arrested on Thursday for blocking the western entrance to Jerusalem during a violent protest against the evacuation of Hebron's Beit Hashalom, police said. Full Story

Some in Mexico want the death penalty reinstated

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:57am

Anger and frustration over rampant killings and kidnappings have ignited an improbable debate here over legalizing the death penalty, a punishment that has been effectively banned in Mexico for nearly half a century. Lawmakers agreed Thursday to hear arguments next week on a proposal to amend the Mexican Constitution to allow for capital punishment in a narrow number of cases. Full Story

Denmark's Kabul embassy moved for security reasons

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:57am

The Danish Embassy in Afghanistan's capital has temporarily been relocated to an undisclosed location in Kabul for security reasons. Full Story

Fidel Castro says Cuba can talk with Obama

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:58am

Fidel Castro said Thursday that President-elect Barack Obama is a man Cuba can talk with and indicated that communist officials would be willing to meet with him wherever he wants. But the former Cuban leader expressed disappointment with some of Obama's Cabinet choices, including Hillary Rodham Clinton as secretary of state and Robert Gates as defense secretary. Full Story

Putin sees no need for bases in Cuba, Venezuela

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:59am

Russia does not need to build permanent naval bases in Cuba or Venezuela, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said on Thursday, speaking amid a Kremlin push to increase Moscow's influence in Latin America. In an annual televised question-and-answer session with Russians, Putin said Russia has "very warm traditional ties'' with Cuba and Venezuela. Full Story

Brazil selling 100 missiles to Pakistan

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 10:59am

Brazil's defense minister says his nation is selling 100 aircraft-borne missiles to Pakistan. Brazilian officials approved the euro85 million ($107 million) sale of the missiles, which can be installed on jets and used to take out radar installations. Full Story

Thirteen killed in Mexico 'drug state'

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 11:00am

The bodies of 13 people have been found on a dirt road in Mexico's Sinaloa state, home to one of the country's most violent drug cartels. The victims' hands were bound and all had been shot. Most were teenagers. Full Story

Terror threat in the Netherlands 'substantial'

Posted on Friday, December 5, 2008 at 12:27pm

The risk of terror attacks in the Netherlands is thought to be high, despite the apparent quiet after the release of the anti-Qu'ran movie Fitna made by MP Geert Wilders. Full Story

US buys aircraft, technology for Mexican drug war

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:37am

In the first stage of the multi-year Merida Initiative, the U.S. is providing $400 million to Mexico and $65 million to Central America to fight drug gangs. The U.S. State Department says the money will pay for: Helicopters and surveillance aircraft to support interdiction and rapid responses by Mexican law enforcement... Full Story

Bolivian unrest ruled 'massacre'

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:38am

A commission investigating the killing of 20 Bolivians during protests in an opposition-controlled province has described it as a "massacre". Bolivian President Evo Morales says he welcomes the findings into the deaths in September. Full Story

Photos of 8 people released in pipeline bombing case

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:39am

The RCMP in Dawson Creek, B.C., released surveillance photos on Wednesday as part of the ongoing investigation into a series of pipeline blasts near the northern British Columbia-Alberta border. On Oct. 7, three letters were mailed from a Shoppers Drug Mart in Dawson Creek to several media outlets and the EnCana Corporation, said police. Full Story

Schools become latest targets in violence-plagued Ciudad Juarez

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:53am

Outside the gaily painted gates of the Elena Garro Federal Kindergarten, the grown-ups are afraid. If daily drug-related killings haven't sown enough alarm in this gritty border city, parents now confront written messages left near several schools warning of unspecified harm unless teachers hand over their annual year-end bonuses. Full Story

Prosecutor slain in violent Mexico border city

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:54am

The No. 2 federal prosecutor in a violent Mexican border city near Texas has been shot dead. Jesus Martin Huerta is one of the highest ranking government officials killed in drug-fueled violence sweeping Ciudad Juarez. Full Story

Russia to send warship through Panama Canal

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 9:55am

Russia said Wednesday it is sending a warship through the Panama Canal for the first time since World War II, a short journey loaded with symbolic weight: the destroyer will dock at a former U.S. naval base, showcasing Russia's growing influence in the region. Russia appears to be relishing the idea of stopping at what was long a symbol of U.S. global power; the Russian Navy announced it would visit "the Rodman naval base" - a name that the host nation, Panama has not used since taking over the base from the United States in 1999. Full Story

Rice says Pakistan pledges to help find Mumbai suspects

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 10:07am

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Thursday that the Pakistani government had pledged to cooperate in rounding up suspects of the Mumbai terror attacks who operated from Pakistani territory or were of Pakistani origin. Full Story

No links with Mumbai attacks, says LeT chief

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 10:08am

Times Now has accessed an exclusive interview of Lashkar-e-Taiba chief Hafiz Saeed given to the Outlook magazine, in which he has denied any links to the Mumbai attacks. Full Story

Damascus hosts Lebanese 'enemy'

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:14am

A Lebanese Christian leader who fought a "war of liberation" against Syrian troops in Lebanon has met Syria's President Bashar Assad in Damascus. Michel Aoun is also expected to meet senior Syrian officials and Christian leaders during his five-day visit. Full Story

Olmert Asked to Step Down as Indictment Looms

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:29amThe head of Israel's ruling Kadima Party and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni called on incumbent Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign immediately as the indictment of the premier edges closer following allegations of fraud. Full Story

US military wants more 'Sons of Iraq' as police

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:30am

The U.S. military is urging Iraq's Shiite-led government to boost the number of Sunni volunteers  many of them ex-insurgents  into its security forces, a U.S. officer said Tuesday. Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's government reluctantly committed to absorbing up to 20 percent of the 100,000 members of the volunteer Awakening Councils, also known as Sons of Iraq, into the security services in an attempt at reconciliation with the minority Sunni Arab community. Full Story

Iraq's president steps up row over PM's councils

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:43am

Iraq's president is going to the country's federal court to try to stop Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki from establishing tribal councils  a move that major political parties fear is aimed at bolstering the Shiite leader's stature ahead of elections next year. Full Story

Palestinian man stabbed by Jews in Occupied Jerusalem

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:06am

A Palestinian man was seriously wounded after being stabbed in an attack carried out by Jews in Occupied Jerusalem on Wednesday, officials said. Police were searching for a number of suspects who stabbed the 31-year-old resident of East Jerusalem, an Israeli police spokesman said. Full Story

Spain: Businessman is shot, killed in ETA attack

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:06am

A Spanish businessman was shot and killed Wednesday in an attack by the Basque separatist group ETA, a police official said. Full Story

Italian suspects discussed making firecracker bomb

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:07am

Two men arrested on anti-terror charges this week discussed attacking Milan's Piazza del Duomo with bombs made of gunpowder from firecrackers but did not actually plan the attack, Italian police said Wednesday. Full Story

Politkovskaya murder weapon linked to suspect car

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:08am

Prosecutors at the trial of three men charged in the killing of Russian investigative reporter Anna Politkovskaya have linked the murder weapon to a car used by one of the suspects. Full Story

NATO backs US missile shield over Russian protest

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:08am

NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday affirmed their support for U.S. plans to install anti-missile defenses in Europe despite Russia's strong opposition. Full Story

Top US nuclear negotiator due in Singapore

Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 10:19am

SINGAPORE (AFP)  A top US negotiator was due in Singapore late Wednesday ahead of an expected meeting with his North Korean counterpart in a bid to conclude a deal over the communist North's nuclear weapons programmes. Christopher Hill was to meet on Thursday with North Korean officials, including his counterpart Kim Kye-Gwan, but the time of the talks had not been finalised, a US embassy spokesman said. Full Story

Body of slain Afghan president identified

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:53am

A small golden Quran helped Afghan authorities identify the body of a president killed in a coup three decades ago that led to 10 years of Soviet domination, officials said Thursday. The body of late President Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan was among dozens discovered at two mass graves in the Pul-e-Charkhi area, east of Kabul, six months ago, said Ahmad Farid Raaid, a spokesman for the Ministry of Health. Daud Khan and 17 family members and associates were executed inside the presidential palace in Kabul during a communist-inspired coup in 1978, Raaid said. Full Story

Thai king is 'sick', can't give speech: crown prince

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:54am

Thailand's revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej is "mildly" sick and cannot deliver his annual birthday-eve speech, his children said on Thursday. The last minute cancellation came as Thais were waiting for the world's longest reigning monarch to offer guidance amid a political crisis that earlier this week crippled the country's airports. "His Majesty the King is mildly sick," Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn said in a broadcast on national radio as millions of Thais tuned in and more than 20,000 people waited at the king's official Bangkok residence. Full Story

China shares up on new goverment financial support

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:55am

Chinese shares rose Thursday despite falls elsewhere in the region after the government pledged more measures to support markets. The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index closed up 1.8 percent, or 36.09 points, at 2001.5 after gaining as much as 4.6 percent. The Shenzhen Composite Index for China's smaller second exchange posted a 0.5 percent gain to 587.43. Chinese investors were optimistic that an upcoming economic planning meeting of Chinese leaders might produce more measures to stimulus growth following last month's announcement of a 4 trillion package ($586 billion) package, analysts said. Full Story

Sri Lankan troops take key Tiger sea base

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:56am

Sri Lankan troops on Thursday captured a key Tamil Tiger naval base as part of an offensive to dismantle the rebels' northern fiefdom, the defence ministry said. Security forces leading a major offensive to capture the Tamil Tiger political capital of Kilinochchi had opened another front in the neighbouring Mullaittivu district where the Tigers maintain their main military facilities. "Troops entered the sea Tiger bastion of Alampil, located about 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Mullaittivu (town) this morning," the ministry said in a statement. Full Story

Karzai leaves for Turkey for talks with Pakistani counterpart

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:57am

Afghan President Hamid Karzai left for Istanbul Thursday to attend a meeting with his Pakistani counterpart Asif Ali Zardari, his office said. "Afghan President Hamid Karzai left for Turkey today to attend the second trilateral meeting of Presidents of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey," a statement from his office said. Turkish President Abdullah Gul will host the second round of talks on Friday in a move to bring the two neighbours closer. Full Story

Gaza banks close as cash dwindles during blockade

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 7:59am

Banks in the Gaza Strip have shut down to count their dwindling cash. Palestinian officials say the banks are running out of money and may not be able to cash Gazans' pay checks in time for a major Muslim festival next week called Eid-Ul-Adha. The Palestinian Monetary Authority says it has asked Israel let it ship $35 million from its West Bank headquarters to Gaza but has so far not received an answer. Full Story

Pakistan army vows peace amid tensions with India

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:00am

Pakistan's military chief Thursday vowed to maintain peace and security in the region, after the Mumbai attacks heightened tensions with nuclear armed rival India. The pledge came as the chief of the army staff General Ashfaq Kayani, addressed a meeting of top military commanders in the garrison city of Rawalpindi, near the capital Islamabad, an official statement said. Kayani said the "Pakistan Army stood for peace and security," according to the statement, which was released after the meeting. Full Story

Politkovskaya trial closed for classified evidence

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:02am

The judge presiding over the trial of three men accused of murdering Russian reporter Anna Politkovskaya has closed the process to hear classified evidence. The nature of the secret evidence is not clear, although a defense lawyer says he expects testimony from a witness linked to government agencies. Yevgeny Zubov ordered news media out of the courtroom Thursday. Full Story

China warns Tibet row could impact French trade ties

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:03am

China warned on Thursday that trade ties with France could be affected by President Nicolas Sarkozy's planned meeting with the Dalai Lama. "We attach great importance to our strategic partnership with France, as well as our business relations with France. These two points are closely related," foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters. Full Story

Russian president visits India to seal nuclear deal

Posted on Thursday, December 4, 2008 at 8:04am

President Dmitry Medvedev was Thursday to arrive in New Delhi for a visit expected to see Russia agree to build India new nuclear reactors and give its backing to the anti-terror fight after the Mumbai attacks. A cornerstone of his visit to New Delhi, whose strong ties with Moscow date back to the Soviet Union, is to be the signing of a new accord for Russia to build four new nuclear reactors to generate energy in southern India. Defense ties will also be discussed in the two-day visit, with Moscow keen to retain its position as India's main supplier of weaponry amid increasing competition from the United States and Israel. Full Story

Pakistani Taliban bomb Afghan supply convoy

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:44am

Militants set off a roadside bomb in northwest Pakistan on Tuesday as trucks supplying Western forces in Afghanistan were passing by, wounding three people, a government official and witnesses said. It was the second attack in two days on supplies for Western forces heading through Pakistan's Khyber Pass, a vital supply route into landlocked Afghanistan. The convoy was bombed in the Landi Kotal area, 30 km (18 miles) west of the main northwest Pakistani city of Peshawar. Full Story

US wants NKorean nuke verification deal in writing

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:46am

The top U.S. negotiator in talks to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons said Tuesday that Pyongyang must agree to a verification of its disarmament activities and the deal must be put in writing. North Korea agreed last year to disable its nuclear reactor in exchange for aid. But negotiations have since stalled after the Stalinist state denied it agreed to allow inspectors to take samples from its nuclear complex to verify past nuclear activities. The United States and other negotiating partners, however, have said the disarmament-for-aid pact hinges on the ability to confirm that the North has fully disclosed the extent of its atomic programs. Full Story

Malaysia cuts fuel prices amid economic slump

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:47am

Malaysia's government Tuesday announced it would cut retail fuel prices for the sixth time in four months following recent sharp drop in global oil prices. In a statement, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said gasoline and diesel pump prices were being lowered by another 5 percent to 1.90 ringgit (53 U.S. cents) and 1.80 ringgit per liter respectively. The government had raised gasoline prices by a staggering 41 percent in June to 2.70 ringgit when global oil prices reached a record high to reduce its subsidy bill. But oil price has since fallen amid a global economic slump, dipping to 3-year lows below $48 a barrel on Tuesday. Full Story

Vietnam lowers gasoline prices

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:48am

Vietnam lowered fuel prices by 8 percent Tuesday as world oil prices fell to three-year lows. Effective immediately, the price of gasoline and diesel were cut to 12,000 dong (70 cents) per liter, the government said on its Web site. The Ministry of Finance also increased the gasoline import tax to 35 percent from 25 percent. Full Story

China investigates attack on foreign journalists

Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:50am

Chinese authorities are investigating an attack in which assailants allegedly pulled members of a Belgian television crew from their vehicle, beat them and took their notes and money, the Foreign Ministry said Tuesday. The Nov. 27 attack came just over a month after China announced that relaxed reporting regulations for foreign media put in place for the Olympics would become permanent. Journalists are now supposed to be able to travel and report freely in most areas of China, but certain topics remain touchy, especially with local officials. Full Story
India says no military action against Pakistan: reportPosted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:52amIndia is not considering taking military action against Pakistan over the attacks in Mumbai, Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Tuesday. "Nobody is talking about military action," Mukherjee told reporters. His comments followed a meeting earlier of India's security cabinet, the top decision-making body on military and diplomatic affairs, which met in the aftermath of last week's Mumbai attacks that claimed 188 lives. Full Story

Three killed in Assam train blast
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:53am
Three people were killed and more than 30 wounded Tuesday in a blast that ripped through a passenger train in the northeastern state of Assam, police officials said. A police spokesman said the explosion went off as the train was stopped at a railway station about 300 kilometers (190 miles) east of Assam's main city of Guwahati. Full Story

China warns Sarkozy of fallout from Dalai Lama meeting
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:55am
China warned French President Nicolas Sarkozy to call off a planned meeting with the Dalai Lama, saying on Tuesday that it was up to Sarkozy to create the right conditions for putting China-EU relations back on track. The French leader, who holds the rotating presidency of the European Union until the end of the year, has said he will meet the Dalai Lama in Poland on December 6.

China pulled out of a long-planned Monday summit with the EU over Sarkozy's scheduled meeting with the exiled Tibetan Buddhist leader, whom Beijing reviles for demanding self-determination for his mountain homeland. Full Story

Nations prepare for cluster bomb accord
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 7:57am
When August's fighting surrounded her cottage in this quiet village, Tamuna Kitiashvili fled to the Georgian capital with her husband and 3-year-old daughter. They returned to find their home covered in what looked like flashlight batteries. The metal cylinders crashed through the roof and lodged in the floorboards.

More lay scattered in the garden where they grow vegetables. The cylinders were deadly cluster bomblets designed to tear apart tank armor  but which more often end up maiming or killing children. Representatives from more than 100 nations gather in Oslo, Norway on Wednesday to sign a historic accord barring their use. Full Story

OPEC chief wants to broaden cartelPosted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:31amThe head of OPEC says he hopes oil producing nations like Russia will join the organization, or at least agree to output cuts to help spark a rally in prices. Full Story

Italian PM Berlusconi in Albania for energy deals
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:32am
Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is visiting Albania to sign energy deals worth more than euro2 billion ($2.5 billion). Full Story

Russia to upgrade missiles to evade US space arms
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 8:33am
Russia's military is planning to upgrade its missiles to allow them to evade American weapons in space and penetrate any prospective missile shield, a Russian general said Monday. Full Story

Al-Qaida's Zawahri praises executed Bali bombers
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:39am
Al-Qaida's No. 2 leader praised the three Bali bombers recently executed in Indonesia and criticized Saudi and other Arab leaders for participating in a U.N. interfaith conference in a recording posted on the Web Monday. Full Story

Iran holds naval war games in strategic waterway
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:42am
Iran said it began six days of naval war games on Tuesday in the Gulf and the Strait of Hormuz, the strategic transport route for global oil supplies which the Islamic Republic has threatened to close if it is attacked. Iran often stages exercises or tests weapons to show its determination to counter any attack by the United States or Israel against sites they believe are to make nuclear arms. Full Story

Police call off terror alert in Tel Aviv
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:43am
Police midday Tuesday called off a high alert over a warning of a possible terror attack in the Tel Aviv area after they arrested three suspects. The warning pertained to the suspected intention of one or more terrorists to carry out such an attack. Full Story

Lebanese divided over thaw in ties with Damascus
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:44am
As Lebanon's fractious relations with Syria begin to thaw and politicians start gearing up for next years elections, an increasing number of public figures are traveling on visits to Damascus to meet senior political figures there. Full Story

Iraqis demonstrate in Syria against security pact
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:45am
Some 3,000 Iraqis have demonstrated in Damascus to protest a security pact approved by Iraq's parliament last week that lets the Americans stay in Iraq for three more years. The demonstrators gathered at a square Tuesday in Sayeda Zeinab, which is a holy shrine for Shiite Muslims. They included tribal leaders, students and some followers of anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Full Story

UAE will expand democratic measures
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:51am
The UAE is determined to expand its democratic experiment and build a legislative structure to safeguard its position as a global business and financial centre, President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan said on Monday. Full Story

PLO Agees to Proceed to Statehood Without Waiting for Gaza
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:54am
Palestine Liberation Organization officials said Monday they are willing to move forward with the two-state solution as proposed by U.S. President George W. Bush at the Annapolis summit, regardless of the situation in Gaza. Full Story

Police say 2 terror suspects arrested in Italy
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 9:59am
Italian police have arrested two men suspected of planning a terror attack in Milan, officials and news reports said Tuesday. Full Story

Radical cleric Qatada ordered back behind bars
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 11:23am
A radical Muslim cleric -- once described as Osama bin Laden's right-hand man in Europe -- was on Tuesday ordered back behind bars in Britain after breaching his bail terms. Full Story

Tijuana police chief fired after weekend violence
Posted on Tuesday, December 2, 2008 at 1:33pm
Tijuana's anti-corruption police chief was fired and replaced with an army officer Monday, following three days of violence that left 37 people dead in this border city plagued by warring drug gangs. Mayor Jorge Ramos' office said in a statement that putting army officers in charge will help "regain security" in Tijuana, where weekend attacks included nine beheadings and the death of four children caught in shootouts. Full Story

Rice arrives in India in wake of Mumbai attacksPosted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:02amNEW DELHI  Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Pakistan must show "resolve and urgency" as she called Wednesday for international cooperation in the investigation into the Mumbai attacks. Rice arrived in New Delhi as part of a U.S. effort to ease tensions in the region after a three-day terrorist attack killed 171 people in India's financial capital. Full Story

Thai airports reopens after PM ousted by court
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:04am
BANGKOK, Thailand  The first commercial flight in a week arrived in Bangkok on Wednesday as anti-government protesters ended their siege of the country's two main airports, declaring victory after Thailand's prime minister was ousted by a court ruling. Thousands of jubilant protesters streamed out of the Suvarnabhumi international airport in cars and trucks, while others cleaned up the mess that had accumulated during their weeklong takeover. Similar scenes were witnessed at the domestic Don Muang airport. Full Story

Suicide car-bomber kills four in Pakistan
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:05am
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (Reuters)  A suicide bomber rammed a car into a military convoy in a northwestern Pakistan on Wednesday, killing three soldiers and a passer-by, police and residents said. Pakistani forces are battling al Qaeda and Taliban militants in the northwest, who have retaliated with a campaign of suicide bombings, particularly on the security forces in the ethnic Pashtun tribal regions on the Afghan border. Full Story

Chinese police to dispatch anti-terror liaisons
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:07am
BEIJING  China plans to send additional police liaisons to countries facing major terror threats in a bid to boost cooperation with local security forces and head-off attacks, the Public Security Ministry said Wednesday. The move adds to more aggressive tactics against terror threats, particularly those from activists battling for an independent Muslim homeland in the far western territory of Xinjiang. Full Story

Police find explosives at Mumbai train station
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:49am
MUMBAI, India  Police say that they have found explosives hidden in a bag in Mumbai's main train station which they said was left over from last week's attacks. Senior police official Rakesh Maria said the bag was found Wednesday evening when police officials were going through abandoned luggage. Full Story

Nations sign cluster-bomb ban,US and Russia refuse
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:52am
OSLO, Norway  Nations began signing a treaty banning cluster bombs Wednesday in a move that supporters hope will shame the U.S., Russia and China and other non-signers into abandoning weapons blamed for maiming and killing civilians. Norway, which began the drive to ban cluster bombs 18 months ago, was to be first to sign, followed by Laos and Lebanon, both hard-hit by the weapons. Full Story

Brazil business chief sentenced
Posted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 8:54am
Daniel Dantas, one of the most controversial figures in Brazilian business and a former manager of Citigroup's private equity interests in the country, was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison and a R$12m ($5m) fine after a Sco Paulo court found him guilty of attempting to pay a $1m bribe to a police officer to persuade him to
drop investigations into Mr Dantas and his associates. Full Story

Mexican suspected in police killings beheadedPosted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:00amA man suspected of shooting his mother and killing three police officers called to the scene was found beheaded in southern Mexico on Tuesday, authorities said. Fabian Ramirez's head was found at a highway intersection in Iguala, a town southwest of Mexico City, according to a statement from the Guerrero state Public Safety department. Full Story

St Kitts PM concerned by spike in killingsPosted on Wednesday, December 3, 2008 at 9:01amPrime Minister Denzil Douglas says he is alarmed by rising violent crime in St. Kitts and Nevis. He is calling on parents to help reduce crime by teaching their kids ``what is right from wrong.'' Full Story

Thai protesters reinforce besieged airports
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:07am
BANGKOK, Thailand  Protesters trying to force the prime minister's resignation brought in thousands of reinforcements to occupy Bangkok's two besieged airports Monday, extending the political paralysis that has stranded 300,000 travelers. Since the protesters seized the airport last Tuesday, all commercial flights have been suspended in and out of Bangkok. The protests, which come at the height of the tourist season, also halted vital postal air services and the arrival of everything from specialized medicines to raw fish for Bangkok's Japanese restaurants. Full Story

Terror changes course, with the same deadly results
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:08am
The terrorist attacks in Mumbai occurred just two months after the Marriott Hotel in Islamabad was devastated by a huge truck bomb, and trials of terrorists in Britain and Australia revealed plans for atrocities in those countries. Taken together, these events reveal radical changes in the strategy of the global jihad movement as it shifts its focus from the hard military targets of the "near enemy" in Afghanistan or Iraq, to the "far enemy" represented by soft targets such as the private citizens of democratic societies such as the US, Britain, and Australia, especially where they can be found in countries such as India, Pakistan, or Indonesia. Full Story

NATO trucks attacked in Pakistan; bomber kills 8
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:08am
PESHAWAR, Pakistan  Militants in northwestern Pakistan attacked trucks ferrying supplies to NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan on Monday, killing two people and destroying a dozen vehicles, witnesses and police said. Meanwhile, a suicide bomber killed eight people and wounded 40 others at a military checkpoint in the region's Swat Valley, police said. Full Story

Sri Lanka: Military seizes key rebel-held town
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:10am
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka  Sri Lankan soldiers have recaptured a key northern town near the headquarters of Tamil Tiger rebels 18 years after the area was seized by the insurgents, the military said Monday. Troops seized Kokavil town, about 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of the insurgents' de facto capital of Kilinochchi, on Sunday, military spokesman Brig. Udaya Nanayakkara said. He did not give casualty details. Full Story

Pentagon to Detail Troops to Bolster Domestic Security
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:11am
The U.S. military expects to have 20,000 uniformed troops inside the United States by 2011 trained to help state and local officials respond to a nuclear terrorist attack or other domestic catastrophe, according to Pentagon officials. Full Story

China mine blast kills 15 workers, 3 rescuers die
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:12am
BEIJING  A coal mine blast in northern China killed 15 miners and three rescuers died in a cave-in Monday morning. China's coal mines are the world's deadliest. Coal is hugely important in China, feeding two-thirds of the economy's energy demand. Full Story

The camps where militants learn to commit atrocities around the globe
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:13am
Pakistan is a haven for terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Lashkar-e-Taiba with dozens of training camps hidden across the region Muslim extremists from Britain and other countries have travelled to the camps to receive instructions on how to make bombs, shoot guns, kidnap and torture and plot atrocities against Westerners. Full Story

India clears last Mumbai siege site
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:14am
MUMBAI, India  As authorities finished removing bodies Monday from the bullet- and grenade-scarred Taj Mahal hotel, a Muslim graveyard refused to bury nine gunmen who terrorized this city over three days last week, leaving at least 172 people dead and wreaking havoc at some of its most famous landmarks. The United States, meanwhile, has told Pakistan it needs to fully cooperate on investigations into the siege. Full Story

Cyber Monday deals could open door to spam, scams
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:14am
Monday will be one of the biggest online shopping days of the year, and also one of the most treacherous. On Cyber Monday, the first Monday after Thanksgiving, consumers are expected to spend $821 million this year, up 12% from 2007, says Robert Williams, CEO of Conversive, a customer-service software company for online merchants. Monday may be the biggest day in a $44 billion online holiday shopping season, predicts Forrester Research. Full Story

Pakistan blames 'non-state actors' for attacks
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:15am
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan  The terrorists who attacked India's financial capital had no links to any government, Pakistan's president said Monday amid claims that at least one of the gunmen belonged to a banned Pakistani militant group. President Asif Ali Zardari called the attackers "non-state actors," and warned against letting their actions lead to greater enmity in the region. Full Story

North Korea begins restricting border traffic
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:18am
SEOUL, South Korea  North Korea began restricting traffic through two checkpoints in its tightly sealed border with South Korea on Monday  punishment for Seoul's hard-line stance toward the communist regime. The restrictions forced the suspension of two landmark reconciliation projects  cross-border train service and tours to the North's historic border city of Kaesong  setting back a decade of rapprochement efforts between the Cold War rivals. Full Story

Pirates 'to release Ukraine ship'
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:34am
Somali pirates holding a ship full of military hardware have reached a deal with its Ukrainian owners to let it go, reports say. Gunmen seized the Kenya-bound MV Faina, carrying 33 tanks, grenade launchers and ammunition, on 24 September. Full Story

Venice suffers worst flooding in 22 years
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:34am
Venice suffered its worst flooding in 22 years on Monday as water in the Renaissance city stood more than 1.5 metres (five feet) deep before beginning to recede. Full Story

Hundreds protest Russian journalist's beating
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:35am
A few hundred people have demonstrated in the Russian capital to protest an attack on a crusading journalist. Rights activists and opposition politicians joined colleagues and friends of Mikhail Beketov at Sunday's protest in Moscow. Full Story

Pirates attack cruise ship off Somali coast
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:28am
A luxury cruise ship carrying dozens of British passengers has been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, en route to Oman. The Oceania Nautica was fired at during its 32-day voyage from Rome to Singapore. Full Story

Blast at Turkish AK Party building injures 5
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 9:31am
A bomb blast in front of a local headquarters building of Turkey's ruling AK Party wounded five people in Istanbul on Monday, Turkish television stations said. Full Story

Bombs kill more than 30 in Baghdad, Mosul
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:24am
A series of bombs struck U.S. and Iraqi security forces in Baghdad and the northern city of Mosul on Monday, killing at least 32 people and wounding dozens more, Iraqi officials said. Full Story

Iran to back US-Iraq pact after referendum
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:25am
Iran's foreign ministry spokesman says his country will fully back the U.S.-Iraq security pact if it's approved by Iraqis in a referendum next summer. Hasan Qashqavi says Iran will agree to "any decision the Iraqi people reach in the referendum." The vote is to be held by July 30. Full Story

Egypt parliament says Sinai weapons a threat
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:26am
A parliamentary commission has warned that the spread of weapons in the Sinai peninsula is threatening Egypt's sovereignty, weeks after Bedouin kidnapped dozens of police officers during clashes. "The presence of a large number of weapons threatens the sovereignty of the country," Essam Mukhtar, a member of the commission, told AFP on Wednesday. Full Story

Pirates attack cruise ship off Somali coast
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:27amA luxury cruise ship carrying dozens of British passengers has been attacked by pirates in the Gulf of Aden, off the coast of Somalia, en route to Oman. The Oceania Nautica was fired at during its 32-day voyage from Rome to Singapore. Full Story

Israel approves prisoner release
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:29am
The Israeli cabinet has approved the release of 250 Palestinian prisoners after an earlier promise from outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Full Story

Tehran Welcomes U.S. Talks
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:30am
Iran's top diplomat for nuclear issues said his government would welcome a broad dialogue with U.S. President-elect Barack Obama's administration, but offered few signs that Tehran is willing to slow its expanding nuclear program. Iran's ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency, Ali Ashgar Soltanieh, said in an interview that if Mr. Obama makes good on his campaign pledge to drop preconditions on talks with Tehran, it could pave the way for a significant cooling of tensions between the U.S. and Iran. Full Story

Hebron youth suspected of rock hurling

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:31amA group of some 50 settlers threw rocks at Palestinian homes in Hebron, and 40 Palestinian vehicles were damaged by vandals early Sunday morning, Judea and Samaria Police said. One youth has been arrested so far for damaging the vehicles. Full Story

Jisr fears assassinations will muddle International Tribunal and elections
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:32am
Future bloc MP Samir al-Jisr said that he feared assassinations and security incidents would muddle the International Tribunals work and monopolize peoples decisions before the 2009 parliamentary elections. Full Story

Ban, Siniora agree on March 1 as tribunal starting date
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:32am
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora have agreed on March 1, 2009 as the date the Special Tribunal for Lebanon will begin to prosecute the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri and 20 other murders. Full Story

Colombia recalls Venezuela consul on Chavez threat
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:33am
Colombia recalled its top diplomat in Venezuela's second largest city on Sunday after President Hugo Chavez threatened to expel the official for allegedly expressing support for his political opponents. Chavez criticized Colombia's consul in Maracaibo, Carlos Galvis, for privately welcoming opposition victories in two Venezuelan states that border Colombia during last week's gubernatorial and municipal elections. Full Story

Signs of lower rents in the Gulf
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:33am
Rents are expected to decline in the Gulf states in the coming months though evidence of it already happening is yet to be visible. At the same time, there are indications that rentals are unlikely to nosedive in the immediate future. According to reports from real estate agents, the situation is uneven now, with rents in some areas holding up while in others either rising or sliding. Full Story

Chavez seeks indefinite re-election, again
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:34am
President Hugo Chavez asked supporters Sunday to petition for a constitutional amendment that would let him seek indefinite re-election and buy more time to build a socialist economy in Venezuela. Chavez, who was first elected in 1998, is barred from running again when his current term expires in 2013. Full Story

2 ex-gunmen from Tijuana drug cartel convicted of kidnapping
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 10:35am
As the global financial crisis continues to unfold, Latin America is facing 12 to 18 months of ''grim'' economic prospects, with countries highly dependent on commodity exports such as Venezuela, Chile, Argentina, Ecuador and Peru likely to suffer the most, according to economists at a recent Miami conference. Brazil and Mexico, the region's largest and second largest economies, also must deal with enormous challenges, but their diversified export mix should help ease the impact of the downturn. Full Story

US says American troops attacked in Philippines
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:49am
American troops traveling in a Philippine army convoy came under fire this week from suspected Muslim militants on southern Jolo island but there were no casualties, the U.S. Embassy reported Thursday. Philippine marines and police said the convoy of military vehicles was on its way to inspect an infrastructure project in Indanan town Tuesday when six militants from the al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf group opened fire. Embassy spokeswoman Rebecca Thompson said only one U.S. military vehicle was in the convoy and there were no casualties on either the American or Philippine side. Full Story

Southeast Asia winning Malacca Straits battle for now: watchdog
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:51am
Southeast Asia is winning the battle against piracy in the Malacca Straits but any reduction in vigilance could see a sudden return of high-seas banditry in the vital trade lane, a watchdog said Thursday. The strategic shipping route between Indonesia's Sumatra island and the Southeast Asian peninsula of Malaysia and Singapore was deemed the most dangerous waterway in the world by Lloyds of London only three years ago. But attacks are dramatically down thanks to better cooperation among the littoral states which surround the narrow waterway, and experts believe a major hijacking like the incident off Somalia this week is now unlikely here. Full Story

Doubts hang over landmark Bangladeshi elections
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:52am
The prospect of Bangladesh holding its first democratic elections in seven years hung in the balance Thursday after the government refused to meet demands from a key party. The elections are planned for December 18, but one of the country's two main political camps, the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP), says more time is needed to restore democratic rule to the country. It wants a state of emergency, imposed almost two years ago, lifted and issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the government, which expired Wednesday evening, to meet its demands, saying it would otherwise boycott the polls. Full Story

Strike shuts down Kathmandu after alleged Maoist murders
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:54am
Protesters shut down the Nepalese capital Kathmandu with a strike Thursday over the abduction and murder of two men, allegedly by the youth wing of the country's ruling Maoists. The one-day demonstration was called by relatives of the murdered men and supported by opposition parties and student organizations. Shops and schools across Kathmandu were closed and there was no public transport, as protesters blocked major junctions and smashed the windows of the few private cars that ventured onto the roads. Full Story

Protest-hit China says job stability top priority
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 7:56am
Stabilising employment is the top priority for China, a minister said on Thursday as he revealed a rise in jobless workers triggered by a weakened export sector amid a series of strikes and protests. Unemployment rose in October as the impact of the global financial crisis hit China's production heartland. The ranks of jobless are expected to rise further in 2009, Minister of Human Resources and Social Security Yin Weimin said. "Stabilising employment is the top priority for us right now," Yin said. Full Story

FBI offers reward for ecoterrorism suspects
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:01am
The FBI is offering a reward of up to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of four alleged environmental extremists accused of sabotage attacks in five Western states  including a 1998 firebombing at a Colorado ski resort that caused $12 million in damage. The four are believed to be members of a radical environmental group known as "The Family" that is blamed for a series of arson attacks, vandalism and other crimes in Oregon, Washington, California, Wyoming and Colorado from 1996-2001. Full Story

Report criticizes Homeland Security
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:04am
The Homeland Security Department has done a poor job overseeing the purchase of billions of dollars of equipment and technology since the agency was created five years ago, according to a federal report scheduled for release today. Senior department officials have "not provided the oversight needed" to ensure that purchases "with important national security objectives" function properly and stay on budget, according to Congress' Government Accountability Office (GAO). Full Story

Claims of a Rigged Vote Foment Bitter Protests in Nicaragua
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:05am
As homemade mortar rounds exploded over this capital, and angry demonstrators poured into the streets for a second consecutive day, Nicaragua found itself mired Wednesday in an increasingly bitter struggle over who controls Managua and scores of other cities across the country. Opposition leaders accuse President Daniel Ortegas left-wing Sandinista party of rigging the mayoral race here and hundreds of other municipal races across the country in an effort to extend its political reach. Full Story

Colombia seeks arrests in pyramid scheme
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:07am
Colombia asked Panama on Wednesday to arrest the leader of a company that allegedly ran a money laundering and pyramid scheme that caused a national panic over hundreds of millions of dollars in lost investments. Attorney General Mario Iguaran said evidence against the DMG company and its principal shareholder David Murcia Guzman would show that it was a front for money-laundering. Full Story

Bolivia's Evo Morales seeks foreign support
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 9:08am
Bolivian President Evo Morales lobbied for international support Wednesday for an overhaul of his country's government if Bolivians approve his new constitution in a January referendum. The proposed constitution was designed to empower Bolivia's long oppressed, indigenous majority but has met fierce resistance from the middle and upper classes in the nation's lowland eastern provinces. Full Story

Police scour BNP membership to find officers breaching banPosted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:09pmEvery police force in the UK was tonight scouring the leaked British National party membership list for names of serving officers, after the Merseyside force confirmed it was investigating one officer's links to the far-right party. Full Story

Palestinians advertise peace plan in Israeli press
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:34pm
The PLO took the unprecedented step of placing advertisements in Israeli newspapers on Thursday to promote a six-year-old Arab peace plan for the region. Full Story

Explosion kills Hamas man in Gaza
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:35pm
An explosion in the Gaza Strip killed a member of the Hamas Islamist group on Thursday, hospital staff and witnesses said. Full Story

Polls show Likud heading to victory in elections
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:35pm
Following a string of newcomers joining Likud, including former IDF chief of General Staff Lt.-Gen. Moshe Ya'alon and former science minister Bennie Begin, three polls showed the party opening up a substantial lead over Kadima, with Labor continuing to slide. Full Story

Netanyahu vows rapid Palestinian economic growth
Posted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:36pm
Likud prime ministerial candidate Binyamin Netanyahu promised a dramatic turnaround in the Palestinian economy if he wins the February 10 election, in a speech to the United Jewish Communities General Assembly in Jerusalem on Thursday. Full Story

Jewish West Bank settlers defy evacuation orderPosted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:37pmAbout 100 Jewish settlers on Wednesday defied a High Court order to evacuate a house in the flashpoint West Bank city of Hebron, and braced for possible confrontation with police. Full Story

Experts say Iran has enough fuel for one nukePosted on Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 12:39pmIran has produced enough nuclear material to make an atom bomb, the New York Times quoted experts as saying on Thursday. Full Story

Blast kills 8 mourners at Pakistani funeral
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 7:58am
DERA ISMAIL KHAN, Pakistan  A blast killed at least eight mourners Friday at the funeral of a Shiite cleric in northwestern Pakistan who was gunned down hours earlier, police said. At least 28 others were wounded. After the explosion, a mob burned several shops and vehicles near the blast site in Dera Ismail Khan, police officer Saadullah Marwat said. Full Story

Philippine landslide kills 6, at least 1 missing
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 8:04am
MANILA, Philippines  A mother and her three children were among the six people killed after a mudslide triggered by days of heavy rain buried houses in a southern Philippine gold mining town, officials said Friday. Two girls and their brother, ranging in age from 6-11 years, were among the five bodies pulled out early Friday from the mountainside village of Upper Ulip in Compostela Valley province's Monkayo township, said rescuer Johannes Fortaleza. Full Story

China refuses to budge on Tibet amid talks
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 8:06am
BEIJING (AFP)  China accused the Dalai Lama on Friday of covertly campaigning for Tibetan independence, maintaining its hardline opposition to his approach as Tibetan exiles met in India. In a long commentary published by the official Xinhua news agency that appeared timed to coincide with the exiles' meeting, the Dalai Lama's repeated insistence that he is only seeking autonomy was again flatly rejected. Full Story

Pakistan army practices shooting drone aircraft
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 8:20am
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Pakistani soldiers practiced shooting at pilotless "drone" aircraft Friday, the military said a day after the government lodged a protest with the U.S. ambassador over drone missile strikes in Pakistani territory. Anti-aircraft guns and short-range surface-to-air missiles were used during the exercise conducted at a desert range near the city of Muzaffargarh in the central Pubjab province. Full Story

Germany bans Hezbollah television station Al-Manar
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:00am
Germany's Interior Ministry has banned Hezbollah's television station, saying that it violates the country's constitution. The ministry says Al-Manar television programming was forbidden under Article 9 of Germany's constitution, which says that organizations cannot operate with the purpose of violating "international understanding." Full Story

Restaurant bomber case adjourned
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:01am
The sentencing of a Muslim convert who launched a failed suicide nail bomb attack in a restaurant has been delayed amid concerns about his mental health. Full Story

Police probe BNP link to car fire
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:05am
Police are investigating a car fire near a house in West Yorkshire which was included in a leaked list of British National Party (BNP) members. The parked car exploded after being set alight late on Thursday night on Eighth Avenue in Windy Bank, Liversedge. Full Story

Security firms told they lose immunity in Iraq
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:30am
US officials on Thursday told scores of firms offering security in Iraq that their personnel will lose immunity from prosecution under a new US-Iraq security pact due to take effect in January. Full Story

US global dominance 'set to wane'
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:31am
US economic, military and political dominance is likely to decline over the next two decades, according to a new US intelligence report on global trends. The National Intelligence Council (NIC) predicts China, India and Russia will increasingly challenge US influence. Full Story

Shootout with Soldiers Kills 1 in North Lebanon
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:46am
A security official says a shootout between Lebanese soldiers and a group of gunmen in the northern port city of Tripoli has left one of the gunmen dead and two wounded. The official says the shooting occurred early Friday in the mostly Sunni Bab el-Tabaneh neighborhood. A woman who was passing by was also wounded. Full Story

Killing of al-Qaida Smuggler in Syria was Joint Syrian
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:47am
In spite of much angry public protest in Damascus, last month's killing of top al-Qaida operative Abu Ghadiya, was in fact a joint operation between U.S. Special Forces in Iraq and Syrian intelligence, according to former and serving U.S. intelligence officials. Full Story

Bush effigy burned in anti-US protest in BaghdadPosted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:48amFollowers of a Shiite cleric on Friday stomped on and burned an effigy of President George W. Bush in the same central Baghdad square where Iraqis beat a toppled statue of Saddam Hussein with their sandals five years earlier. Full Story

US, Iraqis to transfer control of Diyala to Sunnis
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:50am
The Shiite-led government has demanded control over U.S.-funded Sunni groups that revolted against al-Qaida in Iraq in Diyala province by January  a move that could jeopardize fragile security gains in one of Iraq's most turbulent areas. Full Story

Israeli leaders make secret journey to Jordan
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:52am
Israeli leaders made a secret journey to neighboring Jordan earlier this week, listening to pleas from King Abdullah II to avert a large-scale military operation in the Gaza Strip, Israeli and Jordan officials confirmed Thursday. Full Story

Syria and UK 'share intelligence'Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:53amSyria and Britain have been holding high-level intelligence talks in order to combat terrorism, Syrian officials have told the BBC. Full Story

Markets forcing Syria open
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:58am
Syria is struggling to meet its domestic energy demands amid the slumping global economy, prompting the isolated country to consider opening its doors. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband was in the capital, Damascus, last week in an indication of Syria embracing the broader regional community. The worldwide fiscal crisis also puts Syria in a position where it is unable to develop its infrastructure to meet domestic demands, the Financial Times reported Thursday. Full Story

Paraguay accuses Brazil of violating sovereigntyPosted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 10:59amParaguay's government says Brazil violated its sovereignty when an army unit crossed the border into its territory without authorization. Paraguay's foreign and defense ministries said Thursday in a statement that the incident was ''confrontational and provocative.'' Full Story

Lockheed Martin builds ocean power
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:00am
U.S.-based Lockheed Martin Corp. announced it is testing a new ocean thermal power plant in Hawaii. The project is a joint venture between Lockheed and a Taiwanese research institute to build a 10-megawatt plant that is estimated to be enough to power about 3,000 homes. Full Story

Sandinistas win most municipal races in Nicaragua
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:01am
Nicaragua's ruling Sandinista party won the large majority of municipal races, including the capital Managua, in local elections that have sparked allegations of fraud and violent clashes, authorities announced Thursday. The electoral council said the leftist Sandinistas won 105 of 146 races in nationwide municipal elections held Nov. 9, while the opposition Liberal Constitutional Party won 37, and smaller parties took the remaining four. Full Story

Chavez's populist grip shows signs of weaknessPosted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:04amAnabel Josi Gonzalez is sure the two-story building under construction as a government-subsidized supermarket will buy votes here in President Hugo Chavez's home town. ''The people think with their stomachs, not their heads. They believe the populism,'' Gonzalez said as his beat-up jeep veered left on the outskirts of Sabaneta into Venezuela's agricultural heartland. Full Story

Mexico turning a blind eye to drug gangs
Posted on Friday, November 21, 2008 at 11:06am
Mexicos top legislator this week said that nobody should be surprised by the extent to which drugs cartels have managed to permeate the upper echelons of the countrys security forces. In an interview with the Financial Times, Gustavo Madero, Senate president, said: Mexican society has been turning a blind eye [to the drugs gangs] for years  none of this has suddenly come about this year or even last. It has been around for decades. Full Story

Pakistan, India hold talks on anti-terrorism efforts
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:39am
Pakistan and India discussed cooperation in efforts to fight terrorism Tuesday as part of a wide-ranging dialogue aimed at resolving outstanding disputes between the nuclear-armed rivals. The talks between top Interior Ministry officials come after a spate of bomb attacks in both countries in recent months, and as Pakistan battles al Qaeda militants and their Pakistani allies who have unleashed a wave of violence across the country. "The agenda of the talks include anti-terrorism measures, anti-narcotics measures, the exchange of civilian prisoners and cooperation between the FIA and the CID," a Pakistani Interior Ministry spokesman said, referring to two countries' main crime investigation agencies. Full Story

China expands police presence below Mount Everest
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:40am
China's border police have significantly beefed up their presence at the base of Mount Everest amid rising visitor numbers, state media reported Tuesday. The influx of people to the area has brought increased crime to the north face of Everest, and Chinese authorities last year pledged to boost the police presence following reports of thefts of food, oxygen tanks and climbing gear. A former police post housed in a trailer has been upgraded to a full police station, complete with a modern 19,375-square-foot (1,800-square-meter) facility, according to a report on the Tibet Daily's Web site. Full Story

Bridge blast kills 5 Indian police officers
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:41am
Suspected communist rebels blew up a bridge in India's restive east Tuesday, killing five police officers who were escorting election officials, police said. The election officials were not harmed in the blast, which also left one police officer wounded, said Amarnath Upadhyaya, an inspector-general of police. Officials from India's Election Commission are in the region to hold polls for the state legislature. The rebels triggered the land mine as the police were walking across the bridge in Bastar district in Chattisgarh state, said Upadhyaya. The rebels then escaped into a forested area. Full Story

Bangladesh parties start campaigning for landmark polls
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:42am
Suspected communist rebels blew up a bridge in India's restive east Tuesday, killing five police officers who were escorting election officials, police said. The election officials were not harmed in the blast, which also left one police officer wounded, said Amarnath Upadhyaya, an inspector-general of police. Officials from India's Election Commission are in the region to hold polls for the state legislature. The rebels triggered the land mine as the police were walking across the bridge in Bastar district in Chattisgarh state, said Upadhyaya. The rebels then escaped into a forested area. Full Story

Murder, abductions rise in 'liberated' Sri Lanka: rights group
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 7:43am
A leading human rights group on Tuesday accused a pro-government militia in eastern Sri Lanka of being behind a worsening wave of killings and child abductions. Human Rights Watch accused the TMVP, made up of former members of the Tamil Tigers who switched sides in the bitter ethnic war, of at least 30 murders and 30 kidnappings in the east of the island in September and October. The rights watchdog said the TMVP, which emerged as dominant political force in the east after Tamil Tiger rebels were ejected from the region 18 months ago, was able to function with "total impunity". Full Story

UK to suffer 'severe' recessionPosted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:53amThe Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has warned of a "severe" economic downturn in the UK in 2009. The Paris-based body has predicted that economic output in the UK will fall by 1.1% next year, more than any other major G7 country. Full Story

'Eta head' linked to airport bombPosted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:54amThe suspected head of Basque separatist group Eta has been charged over the December 2006 Madrid airport bombing. The indictment, issued by a Spanish judge, says Miguel de Garikoitz Aspiazu Rubina ordered the attack and gave final instructions to the bombers. Full Story

Red Army Faction boss to be freed
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 10:55am
A German court has approved the release from jail of a leader of a radical leftist group involved in high-profile killings in the 1970s and 1980s. Red Army Faction leader Christian Klar, aged 56, is serving five life terms but will have served the minimum required 26 years by January. Full Story

US Crackdown on Potential Bomb Material
Posted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008 at 2:13pm
In an effort to prevent future terrorist attacks, the Department of Homeland Security has announced new plans to regulate the selling and purchasing of ammonium nitrate. The widely used fertilizer was used in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing that killed 186 people and was the subject of a 2006 ABC News investigative report that found lethal quantities of the fertilizer was frighteningly easy to obtain. Full Story

Europe announces 200bn-euro planPosted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:54amThe European Commission has unveiled an economic recovery plan worth 200bn euros (#170bn) which it hopes will save millions of European jobs. The idea is to stimulate spending and boost consumer confidence by injecting more purchasing power into region. Full Story

Oil rises as Russia threatens cut
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:54am
Oil prices have risen after Russia said it might join producers' cartel Opec in cutting output, and following a fall in the US dollar. "Russia will co-ordinate with Opec to defend its interests," said Russian energy minister Sergei Shmatko. Full Story

Kremlin reform passes upper house
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:55am
Russia's upper house of parliament has approved a bill extending presidential terms from four to six years. The change to the constitution was backed by 144 members of the Federation Council. One senator voted against. Full Story

2 Germans accused of supporting al-Qaida arrested
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:56am
Two German citizens suspected of distributing propaganda over the Internet supporting al-Qaida and other terrorist organizations were arrested Tuesday, German prosecutors said. Full Story

American, Dane convicted in France for helping ETA
Posted on Wednesday, November 26, 2008 at 9:57am
A Paris court has convicted an American man and his Danish companion for having sheltered two members of the outlawed Basque militant group ETA. Full Story

Piracy threat, shipping companies bypass Suez Canal
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:04am
A treasure chest for a modern day pirate, ships and tankers ready for the catch. The Suez Canal has been the route of choice for tens of thousands of vessels every year floating through the waters and past the sands of Egypt.

Pirates may cost shipping industry big

Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:05am
Japan's shipping industry would incur more than $100-million (about R1-billion) in extra costs if its vessels change their routes to avoid rampant piracy off Somalia, an industry group said Monday. Full Story

India warns of 'grave setback' to Pakistan ties
Posted on Monday, December 1, 2008 at 8:05am
MUMBAI (AFP)  India warned Monday that the Mumbai attacks were a major setback to relations with Pakistan and promised a "stern" response, as Washington urged Islamabad to cooperate fully with investigations. "What has happened is a grave setback to the process of normalisation of relations and the confidence-building measures," Minister of State for External Affairs Anand Sharma told AFP. Full Story

Courtesy Terrorism Research Center, Inc.

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