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4.09.09 Wells Fargo profits drive Wall St. surge
NEW YORK (AP) April 9 - Stocks bounded higher early Thursday after banking giant Wells Fargo & Co. issued a surprise profit announcement that was far above analysts' estimates. The Wells Fargo news offered investors some of the best evidence to date that the credit and lending markets are improving. Wells Fargo shares surged 25 percent and bank stocks led the market's climb. Bank of America Corp. rose 20 percent, while JPMorgan Chase & Co. jumped 12 percent. Citigroup rose 9.3 percent. In midmorning trading, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 205.57, or 2.6 percent, to 8,042.68. It was the Dow's first trade above the 8,000 mark since Monday. Broader stock indicators also jumped. The Standard & Poor's 500 index rose 25.64, or 3.1 percent, to 850.80, while the Nasdaq composite index rose 51.70, or 3.3 percent, to 1,642.36. [More.>cbsnews.com]
4.09.09 Iran inaugurates first nuclear production plant
April 9 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday inaugurated the country's first nuclear fuel manufacturing plant (FMP) located near the central Iranian city of Isfahan. Ahmadinejad has announced the plant's opening during a ceremony in the central city of Isfahan on Iran's so-called Nuclear Day. He also said that Tehran would be ready for talks with the West if they are based on respect and justice. "The Iranian nation has from the beginning been after logic and negotiations, but negotiations based on justice and complete respect for rights and regulations," Ahmadinejad said in a televised speech. The nuclear fuel manufacturing plant will produce pellets of uranium oxide to fuel the heavy-water research reactor, which is scheduled to be completed in 2009 or 2010.
4.09.09 Police hunting for bombs after alarm raised over Pakistan's link to terror raids
April 9 - Police are attempting to track down bomb-making material and Gordon Brown has called on Pakistan's leader for help after the arrest of 12 al-Qaeda terrorist suspects. The results of Operation Pathway, the coordinated raids rushed into action last night after a security breach by Scotland Yard's counter-terrorism chief, had raised considerable alarm because 10 of those arrested were Pakistanis who have been staying in Britain on student visas. There are fears they had come to the country as genuine students before plotting to mount a terrorist attack, or even that they arrived under that guise with the intention of forming a terrorist sleeper cell.
4.09.09 Turkey detains 28 over suspected al-Qaeda ties
ANKARA, Turkey (AFP) April 9 - Suspects rounded up simultaneously in several districts. Turkish counter- terrorism police Thursday detained 28 people on suspicion that they had links to the al-Qaeda network, the Anatolia news agency reported, quoting the local governor. The suspects were rounded up in simultaneous operations in several districts in the western city of Eskisehir, Governor Mehmet Kiliclar told Anatolia, refusing to elaborate for the sake of the investigation. Last month, a Turkish newspaper reported that Ankara had received US intelligence that al-Qaeda militants could be plotting attacks on foreign targets in Turkey. A Turkish cell of al-Qaeda was held responsible for truck bombs against two synagogues, the British consulate and a British bank in Istanbul in 2003, which killed 63 people and left hundreds injured. [More>>alarabiya.net]
4.09.09 Pakistan cleric slams Zardari over sharia delay
PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) April 9 - A pro-Taliban cleric lashed out at Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari Thursday for not ratifying a deal imposing Islamic law in Swat valley, holding him accountable for any return to violence. February's agreement between cleric Soofi Mohammad and Pakistan's government to implement sharia law in the northwest Swat valley triggered alarm around the world, raising fears it would embolden Taliban and al-Qaeda extremism. Sharia courts were reported last month to have started work in Swat valley, but Zardari had not yet signed the agreement into law, as had been agreed in terms of the peace deal, Mohammad said.
timesofindia.indiatimes.com, April 9, "Taliban website used US host: Washington Post" : WASHINGTON - A Taliban website used a US-based host for over a year to boast of attacks on coalition forces in Afghanistan before the deception was uncovered and the account was pulled out, the Washington Post reported on Thursday. The Houston-based web-hosting outfit said it simply rented cyberspace to the account holder and had no clue about its Taliban connections. For more than a year, the militant group used the site, claiming to be the voice of the "Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan", to rally its followers and keep a running tally of suicide bombings, rocket attacks and raids against the US and allied troops. The cost of the service: roughly $70 a month, payable by credit card, the newspaper said. The Taliban's account was pulled last week when a blogger noticed the connection and called attention to it, the Post said.
Editorial note: See Maravot News 11.14.08 article 11.14.08 US missile strike kills 12 in Pakistan's tribal area and editorial note relating to the Taliban and al-Qaeda's probable use of internet and cellphone facilities in Miranshah, Pakistan. Another probable resource for terrorists appeared to be facilities or routers through Malaysia. Note that the first al-Qaeda summit before 9/11 was in Malaysia.
4.09.09 Suicide bomber kills 5, wounds 17 in Afghanistan
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) April 9 - A suicide bomber attacked a police drug eradication unit in southern Afghanistan on Thursday, killing five people and wounding 17 others, an official said. The Taliban claimed responsibility. The attacker struck the patrol in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province, a major drug-producing area, said Kamal Uddin, the deputy provincial police chief. The members of the force were traveling in a convoy of vehicles headed for nearby districts to eradicate poppies at the time of the blast, Uddin said. Five people — two police officers and three civilians — were killed in the blast, said Daud Ahmadi, the spokesman for the provincial governor. The blast also wounded four policemen and 13 civilians, Ahmadi said.
4.09.09 Corruption undercuts hopes for Afghan police
GHAZNI, Afghanistan, April 9 - As part of his new strategy for Afghanistan, President Obama has announced plans to send 4,000 more American troops this spring to train the Afghan National Police and Army. But a shortage of American trainers is only one factor hampering the Afghan police. If the experience of the American troops already training police officers in Ghazni Province is any indication, better policing may be impossible for Afghanistan unless government officials at all levels stop cannibalizing their civil administration and police force for a quick profit. In two weeks of interviews in this mountainous region of poor farmers and shepherds, exasperated American soldiers said it was hard to determine which was their more daunting opponent — the few thousand Taliban who ruled villages through a shadow government of mullahs, or corruption so rife that it had deeply undercut efforts to improve the police and had destroyed many Afghans' faith in government.
4.09.09 Two rebels executed on China-Pakistan border
BEIJING, April 9 - Two persons were executed in Kashi (also called Kashgar), which is close to the Chinese borders with Pakistan and Afghanistan, on Thursday. The executions took place after the country's Supreme Court approved the death penalty given by a lower court...They were charged of killing 17 persons and injuring 15 others in an attack on border police last August. The Kashi court also said they were causing unrest in order to disrupt the Olympic Games in Beijing.
4.09.09 Georgians rally against president
April 9 - Thousands of Georgians have gathered outside parliament saying they will not disperse until the president resigns. Protesters, numbering up to 60,000, blamed President Mikhail Saakashvili for defeat against Russia in August's war and said he had stifled democracy. The opposition alleged that dozens of members were arrested before the rally — a claim denied by the government. President Saakashvili urged Georgians to show unity and "work day and night... to finally liberate Georgia." He was speaking at a ceremony in the capital, Tbilisi, to commemorate the day, 20 years ago, when 20 people died as Soviet Red Army troops crushed a popular protest in the same place. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
4.08.09 Syria says willing to renew peace talks with Israel
(AP) April 8 - Syria says it's willing to resume indirect peace talks with Israel's new government as long as the talks focus on an Israeli withdrawal from the entire Golan Heights to lines that preceded the June 1967 Mideast war. Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem made the statements Wednesday during a news conference with Italy's foreign minister. Indirect talks through Turkish mediation broke off after Israel's Gaza offensive started in December. The extent of withdrawal is a major issue. Israel has not confirmed it would pull back to the pre-war lines, which Syria insists on. [More>>haaretz.com]
4.08.09 Ayatollah sees Obama sincere in Muslim message
BEIRUT, Lebanon (Reuters) April 8 - One of Shi'ite Islam's highest religious authorities praised on Wednesday the "sincerity" of US President Barack Obama's message to the Muslim world and predicted a positive outcome for his approach to Iran. Grand Ayatollah Sayyed Mohammed Hussein Fadlallah said Obama appeared to be a man of "human values" but would be judged on his actions. The ayatollah urged Obama to rethink policy on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Trying to repair America's damaged image abroad, Obama said on a visit to predominantly Muslim Turkey this week that the United States was not at war with Islam.
4.08.09 Deaths in bombing near Iraqi shrine
April 8 - At least seven people have been killed in a bomb blast near the most important Shia shrine in Baghdad, the Iraqi capital. Another 23 people were injured in the explosion in the northern Kazimiyah district on Wednesday, which is believed to be part of an organized campaign against Shia targets, police said. The blast occurred about 100 metres from the tomb of Imam Mousa al-Kazim, one of the 12 Shia imams. The attack comes a day after a baby was rescued from a car hit by an explosion that killed his mother on Tuesday. A series of bombings has hit the country in recent weeks and the interior ministry has said that further attacks are likely. [>aljazeera.net]
4.08.09 Pirates overboard as US crew seizes ship back in Indian Ocean
April 8 - An American crew has seized back control of a container ship that was commandeered by pirates in the Indian Ocean today, according to the Pentagon. The military official said the crew was holding one pirate in custody while the others were reported to "be in the water." The official, speaking on condition of anonymity, would not confirm how the Somalis found their way into the ocean. Somali pirates hijacked the US-flagged container ship off the Horn of Africa, the first such attack on American interests. John Reinhart, the CEO of Maersk, which owned the vessel, said the company was working to contact families of the crew. "Speculation is a dangerous thing when you’re in a fluid environment. I will not confirm that the crew has overtaken this ship," he said.
All 20 American crew members aboard the Maersk Alabama were believed to be unharmed, according to Andrew Mwangura, who monitors piracy for the East African Seafarers’ Assistance Programme. The ship was travelling to the Kenyan port of Mombasa and her cargo includes 232 containers of relief food destined for United Nations feeding programmes in Somalia and Uganda. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
4.08.09 Italian quake death toll climbs to 260
L'AQUILA, Italy, April 8 - More Than 28,000 Left Homeless As Aftershocks Plague Country's Mountainous Central Region. Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday that the death toll in Italy's earthquake had risen to 260. Speaking at a news conference Wednesday in the devastated mountain town of L'Aquila, Berlusconi said the dead included 16 children, while nine bodies still had to be identified. Berlusconi said that L'Aquila Bishop Giuseppe Molinari would hold a funeral service for the victims on Friday.
4.08.09 Cyberspies penetrate electrical grid: Report
WSHINGTON (Reuters) April 8 - Chinese and Russian Spies May Have Planted Software Bugs to Disrupt Power. Cyberspies have penetrated the US electrical grid and left behind software programs that could be used to disrupt the system, the Wall Street Journal reported on Wednesday. The spies came from China, Russia and other countries, and were believed to be on a mission to navigate the US electrical system and its controls, the newspaper said, citing current and former US national security officials. The intruders have not sought to damage the power grid or other key infrastructure but officials said they could try during a crisis or war, the paper said in a report on its website. [More>>abcnews.go.com; See original story, wsj.com]
4.08.09 China signs deal with NWFP to track down rebels
BEIJING, April 8 - Terrorist-hit Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region has signed a deal for developing friendly relations across the border with the politically volatile North Western Frontier Province of Pakistan. The deal is expected to help China obtain the support from local leaders in NWFP, most of whom are independent of the Zardari regime in Islamabad, to cut off the links between separatists in Xinjiang and terrorists across the border in Pakistan. Beijing also wants help to track down Xinjiang rebels hiding in Pakistan. sources said. It comes soon after the atheist Communist Party of China signed an agreement with the Jamat-e-Islami in Pakistan. Both agreements suggest that China has lost hope in the Zardari government's ability to help it in the area of tracking terrorists. Beijing is now dealing with Pakistan at the level of its domestic politics.
4.08.09 US drone strikes kill 4 in South Waziristan
WANA, Pakistan, April 8 - At least four people were killed when a US drone fired two missiles at their vehicle in the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border on Wednesday. "Drones initially flew over mountains around Gangi Khel area. There was some ground fire towards one of the drones and they left the area," said one security official, on condition of anonymity.
4.08.09 Zardari: 'Give us the drones and we will take out the militants ourselves'
April 8 - Pakistan's embattled leader tells Andrew Buncombe what the US should be doing to help him tackle the extremist menace. Pakistan's president has called on America to provide his country with an arsenal of drones and missiles to target militants blamed for a wave of violence rather than carrying out independent operations that violate the nation's sovereignty. In an interview with The Independent, Asif Ali Zardari said Pakistan had made it clear that it was willing to "take out high-value targets on our own, and we welcome the technology and intelligence assistance that will give us the ability to succeed." He added: "I cannot condone violations of our sovereignty even when they are done by allies and friends. We would much prefer that the US share its intelligence and give us the drones and missiles that will allow us to take care of this problem on our own." [More>>independent.co.uk]
4.08.09 Will new military budget prolong recession?
April 8 - Many Cities and Towns Rely on Government Spending to Keep Their Economies Strong. Many cities and towns across this country rise and fall with military spending. And with Defense Secretary Robert Gates' announcement earlier this week of new defense spending priorities, many communities are bracing for drastic cuts or a windfall. From Seattle to St. Louis to Fort Worth, communities are closely watching how the $534 billion spending plan for the 2010 fiscal year plays out in Congress. The key to the whole process is that Gates and President Obama have to look out for the nation as a whole while individual congressmen are concerned about jobs in their districts. If Gates' budget stands as is, some of the hardest hit communities would be:
4.08.09 Business failures up 12.39% in FY 2008
TOKYO, April 8 - The number of corporate bankruptcies in Japan in fiscal 2008 ended March 31 rose 12.39% from the previous year to a six-year high of 16,146, with debts left expanding 2.5-fold to 14.02 trillion yen, a private credit research firm said Wednesday. The number of bankruptcies increased for the third consecutive year, Tokyo Shoko Research said in a survey covering failures with debts of 10 million yen or more. [>japantoday.com]
4.08.09 Taliban kidnap JUI, PPP men for women aid measures
ISLAMABAD, April 8 - More than a dozen members of the Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI) party and some activists of the ruling PPP have been taken hostage by the Taliban in Pakistan's restive tribal region for supporting a programme providing financial aid to women. The people taken hostage on Tuesday in Bajaur tribal agency are being held in private jails run by the Taliban in the militancy-plagued region bordering Afghanistan, "The News" daily reported on Wednesday.
A senior Taliban commander from Bajaur told the paper on phone that the militants had "arrested" over a dozen clerics belonging to the JUI, including a nephew of a former parliamentarian, and some PPP workers for backing the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The Taliban commander said the JUI and PPP activists continued supporting the programme and distributed cheques among women despite "repeated warnings."
The Taliban "Shura" or council in Bajaur issued "arrest warrants" for the political activists after they defied the militants' orders and "violated tribal customs and traditions by inviting women to government offices for distributing the financial assistance," he said. The commander said the Taliban had also warned two PPP parliamentarians — Engineer Shaukat Khan and Akhunzada Chattan — not to initiate the programme and its projects in their areas but the lawmakers had not heeded the warnings. The commander, who did not want to be named, argued there was no room for women to work or attend functions or meetings in the presence of men. Therefore, the Taliban had banned the women's aid programme in Bajaur and termed its activities as being against Shariah or Islamic law, he said. [>indianexpress.com]
4.08.09 Egypt man kills daughter after boyfriend's call
CAIRO (AFP) April 8 - An Egyptian man beat his 17-year-old daughter to death after she received a phone call from her boyfriend, a police official told AFP on Wednesday. The 45-year-old farmer identified as Mursi A. from the Nile Delta province of Kafr el-Sheikh, caught his daughter Nur talking to her boyfriend on the phone and "beat her with a large stick before electrocuting her," the official said. Relations between unmarried men and women are deemed improper in Egyptian conservative society, particularly in rural areas. The police were alerted to the crime after the girl's body was taken to a nearby hospital, the official said, adding that Mursi was later arrested. Last May, a farmer from the conservative south of Egypt decapitated his daughter after discovering she had a boyfriend. [>khaleejtimes.com]
4.08.09 Men get 12 years each for terrorism
JAKARTA, April 8 - A Jakarta district court convicted three Islamic militants of terror acts and sentenced them to 12 years each in prison Tuesday. The three terrorists — Sugiarto alias Sugicheng, Agustiawarman alias Bukhori, and Heri Purwanto alias Abu Hurairoh — were "legally and convincingly" proven guilty of conspiring to carry out acts of terror in Indonesia. "The defendants had assembled bombs and planned to attack Bedudal Café in Bukittinggi, West Sumatra,," presiding judge Aswan Nurcahyo said to tempointeraktif news portal during their final trial at the South Jakarta District Court.
4.08.09 Egypt accuses Hezbollah of plotting attacks
CAIRO, April 9 - Arrests several on suspicion of helping Hamas. Egypt's state prosecutor on Wednesday accused the Lebanese Shiite movement Hezbollah of plotting to carry out attacks inside the country . "The state prosecutor has received a statement from state security which shows that leaders from the Lebanese Hezbollah have called on its cadres to recruit members to its movement," according to a statement from the prosecutor obtained by AFP.
4.07.09 Indictment says banned materials sold to Iran
April 7 - Prosecutors in New York have charged a Chinese businessman and his company with recently selling tons of sensitive materials to Iran, clandestine sales that prosecutors say violate United Nations bans aimed at restraining Tehran's rocket and nuclear ambitions. According to an indictment unsealed in Manhattan on Tuesday, the Chinese company sold tungsten, high-strength steels and exotic metals to the Defense Industries Organization, an arm of the Iranian military, from 2006 to 2008, often using shell companies to hide the transactions. Both Defense Industries and the Chinese parent company, Limmt Economic and Trade Company, are banned by the Treasury Department from doing business in the United States.
4.07.09 China says North Korea has right to peaceful use of space
BEIJING (AFP) April 7 - China said Tuesday that North Korea had the right to peaceful use of space as it refused to condemn its ally's weekend rocket launch. In its clearest comments yet since the blast off, China's foreign ministry said the United Nations should not overreact and that the most pressing concern was to restart stalled nuclear disarmament talks. "We hope relevant parties can maintain restraint and stay calm to safeguard overall peace and stability," foreign ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu told reporters. "This issue also involves a country's right to peaceful use of space. We believe the (UN) Security Council should respond in a prudent way."
4.07.09 UK manufacturing falls 13.8% in February
April 7 - British manufacturing output fell by a record amount year-on-year in February as it suffered its twelfth straight month of declines, the longest stretch of losses since the recession of 1980. For some, there was a glimmer of hope as the pace of decline from January of 0.9 per cent was slower than expected, less than the 1.5 percent drop analysts had forecast. Car production and metal products were particularly hard hit in February as manufacturers slowed production in response to slowing demand. The broader measure of industrial production, which makes up nearly a fifth of the economy, fell by 12.5 per cent over the year, its biggest drop since records began in 1968. Its monthly decline of 1 per cent was also less than expected. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
4.07.09 France tightens visa policy as unemployment rises
PARIS (Reurters) April 7 - France is tightening conditions for foreign workers to obtain visas because unemployment is rising and the priority is to get people already in the country back to work, a policy document signed by the president shows. In a letter to Immigration Minister Eric Besson, President Nicolas Sarkozy acknowledged for the first time that the dire labour situation has an impact on his immigration policy. "The absolute priority must be for people in France who are deprived of work to get back into jobs," said the letter, dated March 31 and released on Tuesday. The instruction will apply mainly to visa applicants from outside the European Union. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
4.07.09 35 Taliban sneaked into Kashmir: report
NEW DELHI, April 7 - Around 35 Taliban militants have entered the country through Gurez sector, near the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir, Indian media reported Monday. The infiltration attempt began around March 26. According to the reports, intelligence sources have said that around 28 of the 35 terrorists belong to Taliban and nine to Laskar outfit. One terrorist has been reportedly killed in the encounter by the Indian troops who have engaged the rest near Gurez, reports said. Hijbul Mujahideen is believed to be helping the terrorists to enter the country. As a response, the Home Ministry has said that they will neutralise all the threat. [>thenews.com.pk]
4.07.09 Obama lands in Iraq for first visit as president
BAGHDAD (AP) April 7 - On a trip shrouded in secrecy, President Barack Obama flew into Iraq on Tuesday for a brief inspection of a war he opposed as a candidate and now vows to end as commander in chief. His gleaming white and blue Air Force One touched down hours after a car bomb exploded in a Shiite neighborhood of the capital city, a deadly reminder of the violence that has claimed the lives at least 4,266 members of the US military and thousands more Iraqis since March 2003. Obama's visit came at the conclusion of a long overseas trip that included economic and NATO summits in Europe and two days in Turkey.
4.07.09 US Muslims urge Obama to focus on civil rights
CAIRO, April 7 - American Muslim Taskforce meets in Washington to lobby Obama. As President Barack Obama was in Turkey on his first outreach visit to a Muslim country, America's own Muslims urged him Monday to focus on the civil liberties concerns of its citizens and consider Muslim-Americans as a "bridge" between the United States and the Islamic world. American Muslims called on Obama to address domestic civil rights issues, like the spread of Islamophobia and racial profiling, that prevent them from integrating into American society at a press conference at Washington's National Press Club.
Editorial note: "Confusion over the teachings of the Koran." (reprinted from Maravot News 12.04.08)
Islamic teachers around the world are faced with a dilemna of reconciling the teachings of the Koran and Mohammed and denouncing terrorism. There have been many Islamic conferences, mainly conducted under the auspices of the Saudis, that have sought a reconciliation of the faiths and ways in dealing with terrorism. The problem with the conferences is the fact that Islamic leaders have not been able to define the word "terrorist." They have not been able to separate an action of a freedom fighter — or a defender of Islam — from the acts of terrorism. The problem appears to begin with the Koran itself whose verses advocate the following:
Koran advocates violence against unbelievers (kuffar) / enemies:
Islamic scholars teachings against unbelievers - "kuffars": In an editorial note of Maravot News 8.08.05, article 8.07.05 Inside the sect that loves terror (a short article on the London Tube bombing worth reading) we referred to an Islamic scholar's website, as follows:
We find it appropriate here to repeat our comment in August 2005: "It is worthwhile for those who are trying to defeat Muslim terrorists to read the arguments listed in renaissance.com.pk." The Koran and the scholastic teachings of Islamic leaders must account to much of the acts of Islamic terrorism. For Islamic leaders to denounce acts of Islamic terrorism a bridge has to be crossed in their understanding of the Koran. An easy bridge that will enable peace is one that has to do with acknowledging these two points: 1) that the Koran claims to confirm the Bible and Jesus as the Messiah and 2) that the Koran, therefore, cannot contradict that which it confirms as its source.
4.06.09 Italy quake: Fears death toll could pass 100
ROME, Italy, April 6 - The death toll from a massive earthquake which has rocked central Italy is expected to reach more than 100, civil protection chiefs fear. Rescuers are still searching for survivors as dozens of aftershocks continue to plague the area hampering their efforts. TV footage showed rescuers racing away from the rubble of a ruined house as a tremor hit, sending masonry flying. Gianfranco Fini, speaker of Italy's lower house of parliament, said entire towns had been "virtually destroyed" with 15,000 buildings off limits.
4.06.09 Crackdown on housing scams
NEW YORK, April 6 - Treasury chief Geithner leads effort to stop foreclosure and mortgage fraud as Feds worry that mortgage rescue will bring out bad guys. FBI: 2,100 open cases. In the wake of an Obama administration program to rescue troubled homeowners, several federal agencies are teaming up to fight mortgage and foreclosure scams, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said Monday. The administration's $75 billion effort to help as many as 9 million mortgage holders get new or refinanced loans is drawing a lot of interest from homeowners, Treasury Department officials explained. "Those who would seek to prey on the most vulnerable also seek to intensify their efforts as well," Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner said. "We will aggressively pursue those involved in mortgage rescue scams."
4.06.09 Dow drops back below 8,000
NEW YORK, April 6 - Wall Street pulled back Monday as investors took profits following a four-week rally, fearful of poor earnings reports starting this week and more trouble for banks. Investors were also disappointed that talks for IBM Corp.'s $7 billion deal to buy Sun Microsystems Inc. have stalled — a sign that the market is still not ready to support big mergers. Financial shares plunged after a prominent analyst predicted more losses at banks and said the government's efforts to prop up the ailing industry might not be as effective as hoped...In early afternoon trading, the Dow Jones industrials fell 141.06, or 1.8 percent, to 7,876.53. The Standard & Poor's 500 index fell 18.36, or 2.2 percent, to 824.14, while the Nasdaq composite index fell 39.62, or 2.4 percent, to 1,582.25. On Friday, the Dow surged past 8,000 points in late trading - the first time the index eclipsed that mark since February. [More>>cbsnews.com]
4.06.09 Russian oil pipeline to reach Chinese border within weeks: Putin
MOSCOW, April 6 - The Russian state oil pipeline Transneft will finish the laying of the East Siberia-Pacific Ocean(ESPO) oil pipeline to the Chinese border within weeks, said Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Monday when presenting to the State Duma, lower house of parliament, a government report. "In just a few weeks, the phase during which the pipeline will reach the Chinese border will be over and we will go further to the Pacific Ocean," the Interfax news agency quoted Putin as saying. Russia and China signed an intergovernmental agreement on the construction of an ESPO branch toward China and long-term Russian oil supplies in February. Transneft's shares surged more than 12 percent immediately following Putin's statement, according to Interfax.
4.06.09 Obama vows US is not at war with Islam
ANKARA, Turkey, April 6 - Lawmakers in Turkey's Grand National Assembly applauded Monday, when President Barack Obama declared “The United States is not and will never be at war with Islam." On his first presidential visit to a Muslim country, Obama high-lighted the fact he too had Muslims in his family and had lived in a Muslim-majority country. He was rewarded by another round of enthusiastic applause. Throughout his half-hour long address, the American president laid out the framework for what he hoped would be a "model partnership" between the United States and Turkey. He also called on Turkey, NATO's only Muslim member country, to work side-by-side with the United States to resolve conflicts across the turbulent Middle East. [More>>turkishpress.com; See related story,
4.06.09 Series of car bombs kill 34 across Baghdad
BAGHDAD, April 6 - Black Monday in Baghdad leaves 34 killed, 140 wounded. A spate of bloody car bombings rocked Shiite neighborhoods of Baghdad on Monday, killing 34 people and wounding at least 140 others in an escalation of violence as the United States prepares to pull combat troops out of cities by a June 30 deadline. Six car bombs shattered the city's fragile security situation just as British business minister Peter Mandelson arrived in Baghdad. Among the dead were at least two women and a baby.
4.06.09 Iraq official suspected of embezzling 130 million dollars
BAQUBA, Iraq (AFP) April 6 - An arrest warrant has been issued for an outgoing Iraqi provincial council chief for allegedly misappropriating nearly 130 million dollars in public funds, police said on Monday. "The judicial authorities have issued an arrest warrant against Ibrahim Hassan Bajilan, who is suspected of embezzlement," said an official in Baquba, capital of the province of Diyala northeast of Baghdad. However Bajilan, a member of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani's Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) party, denied the allegation. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
4.06.09 Four blasts rock Assam; 7 killed, more than 60 injured
NEW DELHI, April 6 - Jolted by powerful blasts in Assam on the eve of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit, the Union Home Ministry put the state on maximum alert and asked the administration to be extra vigilant. Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta told reporters that he was in constant touch with Chief Secretary P K Sarma, to whom he had written a few days ago suggesting tight security ahead of the Lok Sabha polls...Preliminary investigations indicated the hands of ULFA in the blasts as the banned outfit carried out such explosion in the past prior to its "Raising Day," which falls tomorrow and around the time of Republic Day and Independence Day to demand sovereignty.
4.06.09 Have the first Israelite sites built after Exodus been found?
April 6 - A Haifa University archaeologist on Monday said he has unearthed structures in the shape of human feet believed to have been erected by the Israelites upon their initial entry to the Land of Canaan. Prof. Adam Zertal said that the large compounds discovered in the Jordan Valley were "the first sites to have been built by the Israelites upon entering Canaan and manifest the biblical notion of claiming ownership of the land by setting feet on it." Prof. Zertal's excavation team uncovered five large foot-shaped compounds that he identifies as the biblical site of Gilgal.
4.06.09 Somali pirates seize more vessels
April 6 - Somali pirates have seized a British-owned cargo ship and a Taiwanese ship, maritime officials say, after capturing three other vessels over the weekend. The UK-owned Malaspina Castle was boarded in the Gulf of Aden, while the Taiwanese ship was seized near the Seychelles, according to reports. A French yacht, a Yemeni tugboat and a German ship were also captured in the pirate-plagued waterway at the weekend. The region is heavily patrolled by a growing international naval coalition. But correspondents say the pirates have been venturing further off coastal areas to evade the warships from more than a dozen nations patrolling the area in an attempt to deter the gangs. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
4.06.09 Four NGO workers gunned down in Mansehra
MANSEHRA, Pakistan, April 6 - Four people were killed when a vehicle they were riding came under attack by unknown assailants here on Monday. According to sources, the deceased were workers of a local non-government organization (NGO) known as Firing Rice International (FRI). [>thenews.com.pk]
4.06.09 Arctic sea ice thinnest ever going into spring
WASHINGTON (AP) April 6 - The Arctic is treading on thinner ice than ever before. Researchers say that as spring approaches, more than 90 percent of the sea ice in the Arctic is only one or two years old. That makes it thinner and more vulnerable than ever before, according to researchers with NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Colorado. That's the type of ice that is more likely to melt in the summer. Sea ice is important because it reflects sunlight away from Earth. The more it melts, the more heat is absorbed by the ocean, heating up the planet even more. That warming also can change weather patterns worldwide. [>washingtonpost.com]
4.05.09 Climate warning as Antarctic ice bridge shatters
April 6 - An ice bridge which held a vast Antarctic ice shelf in place shattered at the weekend and could herald a wider collapse linked to global warming, a leading scientist has warned.
"It's amazing how the ice has ruptured. Two days ago it was intact," said David Vaughan, a glaciologist with the British Antarctic Survey. A satellite picture from the European Space Agency showed that a 25 mile-long strip of ice believed to pin the Wilkins Ice Shelf in place had splintered at its narrowest point, about 500 metres wide. The Wilkins, now the size of Jamaica, is one of 10 shelves to have shrunk or collapsed in recent years on the Antarctic Peninsula, where temperatures have risen in recent decades apparently because of global warming.
4.05.09 24 dead, 35 injured in Chakwal Imambargah suicide blast
CHAKWAL, Pakistan, April 5 - At least 24 persons died and 35 were injured at the Imambargah suicide bombing here. One killer blew himself up with explosives during annual Majlis Aza being held at the Imambargah located in the centre of the town at Mohala Sarpak of City police station area. The blast ripped apart the bodies of the faithful at the Imambargah, leaving a horrific scene of scattered body parts and blood all around the incident site.
4.05.09 UN hostage John Solecki released in Pakistan as militants attack mosque
ISLAMABAD, April 5 - An American UN official who was kidnapped two months ago in southwestern Pakistan was released after Pakistani authorities freed several separatists held by the security services for the past few years, The Times has learnt. John Solecki, the head of the UN refugee agency's office in the southwestern province of Baluchistan, was found on Saturday night by the side of a road near Quetta, the provincial capital, with his hands and feet bound, pleading: "Help me, help me!"
4.05.09 Experts call North Korean missile launch a failure
April 5 - North Korea failed in its highly vaunted effort to fire a satellite into orbit, military and private experts said Sunday after reviewing detailed tracking data that showed the missile and payload fell into the sea. Some said the failure undercut the North Korean campaign to come across as a fearsome adversary able to hurl deadly warheads halfway around the globe. Defying world opinion, North Korea in recent weeks had moved steadily and fairly openly toward launching a long-range rocket that Western experts saw as a major step toward a military weapon.
4.05.09 Obama in Turkey on last stop of Europe tour
ANKARA, Turkey, April 5 - Iran nuke threat obstacle to global peace: Obama. American President Barack Obama arrived in Turkey Sunday on the last stop of his maiden tour to Europe for a two-day visit aimed at revitalizing ties with Washington's long-standing, mainly Muslim ally. The visit marks Obama's first trip to a majority Muslim nation since becoming president in January. Obama will hold talks with President Abdullah Gul and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday before addressing the Turkish parliament.
4.05.09 Somali pirates seize German container ship
NAIROBI, Kenya (AFP) April 5 - Somali pirates have hijacked a 20,000-tonne German container carrier in the Indian Ocean, a Kenya-based maritime official told AFP on Sunday. "The ship was taken yesterday (Saturday) far out at sea, around 400 nautical miles from the Somali coast, between Kenya and the Seychelles," said Andrew Mwangura, of the East African Seafarers Assistance Programme. He said he believed the ship has a crew of around 24 and may be using a flag of convenience. [>khaleejtimes.com]
4.05.09 six gay men shot to death in Iraq by tribe members
BAGHDAD, April 5 - Six gay men were shot dead by members of their tribe in two separate incidents in the past 10 days, an official with Iraq's Interior ministry said. In the most recent attack, two men were killed Thursday in Sadr City area of Baghdad after they were disowned by relatives, the official said. The shootings came after a tribal meeting was held and the members decided to go after the victims. On March 26, four additional men were fatally shot in the same city, the official said, adding that the victims had also been disowned by their relatives. The official declined to be identified because he is not authorized to speak to the media. Witnesses told CNN that a Sadr City cafe, which was a popular gathering spot for gays, was also set on fire. [>cnn.com]
09.11.05 When a nation lacks a competent leader it invites disaster – the legacy of Bush
Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04 – | — |
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