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9.18.09 33 killed in car bomb attack in Pakistan: Police
PESHAWAR, September 18 - The death toll from a suicide car bomb attack in a crowded Pakistan market on Friday rose to 33 with another 50 people wounded, police officials said. The attack was the second in two days in Kohat, a rough town not far from the Afghan border with a history of violence between the Shiite and Sunni Muslim sects. A bomb there wounded six people on Thursday. The hotel hit on Friday was owned by a Shiite, police official Asmat Ullah said. The violence underscores the relentless insecurity in a region home to the Taliban and al-Qaeda, whose Sunni extremism has only fuelled sectarian attacks that have long plagued Pakistan. [More>>timesofindia.indiatimes.com]
9.18.09 Clashes erupt at Iran mass rally
September 18 - Thousands of opposition supporters have clashed with security forces during a government-sponsored rally in Tehran. Iran's reformists had been warned not to try to turn the pro-Palestinian Quds (Jerusalem) Day marches into anti-government protests. Reports say opposition leaders Mir-Hossein Mousavi and former President Mohammad Khatami were attacked. The opposition has been banned from holding rallies since the disputed presidential election in June. As part of the Quds Day events, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad delivered a speech in which he repeated his view that the Nazi Holocaust was a myth. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
9.17.09 Obama to scrap Bush-era European missile shield plan
September 17 - New Defense System Will Focus on Stopping Shorter-Range Missiles. President Obama said Thursday that he is abandoning Bush-era plans for a long-range missile defense system based in Poland and the Czech Republic, turning instead to a land- and sea-based system of sensors and interceptors that is focused on stopping shorter-range missiles that could be fired from Iran. The president said he was accepting the recommendation of Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in turning away from a plan to place interceptor missiles in Poland and a radar system in the Czech Republic. Instead, a distributed sensor system, apparently envisioned as a more advanced version of the Navy's Aegis theater missile defense system, would "deploy techniques that are proven and cost-effective and will counter the current threat more effectively and do so sooner" than a longer-range system would, Obama said. [More>>washingtonpost.com]
9.17.09 Terror mastermind Noordin dead: Indonesian cops
PETALING JAYA, Indonesia, September 17 - Indonesia's most-wanted Islamic militant, Noordin Mohammad Top, was killed during a raid in central Java, national police chief Bambang Hendarso Danuri said on Thursday. Asked if it was true that Noordin had been killed, Danuri told reporters in Jakarta: "Yes, yes, yes." He said fingerprint tests had proven positive, but police were still awaiitng results of a DNA test that would remove all doubt.
Pranoto, 31, was released in April 2007 after serving a 3 1/2-year sentence for harbouring terrorists. Experts say he was a close associate of Noordin, who has been eluding capture by authorities in South-East Asia since 2001. He also was closely linked to senior clerics in the Jemaah Islamiyah regional militant network and had been actively recruiting members to carry out fresh attacks. [Full story>>thestar.com.my; See other details, nytimes.com, September 16, "A terrorist mastermind whose luck ran out"]
9.17.09 Pakistan: Al-Qaeda commander killed in US strike
ISLAMABAD (AP) September 17 - US missiles are believed to have killed an al-Qaeda operations chief and a top Uzbek militant in northwest Pakistan, officials said Thursday, the latest apparent victories for the covert and controversial American program. If their deaths are confirmed, Ilyas Kashmiri and Nazimuddin, alias Yahyo, would be two of several militant leaders killed in Pakistan by missiles fired by unmanned US drones. Just last month, a similar strike killed Pakistani Taliban chief Baitullah Mehsud. [More>>thejakartapost.com; See related story,
9.17.09 Suicide car bombers strike AU base in Mogadishu
MOGADISHU (Reuters) September 17 - Somali insurgents detonated two suicide car bombs at an African Union (AU) peacekeeping base in Mogadishu on Thursday in what the rebels called revenge for this wee's US killing of a top al-Qaeda suspect. A Reuters reporter saw six wounded soldiers being carried away from the site of the explosions, some bleeding heavily, while thick smoke poured into the sky over Somalia’s capital. Witnesses said AU troops had died, along with some Somalis who had been waiting for medical treatment at the AU base, but the number of casualties was not immediately clear. It looked to be the worst attack on the peacekeepers since 11 Burundians were killed and 28 wounded in February by two suicide bombers — one in a car, one with a suicide vest — who infiltrated their base. It also followed one of the most violent months the city has seen in 20 years. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
9.17.09 16 killed, 55 injured in Kabul suicide attack
KABUL (AP) September 17 - A suicide car bomber attacked an Italian military convoy in the heart of Afghanistan's capital on Thursday, killing six Italian soldiers and 10 Afghan civilians. The fourth major attack in the capital in five weeks, it was the latest reminder that even heavily guarded Kabul is vulnerable in a guerrilla war that has grown far beyond Taliban strongholds in the south. The suicide bomber rammed his explosives-filled car into two Italian military vehicles about midday, Italian Defense Minister Ignazio La Russa said in Rome. He said six of those aboard were killed and four wounded. Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid claimed responsibility, saying in a text message that one of their militants carried out the suicide attack against NATO forces. [More>>indianexpress.com]
9.16.09 Turkish police nab 6 fugitives over Qaeda attacks
ISTANBUL, Turkey (AFP) September 16 - The Turkish police said Wednesday they had caught six fugitives wanted in connection with four massive suicide bombings in Istanbul in 2003. The suspected al-Qaeda members, already convicted in absentia over the attacks, were detained in Istanbul, the statement said, without giving names. The Anatolia news agency said the suspects had been convicted either for being members of al-Qaeda or aiding and abetting the radical network.
9.16.09 Suicide bomber strikes in Chechnya
September 16 - A suicide bomber has blown herself up beside a police car in Grozny, the capital of Russia's southern region of Chechnya, wounding six people. Russian news agencies carried conflicting reports on the number of people who suffered in the blast, but local officials said there were no fatalities. Speaking at the scene of the blast, Ruslan Alkhanov, the Chechen interior minister, said: "I officially declare there were no victims in the explosion. Two Chechen policemen and four civilians were wounded." [More>>aljazeera.net]
9.16.09 Gunmen kill 10 patients at Mexico rehab clinic
CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Reuters) September 16 - Suspected drug hitmen have killed 10 patients in a Mexican rehabilitation clinic, the second such attack this month in the city of Ciudad Juarez on the U.S. border, authorities said on Wednesday. Drug gangs have targeted rehab clinics in the manufacturing city across from El Paso, Texas, accusing them of protecting dealers from rival gangs. State attorney spokesman Vladimir Tuexi said the victims, nine men and one woman, were killed late on Tuesday as they finished praying before going to bed. A similar attack took place in Ciudad Juarez, in the northern state of Chihuahua, earlier in September, when hooded gunmen killed 17 patients at another clinic, one of the deadliest assaults during President Felipe Calderon's three-year war against drug cartels. [More>>thestar.com.my]
9.15.09 Military chief says more troops needed for Afghan war
WASHINGTON, September 15 - The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, told Congress on Tuesday that success in Afghanistan would probably require more troops and certainly much more time, a position seconded by a top Republican but challenged by a leading Democrat. The intense dialogue, at a morning hearing of the Senate Armed Services Committee, previewed the sharp national debate expected over coming weeks as the White House considers how best to pursue its new strategy in Afghanistan in the face of growing skepticism from members of President Obama's own party. [More>>nytimes.com]
9.15.09 'Nuclear-free zone impossible in anti-Israel Mideast'
September 15 - The chairman of Israel's Atomic Energy Commission on Tuesday told the international community that a nuclear-free Middle East requires a change in regional attitude toward Israel. In an address to the International Atomic Energy Association in Vienna, Shaul Chorev emphasized Israel's stance that it was prepared in principle to commit to a Middle East free of nuclear weapon. Chorev also reiterated that Israel has repeatedly asserted it would not be the first to introduce nuclear weapons into the region. "It is our vision and policy to establish the Middle East as a mutually verifiable zone free if weapons of mass destruction and their delivery," Chorev told delegates...During Chorev's address, representatives [of] every Arab state save Jordan and Egypt walked out of the auditorium. [Full story>>haaretz.com]
9.15.09 3 extremists killed, 22 arrested in Swat, Malakand: ISPR report
SWAT, September 15- Three extremists were killed and 22 others arrested as security forces continue operation in Swat and Malakand. According to Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), security forces conducted [a] search operation at Mangaltan and killed 3 terrorists. Four terrorists voluntarily surrendered to security forces at Chuprial. Security forces apprehended 12 suspects from Kalagai near Matta and Dambara near Choga and Banda Ghal, while 6 other suspects were apprehended at Salhand near Shah Dheri. Meanwhile 300,149 cash cards have been distributed amongst the IDPs of Malakand, ISPR said. [>thenews.com.pk]
9.15.09 Over 20 Taliban militants killed in NATO bombing in Afghanistan
KABUL (RIA Novosti) September 15- At least 23 Taliban militants have been killed in NATO airstrikes in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, an Afghan Army spokesman said on Tuesday. The airstrikes were part of a special military operation, which started on Monday in several Afghan provinces, to clear the volatile region of militants. Several Afghan soldiers were injured when militants returned fire with heavy weaponry at a military convoy. According to the spokesman, two Afghan military vehicles were damaged in the barrage. On Monday and Tuesday two other Afghan service personnel were injured in operations in the Helmand and Khowst provinces. Violence has surged in Afghanistan in recent months, with the radical Islamic Taliban group, toppled in a 2001 US-led campaign, staging regular attacks on provincial government officials, police and civilians. [>en.rian.ru]
9.15.09 Mortars hit Baghdad Green Zone during Biden visit
BAGHDAD (Reuters) September 15 - Several mortars or rockets were fired at Baghdad's fortified Green Zone government district on Tuesday shortly after US Vice President Joe Biden flew in to keep pressure on Iraq's leaders to make political compromises. Iraqi police said two suspected mortar rounds landed near the sprawling US embassy compound in the Green Zone, but did not hit it. Biden had met with the US ambassador, Chris Hill, and the top US military commander, General Ray Odierno, just before the mortar strikes...It was Biden's second trip to Iraq in three months, and the visit signalled that the Obama administration is anxious to resolve long-standing disputes between Kurdish, Shi'ite and Sunni Arab communities over land and oil that US officials fear could yet rip apart the country. [Full story>>thestar.com.my]
9.14.09 On Wall Street, Obama pushes stricter finance rules
September 14 - President Obama came to Wall Street on Monday to tout how the nation's economic outlook has improved from a year ago, but he called on Congress to pass stronger financial regulations this year, as he offered a sharp admonition that "there are some in the financial industry who are misreading this moment."
"Instead of learning the lessons of Lehman and the crisis from which we are still recovering, they are choosing to ignore them," Mr. Obama said in a speech at Federal Hall in Lower Manhattan. "They do so not just at their own peril, but at our nation's." The president offered no new policy proposals during a lunchtime speech but sought to use the one-year anniversary of the fall of Lehman Brothers as a moment to mark how the country's financial system has moved beyond the brink of collapse. As he urged lawmakers to adopt new regulations for Wall Street, he asked executives to accept tougher oversight.
"I want everybody here to hear my words," Mr. Obama said. "We will not go back to the days of reckless behavior and unchecked excess at the heart of this crisis, where too many were motivated only by the appetite for quick kills and bloated bonuses. Those on Wall Street cannot resume taking risks without regard for consequences, and expect that next time, American taxpayers will be there to break their fall." [More>>nytimes.com]
9.14.09 AP: AG prepping charges against BofA execs
NEW YORK (AP) September 14 - Source Says NY's Cuomo will File Civil Charges Over Failure To Disclose Merrill Lynch Losses, Bonus Payouts. The New York Attorney General's office is preparing charges against several high-ranking Bank of America executives over the bank's alleged failure to disclose details about its acquisition of Merrill Lynch, according to a person familiar with the investigation. Attorney General Andrew Cuomo's office is likely to file civil charges against the executives over their role in failing to alert shareholders to mounting losses as well as accelerated bonus payments at Merrill, said the person, who requested anonymity because no charges have been filed yet.
9.14.09 Nicolas Sarkozy threatens G20 walkout over bonuses
September 14 - Nicolas Sarkozy is threatening to walk out of next week's G20 summit in Pittsburgh if the other nations fail to agree on curbs bankers' bonuses, the Elysée Palace said today. Claude Guéant, chief-of-staff to the French president, made clear that Mr. Sarkozy was trying to repeat the brinkmanship which he performed ahead of last April's G20 session and which, he claimed, won a breakthrough on tax havens. Mr. Sarkozy has cast himself as the scourge of high-paid bankers.
9.14.09 Executive pay 'up 10 percent despite crash'
September 14 - The pay of executives at the helm of Britain's top companies rose 10 percent last year despite their organizations suffering huge losses on the stock market, it emerged today. The full and part-time directors of the FTSE 100 companies took home more than £1bn between them last year, according to The Guardian's annual survey of boardroom pay. The directors' salary increases were more than three times the 3.1 per cent average pay rise for ordinary workers in the private sector and more than double the rate of inflation last year. Their bumper pay hikes came at a time when many of their companies were imposing pay freezes and redundancies on staff in a bid to cut costs. The survey also revealed that the 10 most highly paid executives together earned £170m last year — up from £140m in 2007. [More>>independent.co.uk]
9.14.09 Airliner bomb plotters get life sentences
LONDON, September 14 - Three men convicted of plotting to bomb planes flying from London to North America with liquid explosives hidden in soft drink bottles were Monday given life sentences. The men were arrested in August 2006 in connection with the plot. The plot led to immediate restrictions on liquids that passengers are allowed to carry onboard aircraft, resulting in today's rules that allow only small amounts to be carried in resealable clear plastic bags. The judge, Justice Richard Henriques, called the plot "the most grave and wicked conspiracy ever proven within this jurisdiction."
"The plot would have succeeded but for intervention of police and security services," he said, rejecting a defense argument that the men would have failed to get the chemistry right and actually blow up planes. The ringleader, Abdulla Ahmed Ali, 28, must serve at least 40 years before he is eligible for parole, the judge said...A second plotter, Assad Sarwar, 29, must serve a minimum of 36 years before he is eligible for parole. Henriques gave him a lesser sentence on the grounds that he was not the ringleader of the plot and not involved in recruiting other people for it.
9.14.09 Mass trial resumes as Iran reformists speak out
TEHRAN, September 14 - Reformists call on government to take a stand against wrongdoings. Iran on Monday resumed the mass trial of those arrested during the post election demonstrations amid protests by prominent reformist clerics who opposed the re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Defeated presidential candidate Mehdi Karroubi and Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri — once tipped to succeed Islamic republic founder Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini — both spoke out as six protesters went on trial. The official IRNA news agency said those in the dock included student leader Abdollah Momeni, but later reported that the judge ordered media not to name the defendants. [More>>alarabiya.net]
9.14.09 Scientists find CO2 link to Antarctic ice cap origin
(Reuters) September 14 - A team of scientists studying rock samples in Africa has shown a strong link between falling carbon dioxide levels and the formation of Antarctic ice sheets 34 million years ago. The results are the first to make the link, underpinning computer climate models that predict both the creation of ice sheets when CO2 levels fall and the melting of ice caps when CO2 levels rise. The team, from Cardiff, Bristol and Texas A&M Universities, spent weeks in the African bush in Tanzania with an armed guard to protect them from lions to extract samples of tiny fossils that could reveal CO2 levels in the atmosphere 34 million years ago.
9.14.09 Iraq to present Syria bombing link on Ankara visit
BAGHDAD (AFP) September 14 - Iraq said it will send a delegation to Turkey on Tuesday with evidence backing its allegations that terrorist groups based in Syria orchestrated deadly bombings in Baghdad. "The evidence includes confessions, communications, financing and logistic support by people living in Syria and who have relations with al-Qaeda," said government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh, confirming the trip to Ankara. Dabbagh was referring to the August 19 truck bombings, dubbed "Bloody Wednesday," that killed 95 people and wounded 600 at the finance and foreign ministries in the Iraqi capital.
9.14.09 South Russian province says most killed militants are foreigners
YAROSLAVL, Ingushetia, Russia (RIA Novosti) September 14 - Almost all militants recently killed in counter-terrorist operations in Russia's North Caucasus republic of Ingushetia were foreign mercenaries, the republic's president said on Monday. "Out of 30 recently killed participants of illegal armed formations, 27 were foreigners," Yunus-Bek Yevkurov told an international conference on 'The modern state and global security' in Russia's Volga city of Yaroslavl. He said that the figures give sufficient grounds to refer to "international terrorism" in the region.
"The main disease of the present day, which has grasped the whole world, is international terrorism. It would be better for the world to wake up and for all countries to realize that this disease may reach anyone," he said. Attacks on troops, police and other officials have been reported almost daily in Ingushetia and Russia's other North Caucasus republics in recent months. On August 17, Ingushetia was hit by a suicide bombing which killed at least 20 people and injured 260 people. Yevkurov himself survived a suicide car bomb attack on his motorcade in June and returned to work last month. [>en.rian.ru]
9.14.09 Top al-Qaeda leaders fleeing to Somalia, Yemen: Malik
ISLAMABAD, September 14 - Federal Interior Minister Rehman Malik said Monday that many top level al-Qaeda leaders are escaping to Somalia and Yemen. He said preparation of a new database is underway for all foreigners who entered in Pakistan. Talking to Geo News Asif Ali Bhatti, the Minister said Egypt, Sudan and Yemen based al-Qaeda groups are backing the Taliban and other terrorist outfits. "Some people are still providing shelter to al-Qaeda leaders." Stern action will be taken against the landlords who are renting out their houses to foreigners without informing the local police and administration, he added. [>thenews.com.pk]
9.14.09 Police arrest mastermind of attack on Kazmi
ISLAMABAD, September 14 - Police has arrested Abdul Karim, the accused of masterminding attack Federal Minister Hamid Saeed Kazmi, from Rojhan. According to police, fingerprints obtained from the machine gun disposed by the attackers provided a lead to the accused. Abdul Karim, who belongs to a banned outfit, has been shifted to Islamabad while raids are being made for the arrest of his companions who escaped. [>thenews.com.pk]
9.14.09 'Terrorist wanted over Kenya attacks in 2002 killed in raid'
September 14 - One of two people killed when troops fired from helicopters at a car in Somalia on Monday is believed to be Kenya-born Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a terrorist wanted over the 2002 hotel bombing and simultaneous, but botched, missile attack on an Israeli airliner leaving Kenya's Mombasa airport, witnesses and a Somali government source told Reuters. A senior Somali government source told the news agency the fugitive had been in a car with other senior Islamist gunmen when they were attacked near a village in Barawe District, 250 km south of the capital Mogadishu. "Nabhan and four other top foreign commanders of militant groups were killed in the raid," the source was quoted as saying.
9.14.09 Fifth British soldier killed in Afghan region 'cleared of Taleban'
September 14 - A British soldier died of gunshot wounds in Helmand province today, the fifth to be killed in the district of Babaji since the end of an operation to clear it of Taleban fighters. The soldier from the 2nd Battalion The Duke of Lancaster's Regiment, who was serving with The Light Dragoons battlegroup, was shot while on foot patrol. He was the 214th British soldier to die in Afghanistan since 2001, and the 77th to be killed this year. Babaji was at the centre of Operation Panther's Claw, aimed at making the area safe before elections last month. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
9.14.09 Qaeda-linked group claims Israel rocket attacks
DUBAI, September 14 - Militant group claims Israel rocket salvo, bin Laden warns US. A militant group claiming links to al-Qaeda said on Monday it was behind the firing of rockets into northern Israel last week. "Your brothers fired two Katyusha rockets from south Lebanon which landed in the Naharia settlement in the north of occupied Palestine," a statement on web sites used by militants said. It cited Israel's blockade of the Palestinian enclave of Gaza and preventing worshippers praying at al- Aqsa mosque in East Jerusalem as the reasons for the action.
9.14.09 'Bin Laden audio tape' warns US
September 14 - In an 11-minute audio tape released on the internet, a voice purporting to be that of Osama bin Laden says Barack Obama, the US president, is "powerless" to stop the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. The voice also says that the attacks of September 11, 2001, came about because of the US's "support to your Israeli allies who occupy our land of Palestine." There was no independent confirmation that the voice on the tape addressing the American people was that of Bin Laden. Reports on Monday from two separate monitoring groups spoke of Bin Laden blaming the wars on the "pro-Israel" lobby and corporate interests. [More>>aljazeera.net]
9.13.09 Pakistan Taleban chief in Swat surrounded: minister
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) September 13 - The senior Taleban leader in northwestern Pakistan's Swat Valley has been surrounded and will be captured, Interior Minister Rehman Malik said on Sunday, adding the back of the Taleban insurgency had been broken. Pakistani Taleban advances and attacks early this year raised fears for nuclear-armed Pakistan's stability but the Islamist militants have suffered a series of setbacks in recent weeks including the killing of their overall leader.
9.13.09 5 US troops among 50 killed in Afghan violence
KABUL, Afghanistan, September 13 - About 50 civilians, security forces and militants were killed in a wave of violence around Afghanistan, including a bomb that left 14 Afghan travelers dead in one of the country's most dangerous regions. Five American soldiers died in two attacks using roadside bombs. The attacks Friday and Saturday reached a broad swath of the country, demonstrating the spread of the Taliban insurgency, which had been largely confined to the country's south and east in the years after the 2001 US invasion. Half of those killed in the most recent attacks were civilians, who often find themselves caught in the grinding war between the Taliban and US and NATO forces.
9.13.09 Bomb hidden in holy book
BAGHDAD (Reuters) September 13 - Iraqi militants hollowed out an ornate Shiite Muslim holy book, stuffed it with TNT and planted it inside a Baghdad shrine, but the bomb was defused before it exploded, police said. Iraqi police discovered the rigged book yesterday in the Khadimiya shrine, a major Shiite holy site in Baghdad, after worshippers heard a suspicious ringing sound from the mobile phone detonator inside the book, a richly decorated edition of a sacred Shiite text called the "Keys to Paradise."
9.13.09 British youths heading for Somalia for jihad training: Report
LONDON, September 13 - Although Afghanistan and Pakistan remain the main destination for Britain's would be terrorists, British youths are increasingly heading for Somalia for "jihad training," a media report said today. British spy agency MI5 has warned that the number of young Britons traveling to Somalia to fight in a "holy war," or train in terror training camps, has soared in recent years as the war torn African nation has emerged as an alternative base for groups like al-Qaeda, 'The Independent' reported. According to the report, the number of young Britons following the trail every year has more than quadrupled to at least 100 since 2004.
9.13.09 Venezuela to pump heavy crude with Russia's help
CARACAS, Venezuela (AP) September 13 - Venezuela says it has signed a deal with five mainly Russian energy companies to exploit its deposits of heavy crude oil. State-run Petroleos de Venezuela SA says its agreement is with a consortium of Russian oil and gas companies Rosneft, Lukoil, Gazprom and Surgutneftegaz. TNK-BP, a British-Russian joint venture, also is participating. The joint enterprise will exploit an area of Venezuela's heavy-oil producing Orinoco Oil Belt, where they expect to pump 400,000 to 450,000 barrels a day. Venezuela will have a 60 percent stake in the venture and its partners will share the remaining 40 percent. In a statement Saturday, Petroleos de Venezuela says the partners will also invest in a facility to turn the heavy crude into lighter oil. [>thestar.com.my]
9.13.09 Switzerland's explosive war effort threatens environmental disaster
September 13 - Deformed fish are being landed and served as sightseers flock to view toxic Second World War munitions raised from the floor of Lake Thun. Down at the bottom of Switzerland's deepest lake is one of the country's murkiest secrets. For here is disturbing evidence of Switzerland's little-known Second World War defence effort. It poses a potentially devastating threat to the Alpine nation, 70 years after the conflict.
9.13.09 Dangerous staph germs found at West Coast beaches
SAN FRANCISCO, CA (AP) September 12 - A day at the beach? Shower afterward. Sand, water can hold dangerous staph germs, study finds. Dangerous staph bacteria have been found in sand and water for the first time at five public beaches along the coast of Washington, and scientists think the state is not the only one with this problem. The germ is MRSA, or methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus — a hard-to-treat bug once rarely seen outside of hospitals but that increasingly is spreading in ordinary community settings such as schools, locker rooms and gyms.
9.13.09 Antibiotic resistance clue found
September 13 - US scientists have uncovered a defence mechanism in bacteria that allows them to fend off the threat of antibiotics. It is hoped the findings could help researchers boost the effectiveness of existing treatments. The study published in Science found that nitric oxide produced by the bacteria eliminates some key effects of a wide range of antibiotics. One UK expert said inhibiting nitric oxide synthesis could be an important advance for tackling tricky infections. Antibiotic resistance, for example with MRSA, is a growing problem and experts have long warned of the need to develop new treatments. [More>>bbc.co.uk]
9.12.09 A triumph for man, a disaster for mankind
September 12 - Two ships are finishing the first commercial navigation of the fabled North-east Passage. It is an epic moment — but also a vivid sign of climate change in the Arctic. It has been one of the elusive goals of seafaring nations almost since the beginnings of waterborne trade, but for nearly 500 years the idea has been dismissed as an impossible dream. Now, as a result of global warming, the dream is about to come true. Within days, a journey that represents both a huge commercial boon and a dark milestone on the route to environmental catastrophe is expected to be completed for the first time. No commercial vessel has ever successfully travelled the North-east Passage, a fabled Arctic Sea route that links the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific far more directly than the usual southerly cargo route. Explorers throughout history have tried, and failed; some have died in the attempt.
9.12.09 Thousands rally in capital to protest spending
WASHINGTON (AP) September 12 - Thousands of people protesting what they call out-of-control government spending are marching to the US Capitol in downtown Washington. The line of protesters stretches several blocks, as people chant "enough, enough" and "We the People." Others are waving US flags and holding signs reading "Go Green Recycle Congress," "I'm Not Your ATM" and "Obamacare makes me sick." Some men are dressed in colonial costumes with tricolored hats. Protesters plan to march later to the US Capitol. FreedomWorks Foundation, a conservative organization led by former House of Representatives Majority Leader Dick Armey, organized several groups from across the country for what they're calling a "March on Washington." [>thejakartapost.com; See other details, nytimes.com, September 12, "Thousands rally in capital to protest big government." and photo cbsnews.com.]
9.12.09 Taliban raid Afghan intelligence HQ
September 12 - The intelligence service headquarters in Afghanistan's second city have been attacked by suspected Taliban bombers. Al Jazeera correspondent James Bays reports the attack on the central Kandahar complex on Saturday appeared to be highly coordinated. He said: "A car drew up at the front of the offices, opening fire with guns and rocket-propelled grenades, clearing a path through the front gate to the intelligence department, killing a guard. Witnesses say that one or two suicide bombers went inside, though both were then shot dead." A young girl living close by died of a heart attack at the start of the attack, he added.
9.12.09 Iran ready to negotiate nuclear proposals: FM
TEHRAN / WASHINGTON, September 12 - Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki renewed on Saturday Iran's readiness for negotiations over its nuclear proposals but made no direct response to calls from the major powers for urgent talks. "By giving this package, the Islamic Republic of Iran has shown its determination to enter into negotiation on the main topics in the package," Mottaki told reporters in Tehran. "I think that if one takes into account separate statements made by these powers, they acknowledge that our package has major topics for holding constructive negotiations," he said. [More>>alarabiya.net]
9.12.09 Repsol discovers huge gas field off Venezuela
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) September 12 - Spain's largest oil company, Repsol YPF SA, has said it discovered a massive gas field off the coast of Venezuela, Spanish media reported. The find was made in a joint exploration with the Italy's Eni. The Gulf of Venezuela's Cardon 4 site may contain some 1.4 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BOE), a Repsol spokesman said. However, he also noted that tests were continuing. The company's statement confirmed comments to the Spanish newspaper El Pais by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez on Friday. Chavez met with Repsol chairman Antoni Brufau during his visit to Madrid.
9.12.09 Chavez says Venezuela to get Russian missiles
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) September 12 - Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said that Caracas is to receive Russian short-range missiles. Chavez was speaking after returning home from a 10-day world tour, including a visit to Russia. "Soon some little rockets are going to be arriving," he said at the presidential palace. "They can fly 300 kms. And they don't miss their targets."
"We are not going to attack anybody, these are just defence tools, because we are going to defend our country from any threat, wherever it may come from," he went on. He did not say how many missiles would be delivered. Chavez also said Venezuela would buy Russian T-72 and T-90 tanks
9.12.09 IED blast in Srinagar: 3 cops among 4 killed, 14 injured
SRINAGAR, Kashmir, India, September 12 - Three policemen and a woman were killed and 14 others were injured when a police vehicle carrying detainees back from a court was blown up by an improvised explosive device set off by militants outside Srinagar central jail in the first major attack in the city in three years. The vehicle of Pulwama district police was way to Pulwama when the IED-fitted car parked at a distance of nearly 30 metres from the jail went up in flames at around 6pm and hit a police vehicle killing Assistant Sub Inspector Sagar Singh and Head Constable Abdul Hamid inside the vehicle on the spot, the police said. Another policeman succumbed in the hospital and his identity is yet to be established.
9.12.09 Bombs kill 3 near Shia shrine in Baghdad
BAGHDAD (AP) September 12 - Two bombs exploded moments apart near the tomb of a revered Shia religious figure in central Baghdad on Saturday, killing three people and wounding 22, police and hospital officials said. The first bomb went off next to the tomb of the ninth-century Shaikh, Othman Al Omari, where a number of people were praying. A few minutes later, a car bomb exploded in a nearby parking lot as crowds were gathering. The shrine was damaged. The attack took place in the Bab Al Muadham area of the capital, home to the Health Ministry, other government offices and a number of hospitals.
9.12.09 Police arrest 3 terrorists in Peshawar
PESHAWAR, Pakistan, September 12 - Police arrested three terrorists and recovered two abducted policemen in Matni, the suburban area of Peshawar on Saturday. According to Matni police three terrorists, belonging to a semi tribal area, were captured in Pasheen Garh area. Police said the terrorists had abducted the two policemen the previous night and during an attempt to move the abductees in Khyber Agency the police apprehended them. In the operation Sub Inspector Faqeer Hussain and Assistant Sub Inspector Haroon have been recovered and investigations are underway. [>thenews.com.pk]
9.12.09 Yale criticized for pulling Muslim cartoons in book
NEW HAVEN, Connecticut, September 12 - Yale University has removed cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad from an upcoming book about how they caused outrage across the Muslim world, drawing criticism from prominent alumni and a national group of university professors. Yale cited fears of violence. Yale University Press, which the university owns, removed the 12 caricatures from the book "The Cartoons That Shook the World" by Brandeis University professor Jytte Klausen. The book is scheduled to be released next week. A Danish newspaper originally published the cartoons — including one depicting Muhammad wearing a bomb-shaped turban — in 2005. Other Western publications reprinted them.
9.11.09 Obama speaks at 9/11 ceremony
WASHINGTON, September 11 - On a gray rainy day in the nation's capital — so unlike the bright sunny morning eight years ago when terrorists slammed planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon — President Obama called upon Americans to “renew our common purpose” with a day of service and remembrance of the Sept. 11 attacks. "Through their own lives and through you, the loved ones they left behind, the men and women who lost their lives eight years ago today leave a legacy that still shines brightly in the darkness and that calls on all of us to be strong and firm and united," Mr. Obama said during a memorial service at the Pentagon. "That is our calling today and in all the Septembers still to come." Mr. Obama and his wife Michelle began the day of commemoration on the White House South Lawn, where they and some 200 members of the White House staff observed a moment of silence at 8:46am, the moment the first plane struck the north tower of the World Trade Center. [More>>nytimes.com]
9.11.09 Pakistan Taliban spokesman arrested in Swat
ISLAMABAD, September 11 - Pakistan military said on Friday that it arrested the chief spokesman of the Swat Taliban along with four other most-wanted first ring leaders in a successful military operation in northwestern Swat valley. "Muslim Khan and Mahmood Khan with head money of 10 million rupees (120,482 US dollars) have been arrested by security forces in a successful operation in Swat," military spokesman Athar Abbas said in a statement. Muslim Khan was second on the most-wanted list behind Fazlullah. He earned notoriety as the hardline Taliban spokesman in Swat but was largely impossible to reach after the military launched its summer ground and air assault. Mahmood Khan was number four on the most-wanted list, described as commander of Kuza Banda in the Swat valley and, like the spokesman, had a 10-million-rupee bounty on his head. "Along with them, three other terrorist leaders Fazle Ghaffar, Abdul Rehman and Sartaj have been also been apprehended," the military statement said.
thenews.com.pk, September 11, "Forces nab 13 suspects in last 24 hours: ISPR status report" : RAWALPINDI: The security forces continued Friday the search and clearance operations in Swat and Malakand during last 24 hours. According to a press release issued by Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR), at least four terrorists voluntarily surrendered to security forces in Bar Shaur area of Swat. Also four other terrorists including commander Nisar voluntarily surrendered to security forces in Damghar near Kanju area in Swat. The security forces carried out search operation in Kad near Sardari and killed 2 terrorists and apprehended five suspects. Also, the forces carried out search operation in Narai Sar Banda and demolished two caves and four terrorists hideouts.
khaleejtimes.com (AP) September 11, "Swede held in Pakistan over possible terror links" : MULTAN, Pakistan - A Swedish national with the same name as a Swede arrested in Pakistan in 2001 and held for two years at Guantanamo Bay was detained in Pakistan last month on suspicion of links to al-Qaeda, a police officer said Friday. Mehdi-Muhammed Ghezali was arrested with two other Swedes and nine other foreigners close to the country's northwestern tribal regions, the officer said.
9.11.09 Right-wing protestors target Harrow mosque
September 11 - Muslims in Harrow expressed deep frustration today that their mosque had been targeted by anti-Islamic right-wing protestors whose demonstrations in Birmingham last month led to a series of arrests and street battles with Asian youths. Harrow Central Mosque, which is located in the heart of London's most religiously diverse borough, was forced to place security guards on their doors as police maintained a heavy presence in response to calls from right-wing protestors to demonstrate against "Islamic extremism" on the anniversary of the 11 September attacks. The English Defence League, and a group calling itself Stop the Islamization of Europe, was planning to hold the demonstration later this afternoon outside the borough's main mosque, a multi-million pound building which is currently under construction and will provide a prayer space for the area's 35,000 Muslims.
The English Defence League, which first surfaced in the spring, have since been banned from holding any marches in Luton for three months but activists have been using social networking sites such as Facebook to spread their protests across the country. Stop the Islamization of Europe is inspired by a right-wing group in Denmark of the same name who have held regular protests outside mosques ever since cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad appeared in a newspaper sparking riots across the Muslim world. [More>>independent.co.uk; See more details and video, news.sky.com, September 11, "Anti-fascist protesters and right wingers clash with Metropolitan Police near London mosque."]
9.11.09 Belgian schools ban Muslim veil in classes
BRUSSELS (AFP) September 11 - Veil ban affects 700 schools in Flanders, Brussels. Dutch-language public schools in Belgium will ban the wearing of Muslim veils in classes, school officials in the Flanders region announced Friday. The ban affects 700 schools in the northern region of Flanders, including some in Brussels. It follows protests after two schools in Antwerp this month joined other schools where the veil is already banned. [More>>alarabiya.net]
9.11.09 UN's Ban: Israel, Lebanon must adhere to cease-fire
September 11 - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon condemned the firing of two missiles into Israel from Lebanon on Friday, saying the UN peacekeeping mission in southern Lebanon will investigate the incident. Ban called on all parties to exercise restraint. "The parties must fully adhere to Security Council resolution 1701 and respect the cessation of hostilities agreement," Ban said in a statement. Resolution 1701 ended the 2006 Second Lebanon War between Hezbollah and Israel and called for disarming the militias in southern Lebanon.
9.11.09 Ancient synagogue found in Israel
JERUSALEM, September 11 - In what was slated to be the site of a new 122-room hotel, archaeologists say they have discovered one of the world's oldest synagogues in Northern Israel. The site, which was unearthed as preparations were being made for construction of the hotel near the Sea of Galilee, is believed to date back some 2000 years from 50BCE to 100CE. In the middle of the 120 square meter main hall of the synagogue archaeologists discovered an unusual stone carved with a seven branched menorah . "We are dealing with an exciting and unique find," said excavation director and Israeli Antiquities Authority archaeologist Dina Avshalom-Gorni.
9.11.09 The uninsured: Top 3 best states, worst states
September 10 - New Census Report Offers Picture of Nation's Uninsured. As lawmakers in Washington debate how to overhaul America's health care system, Americans are becoming poorer and more of them lack any health insurance at all. The US Census Bureau's annual report on income, poverty and health insurance coverage, out Thursday, showed that in 2008, median household income fell 3.6 percent, 2.5 million more Americans fell below the poverty line, and the ranks of the uninsured grew from 45.7 million in 2007 to 46.3 million. The overall percentage of people without health coverage held steady at 15.4 percent, according to the 2009 Current Population Survey.
9.11.09 Deficit soars higher into record territory
(AP) September 11 - Federal Deficit Hits $1.38T through August; Economists Estimate 2009 will be Record Year. The federal deficit surged higher into record territory in August, hitting $1.38 trillion with one month left in the budget year. The Treasury Department said Friday that last month's deficit was $111.4 billion, below the $152 billion that economists expected. Still, the imbalance added to a flood of red ink already accumulated through a severe recession and massive spending needed to stabilize the banking system.
Editorial note: "Speaking of interest" : For the US report on monthly receipts, outlays and deficits see fms.treas.gov; A recurring outlay expense in the US budget has to do with interest on the Public Debt which averages about $33.4 billion per month. So far this year (Oct. 08 - Aug. 09) our interest outlays have totaled $367.8 billion. Last month's deficit of $111.4 billion included the interest outlay. Interest outlays relate to the total Public Debt outstanding, which is $11.795 trillion as of 9.10.2009. If China and others who buy US treasuries to finance the Public Debt do not purchase the notes offered each month (with supply of notes exceeding demand) interest rates would increase to make the notes more attractive. The increase of Fed rates affects the financial markets as a whole: mortgage, credit cards, auto loans, etc. When the economy collapsed in 2008 much of the collapse began when the Fed increased interest rates, causing mortgage payments to double and triple, resulting in loan defaults and a collapse of the financial markets holding the defaults.
9.10.09 Census: Ranks of poor, uninsured grows
WASHINGTON (AP) September 10 - Poverty Rate Hits 13.2 Percent; Number of Americans Without Health Care Rises to 46.3 Million. The number of Americans without health insurance rose to 46.3 million last year as people began losing jobs and coverage in the current recession. The poverty rate hit 13.2 percent, an 11-year high. The Census Bureau's annual report released Thursday offers a snapshot of the economic well-being of American households for 2008, the first full year of the recession. It comes as Congress engages in its high-stakes debate over health care overhaul, following a renewed plea Wednesday night by President Barack Obama to pass sweeping legislation.
9.10.09 Anti-terror action afoot until Khyber is cleared
BARA, Pakistan, September 10 - The crackdown on Laskhra-e-Islam is still in full swing on the 10th day of crackdown against the extremists in Khyber Agency in Tehsil Bara; also, the exodus of local people from the area is in progress on Thursday. Political Administration announced to continue the crackdown until the area is cleared. Talking to Geo News, PA Khyber Agency Tariq Hayat said 107 extremists have been killed in the action on the 10th day of the crackdown; also, 127 houses and 26 centers of the extremists have been razed down. Also, 107 people have been arrested in the action. PA Khyber said the action is afoot in Bara Tehsil areas of Malak Deenkhel, Akakhel, Sapah, Shalobar and Qambarkhel and these areas are being searched. He added Bara Market has been cleared; however, it will take time to clear the entire area. [>thenews.com.pk; See related story, cnn.com, September 10, "Volunteer militias push back Taliban."]
9.10.09 Moment of indecision by Talbeban gunman saved British reporter's life
September 10 - The kidnapped journalist Stephen Farrell has told how a Taleban insurgent with a Kalashnikov in his hands turned to shoot him as NATO helicopters rattled in for a rescue mission but decided against it, perhaps to save precious time as he fled. The young Taleb's decision saved Farrell's life, but his Afghan journalist-translator, Sultan Munadi, was cut down in a hail of bullets only a few minutes later as the pair fled the building where they had been kept prisoner. Mr. Farrell, formerly of The Times, is now the main writer on The New York Times "At War" blog, where he published a lengthy account of his capture, four days in captivity and rescue in the early hours of yesterday morning. Also killed during the rescue operation was a British commando serving with the Special Forces Support Group, another Afghan civilian and as many as 48 insurgents. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
9.10.09 22 killed in Iraq suicide truck bomb attack
WARDAK, Iraq (AFP) September 10 - A suicide truck bomber triggered a massive blast in a Kurdish village in northern Iraq as residents slept early on Thursday, flattening homes and killing at least 22 people, officials said. The attack just after midnight in Wardak, southeast of the restive city of Mosul, brought down a dozen houses built from clay and stone, damaged 60 others and left a massive crater, said an AFP reporter at the scene. "The truck tried to enter the village from the rear, where there is a river," and where locals had been building a sand barrier to protect the area from attacks, said Jalal Dosky, a security guard in Wardak...Police Captain Mohammed Jalal confirmed it was a suicide attack and that a second such blast was foiled when the driver was killed by Iraqi security forces before he could detonate explosives hidden in his truck.
...Elsewhere on Thursday, four people were killed and 29 wounded when a bomb exploded in a market south of Baghdad, the defence ministry official said. The attack occurred in Mahmudiyah, a town within a confessionally mixed region known as the Triangle of Death because of its frequent insurgent attacks during the worst of Iraq'sinsurgency in the wake of the 2003 US-led invasion. The latest violence follows a spate of roadside bomb attacks across Iraq on Tuesday that killed four American soldiers and 10 Iraqi police, the bloodiest day that the US military had experienced in five months. Monday also saw a series of blasts that left 22 people dead, including eight in a suicide car bombing at a security checkpoint in the former al-Qaeda stronghold of Ramadi in western Iraq. The latest casualties come after the number of violent deaths in Iraq hit a 13-month high in August, raising fresh concerns about stability after the government admitted that security is worsening. [Full story>>khaleejtimes.com]
9.10.09 Fraud proof found in Afghan polls
September 10 - The Electoral Complaints Commission in Afghanistan has ordered votes from 83 polling stations to be discounted, after finding evidence of fraud. The United Nations-backed commission said the ballots from those stations should be excluded from the final count, and no repeat voting held. "In the course of its investigations, the ECC [Electoral Complaints Commission] has found clear and convincing evidence of fraud" in Ghazni, Paktika and Kandahar provinces, the ECC said in a statement on Thursday. The ECC said it had found unfolded and miscounted ballots and lists of voters with numerous fictitious card numbers. With almost all ballots counted, preliminary results released earlier this week gave Hamid Karzai, the incumbent president, 54 per cent of votes. That would be enough to avoid a runoff with his closest rival, Abdullah Abdullah, a former foreign minister...Most of the discarded polling stations were in areas where pro-Karzai voting was particularly visible. [Full story>>aljazeera.net]
9.10.09 Japan's space freighter in orbit
September 10 - Japan has successfully launched its new space freighter from the Tanegashima base in the south of the country. The 16.5-tonne unmanned H-II Transfer Vehicle (HTV) is on a mission to re-supply the space station. Its role is vitally important to the station project, which is set to lose the servicing capability of the US shuttle fleet next year. The freighter left Earth atop an H-IIB rocket at 0201 local time on Friday (1701 GMT, Thursday).
9.10.09 Iraq cries for help to restore ancient sites
BAGHDAD (Reuters) September 10 - Restoring Babylon, other sites to cost millions. Iraq appealed to other nations on Thursday to help save its archaeological treasures from ruin, saying ancient Babylonian and Assyrian artifacts and priceless medieval Islamic monuments were at risk without more funds. Iraq, which the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia or "land between two rivers" because of its Tigris and Euphrates, is regarded by archaeologists as the cradle of civilization. Many believe it gave birth to such milestones of human development as agriculture, codified law and the wheel. But historic sites have been woefully neglected and damaged by decades of war, sanctions and looting. Iraqi officials say they need to spend millions of dollars to reverse the damage. Iraqi officials are hoping a sharp improvement in security will draw Western tourists to ancient sites like the biblical city of Babylon, home to King Nebuchadnezzar's Hanging Gardens. [More>>alarabiya.net]