About Maravot News & Links
US & Coalition
Casualties, War in Iraq
Trends, Iraq Casualties
International Agencies News
Maps of interest
Russia & Ukraine Watch
East Asia Watch
from this site.
News Headlines & Trends
12.07.06 Update, 12.06.06 Iraq group cites intelligence failures on violence
Washington (Reuters) December 6 U.S. intelligence has failed to understand Iraq's Sunni insurgents and Shi'ite militias because of a lack of resources, language skills and experienced staff, a high-level panel said on Wednesday. The Iraq Study Group said in its report that agencies including the Pentagon's Defense Intelligence Agency have not done enough to map and dissect the insurgency, or to understand it on a national and provincial level. The group also said the intelligence community's knowledge of the organization, leadership, financing and operations of Shi'ite militias, and their relationship to Iraqi government security forces, has fallen short of what US policy makers need to know. [More>>thestar.com.my ;See also independent.co.uk, December 6, "Iraq panel urges military pull-out by 2008." and washingtonpost.com, December 6, "Panel: Iraq situation is 'grave and deteriorating.'"; and pdf copy of the "Iraq Study Group Report.; Update December 7, washingtonpost.com, "Bush: To win in Iraq, beat extremists."]
12.07.06 Eleven US troops killed in Iraq
BAGHDAD (AP) December 7 The toll in one of the US military's deadliest days in Iraq rose to 11 Thursday when the military confirmed that another soldier had died in fighting west of Baghdad. At least seven Iraqis - six policemen and a 7 year-old girl were killed in a series of bombings and shootings. The US soldier was shot Wednesday while manning a machine gun nest on the roof of an outpost in Ramadi, 70 miles west of Baghdad, the capital of the volatile Anbar province, according to a Associated Press reporter on the scene. The death came on the same day that 10 other U.S. troops were killed in four separate incidents in Iraq, and a blue-ribbon panel in Washington recommended gradually shifting U.S. forces from a combat to a training role. [More>>guardian.co.uk]
12.07.06 Six Russian facilities hold licenses to work with polonium-210
MOSCOW (RIA Novosti) December 7 Five Russian companies and the chemistry faculty of Moscow State University hold licenses to deal with substances containing polonium-210, the national nuclear watchdog said Thursday. After a lethal dose of the radioactive isotope was found in the body of Russian security service defector Alexander Litvinenko, who died in London two weeks ago, extensive investigations have been under way to detect the origin of the toxic substance; Moscow has flatly denied that the Po-210 used to kill Litvinenko could have come from Russia. Enterprises at the Federal Nuclear Center in the Volga city of Samara hold three licenses to handle Po-210, a uranium by-product, and two others are owned by Techsnabexport, the state-controlled uranium supplier and provider of uranium enrichment services, as well as one private company, Nuklon. [More>>rian.ru]
12.06.06 Top aide of Qaeda chief in Iraq killed
BAGHDAD, December 6 A close aide of the head of Al-Qaeda in Iraq, Abu Ayyub al-Masri, has been killed by Iraqi security forces, national security advisor said Wednesday. "I would like to announce that our forces killed a few days ago Abu Taha, Abu Ayyub al-Masri's right-hand man," he said while talking to reporters, without giving any details on the incident. He said security forces were also slowly inching closer to Masri himself. "The noose is tightening around Masri as we have arrested several of his men," he said. He said Taha was the second top aide to Masri to be killed after Abu Omar al-Faruk who was shot dead earlier this year. [More>>thenews.com.pk]
12.06.06 Won surges to 9-year high
December 6 The won climbed to a nine-year high of 916.40 won per dollar yesterday, as traders shunned the greenback on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will lower borrowing costs. The local currency opened at 926.60 won per dollar, but quickly dropped below the 920-won level, raising alarm bells for both financial officials and exporters who say that the strong local currency will hurt the export-reliant economy. "The United States will likely freeze its key interest rate at the current level, or even lower the rate. On the other hand, the euro zone and Japan are set to raise borrowing costs early next year, making the dollar comparatively less attractive compared to other currencies," Song Tae-jung, a researcher at LG Economic Research Institute, said. [More>>koreaherald.co.kr ; See also thestreet.com, December 6 Jim Jubak editorial, "Fed has lost control over interest rates."
12.06.06 Thailand buries last, unidentified tsunami victims
December 6 The last 110 unidentified victims of the Asian tsunami which struck two years ago have been buried today in an inter-religious ceremony in Thailand. Muslim and Roman Catholic priests joined Buddhist monks at the simple ceremony which took place at a cemetery two miles from the Khao Lak beaches where the giant waves struck in December 2004. The waves killed 5,395 people in Thailand, half of them foreign tourists, and almost 3,000 people are still missing.
12.06.06 Suicide bomber kills seven in Afghanistan
(AP) December 6 A suicide bomber on foot blew himself up outside a compound for security contractors in southern Afghanistan today, killing two Americans and five Afghans, officials and witnesses said. The bomber struck as the men came out of the Kandahar compound of the US Protection and Investigations security company, said Rohullah Khan, an official with the company. Three others were wounded, he said. The area where the attack happened is located opposite the Canadian Provincial Reconstruction Team inside Kandahar city. The blast was the sixth suicide attack in Kandahar province in the last nine days. Provincial police chief Asmatullah Alizai said two foreigners, four Afghan policemen and a translator were killed. [More>>independent.co.uk]
12.06.06 Hamas smuggled $66 million in 8 months
December 6 Hamas officials have managed to smuggle more than $66 million in cash through the Rafah border crossing in the past eight months, a member of the Hamas-led government revealed Wednesday. Meanwhile, sources close to the Hamas-led government claimed that Hamas representatives recently held talks with officials from the US Democratic Party at a secret location. The sources told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that Hamas representatives have also been holding secret talks with European government officials, including Britain and France. [More>>Jerusalem Post]
12.06.06 Internet tycoon offers $1 billion for Mideast peace
JERUSALEM (Reuters) December 6 In a new Middle East initiative, an Israeli businessman is offering the Palestinian prime minister $1 billion if he and his Israeli counterpart can sit down and reach a peace agreement. Billionaire businessman Avi Shaked, who made his fortune running Internet gambling sites, says he has lined up a consortium of international financiers who are ready to inject the money immediately if a deal is struck. An initial installment of $100 million would be made if Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, a leader of the Islamist militant group Hamas, and Israelıs Ehud Olmert can just manage to sit down and start talking. Odds on the initiative succeeding would appear to be slim. Hamas advocates the Jewish stateıs destruction and Israel regards the movement as a terrorist group. [More>>khaleejtimes.com]
12.05.06 Dozens killed in Baghdad attacks
December 5 At least 36 people have been killed in shootings, mortar and bomb attacks in Baghdad, Iraqi officials have said. In northern Baghdad, at least 15 people died and several were injured when gunmen attacked a bus carrying civilian employees of a Shia religious group. Shortly afterwards, at least 15 people were killed and some 25 wounded in three car bomb blasts near a petrol station in a south-western district. [More>>bbc.co.uk ; See also thenews.com.pk, December 5, "44 killed in fresh Iraq attacks."]
12.05.06 Gates says US not winning war in Iraq
December 5 Robert M. Gates, President Bush's nominee to be the next secretary of defense, told a Senate confirmation hearing today that "all options are on the table" in dealing with the situation in Iraq, and he said he does not believe that U.S. forces currently are winning the war there. Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Gates said in his opening remarks that he is "open to a wide range of ideas and proposals" in Iraq, and he pledged to consult urgently with military leaders, combat commanders in the field and members of Congress, among others, if confirmed. [More>>washingtonpost.com]
12.05.06 Russia: 'Impossible' to extradite poison suspects to Britain
December 5 Russia will not extradite suspects in the Alexander Litvinenko case to Britain, its chief prosecutor said today. Prosecutor-General Yuri Chaika also insisted that the radioactive element used to poison the former spy could not have come from Russia. In what is likely to be seen as a setback for Scotland Yard's investigation into Mr. Litvinenko's death, Mr. Chaika said it would be "impossible" for British investigators in Moscow to arrest Russian citizens in connection with the case. Any Russian citizens suspected of involvement would be tried in Russia, he said.
12.04.06 Saudi Arabia detains 136 Qaida suspects
December 03 Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the arrest of 136 suspected Al-Qaida militants over the past three months in one of the largest crackdowns since it began battling Islamist extremists. The interior ministry said the suspects, most of them Saudis, were rounded up during a series of raids across the vast oil-rich kingdom, where presumed Al-Qaida militants launched a series of shootings and bombings in May 2003, many targeting Westerners.
12.04.06 Kandahar chaos leaves three dead as bombers attack Marine convoy
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan, December 4 (Kim Sengupta in Kandahar) First, I heard a deafening crash as the suicide bomber drove his vehicle headlong into the Nato convoy. It was followed by a blast that roared through the crowded streets. Then the flames began to erupt. There was a burst of prolonged gunfire, a screeching of tires, and the screams of people as we ran for shelter a hundred yards away. As the sirens wailed and helicopter-gunships circled overhead, I could see that there was nothing much left of the suicide bomber amid the smouldering pile of blackened twisted metal which had been his car.
12.04.06 Iran warns 10 papers could be shut for election
TEHRAN (AFP) December 4 The Iranian judiciary has warned 10 mainly reformist newspapers they risk closure for the duration of the campaign for December municipal elections after promoting candidates before campaigning had begun, local media reported Monday. "Unfortunately several newspapers... have been promoting certain candidates before the start of the official campaign and a complaint has been laid against these newspapers," said a statement by Teheran prosecutors, according to the Ayandeh-Noh newspaper. The newspapers named included Etemad Melli, Kargozaran and Etemadthe remaining voices of moderates in Iran following the closure earlier this year of the centrist standard bearer Shargh. Also mentioned were smaller reformist titles Ayandeh-Noh and Hambasteghi as well as the now conservative Hamshahri which is owned by the Teheran municipality and was originally founded as a reformist title. "The editors of these newspapers must scrupulously respect electoral law," which bars any promotion of candidates before the official campaigning period for the municipal elections begins on December 7. [More>>khaleejtimes.com ; See related story, metimes.com, December 5, "Iran to fingerprint Americans on arrival."]
12.04.06 N.J. Taco Bell stays shut after E. coli outbreak
(AP) December 4 Nineteen people in New Jersey have been sickened, two of them seriously, by E. coli infections, and a Taco Bell fast food restaurant in South Plainfield, N.J., remained closed today as health investigators sought the source of their illness. Stephanie Brown, an epidemiologist for Middlesex County, where most of the victims live, told The Associated Press today that 5 of the 19 people known to have contracted E. coli infections were in the hospital, and 2 of the 5 had developed hemolytic uremic syndrome, which can be fatal or cause permanent damage to the kidneys. Calls to the countyıs public health department today seeking further information were not immediately returned; neither were calls to Taco Bellıs corporate headquarters in Irvine, Calif. The health department scheduled a mid-afternoon news conference to report on the status of the outbreak. [More>>nytimes.com]
12.04.06 Venezuela's Chavez wins decisive victory
CARACAS, Venezuela, December 4 By an overwhelming margin, Venezuelans reelected President Hugo Chavez on Sunday, further extending a presidency that began when the former paratrooper was swept into power eight years ago, intent on overturning Venezuela's old social order. Chavez will receive another six years in office to broaden his leftist revolution and contest American initiatives across Latin America. "Today is a new era," the fiery populist leader told screaming supporters. "
12.04.06 US urges Iraqis to pull back
BAGHDAD (Reuters) December 5 America's top two officials in Iraq today urged Iraqis not to be sucked into a cycle of sectarian revenge killings that will "destroy you and your country" as police reported finding 50 bodies in the capital. The appeal came a day after UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan said Iraq was in the grip of a civil war and that he agreed with Iraqis who said life was worse now than it was under deposed president Saddam Hussein. Sectarian death squads have made Baghdad a killing field. The 50 bodies were all apparent victims of the tit-for-tat Shiite-Sunni bloodshed. An Interior Ministry official said they had gunshot wounds and most bore signs of torture. [More>>theaustralian.news.com.au]
12.03.06 Iraq unrest 'worse than civil war'
(AFP) December 4 The unrest in Iraq was "much worse" than a civil war, United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan told the BBC in an interview to be broadcast tomorrow. He said some Iraqis were right to think that they were worse off than under dictator Saddam Hussein, ousted from power after US-led forces invaded in March 2003. The UN chief voiced his regrets over the invasion, saying it could have been stopped had UN weapons inspectors been given more time to conduct their work, and he added that the wounds had still not healed in the UN.
12.03.06 Move over, Hoover
December 3 (Editorial by Douglas Brinkley, director of the Roosevelt Center at Tulane University) Shortly after Thanksgiving I had dinner in California with Ronald Reagan's best biographer, Lou Cannon. Like many historians these days, we discussed whether George W. Bush is, conceivably, the worst U.S. president ever. Cannon bristled at the idea.
12.03.06 Islamic Jihad threatens to attack Israel 'in the coming hours'
December 3 Islamic Jihad threatened to attack Israel "in the coming hours" on Sunday in retaliation for what it said was Israel's repeated violation of a week-old ceasefire in the Gaza Strip. "Calm is on the edge of collapse due to the continued Zionist violations and the attacks against our Palestinian people in the West Bank and Gaza," Abu Ahmed, a Gaza-based spokesman for the group's armed wing, said in a statement. "Nobody should blame [Islamic Jihad] for any reaction its brigades will take in the coming hours in response to the violations by the Zionist occupation." [More>>haaretz.com]
12.03.06 Putin wanted Blair to gag poisoned spy
December 3 The Russian president, Vladimir Putin, has expressed his anger at Britainıs failure to gag Alexander Litvinenko in the final hours of his life, the cabinet has been told. Margaret Beckett, the foreign secretary, told ministers that the Russian government had "taken exception" to the poisoned former spyıs deathbed letter accusing the Putin regime of murdering him. This weekend a potential suspect Andrei Lugovoi admitted he had been contaminated with the radioactive poison polonium-210 but insisted: "Iıve been framed." Beckett, who spoke to her Russian counterpart before Thursdayıs cabinet meeting, said the Russians had ³seemingly failed to understand² that Litvinenko was under police supervision rather than in custody. [More>>timesonline.co.uk]
12.03.06 Update, 12.02.06 Grim hunt for hundreds killed in Philliipine typhoon
DARAGA, Philippines (Reuters) December 2 Distraught survivors searched piles of bodies for the faces of their loved ones in the central Philippines on Saturday after landslides triggered by Typhoon Durian left hundreds dead. Durian moved into the South China Sea on Friday after affecting 800,000 people in the Philippines and was expected to weaken into a tropical storm before hitting Vietnam on Monday. Villages were engulfed on Thursday around Mount Mayon, an active volcano about 320 km south of Manila, when driving rain and winds of up to 225 kph dislodged tonnes of mud and boulders from the slopes.
12.02.06 Ski resorts left hot and bothered by lack of snow
December 2 It does not look good for Rosi Schipflinger. The slopes close to her Sonnenberg restaurant in the Austrian resort of Kitzbühel should be white, not a muddy brown. "Where are the queues for the ski lift?² she says with a glance at the skies that have yet to yield a single snowflake. Iım having to put out deckchairs on my terrace." Similar stories are emerging from ski communities across the Alps, where the warmest autumn on record is posing a threat to one of the great European traditions: the pre-Christmas downhill season. At the same time, with the weak dollar, British ski operators are experiencing a surge in demand for skiing holidays to North America, where snow conditions are said to be the best for 15 years.
12.02.06 French presidential candidate condemns Hezbollah lawmaker's anti-Israel remarks
December 2 French presidential candidate Segolene Royal, visiting the Middle East on Saturday, condemned comments by a Lebanese Hezbollah legislator who compared Israel's former occupation of south Lebanon to the Nazi occupation of France. The Socialist Party former family minister is touring the Middle East to show voters at home that she can represent France in the international arena. Her trip began Thursday in Lebanon, and it continues through the weekend with visits to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
12.02.06 Musharraf, Ahmadinejad discuss gas price on phone
ISLAMABAD, December 2 President General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday talked to Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad on telephone and discussed measures to expedite the US $ 7 billion Iran-Pakistan-India gas pipeline project. The two leaders agreed to remove impediments in the 2600 km gas pipeline project that aims at supplying natural gas from Iran to Pakistan and then onwards to India. Both leaders also discussed the tariff issue and called for an early resolution of the gas price mechanism and commencement of the project. President Musharraf said the project will be a win-win for the people of the two countries and will further strengthen their strong brotherly ties. [>thenews.com.pk]
12.01.06 Radiation hits second man
LONDON, December 1 An Italian academic who met former Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko on the day he was allegedly poisoned has tested positive for radiation. Mario Scaramella was found to have a "significant quantity" of Polonium-210 in his body. He is the first person to test positive since Mr. Litvinenko's death last week sparked a radiation alert. According to Sky News sources, Mr. Scaramella has been taken to University College Hospital in central London for treatment. Mr. Litvinenko, 43, was also treated at UCH where he died following an illness which transformed his physical appearance. [More>>sky.com]
12.01.06 US and Iraqi forces fight gunmen in capital
BAGHDAD (Reuters) December 1 Iraqi troops backed by US attack helicopters fought militants for several hours in central Baghdad on Friday as new figures showed a leap in the number of Iraqis killed in violence in November. Two Apache helicopters firing anti-missile flares swooped over Fadhil neighborhood, a Sunni insurgent stronghold in one of the oldest parts of the capital, amid the slow thump of heavy machinegun fire, witnesses said. On the ground, US and Iraqi troops, raiding the area's narrow alleyways in a hunt for insurgent hideouts, clashed with gunmen who killed one Iraqi soldier and wounded five, an Interior Ministry official said.
12.01.06 Mexico swears in new leader, quickly
MEXICO CITY, December 1 It was not pretty, but Felipe Calderón, the new president of Mexico, managed to take the oath of office in Congress today, while leftist lawmakers whistled and catcalled and the losing leftist candidate staged a huge protest march down the central avenue of the capital. Mr. Calderón and members of his conservative National Action Party defeated attempts by the leftist Democratic Revolution Party to block the entries to the Congress. With his own partisans crowding the dais, the new president and his predecessor, Vicente Fox, were spirited in by bodyguards through a door near the front of the chamber at 9:50 a.m. Mr. Calderón quickly took the oath of office, and Mr. Fox handed over the traditional presidential sash and left the chamber. The entire ceremony lasted four minutes. [More>>nytimes.com]
12.01.06 Huge Hezbollah rally calls for Lebanon government to quit
BEIRUT, December 1 Hundreds of thousands of protesters from Hezbollah and its pro-Syrian allies descended on downtown Beirut on Friday in a peaceful but noisy protest to force the resignation of U.S.-backed Prime Minister Fuad Siniora, who was holed up in his office under heavy guard. The protesters created a sea of Lebanese flags that blanketed the downtown and spilled onto the surrounding streets. Many chanted slogans demanding Siniora's resignation amid the deafening sound of Hezbollah's revolutionary and nationalist songs, but no clashes were immediately reported. Lebanon's Christian opposition leader Michel Aoun told the rally in Beirut that Siniora and his cabinet have to resign. [More>>haaretz.com]
12.01.06 UN court jails Sarajevo siege general for life
THE HAGUE (AFP) November 30 The appeals chamber of the UN war crimes court on Thursday handed down an unprecedented life sentence to Bosnian Serb general Stanislav Galic for overseeing the bloody 44-month siege of Sarajevo. Presiding judge Fausto Pocar said the 20-year sentence a lower court had handed down in 2003 against Galic was "plainly unjust" and replaced it with life imprisonment, the maximum sentence the court can hand down. It was the first time a person before the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) had been definitively sentenced to life imprisonment. Earlier life sentences handed down by the lower courts have all been reduced on appeal. The 44-month siege of the Bosnian capital the longest such blockade in post-war Europe began in April 1992 and turned into what prosecutors here described as a "medieval hell." [More>>turkishpress.com]
12.01.06 Three more Egyptians suspected of having bird flu
CAIRO (AFP) December 1 A woman and her two children are suspected of contracting the deadly H5N1 strain of bird flu in Upper Egypt, a veterinary official quoted by the official MENA news agency said Thursday. The 25-year-old mother, her 12-year-old son, and daughter, 10, from a village in Sohag governorate, were hospitalized after showing the first symptoms of the sickness, the province's veterinary services chief Mohammed Al Masri told the agency. They are currently undergoing tests to determine whether they are suffering from H5N1, which has killed seven people in Egypt this year, he added.
11.30.06 Swirling with shadows
November 30 This spectacular image of Saturn's clouds looks obliquely across the high northern latitudes. The Sun is low on the horizon here, making the vertical extent of the clouds easier to see. Cloud bands surrounding the vortex at lower left rise above their surroundings, casting shadows toward the bottom of the image. Some motion blur is apparent in this view.
11.30.06 New poison claim adds twist to Litvinenko death probe
November 30 The mystery surrounding the death of the former KGB agent Alexander Litvinenko deepened today when it emerged that Yegor Gaidar, the former Russian prime minister, may also have been poisoned. Litvinenko, a longstanding critic of President Vladimir Putin, died in a London hospital last week. Doctors revealed that he had been poisoned with the radioactive isotope polonium-210, traces of which since been found at about a dozen locations in the UK and on two British Airways aircraft used on the London-Moscow route.
11.30.06 Iraq panel recommends US move away from combat role
WASHINGTON (Reuters) November 30 The Iraq Study Group has decided to recommend the US military transition from a combat to a support role in Iraq roughly over the next year, a source familiar with the panelıs deliberations said. "The main thing is (the group is) calling for a transition from a combat role to a support role," said the source, who spoke on condition that he not be named. "Itıs basically a redeployment."
11.30.06 Bush backs Iraq PM, says no US "graceful exit"
AMMAN (Reuters) November 30 US President George W. Bush strongly backed Iraq's prime minister on Thursday, saying Iraqi forces would be prepared more quickly to take over security and that Washington was not looking for a "graceful exit." Bush supported Nuri al-Maliki as the "right guy" for Iraq at talks in Jordan amid spiralling sectarian bloodshed between Sunni and Shi'ite Muslims that has overshadowed an already intractable Sunni insurgency in Iraq. "Part of the prime minister's frustrations is that he doesn't have the tools necessary to take care of those who break the law," Bush said after the talks. "We talked today about accelerating authority to the prime minister so he can do what the Iraqi people expect him to do," Bush told a joint news conference with Maliki. US troops were in Iraq to "get the job done" and would stay as long as the Baghdad government wanted them there. [More>>thestar.com.my ; See related story, thenews.com.pk, November 30, "Bodies pile up in Baghdad as Bush meets Maliki": BAGHDAD: Baghdad's overflowing morgues welcomed another grim daily harvest of bullet-riddled corpses on Thursday as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki met US President George W. Bush and vowed to halt the violence. Iraqi security officials said they had recovered the bodies of 58 murder victims in Baghdad over the previous 24 hours a US spokeswoman confirmed 49 and that a mass grave holding 28 corpses was found north of the city. Six civilians were killed in sectarian fighting around Baquba, north of the capital, and two police were killed by insurgents in the western city of Fallujah, police said. These latest victims of Iraq's vicious sectarian conflict formed a gloomy backdrop to a crisis meeting in neighboring Jordan between Bush and Maliki, whose embattled unity government has been undermined by the bloodshed...
11.30.06 British pound hits US $1.9562, highest since 1992
LONDON (AP) November 30 The sagging US dollar fell Thursday to its lowest level against the British pound since 1992. The pound hit US$1.9562 in morning trading, its strongest showing against the dollar since September 1992, before Britain crashed out of the European Exchange Rate Mechanism. The pound last reached the US $2 level on Sept. 8, 1992. [More>>thestar.com.my]; See more details at telegraph.co.uk, November 30, "Sterling hits 14-year high."]
11.30.06 Kim to lose iPod privileges
November 30 Kim Jong-il is to have his access to iPods and other desirable gadgets cut off as part of US efforts to target sanctions directly at the North Korean leader and his power base. Aside from his own personal use, Kim is said to use gifts of Western consumer goods to reward loyal government officials. So, the apparent US logic goes, restricting his access to such goods will help to erode his power base. Aside from iPods, a list of items targeted by the US and obtained by the Associated Press, includes Rolex watches, cognac, luxury cars and plasma-screen televisions. Other items on the list are cigarettes, works of art, Harley Davidson motorbikes and even jet skis. [More>>aljazeera.net]
11.29.06 Iraqi president says security deal has been reached with Iran
TEHRAN (AP) November 29 Iraq's president said Wednesday he had reached a security agreement with Iran, which the United States accuses of fueling the chaos in the war-torn country. Iran's president called on countries to stop backing "terrorists" in Iraq and for the Americans to withdraw. Tehran is believed to back some of the Shiite militias blamed in the vicious sectarian killings that have thrown the country into chaos.
11.29.06 Five young girls killed in US attack on Iraqi insurgents
November 29 Five young girls were among six Iraqis killed by US forces yesterday after troops used tanks and machine guns to attack what they said was a house occupied by insurgents. Fighting broke out in the city of Ramadi, considered a stronghold of the anti-US insurgency, after a US patrol discovered a roadside bomb in the Hamaniyah section of the city. The military said that as the patrol worked to remove the bomb, two insurgents opened fire on them from the nearby house. The soldiers fired back with tanks and machine guns. When they later entered the house they found the bodies of the young girls. A sixth female was apparently also wounded but declined treatment.
11.29.06 Pope makes further Muslim-Christian gesture
EFES, Turkey (Reuters) November 29 Turkey on Wednesday praised the conciliatory tone of Pope Benedict during his visit to the predominantly Muslim country and his apparent new support for Ankara's bid to join the European Union. Celebrating mass at a shrine in southwestern Turkey where legend says the Virgin Mary lived out her last days, Benedict stressed that a common devotion to the mother of Jesus Christ is another link binding Christians and Muslims. As Benedict continued his four-day visit, Turkey focused on his gestures on arrival on Tuesday: his apparent support for Ankara's bid to join the European Union and praise for Islam after a recent speech Muslims found insulting. "This is a big warning for conservative politicians who think the EU is a Christian club," wrote daily Milliyet columnist Guneri Civaoglu.
11.29.06 Climate 2100: cool for UK?
November 29 The bad news is that global warming is set to make the world largely uninhabitable. The good news is that Britain could become the most desirable place on Earth. Assuming the bleak prophecy for the future of the planet is true, a leading climate change expert says the UK would be one of the few areas able to feed itself.
11.27.06 Olmert: Palestinians can achieve independent state fhrough talks
November 27 Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert today said he hoped to revive long-stalled peace efforts with the Palestinians, saying that they would be able to achieve an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza Strip through talks with Israel. In what was billed as a major policy speech, Olmert said that Palestinians stood at a "historic crossroads" and could choose to continue on the path of violence or peace. If they choose the peace path, Israel will ease checkpoints and release frozen funds to the Palestinian Authority.
11.27.06 Survivors tell Saddam trial of torture and murder
BAGHDAD (AFP) November 27 Witnesses at Saddam Hussein's genocide trial in Baghdad described Monday how they survived the killing of dozens of villagers by Iraqi forces during the 1988 military campaign against the Kurds. The session resumed after a two-week break with witness Taimor Abdallah Rokhzai telling the court how Kurdish villagers were taken out into the desert and shot by soldiers.
11.27.06 Talabani seeks Iran's full help to stabilize Iraq
TEHRAN, November 27 Iraqi President Jalal Talabani called Monday for Iran's "comprehensive" help to stem violence in his war-torn country at the start of a two-day visit to Iraq's Shiite-dominated eastern neighbor. "We need Iran's comprehensive help to fight terrorism, restore security and stabilize Iraq," Talabani told reporters on his second visit to Iran, which Washington accuses of fueling sectarian violence in Iraq. Ahmadinejad vowed to cooperate as the two leaders opened talks, saying, "We will help our Iraqi brothers with all that we can to implement and reinforce security in Iraq." Talabani, who is also due to meet with Iranian supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei on Tuesday, said his visit to Tehran was aimed at "negotiating for the expansion of ties in all fields." [More>>thenews.com.pk]
11.27.06 Afghan suicide attack kills two NATO soldiers
KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AFP) November 27 A suicide car bomb killed two soldiers travelling in a convoy of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in southern Afghanistan Monday, a military spokesman said. "There has been a suicide vehicle attack just east of Kandahar city... on an ISAF convoy," Squadron Leader Jason Chalk told AFP. "Two ISAF soldiers have been killed."
11.27.06 RMB breaks 7.85 mark against USD
BEIJING (Xinhua) November 27 The value of the Renminbi (RMB) against the U.S. dollar hit a new high on Monday, with the central parity rate at 7.8402 yuan to one dollar, breaking the 7.85 mark. This signifies that RMB value has risen by 5.31 percent since July 21, 2005, when the Chinese government launched the reform of the exchange rate system to allow the yuan to float against the US dollar within a daily 0.3 percent band from the official central parity rate. The appreciation followed previous records on Nov. 9 when the central parity rate hit 7.8697, breaking the 7.87 mark, and Nov. 23 when it was 7.8596, breaking the 7.86 mark. The exchange rate was set at about 8.27 yuan per US dollar before the reform. [More>>xinhuanet.com]
11.27.06 Second confirmed bird flu outbreak in S. Korea
SEOUL, South Korea, November 27 A second outbreak of bird flu has been detected in Seosan, about 140 kilometers north of Iksan where the fatal H5N1 led to a massive culling of poultry and other animals. Provincial officials said the sick chickens were hatched from eggs distributed in mid-November from a breeding farm in Iksan, North Jeolla Province. But the authorities have not yet confirmed whether the Seosan chickens were infected with the highly virulent strain. "Preliminary tests indicate the virus of being a harmless strain," the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry said in a statement.
11.27.06 Burma 'closes' Red Cross offices
November 27 The Red Cross says Burma's government has ordered it to close five field offices in the country, severely curtailing its humanitarian work there. The offices, some of which deal with victims of conflict in Burma's border areas, now face closure, it said. The Red Cross also says it will remain barred from visiting jails, said to include some 1,000 political prisoners. Humanitarian work for some of Burma's most vulnerable people was now in jeopardy, the organisation said. A spokeswoman for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said the organisation was puzzled by the Burmese government's actions. [More.>>bbc.co.uk]
05.23.06 Architect of New War on the West and Bin Laden via As-Sahab website
Launched: 10.25.04 / 11.02.04
Copyright © 1981-2006 Maravot. All rights reserved