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International News



May 08-10, 2009


Royal Bank of Scotland Posts $1.29 Billion Loss

Royal Bank of Scotland on Friday reported a first quarter loss of 857 million pounds ($1.29 billion), due to more writedowns despite higher revenues, and warned that it faces two very tough years as bad loans are expected to increase.

U.S. Admits Civilians Died in Afghan Raids

U.S. officials acknowledged for the first time that at least some of what may be 100 civilian deaths in western Afghanistan had been caused by American bombs.

Britain's Unpopular Leader Is Ripe Target in Parliament

Prime Minister Gordon Brown suffered a verbal mauling at the hands, and tongues, of merciless and brazen Conservative opponents in the House of Commons.

MEXICO: “They Kill Our Trees so We’ll Grow Their Drugs”

The region with the richest biodiversity in North America is located in Mexico's far north, at 1420 meters of elevation, in the heart of the Western Sierra Madre. These lands, rugged and inhospitable, have been inhabited by Tarahumara, "the light-footed people," for close to 2,000 years. Today, these peaceful people are threatened by narco-trafficking which threatens the very essence of their culture and the equilibrium of their environment.

Pakistani Hospitals Overwhelmed by Wounded

Pakistan's offensive against Taliban militants in the country's northwest is overwhelming medical resources in the Swat Valley, hospital officials said Friday.

Moscow Show of Strength Hides Critical Military Weakness

The symbolism is all the more powerful this year after the war with Georgia over South Ossetia in August last year, Russia’s first military campaign since the end of communism in 1991. But the flag-waving masks a weaker reality.

Markets in Asia Are Flat

Stock markets in the Asia-Pacific region greeted the results of the government stress tests of 19 leading American banks with neither relief nor horror on Friday.

Iceland to Table Bill on E.U. Membership Talks

Iceland is to ask its parliament to approve the launch of membership talks with the European Union, the country's prime minister announced on Wednesday (6 May).

German Opel Workers Fear Fiat Future

With Opel as the largest employer in the Rhineland-Palatinate region, there is no escaping the news says, Sarah Hollinger, also 18, and whose father has worked at the factory for 25 years.

Sudan Opens Up to More Aid Groups

Sudan's government says it will invite new aid groups to work in Darfur and allow those still operating there to expand their activities.

Croatian MP Jailed for War Crimes

A far-right Croat MP has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for war crimes against Serb civilians during Croatia's war of independence in the early 1990s.

Weekly World News Quiz

It's the end of another week... Just how much do you remember about the headlines from the past seven days? Test your knowledge of world news events in our quiz.

Cannes Film Festival 2009: an Essential A-Z

Cannes may have a reputation of being glamorous and glitzy, but it’s also the festival where world-class filmmakers like their films to be premiered. This year’s batch includes Ken Loach, Jane Campion, Pedro Almodóvar, Ang Lee, Lars von Trier and Terry Gilliam.


May 07, 2009


U.K.: House Prices Continue to Plummet

House prices continued to fall steeply during April, suggesting that talk of a recovery in the market may have been premature, the latest figures show.

UN Probe Finds Israel Guilty of War Crimes

A UN report has found Israel responsible for six major crimes committed against Palestinians during the three-week offensive in the Gaza Strip.

Burma Police Enter Suu Kyi House

Burmese police have entered the compound of detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi, say reports.

Russia Retaliates Against NATO Over Spies and Georgia

Russia-NATO relations hit a new low on Tuesday (5 May) over a spy row and military exercises due to kick off in Georgia, as Tbilisi accused Moscow of staging a military coup at one of its bases.

Civilian Deaths Imperil Support for Afghan War

Concern increases about American raids as the Obama administration prepares to increase forces in Afghanistan.

China Warns of Worldwide Devaluations and Inflation

Global central banks risk inflation, currency devaluation, and a "big consolidation' in bond markets by pumping cash into their economies, the People's Bank of China said in its quarterly monetary policy report.

Calderon Deploys Reserves as Swine Flu Weakens Mexico Resources

As the sun sets on Ciudad Juarez, the Mexican border city’s citizens flee to the safety of their homes. The vendors who crowd Avenida Juarez to sell tacos and ice cream during the day pack up their carts and disappear. Hawkers who hand out leaflets for a local mall are gone too -- and the mall itself is a ghost town.

E.U. Summit Text Loaded With Eastern Tension

Last minute tweaks to the Eastern Partnership summit declaration reveal EU unease over enlargement and immigration, as well as the complexities of old conflicts on the union's eastern frontier.

Mexico City Returns to Normal as Swine Flu Restrictions Fade

Mexico City rubbed its eyes Wednesday morning, emerging from a five-day economic shutdown that authorities ordered to contain the swine flu — bringing a curious calm to one of the world's most frenetic capitals.

Detainee Who Won Guantanamo Habeas Case to Go to France

France says it will take in an Algerian who has been held prisoner by the United States at Guantanamo Bay for the past seven years.

First Hearing Since Obama Took Office Set for Guantanamo

The chief judge for the Pentagon's military commissions has scheduled the next war court hearing at Guantanamo Bay for late May, according to a court document.

Trial Drugs 'Reverse' Alzheimer's

U.S. scientists say they have successfully reversed the effects of Alzheimer's with experimental drugs.


May 06, 2009


Pakistani Army Poised for New Push Into Swat

Residents were flooding out of the Swat Valley by the thousands as the government prepared to mount a new military operation against Taliban militants there.

E.U. Unemployment Potentially Explosive

Euro group chief Jean Claude Juncker warned about the potential social fallout from the economic crisis during discussions on Europe's toxic assets and rising unemployment.

U.N. Demands Access to Secret Israeli 'Torture' Jail

The United Nations anti-torture committee has demanded access to an Israeli secret prison where torture is allegedly being practiced.

Zuma Elected South African Leader

The leader of South Africa's African National Congress, Jacob Zuma, has been officially elected the country's president by members of parliament.

British Economy: 'Worst Fiscal Outlook Since Second World War'

Forecasts for public borrowing and national debt set out in the Budget by Alastair Darling represent "the worst fiscal outlook since the Second World War", say MPs.

Mexico Opens for Business After Five-Day Flu Shutdown

The Mexican capital began to stir back to life on Wednesday with the streets again clogged with traffic and taco vendors working the sidewalks after authorities lifted a five-day shutdown to try to contain the deadly H1N1 flu.

Merkel Calls 2 State Solution the Only Alternative for Israel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that a two-state solution was the only path to peace in the Middle East and urged the new Israeli government to move quickly to begin talks with the Palestinians.

UN Chief Seeks Compensation from Israel

United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has accused Israel of lying about attacks on United Nations facilities during its Gaza offensive and demanded compensation.

GREECE: Financial Crisis Multiplies Migrant Miseries

With close to zero growth rate and a constant upward revision of the budget deficit, Greece is deep into recession. Thousands of jobs in the formal and informal economies are reported lost every month. State structures appear unable to take on the extra burden piled up by the economic downturn.


May 05, 2009


Pakistan Strife Raises U.S. Doubts on Nuclear Arms

As the insurgency spreads in Pakistan, senior U.S. officials say they are increasingly concerned about new vulnerabilities for Pakistan's arsenal.

Pakistan's Islamic Schools Fill Void, but Fuel Militancy

Pakistan's poorest families have turned to Islamic schools that feed and house children while pushing a militant brand of Islam.

Israel Accepts Two-State Route to Peace, Ayalon Says

Israel agrees that a comprehensive peace agreement with the Palestinians will entail a two-state solution, Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon said.

China Has 'Canceled U.S. Credit Card': Lawmaker

China, wary of the troubled U.S. economy, has already "canceled America's credit card" by cutting down purchases of debt, a U.S. congressman said Thursday. China has the world's largest foreign reserves, believed to be mostly in dollars, along with around 800 billion dollars in U.S. Treasury bonds, more than any other country.

Combat Operations in Fallujah

Indicative of the rapidly deteriorating situation in Iraq, on May 1 the U.S. military reported the death of a Naval petty officer who was killed "on April 30 while conducting combat operations in Fallujah, Iraq." The Department of Defense report went on to explain that the sailor "was deployed with an East Coast based Navy SEAL team."

Even as Fears of Flu Ebb, Mexicans Feel Stigma

Mexicans around the world say they have been cast as disease carriers and subjected to humiliating treatment.

Health Officials Begin to Ease Public Alerts About Swine Flu

Mexican officials said they would lower the public alert over swine flu and allow most businesses to reopen.

W-Alpha: Web Version of HAL Computer on 2001 a Space Odyssey is Here

The biggest internet revolution for a generation will be unveiled this month with the launch of software that will understand questions and give specific, tailored answers in a way that the web has never managed before.


May 04, 2009


Swine Flu 'in Decline' in Mexico

Swine flu in Mexico, the epicentre of the world outbreak, has peaked, the Mexican health minister has said.

China Denies Flu Discrimination

China has denied it is discriminating against Mexican citizens in moves to stem the spread of swine flu.

Quick Action by Hong Kong Reflects Experience of SARS

Six years after SARS paralyzed the city and killed nearly 299 of its citizens, Hong Kong is not taking chances with swine flu.

In Pakistan, U.S. Courts Leader of Opposition

The Obama administration is reaching out to the former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, whose ties to Islamists could help President Asif Ali Zardari confront the Taliban.

Shedding Light on the Catacombs of Rome

Rome's underground Christian, Jewish and pagan burial sites, the Catacombs, date back to the 2nd Century AD.

European Economy 'Will Shrink 4%'

E.U. economies will contract by 4% this year, the European Commission has forecast, in a massive revision from its earlier prediction.

Seoul 'Rescues' N Korean Vessel

A South Korean navy warship has foiled a pirate attack on a North Korean cargo ship off Somalia's coast, military officials in Seoul say.

Alarm at E.U. Passports for Moldova

Moldova is Europe's most impoverished country and its 4.1 million people can only travel to the E.U. if they have a special visa. But Romania has offered passports to up to one million Moldovans - alarming both Moldova and some in the E.U., says the BBC's Oana Lungescu.


May 01-03, 2009


U.S. Attorney General Asks Europe for Help

During a visit to Berlin on Wednesday, his first after taking office, US Attorney General Eric Holder called on Europe to aid the United States in closing the Guantanamo prison camp for suspected terrorists. In a speech, he said it was time for "sacrifices" and "unpopular choices.",1518,622152,00.html#ref=nlint

Spanish Judge Opens Probe Into Guantanamo Torture

A Spanish judge on Wednesday opened an investigation into an alleged "systematic programme" of torture at the U.S. Guantanamo Bay detention camp, following accusations by four former prisoners.

Japan Facing Worst Economic Outlook on Record

Japan's economy is expected to shrink 3.3 per cent over the coming year, marking its biggest decline in more than five decades, according to government predictions.

Sri Lanka's Dirty War

The international community should withhold financial aid to Sri Lanka until all civilians are evacuated from the war zone and aid workers have full access to refugee camps.

Mexico Limits Many Activities as Flu Alerts Are Increased

The Mexican government moved aggressively to restrict public gatherings and commercial activities in an attempt to slow the alarming spread of swine flu in the country.

U.K. Combat Operations End in Iraq

A ceremony has been held in Basra to mark the official end of the six-year British military presence in Iraq.

NATO 'Expels Russian Diplomats'

Russia has confirmed NATO has expelled two of its diplomats from Brussels, reportedly in retaliation for a spy scandal involving an Estonian official.

Scientists See This Flu Strain as Relatively Mild

Genetic data indicate this outbreak won't be as deadly as that of 1918, or even the average winter.,0,5288890.story?track=ntothtml


April 30, 2009


Swine Flu Outbreak Widening in Europe

Germany on Wednesday (29 April) became the third E.U. country, after the UK and Spain, to confirm a mild case of "swine flu." But E.U. institution face uncertainty on stocks of anti-viral medication and cannot agree whether travellers should avoid going to Mexico.

U.K.: National Health Service Orders 32 Million Face Masks

More than 32 million masks are being ordered by the Department of Health as fears grow that swine flu could become a pandemic.

Three New Swine Flu Cases in U.K.

A 12-year-old girl is among five people in the U.K. who have contracted swine flu after visiting Mexico, the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has confirmed.

Deadly Clashes Rock Pakistan City

At least 20 people have died in ethnic clashes in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi, officials say.

Lithuanian Economy Contracts by 12 Percent

New data released by Lithuania's statistics office on Tuesday (28 April) show the country's economy shrunk by 12.6 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2008.

New Evidence of Torture Prison in Poland

The current debate in the U.S. on the "special interrogation methods" sanctioned by the Bush administration could soon reach Europe. It has long been clear that the CIA used the Szymany military airbase in Poland for extraordinary renditions. Now there is evidence of a secret prison nearby.,1518,621450,00.html

World's Largest Economies Start Push for Agreement on Climate

The top U.S. climate negotiator, Todd Stern, said Tuesday that he was "a bit more optimistic" that the world could solve the global warming crisis after meeting with high-level officials from the countries that produce the bulk of the world's greenhouse gas emissions.

Russia Mulls Rocket Power 'First'

Russia's next-generation manned space vehicle might be equipped with thrusters to perform a precision landing on its return to Earth.

France Urges Mexican Flight Ban

France will ask the European Union to suspend all flights to Mexico, source of the swine flu outbreak.

U.S. Sets Fight in the Poppies to Stop Taliban

Commanders are planning to cut off the Taliban's main source of money, Afghanistan's multimillion-dollar opium crop, by doubling the number of troops in three provinces.

Ecuador's Leftist President Wins Re-Election

Socialist President Rafael Correa tightened his grip on power in politically volatile Ecuador by winning re-election Sunday, exit polls showed.

Hariri Suspects' Release Ordered

A U.N. court has ordered the release of four Lebanese generals held over the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri.

U.S. Lawmakers Seek To Sanction Iran's Gasoline Suppliers

U.S. President Barack Obama would have new authority to sanction foreign firms that sell gasoline and other oil products to Iran under legislation introduced Tuesday by a bipartisan group of 25 U.S. senators seeking to halt Iran's push to develop nuclear weaponry.


April 29, 2009


Italy Seizes Millions in Assets From Four Banks

The banks are being investigated after accusations they misled the city of Milan over a $2.2 billion bond issue and related contracts.

More Countries Confirm Swine Flu

New cases of the deadly swine flu virus have been confirmed as far afield as New Zealand and Israel, as the UN warns it cannot be contained.

NZ Reports First Swine Flu Cases

New Zealand has confirmed the first cases of swine flu in the country - also thought to be the first in the Asia-Pacific region.

Europe Braced for Spread of Flu

More cases of swine flu in humans are likely to emerge across Europe in the coming days, EU Health Commissioner Androulla Vassiliou has warned.

Swine Flu Container Explodes on Train

When a container holding swine flu exploded on a Swiss train on Monday, it could have led to a nightmare scenario. Luckily the virus was not the mutated swine flu that has killed around 150 people in Mexico and that has already spread to parts of Europe.,1518,621598,00.html#ref=nlint

Flu Continues to Weigh on Markets

Global shares have fallen further in Tuesday trading as the swine flu outbreak continues to weigh on markets.

Lithuania's Economy Shrinks 12%

The Lithuanian economy shrank by 12.6% in the first quarter of 2009 compared with the same period last year, the country's statistics office has said.

Builders Find Auschwitz Message

Builders working near the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau death camp have found a message in a bottle written by prisoners, museum officials say.


April 28, 2009


Swine Flu: Mexico City is 'Like a Ghost Town'

The normally bustling streets of Mexico City were virtually empty on Sunday, with millions choosing to stay at home rather than risk contagion from the killer swine flu.

VIDEO: Mexico Flu Situation 'Serious'

The BBC's Stephen Gibbs describes the mood in Mexico City, as the death toll from Swine flu continues to rise.

VIDEO: World Moves to Contain Flu Spread

Mexico Suspected Flu Toll Soars

As many as 149 people in Mexico are believed to have been killed by swine flu as cases of the virulent disease continue to rise around the world.

E.U. Health Ministers Scramble as Swine Flu Hits Europe

The Czech E.U. presidency has called an emergency meeting of the bloc's health ministers to take place "in all probability" on Thursday afternoon (30 April), as Spain on Monday confirmed the first case of swine flu in Europe.

WHO Confirms Pandemic Alert Level Raised to 4

The World Health Organization raised its pandemic alert level on Monday to phase 4 over the deadly swine flu virus, indicating the infection can spread between humans to cause community-level outbreaks.

World 'Counting Down to Pandemic'

A Chinese virologist who helped fight Sars and bird flu has warned of a possible swine flu pandemic that China and India would be ill-prepared to handle. "We are counting down to a pandemic," said Guan Yi, a professor at the University of Hong Kong who helped trace the outbreak of Sars in 2003 to the civet cat.

Drugs in Portugal: Did Decriminalization Work?

Pop quiz: Which European country has the most liberal drug laws? (Hint: It's not the Netherlands.),8599,1893946,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

As Jobs Die, Europe's Migrants Head Home

After a decade of growth that attracted workers to booming Western countries, a reversal is taking place.

Indonesia's Voters Retreat From Radical Islam

People in the world's most populous Muslim nation are punishing narrowly religious parties at the polls, going against a trend in other Islamic countries.

Peru Asylum for Venezuela Mayor

Peru has granted asylum to a Venezuelan opposition leader who says he is being politically persecuted by President Hugo Chavez's government.

E.U. Citizens Complain About Lack of Transparency

Lack of transparency remained the key topic of E.U. citizens' complaints to the European ombudsman last year, with Maltese, Luxembourg, Cypriot and Belgian citizens having the most grumbles.

Iceland Closer to Joining E.U. After Left-Wing Victory

Icelandic voters punished the centre-right party that had governed the country for most of the last 18 years and dominated it for generations, delivering a clear majority in a snap general election to the centre-left Social Democrats and far-left and ecologist Left Green Movement.


April 24-27, 2009


Oil Prices Resist the World's Recession Trend

Weakness in the global economy could send oil prices higher, especially during the summer driving season.

U.K. High Court Demands U.S. Torture Documents

The chief justice of the British High Court on Wednesday gave the British government one week to obtain the U.S. release of classified information about the alleged torture of a British resident who'd been detained at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba . The court indicated that it would issue its own order if the government doesn't respond or justify why continued secrecy is warranted.

U.K.: Economy to Shrink at Fastest Since 1945

The country's budget deficit will soar to a record 175 billion pounds as the economy shrinks at its fastest pace since World War Two this year, Chancellor Alistair Darling said Wednesday.

CHINA: Specter of Deflation Looms Again

Despite the enormous fiscal stimulus and some good signs in the first quarter of this year, deflation is most likely to continue through the year in China, economists and financial analysts warned.

Israel Takes Bashing in E.U. Foreign Relations Audit

Progress on upgrading E.U.-Israel relations will remain frozen until Israel takes steps to repair the peace process with Palestinians, the European Commission indicated on Thursday (23 April).

In Ecuador, Chavez Ally Likely to Win Re-Election as President

President Rafael Correa is poised to win re-election on Sunday, quite a feat in a politically turbulent country that's run through eight presidents in the past 13 years.

Clinton Counters Israeli Stance on Palestinians and Iran

Progress on establishing a Palestinian state must go "hand-in-hand" with efforts to stem Iranian influence in the Middle East, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said yesterday, implicitly rejecting the emerging position of the new Israeli government.

Norway Lawyers to Charge Olmert With War Crimes

Israel's former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and other top officials could face legal action in Norway over the Gaza offensive after six Norwegian lawyers said Tuesday they would accuse them of war crimes.,7340,L-3704667,00.html

Clinton Says Pakistan May Only Have Six Months Until Collapse

According to U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, Pakistan has abdicated to the Taliban. In a highly critical commentary on Pakistan's government, she said the potential collapse of the Pakistani state would pose a mortal threat to global security.

U.K.: Data 'to Show Slump Continuing'

The U.K. economy shrank in the first three months of 2009 at about the same pace as it did in the final quarter of 2008, figures are expected to show.

GERMANY: Optimism Dips As Economic Downward Spiral Continues

The German economy is sinking precipitously as a result of the global economic crisis, creating the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Politicians and labor leaders are concerned about social unrest, but the government remains firm in its conviction that its not time yet for a third stimulus package.,1518,620779,00.html

IMF Head Urges Speedy Bank Reform

The International Monetary Fund's (IMF) managing director has said the US and Western Europe need to act more quickly to sort out their banking systems.

U.S. May Fill Afghan Civilian Posts With Military Personnel

Military personnel will fill hundreds of posts in Afghanistan that had been intended for civilian experts, senior officials said.

Ex-Leader of Iran's Revolutionary Guards Seeks Presidency

Mohsen Rezai, who has accused President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of mismanaging the economy, will run as an independent candidate.

Weekly World News Quiz

It's the end of another week... Just how much do you remember about the headlines from the past seven days?  Test your knowledge of world news events in our quiz.


April 23, 2009


World Bank Approves $44.6 Million Credit for Mozambique

The World Bank has approved US$44.6 million in credit from the International Development Association to Mozambique as part of a

$72.4 million health care project

Germany Ponders Bad Banks

The German government is hosting talks with banking supervisors about what to do about the hundreds of billions of euros of toxic assets still left in the banks' balance sheets. It sounds like a mission impossible -- saving the banks without bankrupting taxpayers.,1518,620181,00.html#ref=nlint

Far-Right Crimes Up Sharply in Germany

Far-right crimes accounted for two thirds of all "politically motivated" crimes last year, which reached 31,801 -- an increase of 11.4 percent and the highest level since 2001.,1518,620264,00.html#ref=nlint

Europe Facing €900bn in Writedowns, Warns IMF

The International Monetary Fund has warned that governments must take decisive action to deal with deteriorating banking assets and that global writedowns for the financial crisis could total €3,170 billion ($4,100bn) by the end of 2010.

U.K. Among the Worst Places in Europe for Children

The happiest children are to be found in the Netherlands while Britain is among the worst countries in Europe in which to grow up, a new study examining children's wellbeing in 29 European countries has shown.

Toyota Production Lowest in 31 Years

Automakers around the world have been grappling with a sudden drop in demand since late last year, but the pain is especially pronounced at Toyota, which is saddled with too much capacity after years of building new plants to keep up with demand.

Profit Dropped 74% in Quarter for Volkswagen

Volkswagen, the largest European automaker, said Wednesday that its net profit dropped 74 percent in the first three months, even as it gained market share in the worst environment for car sales in decades.

European Budget Deficits Rising

Most EU countries' budget deficits rose last year as spending increased and income fell, Eurostat has said.

Obama Invites Middle East Heads

U.S. officials say the leaders of Israel, Egypt and the Palestinians have been invited for talks in Washington in a new push for Middle East peace.

Call to Rally Against Cyber Crime

Security professionals are being called on to band together to fight the highly organized cyber criminals of the world.

Botnet 'Ensnares Government PCs'

Almost two million PCs globally, including machines inside UK and US government departments, have been taken over by malicious hackers.

Chavez Rival Seeks Asylum in Peru

A Venezuelan opposition leader has sought asylum in Peru, saying he is being politically persecuted by President Hugo Chavez's government.

In China, G.M. Remains a Driving Force

G.M.'s China division emphasizes fuel-sipping models instead of gas guzzlers, putting it ahead of Ford.

Wider Drug War Threatens Colombian Indians

Indigenous groups have been displaced by armed men seeking control of regions coveted in the drug trade.

South Africans Vote, Expecting Few Big Changes

As voters went to the polls, the dominance of the African National Congress has prompted concerns about the nation's political future.


April 22, 2009


Obama Reprieve for CIA Illegal: U.N. Rapporteur

President Barack Obama's decision not to prosecute CIA interrogators who used waterboarding on terrorism suspects amounts to a breach of international law, the U.N. rapporteur on torture said.

Tamil Civilians Slaughtered as Army Shells 'No-Fire Zone'

Hundreds of civilians are being killed or seriously injured in artillery and gun attacks as the Sri Lankan army attempts to finish off the last Tamil Tiger rebels trapped in a shrinking pocket of land.

Eritrea Becoming 'a Giant Prison'

Sixteen years after it won independence from Ethiopia following a three-decade war, Eritrea is one of the most closed and repressive states in the world, says the report.

Israelis Warn of Eritrea Flashpoint

Israel is said to have two Eritrean bases, one a "listening post" for signals intelligence, the other a supply base for its German-built submarines.

U.S.: Palestinians Need Not Recognize Israel as Jewish State Before Talks

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's demand that the Palestinians recognize Israel as the state of the Jewish people as a condition for renewing peace talks is unacceptable to the United States, the State Department said during special envoy George Mitchell's visits over the weekend to Ramallah and Cairo.

Meltdown Losses of '$4 Trillion'

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned that potential losses from the credit crunch could reach $4 trillion (£2.75tn) and damage the financial system for years to come.

IMF: U.S. Banks Will Lose Almost $3T in Global Crisis

The International Monetary Fund says U.S. financial institutions will suffer $2.7 trillion in losses from the global credit crisis, part of a worldwide total expected to top $4 trillion.

Spain's Falling Prices Fuel Deflation Fears in Europe

Economists fear that the country may be in the early grip of deflation, which can result in a downward spiral that can be difficult to reverse.

Iranian Calls Israel Racist at Meeting in Geneva

The remarks at a U.N. conference on combating racism prompted European delegates to desert the hall.

Hopes for Chinese Rescue Reined In

Chinese consumers have returned to the showrooms in large numbers, making March a record month for sales. China's car companies are rumored to be among the bidders for some of the west's most famous brands such as Volvo, Saab and Hummer.

Iceland’s Economic Ruin Spurs Voter Ire at Ex-Leaders

Icelanders may elect a coalition of environmentalists and Social Democrats to resuscitate the volcanic island’s ruined economy more because of what they reject than what they advocate.


April 21, 2009


Critic of Maliki Is Chosen to Lead Iraq's Parliament

The Iraqi Parliament chose a new speaker after months of political infighting that had stalled several major pieces of legislation.

Afghan Women March, America Turns Away

To defeat the forces of oppression in Afghanistan, the Obama administration must promote and protect the ideals of democracy and human rights.

Brussels to Probe Seven Airlines

The European Commission has launched anti-competition investigations into seven airlines, accusing them of excessive co-operation.

India Launches Key Spy Satellite

India says it has successfully launched a spy satellite that will be able to track movement on its borders.

Israel-Arab Issue Divides E.U. Over Anti-Racism Conference

Several E.U. countries are set to boycott a United Nations conference on racism for fear that it might turn into an anti-semitic platform for Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Fifteen Years After Apartheid, South Africa is at a Crossroad

It's easy to look around this proud, polyglot city and think that the favorite slogan of the new South Africa — a "Rainbow Nation" of races striving together for prosperity — is becoming a reality.

Speech Prompts Walkout at Racism Conference

Delegates walked out of the assembly room as President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran spoke during a conference on racism in Geneva on Monday.

Hemisphere's Leaders Signal Fresh Start With U.S.

Leaders from the Western Hemisphere closed a summit meeting proclaiming a new dawn for relations in the region.


April 20, 2009


Lightweight Armor Is Slow to Reach Troops

An experiment to shave up to 20 pounds off a soldier's load has stalled, leaving equipment sitting in Virginia instead of being sent to Afghanistan.

Slump Tilts Priorities of Industry in China

A pre-Olympics push on the environment has slipped as Chinese officials concentrate on growth.

China's Wen Says Key Currency Countries Need Watching

China's Premier Wen Jiabao said on Saturday that economic polices of countries which issue global reserve currencies require closer supervision as part of building a diversified international monetary system. His comments, an apparent reference to U.S. economic management that Beijing has blamed in part for the global financial crisis, were twinned with a pledge to promote more international use of the yuan, China's currency.

U.S. Experts See Pakistan Disintegrating

A growing number of U.S. officials and experts now believe that it may be impossible to prevent Pakistan from disintegrating. The Americans fear that warlords and terrorists will eventually control a large part of the territory, posing a greater threat to the U.S. than Afghanistan did before 9/11, a report in the Columbus Ledger-Enquirer claimed. “It’s a disaster in the making on the scale of the Iranian revolution,” said an intelligence official on condition of anonymity.\04\18\story_18-4-2009_pg1_12

Spanish Judge Keeps Guantanamo Probe Alive

A Spanish judge considering possible criminal action against six former Bush administration officials for torture at the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay defied pressure to drop the case Friday.

Chavez Effect Creates Bestseller

A book which the Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez presented to U.S. President Barack Obama at the Americas summit has become a bestseller in just two days. The book, Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, was ranked 54,295 on the sales charts of bookseller

China Looks to Its Own Consumers

China is rebalancing its economy to focus more on domestic consumption than exports in order to achieve its growth target, Premier Wen Jiabao has said.

Toshiba to Cut 3,900 More Posts

Japanese electronics giant Toshiba has said it is to cut a further 3,900 temporary jobs by March 2010 to cope with the global economic downturn.

Hurricane-Killing, Space-Based Power Plant

How's this for crazy?: A company files a patent to destroy hurricanes as they form by beaming them with energy from a space-based solar plant. Maybe it is crazy, but that same company, Solaren, took a first step in that direction this week when it inked a deal with the northern California utility, PG&E, to provide 200 megawatts of power capacity transmitted from orbit in 2016.


April 17-20, 2009


Spain Rejects U.S. 'Torture' Probe

Spain's attorney general has rejected an attempt to bring a criminal case against six former U.S. officials over torture allegations at Guantanamo Bay.

1,500 Farmers Commit Mass Suicide in India

Over 1,500 farmers in an Indian state committed suicide after being driven to debt by crop failure, it was reported today. The agricultural state of Chattisgarh was hit by falling water levels.

BOLIVIA: Police 'Stop Attempt on Morales'

Bolivia's President Evo Morales says three foreigners have been killed after he ordered police to thwart a planned assassination attempt against him.

China 'to Increase Naval Power'

China is planning to boost the size and sophistication of its naval power, the head of the Chinese navy told state news agency Xinhua.

Deals Help China Expand Its Sway in Latin America

China's loans to Latin America are locking in access to natural resources and filling a vacuum of influence that grew during the Bush administration.

Poland Continues Drive Towards Euro

The Polish government is pressing ahead with its ambitious plans to adopt the euro by 1 January 2012 as fears that the move would be premature under the current environment appear to be subsiding.

E.U. Says U.K. Failing to Protect Internet Users' Privacy

The European Commission has threatened to take the U.K. to court over "structural" failures to guarantee internet users' privacy, in line with European law.

E.U. Must Ensure Business Respects Human Rights, Says U.N.

United Nations special representative on human rights and business John Ruggie told MEPs on Thursday (16 April) that governments must step up to the plate and accept their role in preventing human rights abuses related to business.

Eurogroup Chief Predicts Huge Layoffs

The chairman of the 16-nation eurogroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, has warned that job losses will escalate this year despite measures taken by EU leaders in recent months to boost the economy.

Weekly World News Quiz

It's the end of another week... Just how much do you remember about the headlines from the past seven days? Test your knowledge of world news events in our quiz.


April 16, 2009


Spain to Indict the "Bush Six" Over Torture

Spanish prosecutors will indict high-ranking members of the Bush administration over allegations of detainee abuse and torture. The six are: former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales; former head of the Office of Legal Counsel Jay Bybee; former OLC lawyer John Yoo; former Defense Department lawyer William J. Haynes II; David Addington, a former adviser to Vice President Dick Cheney; and former Undersecretary of Defense Doug Feith.

Somalia Piracy: a Response to Illegal Fishing and Toxic Dumping by Western Ships

President Obama vowed an international crackdown to halt piracy off the coast of Somalia Monday soon after the freeing of U.S. cargo ship captain Richard Phillips, who had been held hostage by Somali pirates since last Wednesday. While the pirates story has dominated the corporate media, there has been little to no discussion of the root causes driving piracy. We speak with consultant and analyst Mohamed Abshir Waldo. In January, he wrote a paper titled "The Two Piracies in Somalia: Why the World Ignores the Other?"

Poland Asks for €15.5bn Credit Line from IMF

Speaking in Warsaw, Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said his government would apply to be given access to the funds from the IMF's Flexible Credit Line (FCL) over a one-year period, making it the second country to apply to the facility after Mexico indicated interest in a $47 billion credit line earlier this month.

Polish Media Uncover Evidence of C.I.A. Prison

Journalists from Polish TV station TVP and daily newspaper Rzeczpospolita say they have obtained new evidence that Poland ran a secret C.I.A. prison used for extra-judicial extradition of terrorism suspects.

At Summit of Americas, U.S. May Face World of Blame for Economy

President Obama plans to take his message of partnership to Latin America and the Caribbean this week, but he will face a group of leaders far less forgiving than their European counterparts were about the United States' central role in the global financial crisis.

Thai Protest Leaders Surrender to Police

Four days of violent anti-government protests in Thailand came to an end Tuesday when the last demonstrators gave up and their leaders surrendered to security forces. But business analysts said the violence and political uncertainty were likely to have a lasting effect on an already troubled economy.

Obama Prepares For Mexico Talks On Drug Trade

President Obama will travel to Mexico on Thursday in a show of solidarity with his Mexican counterpart, Felipe Calderón, who has asked the new U.S. administration to do more against a thriving drug trade that threatens the integrity of his government and country.

U.S. Stymied as Guns Flow to Mexican Cartels

Violent crime groups in Mexico are seen as capitalizing on the ease of acquiring American weapons, fueling bloodshed south of the border.

Global Confidence Rises to 11-Month High as Credit Markets Thaw

Confidence in the global economy rose to an 11-month high as officials stepped up efforts to thaw credit markets, stocks rallied and some banks returned to profit, a Bloomberg survey of users on six continents showed.

Swiss Bank U.B.S. to Cut 8,700 Jobs

Switzerland's biggest bank, U.B.S., has said it will seek to cut costs by shedding 8,700 jobs by next year.

Concerns Arise Over Symptomless Egypt Bird Flu Cases

The World Health Organization is concerned some Egyptians may carry the highly pathogenic bird flu virus without showing symptoms, which could give it more of a chance to mutate to a strain that spreads easily among humans.


April 15, 2009


Libor Falling Fastest Since January on Credit Revival

The London interbank offered rate for three-month dollar loans is dropping at the fastest pace since January as bankers gain confidence that the worst of the financial crisis is over.

Recession Spurs Growth in E.U. 'Shadow Economy'

While just about every part of Europe's economy is shrinking in the current recession, one sector - the black market - has started to grow, according to fresh research in Austria.

Smuggled Cigarettes in Germany Rise

The eighth most popular brand in Germany are contraband Jin Ling cigarettes smuggled in from Eastern Europe. Researchers reached that conclusion after analyzing thousands of cigarette packs sorted at central garbage collection points.,1518,618871,00.html#ref=nlint

Banking Crisis in Russia

As the number of nonperforming loans grows, the Russian government is beginning to take the threat to the country's banking sector seriously.,1518,618843,00.html#ref=nlint

U.S. Urged to Withdraw Nuclear Weapons From Germany

The United States should remove its nuclear weapons from Germany, that country's foreign minister said in remarks published Friday

E.U. Elections Heading for Record Low Turnout

With European Parliament elections fast approaching, E.U. citizens are less interested in the poll than ever before in a situation that could see the abstention rate across the bloc hit a record 66 percent.

Pakistan Falling Into Taliban Hands

Pakistan's President Asif Ali Zardari approves Taliban rule in the Swat valley while the country's army surrenders the restive valley to militants.

North Korea Says It Will Restart Nuclear Plant

After the United Nations Security Council condemned North Korea's rocket launch, the nation said it planned to restart a plant that makes arms-grade plutonium.

U.S. Vying to 'Hand-Pick' Afghan President

Washington is using its political clout to influence the outcome of the upcoming presidential elections in Afghanistan, a report says.

U.S. May Drop Key Condition for Talks With Iran

New proposals would allow Tehran to continue enriching uranium during negotiations, officials say, a sharp break from the Bush administration's approach.


April 14, 2009


Japan’s Economy in Deflation Mode

Japan’s wholesale prices fell at the fastest pace in almost seven years, adding to signs the world’s second-largest economy may return to deflation.

Oil Falls as Demand Set to Slow

The price of oil has fallen after the International Energy Agency predicted that the global recession would cut demand for crude this year.

U.S. Military Admits Killing Mother, Children

The U.S. military in Afghanistan admitted Thursday that four people its troops killed in a raid were not "combatants", after Afghans said they included a mother and her children, with a baby dying afterwards.

Russia Test Fires Intercontinental Missile

Russia has successfully test-launched a PC-12M Topol intercontinental ballistic missile, Russian news agencies have reported. According to the agencies, the missile was jointly launched by the Strategic Rocket Forces and the Space Forces from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome on Friday.

U.S. Shipped 989 Munitions Containers to Israel Week Before Gaza Invasion

In the dying days of the Bush administration, and a week before Israel launched an aerial bombing campaign, followed by a land invasion of the Gaza Strip, the U.S. military shipped 989 containers of munitions to Israel.

War-Shocked Gaza Children 'Want to Die'

Little has changed in Gaza since the war in January, with thousands of families still living in tents and homes and schools still just rubble and ruins.

New Bird Flu Cases Suggest the Danger of Pandemic is Rising

This paradox – emerging from Egypt, the most recent epicentre of the disease – threatens to increase the disease's ability to spread from person to person by helping it achieve the crucial mutation in the virus which could turn it into the greatest plague to hit Britain since the Black Death. Last year the Government identified the bird-flu virus, codenamed H5N1, as the biggest threat facing the country – with the potential to kill up to 750,000 Britons.

Zimbabwe Stops Using its Own Dollars

Zimbabwe has suspended the use of its own currency. The state media service, quoting Economic Planning Minister, Elton Mangoma, said the Zimbabwean dollar would be suspended for at least twelve months.

Allies Ponder How to Plan Elections in Afghanistan

Nearly half the country is a danger zone, raising a difficult question: How can it hold presidential elections in less than five months?

China Slows Purchases of U.S. and Other Bonds

Reversing its role as the world's fastest-growing buyer of U.S. Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government sold bonds heavily this winter.

Commander Says U.S. Still on Schedule to Leave Iraq

Gen. Raymond T. Odierno said that overall violence in Iraq remained at its lowest levels since 2003 and that the U.S. was still on track to leave by the end of 2011.

In Afghanistan, Soldiers Bridge 2 Stages of War

The war stands to become more invigorated and hopeful, albeit perhaps more bloody, as U.S. units push into longstanding Taliban sanctuaries.

Protesters in Thailand Challenge Premier

The Thai army clashed with anti-government protesters Monday morning after thousands defied a state of emergency, massing in the streets.

Iraqi Babies for Sale: People Trafficking Crisis Grows as Gangs Exploit Poor Families and Corrupt System

Corruption, weak law enforcement and porous borders are compounding a growing child trafficking crisis in Iraq, according to officials and aid agencies, with scores of children abducted each year and sold internally or abroad.


April 13, 2009


Gerry Adams: Gaza an Open-Air Prison

Sinn Fein leader, Gerry Adams, has called for an end to Israel's blockade on the Gaza Strip while calling Gaza an 'open-air prison'.

G20's Global Cash Splash Infuriates European Central Bank

The European Central Bank has launched a blistering attack on G20 plans to use the International Monetary Fund to pump liquidity into the world economy, calling it "pure cash creation" outside the normal mechanisms of control. "This is helicopter money for the globe," said Jurgen Stark, the ECB's chief economist and Germany's member on the bank's executive board. "There hasn't been a study to see whether the world needs additional liquidity. In the old days one would take a long time to explore such a thing," he told the German business newspaper Handelsblatt.

China Says Forex Reserves Rise 16%

China's central bank says its foreign exchange reserves rose 16 per cent year-on-year to $US1.954 trillion by the end of March.

China Slows Purchases of U.S. and Other Bonds

Reversing its role as the world’s fastest-growing buyer of U.S. Treasuries and other foreign bonds, the Chinese government actually sold bonds heavily in January and February before resuming purchases in March, according to data released this weekend by China’s central bank.

Asian Summit Postponed Amid Protests

East Asian leaders postponed their summit for the day on Saturday after protesters broke into the convention center where the leaders were gathering.

Mugabe Aides Are Said to Use Violence to Gain Amnesty

President Robert Mugabe's top lieutenants are trying to force the political opposition to grant them amnesty for past crimes by torturing opposition officials.

Britain's Antiterror Officer Resigns

Bob Quick resigned after being photographed carrying a document with details of a major antiterrorism operation.

Thai Protests Cancel Asian Summit

A summit of Asian leaders in Thailand has been cancelled after anti-government protesters broke into the venue in the resort of Pattaya.

State of Emergency Imposed in Bangkok

Swarms of anti-government protesters attacked the prime minister's car, seized control of major intersections in the capital and commandeered buses, bringing new chaos to the Thai capital as the country's ousted leader threatened to return from exile to lead a revolution.

Japan Launches $A217b Stimulus Plan

The Japanese government and the ruling coalition parties have finalized an additional stimulus plan to pull the nation's economy out of the worst recession of the postwar era.

Obama to Appeal Detainee Ruling

The court ruling granted some military prisoners in Afghanistan the right to file lawsuits seeking their release.


April 10-12, 2009


Yuan Trade Settlement to Start in Five Chinese Cities

Five major trading cities have got the nod from the central government to use the yuan in overseas trade settlement -- seen as one more step in China's recent moves to expand the use of its currency globally.

CIA [Claims to] Shutting Down its Secret Prisons

The U.S. has stopped running its global network of secret prisons, CIA director Leon Panetta has announced.

Huge Rallies Spark Thai Shutdown

Thailand's Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has declared a public holiday to help security forces deal with mass anti-government protests in Bangkok.

E.U. Governments Committed €3 Trillion for Bank Bailouts

E.U. governments have committed €3 trillion to bail out banks with guarantees or cash injections in the wake of the global financial crisis, the European Commission said on Wednesday (8 April).

Iraqi Protesters Call for U.S. Exit

Thousands of people loyal to an Iraqi Shia leader have gathered in Baghdad to protest against the U.S.' continued presence in the country, six years to the day after the capital fell to American troops.

Ex-CIA Operative Tied to Cuba Bombings: Jury

A federal grand jury has accused anti-Castro Cuban exile and former CIA operative Luis Posada Carriles of lying to U.S. authorities about his role in bomb attacks against tourist sites in Cuba in 1997.

Halliburton: $150m Bribe ‘Traced to Zurich’

The Federal Government has disclosed that investigators have traced $150 million out of the $180 million Halliburton bribe money to Zurich, Switzerland – although it is yet to ascertain the name of the account holder. It has also said it cannot prosecute those named until it has concrete and authenticated evidence from the United States Justice Department.

Do U.S. Drones Kill Pakistani Extremists or Recruit Them?

Even as the Obama administration launches new drone attacks into Pakistan's remote tribal areas, concerns are growing among U.S. intelligence and military officials that the strikes are bolstering the Islamic insurgency by prompting Islamist radicals to disperse into the country's heartland.

GEORGIA: Anti-Saakashvili Protests Kick Off Peacefully

Some 50,000 people gathered peacefully Thursday afternoon in front of the Georgian parliament asking for president Mikhail Saakashvili's resignation. E.U. diplomats have urged both the opposition and the government to avoid any violence as protests are set to continue on Friday.

Corruption Undercuts U.S. Hope for Afghan Police

American soldiers say that bribes and swindles undermine Afghans' faith in government and end up strengthening the Taliban.

Weekly World News Quiz

It's the end of another week... Just how much do you remember about the headlines from the past seven days? Test your knowledge of world news events in our quiz.


April 09, 2009


Italy Muzzled Scientist Who Foresaw Quake

An Italian scientist predicted a major earthquake around L'Aquila weeks before disaster struck the city on Monday, killing dozens of people, but was reported to authorities for spreading panic among the population.

Pakistan Could Collapse Within Six Months: U.S. Expert

Pakistan could collapse within six months in the face of the snowballing insurgency, a top expert on guerrilla warfare has said.

Judge Named to Lead Gaza Inquiry is Known for Fairness

Richard Goldstone of South Africa, a Jew, says he will talk to all the victims, on both sides. His appointment poses a policy question for Israel's new government.,0,5260353.story

U.S. Crew Seized by Somali Pirates

Somali pirates have hijacked a ship with at least 20 US crew on board, after what maritime officials described as a sustained night-time attack.

Israeli Exports Hit by European Boycotts After Attacks on Gaza

Israeli companies are feeling the impact of boycott moves in Europe, according to surveys, amid growing concern within the Israeli business sector over organised campaigns following the recent attack on Gaza.

IDF Planning Largest-Ever Drill to Prepare Israel for War

The Home Front Command is preparing to hold the largest exercise ever in Israeli history, scheduled to take place in about two months, in hopes of priming the populace and raising awareness of the possibility of war breaking out.

Polish Workers Used as Unwitting Guinea Pigs to Test Bird Flu Vaccine

Nine health workers went on trial in northern Poland Monday accused of having tested a vaccine against bird flu on nearly 200 patients without their knowledge, court officials said.

Moldova Accuses Romania of Staging Riots

Moldovan president Vladimir Voronin has blamed E.U. neighbour Romania for staging post-election riots and announced he would expel Bucharest's ambassador and reintroduce visas for Romanians.

Ireland to Announce Harsh Budget

expected to announce the harshest budget in the history of the state to try and get the economy back on track as it continues to suffer from the fallout of the global financial crisis.

Recession Hits Hard in Spain

Madrid's financial district has lost its shine. Near the iconic Puerta de Europa Towers in the northern part of the city, For Sale signs adorn newly completed office blocks while cranes sit motionless next to half-finished construction projects. In a local restaurant that tailors to the once-bustling lunch crowd, 31-year-old waiter Manuel Gutiérrez can't remember business ever being so slow: "No one expected the (economic) crisis to last this long," he says.,1518,617938,00.html

Euro Central Bank Rejects Eastern Fast-Track to Eurozone

The European Central Bank (ECB) on Monday dismissed proposals made by the International Monetary Fund for eastern European member states to adopt the euro even without full membership of the eurozone.

10 Raccoons Discovered With Bird Flu Antibodies

Ten wild raccoons have been found with signs of previous H5N1 bird flu infections, according to a joint study by Tokyo University and Yamaguchi University.

Thousands Rally Against Thai Leader

In an attempt to show the continued strength of the former prime minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, tens of thousands of demonstrators massed in central Bangkok on Wednesday demanding the resignation of the government.

Economic Crisis Sweeps Eastern Ukraine

Few areas of Europe have taken such a body blow from the world economic crisis as the industrial heartland of eastern Ukraine, home to giant enterprises in the steel and metals industry in which orders have dried up nearly completely and prices have plummeted.


April 08, 2009


Asia and Europe Stumble on Earnings Worries

World stock markets stumbled Tuesday as fresh concerns about banks and earnings results from United States companies led many investors to book profits following a global rally in recent weeks.

Central Banks in Japan and Australia Take New Steps to Revive Economy

Japan’s central bank unveiled new steps to encourage lending and its counterpart in Australia cut its benchmark interest rate to the lowest level in nearly half a century Tuesday, highlighting concerns that the global economy remains in dire straits despite signs of a pickup in China and elsewhere.

Europe’s Recession Deepens as Investment Declines

Europe’s recession deepened more than estimated in the fourth quarter after companies scaled back production and consumer spending declined.

Royal Bank of Scotland to Cut 9,000 Jobs in Drive to Save 2.5 Billion Pounds

Royal Bank of Scotland Group Plc plans to cut jobs in its back office operations as part of an effort to save 2.5 billion pounds ($3.7 billion) over the next three years, the bank said in a statement.

Taking on the Narcos, and their American Guns

Senior American officials are trooping to Mexico with assurances of support in its drug war. Will warm words be backed up by action?

Obama Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq, Sees ‘Progress’

President Barack Obama encouraged Iraqi leaders to push toward political unity during a surprise stop in Iraq, the first of his presidency, and visited the American troops he has promised to withdraw by the end of 2011.

Peru’s Ex-President Convicted of Rights Abuses

A three-judge panel of Peru’s Supreme Court convicted Peru’s former president, Alberto K. Fujimori, of human rights abuses and sentenced him to 25 years on Tuesday. The abuses included the killings of 25 people by a death squad created under his rule in the early 1990s as the country was locked in a bloody conflict with rebel groups.

OECD Removes Tax Havens from List

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has removed all four countries from its blacklist of tax havens.

World Bank Sees Weak Asian Growth

The World Bank has said economic growth in East Asia will slow sharply as the downturn saps demand for its exports.

ITALY: Damage to Historical Monuments 'Significant'

The earthquake in Abruzzo did not spare the region's historical buildings and works of art.

South Africa Drops Charges Against Leading Presidential Contender

The withdrawal of charges against Jacob Zuma, the man likely to become South Africa's next president, will further polarize the nation.

Caution Urged on N Korea Response

Russia and China have called for a restrained world response to North Korea's controversial rocket launch.

BRITAIN: Questions About Police Tactics During G-20

On Monday, the Guardian reported that police in the City of London had “interviewed a witness who claims to have seen riot police attack a man in the vicinity of last week’s G20 protests, minutes before he collapsed and died of a heart attack.” As The BBC reports, the man who died, a 47-year-old newsagent named Ian Tomlinson, “was not part of the protest,” but was caught up in clashes between police and demonstrators.

Moldovan Protests Turn Violent After Communist Win

Students protesting against a Communist election victory broke into Moldova's parliament building on Tuesday, hurling chairs, tables and papers out into the street and setting them ablaze, a Reuters photographer said.

More Drone Attacks in Pakistan Planned

Despite threats from the Taliban and other concerns about remote-control killing, the U.S. may expand missile strikes to another haven, senior administration officials said.

Israeli Police Kill Palestinian Motorist

Israeli police officers shot and killed a Palestinian motorist who ran into officers at a roadblock in an East Jerusalem neighborhood on Tuesday while nearby, the authorities were demolishing part of the house of another Palestinian who had gone on a deadly rampage with a heavy construction vehicle last July.

Iraq Shoe Thrower's Jail Term Cut

The Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at former US President George W Bush has had his sentence cut from three years to one year on appeal.

Rwanda Lambasts 'Cowardice' of UN

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has accused the international community of cowardice during a speech marking the 15th anniversary of Rwanda's genocide.

Australia Moves to Build High-Speed Network

The Australian government said on Tuesday that it would create a publicly owned company to build a national high-speed broadband network worth 43 billion Australian dollars, or $31 billion, in one of the largest state-sponsored Internet infrastructure upgrades in the world.


April 07, 2009


Signs Emerge of Global Crime Wave

In all catastrophes, there are always winners among the host of losers and victims. Bad times, like good ones, generate profits for someone. In the case of the present global economic meltdown, with our world at the brink and up to 50 million people potentially losing their jobs by the end of this year, one winner is likely to be criminal activity and crime syndicates.

In Drug War, Mexico Fights Cartel and Itself

Mexico has launched a war against drugs but it cannot fully rely on the institutions most needed to carry it out.

North Korea's Defiant Rocket Launch Tests Barack Obama's Nuclear Resolve

Pyongyang's defiance of international pressure to cancel the launch cast a cloud over a speech on international security delivered by Obama in Prague, during which he unveiled a battery of measures aimed at stemming the spread of nuclear weapons.

Shell in Court Over Alleged Role in Nigeria Executions 

In a New York federal court, Shell and one of its senior executives are to face charges that in the early 1990s in Nigeria they were complicit in human rights abuses, including summary execution and torture.

Paris Liberation Made 'Whites Only'

Papers unearthed by the BBC reveal that British and American commanders ensured that the liberation of Paris on 25 August 1944 was seen as a "whites only" victory.

Fighting Intensifies in Sri Lanka

The government and ethnic Tamil fighters ignored a call by the secretary general of the United Nations for a cease-fire, as soldiers battled guerrillas in hand-to-hand combat.

Chinese Inmates at Guantánamo Pose a Dilemma

The Obama administration must decide whether 17 Uighur Muslims are innocent refugees or dangerous terrorist plotters.

U.S. and Russia to Consider Reductions of Nuclear Arsenals in Talks for New Treaty

American and Russian officials say they share a willingness to reduce their nuclear stockpiles to no more than 1,500 warheads.


April 06, 2009


Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries

Researchers said that the spying, which infiltrated the offices of the Dalai Lama, was controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China.

VIDEO: Seymour Hersh: Secret U.S. Forces Carried Out Assassinations in a Dozen Countries, Including Latin America

Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative journalist Seymour Hersh created a stir earlier this month when he said the Bush administration ran an “executive assassination ring” that reported directly to Vice President Dick Cheney. “Under President Bush’s authority, they’ve been going into countries, not talking to the ambassador or to the CIA station chief, and finding people on a list and executing them and leaving,” Hersh said.

China, Argentina to Conduct Trade in Chinese Currency

China, which is pushing to end the dominance of the dollar as a worldwide reserve, has agreed a 70 billion renminbi currency swap with Argentina that will allow it to receive renminbi instead of dollars for its exports to the Latin American country.

Spanish Court Weighs Inquiry on Torture for 6 Bush-Era Officials

A case that could lead to arrest warrants will examine whether officials wrongly contrived a legal framework that led to abuses of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

New Reserve Currency Could Come Quickly-Stiglitz

A reserve currency system based on an IMF unit instead of the U.S. dollar, a proposal floated by China, could be phased in within a year, Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz said.

Russia Wants Rouble, Yuan, Gold in SDR Basket [new reserve currency]

Russia supports expanding the IMF's Special Drawing Rights (SDR) to include the rouble, the yuan and gold, but sees no chance of the G20 Summit accepting a new reserve currency, a Kremlin aide said on Saturday, agencies reported.

World Leaders Pledge $1.1 Trillion to Tackle Crisis

President Obama conceded that there were "no guarantees" that the measures proposed by the Group of 20 would reverse the global downturn.

Swiss Slide Into Deflation Signals the Next Chapter of This Global Crisis

Switzerland's banks are over-leveraged. Loans to emerging markets equal 50 percent of GDP (half to Eastern Europe). Banking secrecy is dying. Fortunately for the Swiss, they have built up $700 billion in net foreign assets for a rainy day. Improvident Britons are less lucky. But that is another story. What we risk now is a game of deflation "pass-the-parcel" worldwide. The economic establishment was caught off guard from 2003 to 2007 because it overlooked the way that Asia's unbalanced relationship with the West was feeding a credit bubble.

Russia Backs Partial Return to Gold Standard

Russia has become the first major country to call for a partial restoration of the gold standard to uphold discipline in the world financial system. Arkady Dvorkevich, the Kremlin's chief economic adviser, said Russia would favour the inclusion of gold bullion in the basket-weighting of a new world currency based on Special Drawing Rights issued by the International Monetary Fund.

Clinton Says U.S. Feeds Mexico Drug Trade

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton made blunt remarks on the American role in Mexico's drug trade.

MI5 to Be Investigated Over Torture

The British security service MI5 is to undergo a police investigation over its alleged cooperation with the U.S. torture of 'terror' suspects.

Financial Safety Net of Nonprofit Organizations Is Fraying, Survey Finds

Almost a third of the nation's nonprofit groups said they did not have enough cash on hand to cover more than one month's expenses.

Spain Becomes 1st in Euro-Zone to Post Deflation

Spanish consumer prices fell 0.1 percent in March from a year earlier, making it the first euro-zone economy to post an annual rate of deflation  as opposed to inflation  since the international financial crisis began.

North Koreans Launch Rocket Over the Pacific

Much of the world viewed the launching on Sunday as an effort by the North to prove that it is edging toward the capability to shoot a nuclear warhead on a longer-range missile.

Obama at G-20 Summit: Popular President, Unpopular Plan

At his presidential debut on the diplomatic stage this week, Obama will face European and Asian leaders who have already rejected some of his most important proposals for rescuing the global economy.,0,5955432.story?track=ntothtml

European Court Seems to Rankle Kremlin

The Kremlin's dispute with the European Court of Human Rights is underscoring its growing antipathy toward international organizations.


Last updated  May 11, 2009

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