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|6758||South American Countries Discuss Rising Food Costs||James Ingham; Rory Carroll||News||Italy||30 May 2008 11:16 Fri||
Talks to discuss the rising costs of food are opening today in the Venezuelan capital, with envoys from 26 Latin American and Caribbean countries expected to attend.
Those present will attempt to draft a united policy for the region. The talks are the beginning of a week of planned conversations on the rising price of food, leading to a three-day UN food crisis summit in Rome on Tuesday.
World Bank figures indicate a 83% rise in global food prices over the past three years.
James Ingham and Rory Carroll in Caracas are covering this event. Phillip Willan, Giulia Sirignani and Susan Hodges will be covering the UN food crisis summit in Rome on Tuesday.
|6763||Spanish Fishermen Protest Over Fuel Prices||Guy Hedgecoe||News||Spain||30 May 2008 03:23 Fri||
European protests over fuel prices have now reached Spain, with thousands of fishermen striking and demonstrating in the streets.
The action is expected to bring Spain's fish production - the largest in Europe - to a halt. In France fishermen have been protesting for weeks, while Portuguese, Belgian and Italian colleagues are joining the campaign gradually.
Lorry drivers in the UK and the Netherlands held similar protests earlier this week. The strike demonstrates the rage over the rising cost of fuel, as oil prices hit $130 a barrel. According to trade unions the cost of diesel is now prohibitively high, after rising 300% over the past five years.
|6764||Australia Withdraws Troops From Iraq||Roger Maynard; Tim Stackpool; Ned Parker||News||Australia||02 June 2008 10:44 Mon||
Australian troops are due to begin returning home from Iraq in a few days marking the end of the country's combat operations there.
Australia was one of the first countries to commit troops to the war in Iraq five years ago. The military operation has ended in line with a promise by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, who came into power in November. He said the Iraq mission was making Australia a higher terrorist target.
More than 500 Australian troops have been deployed in Iraq, helping to train some 33,000 Iraqi soldiers. About 300 Australians will remain in Iraq to assist with logistical and air surveillance. No Australian solider was killed in the fighting, although several were wounded.
Roger Maynard and Tim Stackpool in Sydney and LA Times correspondent Ned Parker in Baghdad are covering this story.
|6765||Clinton Vows To Fight On After Win In Puerto Rico||Ed O'Keefe; Peter Nicholas||News||United States of America||02 June 2008 10:45 Mon||
Hillary Clinton vows to fight on in the Democratic presidential nominating contest after winning a largely symbolic victory in Puerto Rico.
In Sunday's election, Mrs Clinton took 42 of the 60 delegates Puerto Rico sends to the Democratic Party's national convention in August.
With the final two Democratic nominating contests - Montana and South Dakota - due to be held on Tuesday, Mrs Clinton is trailing Barack Obama by 1,915 delegate votes to 2,071. Her campaign suffered a further blow on Saturday when the Democratic Party committee restored only half of the votes for her from Michigan and Florida. Mrs Clinton won both states, but both were initially discounted because they held their primaries in January, in contravention of party rules.
LA Times correspondent Louise Roug, Carole King in Puerto Rico and Ed O'Keefe and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are available for 2-ways.
|6766||UNICEF Warns Of Food Crisis In Ethiopia||Barry Malone; Susan Hodges||News||Ethiopia||02 June 2008 10:47 Mon||
Ahead of a United Nations food summit in Rome on Tuesday, UNICEF say 126,000 children in Ethiopia are now severely malnourished and that this figure will grow as more harvests fail.
UNICEF say 3.4 million Ethiopians will need food aid over the next three months and 6 million children are in danger of falling into some form of malnutrition. The World Food Programme is appealing for $147 million to tackle the crisis as rising food prices globally have hit the organisation's ability to buy food to respond to the emergency.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) summit in the Italian capital will discuss the impact of rising prices worldwide.
Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe has arrived in Rome to attend the conference.
Barry Malone in Addis Ababa and Susan Hodges, who will be attending the summit, in Rome are available for 2-ways.
|6767||UN Mission Explores Africa's Wars||Lufi Mohammad; Andrew Heavens||News||Somalia||02 June 2008 10:48 Mon||
A UN Security Council mission to Africa is holding talks with Somalia's government and its opponents in Djibouti today.
The Security Council is also hopeful that the discussions could lead to the first official, face to face, talks between the two sides. Somalia is facing an Islamic insurgency which launches almost daily attacks on the weak government. The UN says almost two million Somalis are in desperate need of outside assistance.
The UN mission, which will also visit Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo and other countries at war, aims to explore the continent's wars and see how they could be ended.
Lutfi Mohammed in Mogadishu, Andrew Heavens in Khartoum, Joe Bavier in Kinshasa and UN correspondents Steve Schiffman and Julie Walker in New York are following the UN's trip.
|6768||Explosion Outside Danish Embassy In Pakistan||Graham Usher; Declan Walsh; Kevin McGwin||News||Pakistan||02 June 2008 10:50 Mon||
At least three people have died in a large explosion near the Danish embassy in Pakistan's capital, Islamabad.
The cause of the explosion at about midday local time (0600GMT) is not yet known. Several people were hurt and the embassy building and several vehicles outside were badly damaged.
Some Danish embassies around the world have faced threats since a cartoon depicting the Prophet Muhammad was reprinted in Danish newspapers in February. The cartoons, deemed offensive to Islam, were first printed in September 2005 and sparked worldwide protests.
Declan Walsh and Graham Usher in Islamabad and Kevin McGwin in Copenhagen are across this event.
|6800||High Court Intervenes in Gaza Student's Ban||Annette Young, Tim Butcher, Sami Sockol and Arnon Regular||News||Israel||03 June 2008 11:34 Tue||
The Israeli Supreme Court calls on the government to reconsider the ban which stops Palestinian students from leaving the Gaza Strip to study abroad. The court says the policy harms prospects for future coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians. The ruling follows the reinstatement by the US state department of Fulbright grants to seven Palestinians in Gaza, after Israel refused to provide exit permits to the students. Israel tightened its blockade of Gaza after Hamas seized power there a year ago. The territory has been, as a result, largely cut off from the outside world.
|6801||Bolivia Nationalises Major Gas Pipeline||Andres Schipani-Aduriz and Martin C. Arostegui||News||Bolivia||03 June 2008 11:37 Tue||
The Bolivian government has taken full control of a key gas pipeline company, Transredes, after the collapse of talks with the foreign firm that held a controlling stake in the pipeline. President Evo Morales said the takeover took place after US company Ashmore Energy International refused Bolivia's share buy-back offer. Transredes transports Bolivia's natural gas to clients in Brazil and Argentina. Morales is striving to nationalize key industries in Bolivia, and Transredes is the last in a line of government takeovers in the country.
|6803||Nato Chief: "War on Taleban under-resourced"||Tom Coghlan and Rachel Reid||News||Afghanistan||03 June 2008 11:44 Tue||
The outgoing American general in charge of NATO forces in Afghanistan, General Dan McNeill, complains that the war against the Taliban is "under-resourced". General McNeill, who commanded NATO forces in Afghanistan for 15 months, spoke just before handing command of Nato's International Security Assistance Force (Isaf) to another American general, David McKiernan. McNeil said that Isaf's current manpower, 53,000 troops from 40 countries, is insufficient, and that more equipment is needed.. The handover took place at an hour-long ceremony in Kabul. Afghan President Hamid Karzai warned the new general that his task would not be easy and that more lives would be lost before Afghanistan could stand on its own feet.
|6804||UN Allows Warships to Battle Piracy in Somalia||Rob Crilly, and Steve Schiffman||News||Somalia||03 June 2008 11:47 Tue||
The UN Security Council has unanimously voted to allow countries to send warships into Somalia's territorial waters to tackle pirates. The resolution permits countries, with the agreement of Somalia's interim government, to use any means necessary to repress acts of piracy for the next six months. Twenty-six ships have been attacked by pirates in the past year. The vote came as the UN launched separate peace talks with factions involved in Somalia's conflict. But the Islamist opposition said face-to-face talks would not happen at the meeting in neighbouring Djibouti until the government set a timetable for the withdrawal of Ethiopian troops, who are supporting the government.
|6805||Mugabe Row at UN Food Summit||Susan Hodges and Phillip Willan||News||Italy||03 June 2008 11:50 Tue||
The UN-sponsored summit aimed at addressing soaring global food prices opens today in the Italian capital. Dozens of countries have seen riots prompted by food costs, which are now the highest in 30 years. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is calling for minimizing of export restrictions and says the world had a "historic opportunity to revitalise agriculture. The recent crisis is believed to have pushed 100 million people into starvation worldwide. However, much attention is focused on the arrival Zimbabwe's Robert Mugabe, UK and Australia are calling his presence at the summit "obscene". GRN's Susan Hodges is covering the summit. Phillip Willan, John Phillips, Frances Kannedy and Giulia Sirignani in Rome are also available for 2-ways.
|6806||Grieving Parents Protest Blocked by Chinese Police||Jamila Trindle||News||China||04 June 2008 11:23 Wed||
Chinese police are preventing grieving parents from gaining access to two schools which collapsed during last month's earthquake.
Yesterday, Police broke up groups of parents demanding information as they were demonstrating outside a Dujiangyan courthouse over the loss of their children. Eyewitnesses say the parents were prevented from filing lawsuits against the principal of one of the collapsed schools.
Thousands of students were killed in the earthquakes, including more than 270 at Juyuan Middle School, where parents and reporters have been held back from the site by police. Angry parents and rescuers have demanded investigations, pointing out steel rods protruding from broken concrete slabs that were no thicker than a ball point pen. In some districts, schools were the only buildings to collapse. In all, 7,000 schools collapsed.
Officials also removed wreaths placed at the sites on Monday, but then replaced the wreaths after an outcry.
Jamila Trindle in Chengdu is following events.
|6807||10,000 Detained in Police Crackdown in Bangladesh||Michael Leung||News||Bangladesh||04 June 2008 11:26 Wed||
Over 10,000 people have been detained in the past week in a major crackdown on crime in Bangladesh, the country's police chief says. The country has been under a military enforced state of emergency for over a year.
National police Chief Nur Mohammad says the operation, which is expected to last one month, is aimed at improving security ahead of the country's scheduled return to democracy with elections planned by the end of the year. He also rejected complaints from Bangladesh's main political parties, who have been accusing the police of targeting their supporters in order to strengthen the army-backed government.
"It's part of a month-long nationwide special drive against crime. We have just become a bit more aggressive than what we usually do on a normal day," said Nur Mohammad, who stressed only people against whom specific allegations exist are being detained.
Michael Leung in Dhaka is across this story.
|6808||Violence Escalates Again In Sudan||Andrew Heavens and Amber Hanshaw||News||Sudan||04 June 2008 11:29 Wed||
Clashes between rival troops from the North and the South continue as groups move in to stake claim on the oil-rich region of Abyei.
UN co-coordinator for South Sudan David Gressley warned that the escalation in violence might unravel peace negotiations in the region. He said Sudan is "on the brink" of resuming a 20-year civil war which ended after a 2005 peace agreement.
Meanwhile, as UN negotiators move into Sudan to help de-escalate and stabilize the Abyei and Darfur regions, the US has announced it is suspending talks with Sudan that are aimed at normalizing relations between the two countries.
The US envoy to Sudan says that none of the rival factions in Sudan are interested in "meaningful peace," and referred to the process as a "sham" that would not improve the situation.
Andrew Heavens and Amber Hanshaw in Sudan are following developments.
|6809||US Aid Ships Rejected by Burma||Amy Kazmin, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond||News||Thailand||04 June 2008 11:32 Wed||
U.S. warships are leaving the waters near Burma after the ruling military junta refused permission for the delivery of aid supplies to the cyclone-stricken Irrawaddy delta, says a senior U.S. commander.
Admiral Timothy Keating says the USS Essex and it's group are to sail away from Burma tomorrow, but they leaves behind several heavy-lift helicopters in neighbouring Thailand to assist in the relief effort.
Amy Kazmin, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond in Bangkok are following developments is Burma.
|6810||Obama Declares Victory||Ed O||News||United States of America||04 June 2008 11:36 Wed||
Barack Obama says he is the Democratic nominee for President of the United States. It has became clear he has enough delegates to secure his nomination.
His rival for the Democratic nomination, Hilary Clinton, is so far refusing to concede. In an address, to a wildly cheering crowd, Obama paid tribute to Mrs. Clinton and hinted that she may be invited to play a role in his future administration.
Ed O'Keefe, Francine Uenuma and LA Times correspondents James Gerstenzang and Peter Nicholas in Washington are covering the US presidential race.
|6811||Fishermen Clash With Police in Brussels||Patricia Kelly and Stephen Castle||News||Belgium||04 June 2008 04:35 Wed||
Police have clashed with hundreds of fisherman protesting against the high cost of fuel outside the headquarters of the European Union in the Belgian capital. Windows in EU buildings were broken and at least one car was overturned in the protest. Riot police fired water cannons and launched baton charges. The fishermen say they will go out of business unless the EU allows national governments to grant them more financial aid and give them fuel subsidies. French fishermen have been striking for several weeks over the price of diesel, which has risen by 240% in the past five years. Recently they have been joined by fishermen and lorry drivers from the UK, Spain, Portugal and Italy, who protested in ports across Europe.
|6812||Baghdad Suicide Bomb Kills Fifteen||Said Rifai, Tina Susman and Nathaniel Parker||News||Iraq||05 June 2008 11:25 Thu||
15 people were killed and at least 50 injured yesterday by a suicide bomb attack near the Baghdad home of a senior Iraqi police general.This is the biggest attack in the Iraqi capital in months. The Police commander, said to be involved in joint operations with the army, was unharmed. Meanwhile three American soldiers have been killed in an exchange of fire in the north of the country, US military officials in Iraq say. Earlier this week nine people have been killed in a suicide attack in the northern city of Mosul. LA Times Correspondents in Baghdad Said Rifai, Tina Susman and Nathaniel Parker are covering this story.
|6813||Thailand Changes Human Trafficking Law||Andrew Chant, Andrew Drummond, David Piper and Amy Kazmin||News||Thailand||05 June 2008 11:29 Thu||
Thailand is to respond to criticism for not tackling human trafficking robustly enough, and to introduce a new law designed to deal with the phenomenon. The law strengthens protection for victims of trafficking, and its presentation will be accompanied by a day of campaigning to raise public awareness of human trafficking. Thailand attracts large numbers of illegal migrants from neighbouring poor countries, including women and minors who are being brought in to be used and abused by the country's thriving sex industry. Thailand is also an important transit route for people being trafficked in the East Asian region. Thailand already has an anti-trafficking law - but observers feel they don't not work very well. The police often refuse to recognise abused migrants as victims of trafficking. The current law sees the victims as offenders and illegal immigrants. The new law is to try and change this approach and target yhr people who organize illegal trafficking and forced migration. Andrew Chant, Andrew Drummond, David Piper and Amy Kazmin in Bangkok are following the story.
|6814||Seventy Arrested in Australian Paedophilia Crackdown||Roger Maynard, Tim Stackpool, Andrew Bolton, Nicky Breen and Kate Gunn||News||Australia||05 June 2008 11:33 Thu||
The Australian Federal Police arrested seventy people in a nationwide operation to crack down on suspected users of children pornography on the internet. A policeman and several teachers are among the suspects. The arrests followed a six-month probe into paedophile online communities. The investigation was launched after a hacker posted 99 explicit pictures on a respected European website. Within 76 hours, the site had 12 million hits from 150,000 users in 170 nations. Out of this list, more than 2,800 internet protocol (IP) addresses were traced back to Australia and then identified by police.
|6815||Arraignment for 9/11 Suspects in Guantanamo||Carole Williams||News||Cuba||05 June 2008 11:36 Thu||
An arraignment for the alleged mastermind of the 11 September 2001 attacks on the US, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and four other alleged plotters is scheduled to take place at the US Navy base in southeast Cuba. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Ramzi Binalshibh, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Walid bin Attash are expected to appear before a Guantanamo court judge today. They are accused of conspiring with Al-Qaeda to kill civilians and with 2,973 counts of murder. Their defence lawyers have asked for the presiding military judge to dismiss their cases, saying the timing is politically motivated. The lawyers say the planned trial start date, two months before the US elections, is designed to grab the public eye. The men are to stand trial on September 15. LA Times Guantanamo correspondent Carole Williams is covering the arraignment and will be available for 2-ways after the court hearing.
|6816||Clinton Withdraws From Presidential Race||Ed O'Keefe, Francine Uenuma, James Gerstenzang and Peter Nicholas||News||United States of America||05 June 2008 11:38 Thu||
Hillary Clinton's campaign headquarters says she will withdraw from the race for the Democratic candidacy for the US presidency, and back her rival Barack Obama. Yesterday, after the final votes of the primary season, it became clear that Mr Obama gained enough delegates to win the nomination. Mrs. Clinton is yet to admit publicly that she lost the contest, but she is expected to do so on Saturday "and express her support for Senator Obama". Mr Obama has already announced a team to help select his candidate for the Vice Presidency. Ed O'Keefe, Francine Uenuma and LA Times correspondents James Gerstenzang and Peter Nicholas in Washington are covering the US presidential race.
|6817||Diplomats Claim They are Targeted in Zimbabwe||Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Robyn Dixon||News||South Africa||05 June 2008 04:43 Thu||
Several US and UK diplomats were stopped by Zimbabwean police while attempting to investigate political violence. US ambassador James McGee told a UK broadcaster that Police tried to force their convoy off the road in Bindura after they refused to go to a police station. McGee said their car tyres were later slashed and a Zimbabwean driver working with a US security official was beaten up. Last month, Mr. McGee and five diplomats from other missions were detained for short periods of time by Zimbabwean security forces. Earlier, the South African government said Zimbabwe's main opposition leader, Morgan Tsvangirai, was released by the police on Wednesday after the President Thabo Mbeki intervened on his behalf.
Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Robyn Dixon in Johannesburg are following events in Zimbabwe.
|6818||Zimbabwe Suspends Field Work By Aid Groups||Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Nicholas Champeaux||News||Zimbabwe||06 June 2008 10:55 Fri||
Zimbabwe has indefinitely suspended all field work by aid groups and non-governmental organisations accusing them of "breaching the terms and conditions of their registration". Social Welfare Minister Nicholas Goche made the accusation in a written notice sent to the groups.
On Thursday, police detained a group of US and UK diplomats for several hours as part of an investigation into political violence. The UK and the US are demanding an explanation for this "unjust and outrageous" move.
The suspension of all field activity by voluntary groups and NGOs comes almost a week after President Robert Mugabe banned some aid agencies from Zimbabwe.
Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
|6819||China to Ease Pressure on "Quake Lake"||Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel Schearf, and Jamila Trindle||News||China||06 June 2008 11:02 Fri||
China is today preparing to ease pressure on a "quake lake" which is threatening to burst as the water level quickly rises.
Thousands of people are at risk downstream of Tangjiashan lake - the largest of over 30 quake lakes formed in the May 12 earthquake in the south-western province of Sichuan. Water is rising behind Tangjiashan's natural mud-and-rock dam, which is also at risk of collapsing "under the continuous influences of aftershocks, rainfall and other uncertain factors", the official Xinhua news agency said.
Premier Wen Jiabao visited the lake on Thursday, urging workers to ensure there were no casualties.
Over 25,000 people have been evacuated in the quake-hit areas of Beichuan, Mianyang and Jiangyou.
LA Times correspondent Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel Schearf in Beijing and Jamila Trindle in Chengdu are covering these stories.
|6820||Burma Accusses Foreign Media of Exaggerating Cycle Devastation||Amy Kazmin, David Piper, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond||News||Thailand||06 June 2008 11:07 Fri||
Burma's state run media has accused "self-seekers" of faking video footage of the devastation caused by Cyclone Nargis.
The article in the New Light of Myanmar accuses foreign media of using the fake video footage to harm Burma's image. It claims the reports that survivors were living in dire conditions in the Irrawaddy Delta were exaggerated.
Burma's leaders' reluctance to accept help from outside has prompted international criticism.
The government is now allowing some experts from UN agencies and South East Asian neighbours to help the storm victims. However, it is desperate to prove it is in control of the relief efforts and does not need large-scale foreign help.
Amy Kazmin, David Piper, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond in Bangkok are covering this story.
|6821||Obama Holds Talks With Clinton||Ed O||News||United States of America||06 June 2008 11:14 Fri||
Presidential hopeful Barack Obama has held an unexpected visit with his defeated rival Hillary Clinton.
A spokesman for Obama said the two former opponents met to talk about pulling together their campaigns and uniting the party. The last-minute meeting in Washington came two days after Mr Obama effectively won the party nomination for November's US presidential election.
Obama is facing pressure to choose Mrs Clinton as his running mate but says he will not be rushed in his decision. Mrs Clinton has distanced herself from reports that she is hoping to stand as vice-president.
Mrs Clinton says she will hold an event in Washington on Saturday to thank supporters and extend her "support" for Obama's candidacy.
Ed O'Keefe, Francine Uenuma, LA Times correspondents James Gerstanzang and Peter Nicholas in Washington, DC are across this event.
|6822||AK Holds Emergency Meeting After Headscarf Ruling||David O||News||Turkey||06 June 2008 11:22 Fri||
Turkey's AK party is meeting today to discuss how to react to the Constitutional Court's ruling to overturn a government-led reform to end a bank on Muslim headscarfs an university.
Thursday's ruling by Turkey's top judicial body is a serious setback to the AK party and poses a serious threat to its survival.
The headscarf debate plays a central role in a separate case seeking to outlaw the AK party for anti-secular activities. Some analysts expect the AK Party to be outlawed, other suggest the court could punish the party's leaders.
David O'Bryne, Robert Tait, Matt Mossman and LA Times correspondent Laura King in Istanbul are available for 2-ways.
|6823||Millions Starving in Ethiopia as Drought Continues||Barry Malone||News||Ethiopia||06 June 2008 03:01 Fri||
Facing a new famine and rising food prices, millions of Ethiopians are in danger of starvation.
An estimated 6 million children are at risk of malnutrition, including more than 126,000 children under the age of five who are in need of urgent care.
The World Food Programme projects that 75 million GBP will be needed to feed at risk children and reports a shortfall of 180,000 tons of food throughout the country.
A UN summit held in Rome this week aimed at resolving the global food crisis. General Ban Ki Moon warned that up to 1.2 billion GBP would be needed a year to alleviate the global crisis. 862 million people worldwide are malnourished, according to participants at the summit.
Barry Malone in Addis Ababa has been out in the field and conducted interviews with UNICEF, MSF and WFP. He is available for 2-ways or reports.
|6824||Rescuers Battle to Reach Miners in Ukraine||Alexander Kleimenov||News||Ukraine||09 June 2008 10:22 Mon||
Rescuers in the eastern Donetsk region retrieved two miners today and continue their efforts to rescue dozens of others trapped underground after a gas explosion on Sunday.
The body of a third miner, deceased, was found near the same level as the survivors, 750m (2,400 feet). The two miners appear to be in good health.
Efforts are focused on pushing down a ventilator shaft to 1,000m, where 34 other miners remain trapped.
Rescue workers believe the men may still be alive and have reportedly heard voices from the lower level. However, rescue workers fear the shaft could flood in the meantime.
Gas explosions are not uncommon in Ukraine's mines. Three blasts at the Zasyadko mine in Donetsk killed 106 last year, and an explosion two weeks ago killed 11 miners in the Donbass coalfield.
Alexander Kleimenov is in Kiev following the story.
|6825||Upcoming Run-off Election Not "Free and Fair"||Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Nicholas Champeaux||News||South Africa||09 June 2008 10:28 Mon||
Zimbabwe's run-off presidential elections will not be free and fair following a campaign of violence in the country, Human Rights Watch has warned.
In a new report the group says that there is extensive evidence linking senior officials loyal to Robert Mugabe with violent incidents against supporters of opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai. The New-York based group claims torture camps have been run by President Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party and its allies.
In elections in March Mr Tsvangirai came out ahead of Mr Mugabe, but not enough to win outright. The two men will face each other in the 27 June vote.
Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
|6826||Chavez Urges FARC to Release Hostages||James Ingham and Rory Carroll||News||Venezuela||09 June 2008 10:32 Mon||
Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has urged Colombia's FARC rebels to release all their hostages and end their four-decade struggle.
Mr Chavez made the statement in his weekly television and radio programme on Sunday, saying FARC were "out of step" and their war was "history".
The message represents a turn around for Mr Chavez, who the Colombian government has accused of financing FARC. A few months ago he called on the world to regard FARC as a legitimate army rather than a terrorist group.
FARC is the oldest and largest left-wing rebel group in Colombia and holds many hostages. The captives include Franco-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt and three Americans.
James Ingham and Rory Carroll in Caracas are across this event.
|6827||Chinese Officials Respond to Grieving Parents With Payments and Condolences||Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel Schearf, and Jamila Trindle||News||China||09 June 2008 10:37 Mon||
Chinese officials have sent letters of condolence and payments to parents of children killed when their school collapsed in the country's devastating earthquake.
The Juyuan town government in southwest China's Sichuan province is seeking to defuse the anger of parents whose children died when a classroom building collapsed in the May 12 quake, even as nearby apartments and offices all stayed upright.
Grieving parents in the town, 50 km from the Sichuan provincial capital, Chengdu, have protested that government corruption made a mockery of school building safety standards.
This is the most volatile quake issue facing the ruling Communist Party.
LA Times correspondent Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel Schearf and Jamila Trindle in Beijing are covering this story.
|6828||Japanese Man Planned Stabbing Rampage||Liz Noh and Bruce Wallace||News||Japan||09 June 2008 10:42 Mon||
Police now believe that Tomohiro Kato planned the stabbing rampage in Tokyo down to the very last moment.
The 25-year-old Kato was arrested today after a killing spree carried out in broad daylight which resulted in seven deaths.
In the days leading up to the killings, Kato decided to carry out his plan in Akihabara, famed for its modern shops and Japanese youth culture.
Kato recorded his thoughts on a mobile phone blog and posted the details of his plan to first drive a heavy truck into a crowded street in Akihabara before resorting to using a knife. The first message of such detail appeared in cyberspace at 5:21 a.m., on the morning of the violence.
Sunday's rampage occurred on the seventh anniversary of a stabbing near Osaka, where a man killed eight children and injured 15 others.
Liz Noh and LA Times correspondent Bruce Wallace are available for 2-ways.
|6850||The EU To Offer Incentives For Tehran To Suspend Nuclear Enrichment||Martin Ebbing and Najmeh Borzorgmehr||News||Iran||09 June 2008 04:55 Mon||
The European Union foreign policy high representative Javier Solana is provisionally expected to visit Iran to present a big-power package of incentives for Tehran to suspend nuclear enrichment.
The five permanent members of the Security Council - the United States, France, Britain, China and Russia - as well as Germany agreed on the offer for Tehran weeks ago but have had problems pinning Iran down on a time to present it.
The offer, updated from one presented in 2006, urges Iran to give up the sensitive enrichment work the West suspects is cover for building an atomic bomb in exchange for economic and diplomatic rewards.
Excluding the United States, which does not have diplomatic relations with Tehran, Solana is expected to take along political directors from the other countries to present the offer.
Martin Ebbing and Najmeh Borzorgmehr will be following the visit.
|6863||Somalia Peace Agreement Rejected By Fighters||Lutfi Mohammed and Rob Crilly||News||Somalia||10 June 2008 10:23 Tue||
A hard-line Islamist leader has rejected a UN-brokered peace deal signed in Djibouti by the Somali government and some opposition figures.
Somalia's interim government and some members of the exiled opposition Alliance for the Re-Liberation of Somalia (ARS) signed a deal late on Monday calling for the deployment of UN peacekeepers and agreeing to a ceasefire after one month.
However, Hassan Dahir Aweys, who boycotted the talks, vowed the war would continue, whilst fighters on the ground say they do not recognise them.
The main point of contention is the presence of Ethiopian troops in Somalia, who are fighting with the government against Islamist-led insurgents. T
he African Union has 2,200 peacekeepers in Somalia, but they now want the UN to take over.
LA Times correspondent Lutfi Mohammed in Mogadishu and Rob Crilly in Nairobi are available for 2-ways.
|6864||Bush Meets EU Leaders In Slovenia||Kerry Skyring||News||Slovenia||10 June 2008 10:33 Tue||
US President George Bush is today holding talks with European Union leaders on what is expected to be his last European tour in office.
Leaders at the annual US-EU summit in Brdo are expected to issue a tough joint message to Tehran that they are prepared to launch more sanctions against Iran's banks.
EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana is also preparing to go to Iran at the weekend with a new offer of economic and political incentives. American and European leaders hope to pressure Iran to abandon its nuclear programme, which Tehran claims is solely for peaceful purposes.
Iranian Defence Minister was quoted on Tuesday warning Israel of a very "painful" response if it launches a military strike in reaction to the country's disputed nuclear programme.
Kerry Skyring is reporting from the summit in Slovenia. GRN correspondents will be available on each leg of Bush's tour.
|6865||Pressure Released On Largest Of Sichuan Quake Lakes||Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel||News||China||10 June 2008 10:36 Tue||
Pressure has finally been relieved on the largest of 30 quake lakes that had formed after the devastating quake in China's Sichuan province May 12.
Soldiers used explosives to blow away rubble at the Tangjiashan quake lake today, widening the already 475-meter-long spillway.
The muddy lake water, filled with debris, clumps of trees and human remains, rushed through the devastated town of Beichuan. Further downstream, near Mianyang, the river burst banks in several locations.
So far about 250,000 residents have been evacuated from the area, in anticipation of the dangerously unstable mud-and-rock damn bursting. Officials hoped that the minor flooding would prevent a catastrophic flood later on, which would affect 1.3 million people further downstream.
The water level in the quake lake has dropped 13 meters since the blasts.
LA Times correspondent Barbara Demick, Mure Dickie, Alison Klayman, Daniel Schearf and Jamila Trindle in Beijing are covering this story.
|6866||1 Million Expected In South Korean Protests Of US Beef Imports||Jason Strother and Anna Fifield||News||Korea||10 June 2008 10:40 Tue||
Faced with protests, expected to number 1 million people around the country, South Korea's entire cabinet offered to resign today.
Police have warned that as many as 100,000 people may take to the streets of Seoul in protest of a trade agreement to import beef from the United States.
The trade agreement has been the trigger in a growing list of grievances against the 3-month old conservative majority government.
Political opposition from its left-leaning opponents and labour unions have effectively stalled the parliament from enacting President Lee Myung-bak's plans for sweeping reform, including tax cuts, mass privatization of state-run firms and banks and efforts to make the country more accessible to foreign investment.
President Lee is warning that South Korea could be heading into a financial crisis due to rising prices and a cooling economy.
Additional protests and strikes may be held next week by trade unions.
Jason Strother and Anna Fifield in Seoul are covering this event.
|6867||Pakistan||Declan Walsh and Graham Usher||News||Pakistan||10 June 2008 10:43 Tue||
Thousands of lawyers have taken to the streets in Pakistan today to demand the reinstatement of senior judges sacked by President Pervez Musharraf last year.
Rallies are to converge on the city of Multan, the official starting point of the "long march", and will reach the capital, Islamabad, later this week.
Sabihuddin Ahmed, the deposed chief justice of the high court in the southern province of Sindh, told marchers in Karachi that Monday, the start of the pre-march rallies, was a "historic day".
The president dismissed dozens of judges, including the Supreme Court chief justice, when he imposed emergency rule last November.
The rallies are a challenge for the new government which is divided over how to reinstate the judges.
Declan Walsh and Graham Usher in Islamabad are following the long march.
|6873||US President Visits France On Farewell Tour||Hugh Schofield; Rory Mulholland; Henry Samuel, Janine Di Giovanni, Genevieve Oger , Sebastien Pichon , Axelle Roucou ,||News||France||10 June 2008 01:18 Tue||The US president is scheduled to pay a working visit to
France, as part of his tour of Europe.
|6895||President Bush Visits Germany On||Jan Becker, Peter Bild, Damien McGuinness, Christopher Springate, Simon Young||News||Germany||11 June 2008 10:46 Wed||
President Bush is expected to discuss the Middle East peace process during meetings with German Chancellor Angela Merkel today.
The visit to the country is the latest leg of his 'Farewell tour' before leaving office in January.
Middle East politics have so far been the focus of Bush's meetings with European leaders on the tour. At the start of his trip in Slovenia, Bush issued warnings of further sanctions against Iran for failing to suspend its nuclear enrichment process.
Bush will next travel to meet with leaders in Italy, France and the UK.
Jan Becker, Peter Bild, Damien McGuinness, Christopher Springate, Simon Young in Berlin are covering this event.
|6896||Key Test In Kenya Elections Following MPs' Plane Crash||Richard Lough, Rob Crilly, Steve Bloomfield and Edmund Sanders||News||Kenya||11 June 2008 11:26 Wed||
Kenya is today holding by-elections in five constituencies; a key test for a fragile government coalition less than six months after deadly post-election violence tore the nation apart.
The campaigns wrapped up Monday for the seats of two MPs who were shot dead after December's polls and another, Kenneth Marende, who relinquished his seat when he was elected parliament speaker.
The voting will be overshadowed by the deaths of two government ministers in a plane crash on Tuesday near the western town of Narok.
Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Assistant Home Affairs Minister Lorna Laboso were on their way to assist with the by-elections when the Cessna plane the ministers were flying in crashed.
The parliamentary impact of the by-elections may be limited, but observers fear some of the grievances that sparked unrest earlier this year could resurface.
Richard Lough, Rob Crilly, Steve Bloomfield and LA Times correspondent Edmund Sanders in Nairobi will be covering the elections.
|6897||Dozens Dead In Sudan Plane Crash||Andrew Heavens||News||Sudan||11 June 2008 11:34 Wed||
At least 50 people are missing after a plane, landing in bad weather at Khartoum airport in Sudan, caught fire on the runway.
Doctors and officials say the local mortuary had received 28 bodies by 3am on Wednesday, but that another 53 people were unaccounted for.
The Civil Aviation Authority says it counted 113 survivors, but that many people had left the incident site and gone straight home without telling authorities.
The Airbus A310 carrying more than 200 people on board was taxi-ing on the runway when the engine caught fire, officials say.
Andrew Heavens in Khartoum is across this event.
|6900||Nepal's Former King Quits Palace||Liam Cochrane, Subina Shrestha||News||Nepal||11 June 2008 11:43 Wed||
Nepal's former king is due to leave the palace in Kathmandu today, after the country's Maoist-led assembly voted to abolish the monarchy last month.
Guyendra Shah, now an ordinary citizen, will give a press conference before he and his wife, the former queen Komal Shah, move to a temporary residence in Nagarjun, in the north-western suburbs of Kathmandu.
The move is seen as the last chapter in the fall of the Shah Dynasty, who unified Nepal in the 1760s.
Although the government has welcomed Guyendra's agreement to go quietly, the overall ending of the monarchy has been bitter.
It follows the unexplained massacre of the Royal family in 2001 and the
The palace, home to the Royal family for over a 100 years, is to become a museum.
Guyendra is also expected to hand over his crown and royal sceptre, as well furniture and gifts he received in his capacity as head of state, to the government.
Liam Cochrane and Subina Shrestha in Kathmandu are available for 2-ways.
|6901||Air Strike Along Pakistan-Afghan Border Kills 18||Tom Coghlan, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone||News||Pakistan||11 June 2008 11:51 Wed||
Eighteen people have been killed in an air strike along the Pakistan-Afghan border, including 10 Pakistani troops and 8 Taliban militants.
It is still unclear what prompted the US-led air strike in the Mohamand region.
Tensions have been aggravated by the strong Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan and the presence of Pakistani security forces along the porous border separating the countries.
Pakistan's recent peace negotiations with militants along the border have prompted criticism from Afghan and US-led forces who say the talks have given Taliban militants more ability to manoeuvre between the two countries and take refuge in Pakistan's tribal belt along the frontier.
Pakistan says that NATO and Afghan forces have not done enough to sufficiently monitor their side of the border.
Declan Walsh, Graham Usher in Islamabad and Tom Coghlan, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone in Kabul are across this event.
|6925||EU Treaty In The Hands Of Irish Voters||Deaglan de Breadun||News||Ireland||12 June 2008 11:23 Thu||
In a vote anxiously watched by the EU, people in the Irish republic are to decide today whether to ratify the Lisbon Treaty.
Opinion polls indicate that passage of the referendum would be very close, as groups advocating a 'no' vote have an edge in some polls.
Ireland is the only one of the 27 EU member states to hold a popular vote for ratification.
The treaty, if passed , would come into effect in January and will create a long-term president of the European Commission, a strengthened foreign affairs post, and remove national veto power in more policy areas.
Polls opened at 7:00 and counting is scheduled to begin at 9:00.
Deaglan de Breadun in Dublin is following the vote.
|6926||Bangladesh's Former Prime Minister Released From Detention||Mike Leung||News||Bangladesh||12 June 2008 11:27 Thu||
Bangladesh's former Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed has been freed from detention on corruption charges.
Sheikh Hasina leader of the Awami League party, who has been held for almost a year, is to leave the country early Thursday for the United States, for medical treatment.
She left her jail in a heavily-guarded vehicle, and was greeted by thousands of supporters gathered outside.
However, Bangladesh's emergency army-backed government is leaving the corruption charges in place and she is to be tried in her absence. The move is being seen as part of government efforts for an agreement between the Awami League and the country's other main party, the BNP.
Both parties have refused to hold talks to plan for an election at the end of the year whilst their leaders are detained.
The Awami League leader and head of the BNP, Khaleda Zia, have been blamed for the political paralysis and unrest that led to the imposition of a state of emergency and formation of an army-backed authority in January 2007.
Mike Leung in Dhaka is across this story.
|6927||Zimbawe's Military Runs Mugabe Campaign||Bill Corcoran, Nicholas Champeaux and Gretchen Wilson||News||South Africa||12 June 2008 11:30 Thu||
The BBC has obtained documents revealing that the Zimbabwean military is actively involved in running the re-election campaign for Robert Mugabe.
The papers outline the use of covert plans against the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) to harass and drive out their supporters of Zanu-PF strongholds and rural areas. Another document reveals Mugabe's party is using scarce food supplies as a political weapon.
Over 60 people have been killed, thousands beaten and many more driven from their homes in what Robert Mugabe has called an "all-out-war".
The documents show that Mr Mugabe and his supporters are using violence and intimidation to guarantee his re-election against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai on 27 June.
Bill Corcoran, Nicholas Champeaux and Gretchen Wilson in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
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