|Total of results: 4321|
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|6928||Afghan Donor Meeting In Paris||Hugh Schofield, Rory Mulholland and Henry Samuel, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone||News||France||12 June 2008 11:34 Thu||
Afghanistan's government is to ask international donors at a conference in Paris today to fund a $50bn reconstruction plan.
Donors from about 80 countries are expected to attend the fourth major conference on Afghanistan's future since the fall of the Taliban.
The meeting is intended to raise reconstruction money and to find better ways of improving aid flows and build the capacity of the Afghan government, reducing the reliance on foreign contractors.
Critics of the reconstruction plan say Afghanistan does not have the capacity to spend the money it already has, let alone bid for more.
President Hamid Karzai, who is expected to stand for re-election in 2009, is also facing mounting international pressure over the lack of progress in achieving stability and improving living standards since his assumption of power in December 2004.
Hugh Schofield, Rory Mulholland and Henry Samuel in Paris, Tom Coghlan, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone in Kabul are available for 2-ways.
|6929||5.5 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Greek Isle of Crete||Louis Economopoulos, Maria Kagkelidou||News||Greece||12 June 2008 11:35 Thu||
A 5.5 magnitude quake hit the Greek island of Crete early this morning. This follows a 6.5 magnitude quake which killed two and injured 200 others in the southwest region of the Greece over the weekend.
Seismologists say the two quakes are unrelated. So far, no injuries or damaged buildings have been reported.
The epicentre was in Zakrou, an area of eastern Crete, according to the Athens Geodynamic Institute.
Louis Economopoulos and Maria Kagkelidou in Athens are covering this story.
|6934||Japan Partially Lifts Sanctions Against North Korea||Anna Fitfield, Bruce Wallace and Elizabeth Noh||News||Japan||13 June 2008 10:58 Fri||
Japan is partially lifting sanctions against North Korea after it agreed to conduct a new investigation into the abduction of Japanese nationals in the country.
Japan's Foreign Minister Masahiko Komura said the ban on charter flights and travel between the two sides is to be lifted. In return, Pyongyang will re-probe cases concerning a number of Japanese people who were captured by North Korean agents decades ago to train spies, he said.
The move comes after talks between the two sides earlier this month. Japanese and North Korean Representatives met in the Chinese capital, Beijing, in an effort to make progress on the long-standing dispute which has been blocking progress towards establishing formal diplomatic ties.
Anna Fifield in Seoul and LA Times correspondent Bruce Wallace and Elizabeth Noh in Tokyo are available for 2-ways.
|6935||Four Arrested in Ecuadorian President Assassination Plot||Mike Ceasar and Jerry McDermott||News||Colombia||13 June 2008 11:03 Fri||
Ecuadorian police have arrested three Colombian citizens and one Ecuadorian who are suspected of a conspiracy to assassinate Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa. The suspects had photographs of the presidential palace and maps of nearby streets in their possession.
Details are still scarce, but according to the Ecuadorian Attorney General, Washington Pezantes, the men were hired to plot against the president with others in Ecuador. Tension between Ecuador and Columbia has been mounting since March when Columbia raided an Ecuadorian rebel camp.
Left leaning President Correa, who is allied closely with Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez, was informed of the plot.
Mike Ceasar and Jerry McDermott in Bogota are following events in Ecuador.
|6936||US Attorney General Disapproves of Supreme Court||Carol Williams||News||Cuba||13 June 2008 11:09 Fri||
The US Attorney General, Michael Mukasey, says a key ruling by the US Supreme Court on Guantanamo detainees will not have an affect on military trials of enemy combatants.
Mr Mukasey expressed his disappointment with the court's decision to allow foreign suspects to appeal against their detention to US civilian courts. The trials of "enemy combatants" due to be held at the naval facility in Cuba would proceed, he says.
The court's ruling was cheered by US and foreign human-rights groups. The Bush administration, however, views it as a major legal impediment, but it is unknown yet whether it will prompt court hearings for the detainees.
LA Times Guantanamo correspondent Carol Williams is covering the trial.
|6937||Ethiopia Appeals for Emergency Aid||Barry Malone||News||Ethiopia||13 June 2008 11:12 Fri||
Ethiopia is urgently appealing to international donors for emergency aid of more than $300m. Almost 5 million people are now believed to be in need for food aid, as a consequence of the drought which struck most of the country earlier this year.
Health centres and feeding clinics in some parts of the country are already overwhelmed with large numbers of severely malnourished children. Existing stocks of food aid are expected to suffice for June, but July will see a crunch, unless more supplies arrive.
Help is clearly needed urgently, both in general distribution of food to everyone in the most badly affected areas, and in extra rations for the most vulnerable areas in the country.
Barry Malone in Addis Ababa is covering Ethiopia's food crisis.
|6938||Mugabe Claims Supporters Will Fight On||Bill Corcoran, Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||South Africa||13 June 2008 11:15 Fri||
President Robert Mugabe says veterans of Zimbabwe's war of independence are ready to fight to stop the MDC opposition party from gaining power, state media report. The Herald newspaper quoted Mr Mugabe as saying he had advised the veterans against taking arms after they have asked for his approval.
He claimed they have said to him Zimbabwe was won "by the barrel of the gun" and should not be let go at a pen stroke. Tensions is rising in the country ahead of a presidential run-off poll on 27 June.
Bill Corcoran, Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are following events in Zimbabwe.
|6939||Election Violence Spreads In Zimbabwe||Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||South Africa||16 June 2008 10:25 Mon||
Election violence in Zimbabwe has spread to urban areas around the capital, Harare.
Some opposition supporters have complained of being attacked in a township near the city, which until recently had been largely quiet.
One opposition supporter said supporters of President Robert Mugabe's Zanu PF had abducted and beaten him.
Mr Mugabe is to face Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change in run-off presidential elections on 27 June. The President says he is prepared to "go to war" for his country.
Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are following the elections.
|6940||New Threats Of Floods And Landslides In China||Jamila Trindle, Daniel Schearf and Barbara Demick||News||China||16 June 2008 10:28 Mon||
China, still reeling from the May 12 earthquake, now faces heavy rains and flooding.
The southern province of Guangdong has been especially effected by the swollen Yellow River. More than 20 people have died and 4,800 houses have collapsed.
Close to 240,000 Guangdong residents were relocated to higher ground, including 60,000 in Shenzhen, near Hong Kong.
Forecasters warn that storms could also affect parts of the Yangtze River delta region, near Shanghai and provinces across the east, south and southwest. In the quake hit areas, officials have decided to relocate more than 50,000 people, where rains and aftershocks are causing landslides.
Jamila Trindle, Daniel Schearf and LA Times correspondent Barbara Demick in Beijing are covering this story.
|6941||Death Toll Continues Rising After Japan Quake||Liz Noh and Bruce Wallace||News||Japan||16 June 2008 10:31 Mon||
Officials are still finding bodies after a powerful earthquake hit northern Japan on Saturday morning.
A fourth body was pulled from what remains of an inn in Miyangi, bringing the death toll to 10.
Twelve people are still missing, including 3 more at the inn. The 7.2 magnitude quake triggered massive mudslides in the remote mountainous area.
The quake has left 231 injured and thousands of households without electricity. More than 200 people are staying in shelters.
Liz Noh and LA Times correspondent Bruce Wallace in Tokyo are across this event.
|6942||Afghan President Threatens Sending Troops Into Pakistan||Declan Walsh, Graham Usher, Tom Coghlan, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone||News||Pakistan||16 June 2008 10:35 Mon||
Pakistan says it will not tolerate any violations of its borders.
Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani's warning came after Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to send troops over the border into Pakistan to seek out militants based there.
The Afghan President has frequently asked Pakistan and international forces to deal with the militants in Pakistan.
This is the first time he has threatened to send troops over the border in "self-defence."
Declan Walsh, Graham Usher in Islamabad and Tom Coghlan, Jerome Starkey and Jon Boone in Kabul are covering this story.
|6943||EU Leaders Confront Irish Rejection Of Lisbon Treaty||Patricia Kelly, Stephen Castle, Francoise Tihon and Deaglan de Breadun||News||Belgium||16 June 2008 10:38 Mon||
European Union foreign ministers are gathering in Luxembourg today to discuss how to deal with the Irish rejection of the Lisbon reform treaty.
The treaty cannot be implemented unless approved by all 27 EU member states.
Ireland was the only state to hold a referendum on Lisbon, rejecting it by 53.4% to 46.6% last Thursday.
Foreign ministers in Luxembourg will want to hear from their counterpart Micheal Martin as to how they can overcome the crisis. UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown is now facing growing pressure to stop the final stage of ratification on Wednesday.
A two-day EU summit is to start on Thursday, which is expected to plot the way forward. The treaty is due to come into force on 1 January 2009.
Patricia Kelly, Stephen Castle and Francoise Tihon in Brussels and Deaglan de Breadun in Dublin are available for 2-ways.
|6977||First Legal Same-Sex Marriages Take Place in California||Jill Replogle, Matthew Brunwasser, Ken McCoy and Mike Reynolds||News||United States of America||17 June 2008 10:31 Tue||
Wedding ceremonies have been held in California shortly after the US state was permitted to grant same-sex marriage licences for the first time. In at least five counties, dozens of homosexual couples were married after a supreme court ruling overturning a ban on same-sex marriages came into action at 1701 (0001 GMT).
One of the first couples to exchange vows in San Francisco was gay-rights campaigner Del Martin, 87, and Phyllis Lyon, 83. California is the second state after Massachusetts to legalise same-sex marriages. However, opponents of same-sex unions have collected enough signatures to put forward another law outlawing gay marriages before California voters in November.
Jill Replogle and Matthew Brunwasswer in San Francisco and Ken McCoy and Mike Reynolds in Los Angeles are available for 2-ways.
|6978||Three Dead After Fighting Breaks Out in Lebanon||Borzou Daragahi, Ben Gilbert, Hugh Macleod, Delphine Minoui and Nicholas Noe||News||Lebanon||17 June 2008 10:35 Tue||
For a second time this week, fierce fighting has broken out in the Eastern Bekaa valley between Lebanese government supporters and opposition supporters resulting in three deaths.
The clashes in the Saadnayel and Taalbaya villages are some of the most violent since the Doha accord was signed on May 21.
The fighting comes as US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice paid an unannounced visit to the country. Rice praised the May power-sharing deal, which quelled violence between rival factions and allowed for the election of Michel Suleiman as president.
LA Times correspondent Borzou Daragahi, Ben Gilbert, Hugh Macleod, Delphine Minoui and Nicholas Noe are reporting from Beirut.
|6980||Security Tightened as Olympic Torch Passes Through Predominantly Muslim Area||Jamila Trindle, Daniel Schearf and Barbara Demick||News||China||17 June 2008 10:39 Tue||
Security has been tightened in the predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang as the Olympic torch passed through Urumqi, the capital.
Authorities ordered residents in the north-western region to stay inside and watch the proceedings from their televisions. Snipers were deployed along the People's Square as well as metal detectors to screen people entering the square. Bystanders were not allowed to get any closer than 40m to the torch's path.
Relations are tense between the Chinese authorities and the Muslim Uighur people, who resent the large influx of Han-Chinese settlers into the region. Beijing accuses groups fighting to establish an independent Islamic nation of having ties to Al Qaeda.
The torch will be in the region for three days before moving on to Tibet.
Jamila Trindle, Daniel Schearf and LA Times correspondent Barbara Demick in Beijing are available for 2-ways.
|6981||Four dead in Pakistan After Suspected Sectarian Gun Attack||Declan Walsh, Graham Usher and Shaheen Buneri||News||Pakistan||17 June 2008 10:44 Tue||
Four die in Pakistan in suspected sectarian gun attack. Gunmen opened fire at four Shia Muslim men in the main market in the town of Hangu, in north-western Pakistan, killing all four instantly.
Police from the town have not identified the killers or the motives for the killings. A senior official in Hangu in North West Frontier Province confirmed that the men killed were from the same family and the attack "appeared" to be sectarian.
There have been reports of a number of sectarian attacks recently in Hangu and other towns in northwest Pakistan bordering Afghanistan. Thousands of militants from both the Shia community, who make up 20% of the Pakistan population, and the Sunni majority, have been killed in tit-for-tat attacks over the past decade.
Declan Walsh and Graham Usher in Islamabad and Shaheen Buneri in Peshawar (North-Western Province) are across this event.
|6982||NATO and Afghan Forces Prepare To Launch Attack On Taliban In South||Jon Boone, Jerome Starkey and Tom Coghlan||News||Afghanistan||17 June 2008 10:47 Tue||
Foreign and Afghan forces are preparing to force out Taliban insurgents who have taken over several villages in southern Afghanistan, officials and witnesses say.
At least 300 families have fled their homes in Arghandab district, which lies about 20 km to the north of Kandahar city, as NATO and Afghan forces prepare to deploy troops to seal off the area. NATO troops have air dropped leaflets warning people to leave the area.
About 600 Taliban insurgents took over several villages in the Arghandab district on Monday, days after they freed 400 militants in an attack on the main jail in Kandahar city.
Jon Boone, Jerome Starkey and Tom Coghlan in Kabul are covering this story.
|7014||India-U.S. Nuclear Energy Talks Postponed Last-Minute||Randeep Ramesh||News||India||18 June 2008 10:35 Wed||
India's government and its communist allies have postponed at the last minute, a crucial meeting that would attempt to break a deadlock over a controversial nuclear energy deal with the United States.
The deal would allow India access to the US's nuclear fuel and technology.
Television stations in India have reported that the meeting would take place June 25.
The deal is viewed as vital to the country's soaring energy needs. However, the Indian government has declined to sign the deal without the backing of its communist allies.
Randeep Ramesh in New Delhi is available for 2-ways.
|7015||Turkish Diva On Trial For Criticizing Military||David O||News||Turkey||18 June 2008 10:39 Wed||
Turkey's best known diva is due in court in Istanbul today facing charges of dissent.
Charges were brought against Bulent Ersoy after she suggested on television in February that it was not worth sacrificing soldiers' lives in the Turkish conflict with the PKK, a Kurdish rebel group.
The transsexual singer faces up to four-and-a-half years in prison if convicted of attempting to turn the public away from military service.
Ersoy is a popular singer of the Ottoman classical movement and has become a symbol for the increased toleration of transsexual and transgendered people by the Turkish media since her sex change in 1981.
David O'Bryne, Matt Mossman and Robert Tait in Istanbul are following the court proceedings.
|7016||Fidel Castro Makes Rare Television Appearance||Juan Jacomino and Pedro A. Gonzalez||News||Cuba||18 June 2008 10:42 Wed||
Fidel Castro made his first appearance in five months on Cuban state television late Tuesday evening.
The video contained silent footage of an animated Castro meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez.
According to President Chavez, the men discussed the energy and food crises occurring throughout the world and the upcoming US presidential election.
Chavez also said that Fidel is alive and well, disputing previous reports of his failing health.
This marked the first time the 81-year-old Castro was seen on television since he relinquished power to younger brother, Raul, in February.
Juan Jacomino and Pedro A. Gonzalez are covering the story.
|7017||Israel Approves Ceasefire With Hamas||Tim Butcher and Annette Young||News||Israel||18 June 2008 10:44 Wed||
After months of clashing with Hamas in Gaza, Israel has approved a ceasefire set to take effect on Thursday.
According to the terms of the truce, Israel will ease its blockade on the Gaza Strip and talks with Hamas will continue to try and release captured Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.
The decision to approve the ceasefire was made by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Defence Minister Ehud Barak.
The truce will begin at 6 am and should bring an end to rocket attacks from within Gaza.
Many worry that the truce may fall apart if both sides do not cooperate, generating another roadblock on the way to long-term peace.
Tim Butcher and Annette Young are following the story in Jerusalem.
|7018||Four Soldiers Die In Explosion In Helmand||Jon Boone, Jerome Starkey and Tom Coghlan||News||Afghanistan||18 June 2008 10:47 Wed||
Four UK soldiers, one believed to be a woman, have been killed in an explosion east of Lashkar Gah in Helmand Province, Southern Afghanistan, says the Ministry of Defence.
Three of the soldiers died in the blast, which happened at 1540 local time on Tuesday, and another was pronounced dead at the Camp Bastion medical base. A fifth solder is being treated for injuries.
Meanwhile, NATO and Afghan forces have launched an offensive to drive Taliban insurgents from the outskirts of the southern city of Kandahar.
300 to 400 militant fighters have been reported operating in Arghandab district, with minor clashes and exchanges of gunfire between the two sides.
The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has expressed his sympathy over the deaths in Lashkar Gar, which now take the number of British troops killed in Afghanistan to 106.
Jon Boone, Jerome Starkey and Tom Coghlan in Kabul are covering this event.
|7019||Anglicans In||Tim Butcher||News||Jordan||18 June 2008 03:50 Wed||
A `secret' meeting of 150 Anglican member angered by the issue of homosexual clergy is being held today in Jordan.
150 Bishops/Priests are meeting to outline a policy document that could bring about a split in the Anglican communion ahead of the Global Anglican Future Conference (GAFCON) in Jerusalem from 22-26 June.
The main topic of conversation at next week's conference will be the growing rift among Anglicans over homosexuality. Over 1,000 clergy will be attending the conference; more than half of which are coming from Africa, where more than half of the world’s Anglicans reside.
Recently, the issue has drawn media attention after a wedding in London between two male priests in an Anglican church.
GAFCON organizers, however, claim that the conference is designed to “prepare for an Anglican future in which the gospel is uncompromised and Christ-cantered mission a top priority.”
Tim Butcher is at the secret meeting in Jordan and is available for 2-ways.
|7020||Members of Kurdish Children||David O||News||Turkey||19 June 2008 10:27 Thu||
Members of a Kurdish children's choir have gone on trial in south-eastern Turkey accused of spreading propaganda for the outlawed Kurdish separatist rebel group, the PKK. The choir - whose members are aged from 12 to 17 - face up to five years imprisonment.
The charges were brought after the group took part in a world music festival in San Francisco and sang the son "Ey Raqip", or "Hey, Enemy" - which is believed to be an anthem of the PKK. Turkey has been fighting the PKK since the 1980s, in a conflict which has so far claimed 40,000 lives.
David O'Bryne, Matt Mossman and LA Times correspondent Laura King in Istanbul are covering the trial.
|7021||Four Members of Zimbabwe Opposition Party Found Dead||Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||Zimbabwe||19 June 2008 10:30 Thu||
Four youth members of the Zimbabwe opposition party Movement for Democratic Change were found dead near the capital this morning. The four young men were abducted on Tuesday and discovered in several locations in Chitungwiza, southeast of Harare. DMC party spokesman Nelson Chamisa said 70 opposition supporters have been killed since the first round of elections on March 29.
With the second round of elections taking place on the 27th violence has been mounting against the opposition and now Zimbabwe's public broadcaster ZBC will no longer show DMC campaign ads. Other than state-run ZBC, there are no privately owned television or radio stations in Zimbabwe to show the ads.
Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux are available for 2-ways.
|7022||Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Begins After Last Minute Attacks||Annette Young, Tim Butcher, Eric Silver and Richard Boudreaux||News||Israel||19 June 2008 10:32 Thu||
The ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in Gaza has begun following a last minute spate of cross-border attacks. On Wednesday, before the truce came into effect, at least 40 rockets were fired from Gaza at Israel, and a Palestinian fighter was killed in an Israeli air strike. There are no reports of fire from either side this morning.
Should the Egypt-brokered ceasefire hold, Israel will relax its blockade on Gaza and talks on prisoner exchange may be held. On Wednesday, Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the truce would be fragile and could be short-lived. However, Hamas said it was confident that its militants would stick to the truce, which is supposed to last six-months.
Since the last ceasefire collapsed in April 2007, 18 Israelis and about 600 Palestinians have been killed in fighting between the two sides.
Annette Young, Tim Butcher, Eric Silver and LA Times correspondent Richard Boudreaux in Jerusalem are across this event.
|7023||Iraqi Security Forces Launch Offensive in South||Tina Susman and Said Rifai||News||Iraq||19 June 2008 10:35 Thu||
Iraqi Security Forces in conjunction with US troops have launched a major offensive in southern city Amara. The intent of the operation is to drive out Shia militia groups after a deadline set by Prime Minister Nouri Maliki to lay down weapons expired at midnight.
Police spokesman Colonel Mehdi al-Asadi said so far there has been no trouble and that dozens of militants have already surrendered. A similar offensive was launched in Basra in March that led to weeks of fighting and left hundreds dead.
LA Times correspondents Tina Susman and Said Rifai are in Baghdad following the story.
|7024||Reports That Taliban Pushed From Kandahar||Tom Coghlan, Jon Boone and Jerome Starkey||News||Afghanistan||19 June 2008 10:37 Thu||
NATO and Afghan forces pushed Taliban fighters from the outskirts of the southern city of Kandahar, says a senior Afghan official. Kandahar governor Assadullah Khalid says the Taliban had suffered heavy casualties and fled the Arghandab district. NATO has not confirmed the report, but a spokesman told reporters that the military operation was progressing "methodically and successfully" and meeting very little resistance.
The Afghan defence ministry assessed that around 300 to 400 militants were operating in the Arghandab district and had gained control of eight villages. Kandahar is one of the key battlegrounds for the Taliban. It is the birthplace of both the Taliban and President Hamid Karzai.
Tom Coghlan, Jon Boone and Jerome Starkey in Kabul are covering this story.
|7025||European Union Considering New Sanctions Against Zimbabwe||Stephen Castle, Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||Belgium||20 June 2008 10:31 Fri||
The European Union is considering new sanctions against Zimbabwe following reports of escalating violence in the run up to the 27 June election. A drafted text of a statement from the EU summit includes the threat of fresh sanctions. The draft text states the EU is ready "to take additional measures against those responsible for violence".
Reuters report that Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai is under pressure to withdraw from the run-off vote against President Robert Mugabe. "There is a huge avalanche of calls and pressure from supporters across the country, especially in the rural areas, not to accept to be participants in this charade," said a spokesman for the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
Stephen Castle in Brussels and Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are covering this story.
|7026||Sarkozy says EU Expansion Is Impossible Without Ratifying Lisbon Treaty||Stephen Castle, Patricia Kelly, Francoise Tihon, Deaglan de Breadun and Hugh Schofield||News||Belgium||20 June 2008 10:35 Fri||
French President Nicolas Sarkozy says that further expansion of the European Union will be impossible further without full ratification of the Lisbon treaty.
The rejection of the reform treaty by Ireland last week overwhelmed the EU summit in Brussels. Ireland is expected to propose a solution to the situation by October. Mr Sarkozy's comments "Without the Treaty of Lisbon there won't be any enlargement," and "You can't say no to reforms and yes to enlargement.", were described by a diplomat as "a threat" to Ireland and a "wrong signal to Turkey and Croatia", the two states who are hoping to be the next to join the EU.
Mr Sarkozy declared, however, that he intends to travel to Ireland when France takes over the rotating EU presidency in July to help find a solution. To take effect, the treaty must be ratified by all members.
Stephen Castle, Patricia Kelly and Francoise Tihon in Brussels, Deaglan de Breadun in Dublin and Hugh Schofield in Paris are covering this story.
|7027||US Tourist Accused of Murdering Wife on Great Barrier Reef||Roger Maynard||News||Australia||20 June 2008 10:37 Fri||
An arrest warrant has been ordered for an American diver over the alleged murder of his wife on Australia's Great Barrier Reef. The Townsville coroner this morning (Fri) decided that US tourist Gabe Watson be charged with killing Christina Mae Watson who drowned during a week-long diving trip in October 2003.
Police said an application would be made for his extradition from the United States. Detective Inspector Warren Webber said, 'There are lengthy legal procedures that are involved but obviously we are keen they will be done as quickly as possible.' Police became suspicious when Watson, 31, gave several different reasons for leaving his wife's body on the ocean floor and returning to the surface. Police allege he turned off the air supply of his wife, who was only a novice diver. Mrs Watson's family, who watched the inquest via video link from Alabama, hugged each other and cried when the decision was announced.
Roger Maynard in Sydney is across this story.
|7028||Demonstrations in Thai Capital||Amy Kazmin, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond||News||Thailand||20 June 2008 10:39 Fri||
Parts of Thailand's capital city are under tight security due to a demonstration by a protest group which is demanding the government step down. The People's Alliance for Democracy started their march on Government House, watched by thousands of police.
The PAD, which involves mainly middle-class residents of Bangkok, accuses the government of being a proxy for Thaksin Shinawatra, who the military ousted in a 2006 coup. In the past the group led the huge anti-Thaksin street demonstrations that preceded the 2006 coup, but this time they have so far not been able to mobilize the masses. Nonetheless, the PAD say they are adamant to keep rallying until the government steps down. Earlier this week, major unions joined the protest.
Amy Kazmin, Andrew Chant and Andrew Drummond in Bangkok are following events.
|7029||10 Civilians Die In Suicide Attack in Helmand||Jon Boone, Tom Coghlan and Jerome Starkey||News||Afghanistan||20 June 2008 10:42 Fri||
Ten civilians have been killed in a suicide bomb attack in southern Afghanistan, say Afghan police. According to officials the attacker was hoping to damage a convoy of foreign soldiers as it was passing through Helmand province.
One day before the attack NATO and Afghan forces boasted at having driven Taliban fighters from areas close to the southern city of Kandahar. There are no reports of any military casualties in the latest attack. "The attacker walked up to a NATO convoy patrolling in a market in Girishk district and detonated explosives strapped to his body," said provincial police chief Mohammad Hussain Andiwal to AFP news agency.
Nobody has yet declared responsibility. However, Taliban militants have claimed almost all similar attacks in the past.
Jon Boone, Tom Coghlan and Jerome Starkey in Kabul are available foe 2-ways.
|7030||Bishops Criticise Anglican Leader||Tim Butcher, Arnon Regular and Christopher Walker.||News||Israel||23 June 2008 11:42 Mon||
Talks regarding the future of the Anglican Church have opened in Jerusalem with Conservative Anglican leaders criticising its leader, the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Archbishops of Nigeria and Uganda attacked Dr Rowan Williams’s failure to discipline the US Episcopal Church for consecrating an openly gay bishop in 2003.
The 300 bishops are meeting amid fears of split in the church, and concerns regarding the future of the worldwide Anglican Communion.
Many of them accuse liberals of rewriting the Bible to fit modern trends.
The Global Anglican Future Conference (Gafcon), brings together conservative Anglican leaders, many from developing countries.
The talks are in effect a rival to next month's Lambeth Conference - a 10-yearly gathering of Anglican bishops from all over the world.
Many of the Bishops attending the Jerusalem talks have threatened to boycott the July meeting.
Tim butcher and Arnon Regular in Jerusalem are covering this story. Christopher Walker in London is available for coverage of UK responses to the crisis in the Anglican Church.
|7031||Two Palestinians Dead After Israeli Attack In West Bank||Annette Young, Tim Butcher, Richard Boudreaux and Mark Klusener||News||Israel||24 June 2008 10:39 Tue||
Two Palestinians have died in an Israeli attack in the West Bank city of Nablus, say Palestinian sources. The Israeli army confirmed one of the deaths saying that a senior member of the Islamic Jihad militant group had died in an exchange of fire. The militant, Tarek Jumea Abu Ali, was wanted by Israel for instigating attacks, Israel's army said.
This comes on the sixth day of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas-controlled Gaza. Although the West Bank is not included in the truce, the attack could jeopardise the ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is travelling to the Egyptian Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh for talks expected to focus on the ceasefire's progress with President Hosni Mubarak.
Annette Young, Tim Butcher and LA Times correspondent Richard Boudreaux in Jerusalem and Mark Klusener in Ramallah are available for 2-ways.
|7032||United Nations Says The Taliban Made $1 Billion From Opium Trade||Jerome Starkey, Jon Boone, Tom Coghlan, Steve Schiffman and Julie Walker||News||Afghanistan||24 June 2008 10:42 Tue||
The Taliban made around $1 billion from the opium trade in 2007, says the United Nations. This includes $100 million raised by a 10% tax on farmers in Taliban-controlled areas, said the head of the UN's Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), Antonio Maria Costa.
The yield from this year's opium harvest is expected to be down due to drought, infestation and a poppy ban enforced in the north and east of the country. However, this will have little impact on revenue. British officials, who work closely with the Afghan government in counter-narcotics, says that drugs money funds the Taliban's military operations.
Jerome Starkey, Jon Boone and Tom Coghlan in Kabul and UN correspondents Steve Schiffman and Julie Walker are across this story.
|7033||First Bodies Found in Capsized Ferry||Dean Bernardo and John McLean||News||Philippines||24 June 2008 10:45 Tue||
Rescue divers have found bodies but no survivors as they began searching a capsized ferry in the Philippines, navy personnel say. The ferry, carrying more than 800 people, capsized on Saturday in rough weather caused by Typhoon Fengshen.
Fewer than 40 passengers and crew have been found alive, and officials fear most were trapped inside the vessel, now resting on the sea floor just off Sibuyan Island. President Gloria Arroyo has called for an inquiry into why the vessel was allowed to sail when a typhoon was forecast. Vessels belonging to the owner, Sulpicio Lines, have been ordered to suspend operations pending inspections.
Typhoon Fengshen caused devastation across much of the central Philippines over the weekend with 160 people killed in flooding and landslides. The typhoon has now weakened to a tropical storm and is heading north into the South China Sea.
Dean Bernardo and John McLean in Manila are available for 2-ways.
|7034||Tsvangirai To Leave Dutch Embassy||Gretchen Wilson, Nicholas Champeaux and Ana Uzelac||News||South Africa||24 June 2008 10:47 Tue||
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai says he will leave the Dutch embassy in Harare in the next 48 hours, following assurances from the Zimbabwe authorities about his safety.
The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) opposition leader pulled out of the presidential run-off over the weekend amid pre-poll violence that saw 86 supporters of the MDC's party killed. Reports of widespread intimidation committed by President Mugabe's ruling Zanu-PF party militias are being denied by Zimbabwe's UN Ambassador Boniface Chidyaisiku.
Late yesterday, the UN Security Council made a unanimous statement that a free and fair vote in Zimbabwe would be 'impossible'. The MDC won the parliamentary vote in March, and claims to have won the first round of the presidential contest outright. According to official results, Mr Tsvangirai was ahead of Mr Mugabe but failed to gain enough votes to avoid a run-off.
Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg and Ana Uzelac in Amsterdam, reporting on the Dutch angle, are available for 2-ways.
|7037||US Employees Die In Bomb Blast In Baghdad||Said Rifai and Ned Parker||News||Iraq||24 June 2008 11:58 Tue||
Two US government employees have died in a bomb blast at a council office in Baghdad's Sadr City district. The bomb was apparently targeting US troops, but ended up killing at least six Iraqi civilians, in addition to the US government workers.
This comes only a day after an attack on US troops southeast of Baghdad killed two Americans and wounded a further four. The US civilians killed today worked for the US State Department and the Department of Defence. US officials have not yet released more information except that the assailant was killed.
LA Times correspondents Said Rifai and Ned Parker in Baghdad are following developments in this story.
|7045||New Zealand Government Signs Over Land to Maori||Nick Smith and Peter Foster||News||New Zealand||25 June 2008 10:26 Wed||
The New Zealand government has signed over nine large tracts of forest land to the ownership of seven Maori tribes in what is the largest ever deal between the government and the tribes. The deal is worth $319 million dollars and encompasses nine forests covering 435,000 acres of land on the North Island.
This historic transaction seeks to address grievances dating back to 1840 and the Waitangi Treaty, when the Maori faced land seizures after being promised used of their land in return for ceding sovereignty to the British crown.
The Maori make up 15% of New Zealand's population but disproportionately face poor health, education, housing compared to the rest of the population. This deal will hopefully help them develop a sustainable economic future.
Nick Smith and Peter Foster in Auckland are available for 2-ways.
|7047||Divers Search For Bodies On Capsized Ferry||Dean Bernardo||News||Philippines||25 June 2008 10:31 Wed||
Divers are searching for bodies in first-class cabins on a capsized ferry in the Philippines. At least 700 people are still missing after the Princess of Stars ran aground and flipped over in huge waves off the central island of Sibuyan during a typhoon on Saturday.
Five corpses were found on Tuesday. A male foreigner appears to have been among the bodies retrieved, but officials say it is not yet possible to identify his nationality. According to the local coast guard, 48 people have so far been found alive out of a total 865 passengers and crew on board.
Dean Bernardo in Manila is across this story.
|7048||Bodies of 22 Tribesmen Abducted by the Taliban Found||Declan Walsh and Graham Usher||News||Pakistan||25 June 2008 10:34 Wed||
The bodies of 22 tribesmen abducted by the Taliban on Monday have been found, say Pakistani authorities. The men from Bhittani tribe were kidnapped from Jandola town in South Waziristan district by militants loyal to Pakistan's top Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud.
Those dead include fighters of Niamatkhel branch of Bhittani tribe that operates in Jandola tribal territory and the neighbouring Tank region of Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP) with the backing of government forces. Both tribes - the Bhittanis and the Mehsud's - have now formed a tribal council to prevent further escalation.
Declan Walsh and Graham Usher in Islamabad are covering this story.
|7050||Olmert Deal Averts Early Polls In Israel||Annette Young, Tim Butcher and Richard Boudreaux||News||Israel||25 June 2008 10:36 Wed||
Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has agreed to a deal with the Labour party to avert new elections and keep himself in office. Labour leader, Defence Minister Ehud Barak, will not support the opposition bill to dissolve parliament and in return Prime Minister Olmert will hold elections by September for a new leader of his Kadima party.
Olmert is currently under investigation for corruption and Defence Minister Barak has called for his resignation. According to their new agreement, the next election would take place in 2010, but many are suspecting that Olmert will be replaced as leader of the Kadima party by September.
Annette Young, Tim Butcher and LA Times correspondent Richard Boudreaux are available in Jerusalem for 2-ways.
|7051||US Will Not Recognise Zimbabwe Elections||Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||South Africa||25 June 2008 10:38 Wed||
A senior state department official says the US will not recognise the result of Friday's presidential election in Zimbabwe. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Jendayi Frazer, said Robert Mugabe could not claim a legitimate victory after his campaign of violence against the opposition.
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has withdrawn from the run-off and has been seeking refuge in the Dutch embassy in the capital since Sunday. Fearing for his life, Tsvangirai has asked for UN peacekeepers to enter Zimbabwe and protect opposition supporters until a new election can be held.
Of the US decision not to recognise the outcome, Frazer said "People were being beaten and losing their lives just to exercise their right to vote for their leadership so we cannot, under these circumstances, recognise the outcome."
Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux are available in Johannesburg for 2-ways.
|7087||North Korea Expected To Declare Nuclear Activities||Anna Fifield and Jason Strother||News||Korea||26 June 2008 12:17 Thu||
North Korea could be preparing to hand over a declaration of its nuclear activities. The declaration is already six months overdue and will include complete details of nuclear facilities and programs.
Reports suggest that North Korea will hand over the report to China, where the multilateral talks are being held. This declaration is part of a multilateral deal to disarm North Korea, which Pyongyang agreed to in February 2007, in exchange for political incentives and aid.
To show its commitment to the anti-nuclear pledge, media organisations and a US state department official have been invited to the demolition of a cooling tower tomorrow.
Anna Fifield and Jason Strother in Seoul are following the story in South Korea.
|7088||Catholic Priest Says Mass on Capsized Ferry Site||Dean Bernardo||News||Philippines||26 June 2008 12:19 Thu||
A Catholic priest has said mass over the site of the capsized ferry in the central Philippines today. Only the tip of the boat's bow can now be seen above the water and divers are preparing to bore a hole in the ship to speed up the retrieval of bodies. So far, only 48 people have been found alive and hundreds of corpses are believed to be trapped in the Princess of the Stars.
The giant ferry ran aground and flipped over with 865 passengers and crew on board during Typhoon Fengshen on Saturday. This is the sixth typhoon to hit the Philippines this storm season and has claimed up to 1,300 lives. The United States, the Philippines' former colonial master, is leading international aid efforts.
Dean Bernado in Manila is across this story.
|7089||Israel-Gaza Border Closed For Second Day||Tim Butcher and Richard Boudreaux||News||Israel||26 June 2008 12:21 Thu||
The border crossing between Israel and Gaza is closed for a second day amid warnings from Hamas that the fragile ceasefire could collapse. Israel closed the border after a Palestinian rocket attack on Tuesday, which they say was a "grave violation" of the week-long truce.
Prior to the attack, Israel had been allowing more imports into Gaza following the agreement of the ceasefire. A Hamas spokesman said the closure made the agreement between Israel and Gaza "meaningless". Officials say crossings will open on Friday if there is no more violence. The Egyptian-brokered truce between Israel and Hamas in Gaza began on 19 June and is supposed to last six months.
Tim Butcher and LA Times correspondent Richard Boudreaux in Jerusalem are covering this story.
|7090||Tsvangirai Warns Mugabe Ahead Of Elections||Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux||News||South Africa||26 June 2008 12:23 Thu||
Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has warned President Robert Mugabe that there would be no chance of negotiation if he goes ahead with the election on Friday. Mugabe says that his government is open to negotiations with anyone, but only after the run-off takes place tomorrow.
Last night Nelson Mandela made his first public remarks about the situation, declaring it a "tragic failure of leadership". Mandela held off on commenting on the election to avoid undermining South Africa's President Thabo Mbeki, who is mediating the Zimbabwe situation. Mbeki's policy of "quiet diplomacy" has been widely criticised for not helping the crisis.
In England, the Queen has stripped Mugabe of his honorary Knighthood awarded to him in 1994. This was the first time since 1989 that a foreigner was stripped of the honour.
Gretchen Wilson and Nicholas Champeaux in Johannesburg are available for 2-ways.
|7092||'Israel Spy' Sentenced To Death In Tehran||Martin Ebbing||News||Iran||30 June 2008 10:37 Mon||
An Iranian businessman, charged with spying for Israel, has been sentenced to death by an Iranian court today. After a two-day trial the court delivered its sentence, which comes at a time of high tension between Israel and Iran, amid speculation of a possible Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear installations.
Ali Ashtari is accused of "engaging in espionage for (Israel's) Mossad intelligence service," Iranian media reports. Ashtari has confessed to accepting a loan of $50,000 from Israeli agents, says Fars news agency. Israeli government officials declined to comment on the issue on Monday.
|7093||French Military Show Injures 17||Hugh Schofield||News||France||30 June 2008 10:39 Mon||
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has today expressed his horror after seventeen people were wounded during a military demonstration on Sunday in south-eastern France when real bullets were used instead of blanks.
Fifteen civilians were among the 17 injured, including five children. The soldier who fired the shots during a public demonstration of hostage-freeing techniques at a barracks in Aude has been detained - though an official said it was probably an accident.
It was "99.9%" likely to be "an unintentional fault," Colonel Benoit Royal, head of the French army's information service, told the AFP news agency on Monday. The president will visit the injured in hospitals in Carcassonne and Toulouse later.
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