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|7982||North And South Korea Hold Direct Military Talks||Jason Strother||News||Korea||02 October 2008 10:52 Thu||
North and South Korea have held their first official meeting since the South's President Lee Myang-Bak took office in February.
The talks focused on military issues and the relationship between the two states, which technically remain at war. The talks come at a time of heightened tension, with the North threatening to restart its nuclear reactor. Lee Myang-Bak said the North must show progress in giving up its nuclear weapons if relations are to get better.
North Korea is threatening to restart its reactor because it says the United States has failed to fulfil a promise to remove it from the list of states that sponsor terrorism.
A South Korean official was quoted as saying that little progress has been made.
Jason Strother and Evan Ramstad in Seoul are following developments in north Korea.
|7983||Suicide Bombers Strike Mosques In Baghdad||Tina Susman||News||Iraq||02 October 2008 10:55 Thu||
At least 12 people have died and a further 30 have been wounded after suicide bombers struck near two Shia mosques in Baghdad, police say.
The attacks came as worshippers left the mosques in the Zafaraniya and Jadida districts after celebrating the end of the month of Ramadan. Both districts are Shiite areas in the east of the capital.
Government officials had warned that there might be attacks at the end of the holiday.
Violence in Iraq is at a four-year low and militants no longer control large numbers of villages and cities as they did in previous years. However, the event illustrates that militants are still able to carry out bomb attacks.
LA Times correspondents Tina Susman, Said Rifai and Rania Abouzeid in Baghdad are across this event.
|7984||Anti-Piracy Operation Formed Off Coast Of Somalia||Abdurraham Warsameh||News||Somalia||02 October 2008 11:00 Thu||
The European Union has agreed to form an anti-piracy security operation off the coast of Somalia.
French Defence Minister Herve Morin says that at least eight countries have agreed to take part in the deal, which was announced after a meeting of EU defence ministers at Deauville, northern France. The agreement follows the seizure of a Ukrainian ship laden with 33 tanks, rifles and heavy weapons by pirates who are demanding a $20m ransom for its release.
The Faina, which is being held off the coast of Somalia, near the town of Hobyo, is surrounded by US warships, which are not allowing the heavy weapons to be removed from the ship.
The International Maritime Bureau (IMB) has also reported a further three attempts to seize ships overnight. A study by the UK think-tank Chatham House says piracy off the coast of Somalia has cost up to $30m in ransoms so far this year.
Abdurraham Warsameh in Mogadishu is following this story.
|7985||Missing Pilot Found In California||Ken McCoy||News||United States of America||02 October 2008 11:04 Thu||
Teams searching for missing adventurer Steve Fossett have spotted what appears to be the wreckage of a plane in eastern California, local police say.
Teams are going into Medera County after an aerial spotter made the discovery late on Wednesday. The search began after a hiker, Preston Morrow, found items and document bearing Mr Fossett's name - including a pilot's licence - on Monday.
The 63-year old explorer vanished a year ago while on a solo flight that took off from neighbouring Nevada. He was officially declared dead in February after wide-ranging searches had failed to find any trace of him or his plane.
The Federal Aviation Administration, which would have issued his documentation, said it was confirming the document's authenticity.
Ken McCoy and Mike Reynolds in Los Angeles are covering this story.
|7986||Senate Approves Bailout Plan For US||Julie Walker||News||United States of America||02 October 2008 11:07 Thu||
The Senate has approved the revised version of the $700bn bailout plan for the US financial system.
Senators votes 74 to 25 in favour of the emergency legislation, which intends to buy up bad debts from struggling firms to inject energy into the economy.
The bill will now return to the House of Representatives, which narrowly rejected a similar plan on Monday. Politicians have added sweeteners to the original bill, which was criticised for pandering to the needs of Wall Street bankers, such as tax breaks for small businesses and an increase in the amount of savings the state will guarantee from $100,000 to $250,000.
However, news of the Senate vote failed to lift Asian markets. Japan's main Nikkei index ended down 1.9% and Australian stocks lost 0.6%, on wider fears about economic growth. The House is expected to vote on the bill on Friday.
Julie Walker in New York and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are available for 2-ways.
|7987||Germany Announces Deal To Rescue Bank Collapse||Peter Bild||News||Germany||06 October 2008 10:27 Mon||
Germany's finance ministry has announced a 50bn euro deal to rescue
The ministry said it acted to rescue Hypo Real Estate's collapse in order to avoid "incalculably large" damage to Germany and financial service providers in Europe.
The deal reached is worth 15bn euros more than the first bailout plan, which fell apart on Saturday. Earlier, Germany also appeared to announce an unlimited guarantee for private savings, with Denmark then following suit.
This may place pressure on other European states, who may feel they have to match these guarantees.
Peter Bild in Berlin is covering this story.
|7988||Obama Launches Counterattack On McCain||Ed O'Keefe||News||United States of America||06 October 2008 10:31 Mon||
Democrat candidate Barack Obama launched a counterattack
The Obama team unveiled an ad portraying Mr McCain as unwilling to regulate the financial industry. McCain's campaign strategist has been quoted as saying the Republican presidential candidate needed to move away from the economy and make the election about Obama's experience and character.
On Saturday, McCain's running mate, Sarah Palin accused Obama of "palling around with terrorists" in reference to his acquaintance with Bill Ayers, a former member of the Vietnam War-era militant Weather Underground.
Mr McCain has been losing ground in the opinion polls, with Mr Obama improving due to the public's perception that he can best handle the economic crisis.
Washington Post correspondent Ed O'Keefe and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are across this story.
|7989||Palin Faces Claims Of Abusing Gubernatorial Powers||Ed O'Keefe||News||United States of America||06 October 2008 10:37 Mon||
US Vice-Presidential nominee, Sarah Palin, is being accused
Palin is facing claims she removed Alaska Public Safety Commissioner Walt Monegan from his position after he refused to dismiss her ex-brother-in-law, Mike Wooten, as a state trooper. Wooten was involved in a controversial divorce and child custody battle with her younger sister.
Critics say Palin was using her powers to settle a personal dispute. Palin insists she fired Monegan over disagreements over budget priorities.
The allegations come during the last few weeks of the Presidential race, which officials say could damage McCain's campaign.
Seven public employees have agreed to give evidence about the affair.
Washington Post correspondent Ed O'Keefe and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are available for 2-ways.
|7990||Major Earthquake Hits Kyrgyzstan||Robin Forestier-Walker||News||Kazakhstan||06 October 2008 10:41 Mon||
At least 53 people have been killed after a major
The 6.6 magnitude quake struck at 2152 local time (1552 GMT) with destruction concentrated in the remote village of Nura, close to the Chinese border, where rescue workers are still looking for survivors.
Residents in Central Asia also felt the quake. Officials in China's Xinjiang province reported minor damage to houses, but no casualties have been reported there.
Initial US geological survey reports said the quake measured 6.3, but this was later upgraded to a 6.6.
|8025||Russian Troops Withdraw From Georgia||Matthew Collin||News||Georgia||08 October 2008 01:07 Wed||
Russia says its troops have started withdrawing from a "buffer zone" around Georgia's breakaway region of South Ossetia.
The commander of Russian troops on the ground said the withdrawal from all six checkpoints would be completed by the end of the day.
Under the terms of a ceasefire deal, brokered by French President Nicholas Sarkozy in early August, Moscow must pull-out its troops from areas around the breakaway regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia by Friday. Russia has had troops in the region since it ousted Georgian forces in August.
Moscow plans to leave nearly 8,000 troops in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, which it has recognised as independent states.
Giorgi Lomsadze, Matthew Collin and William Dunbar in Tbilisi are following developments in this story.
|8026||South African Breakaway Party Formed||Gretchen Wilson||News||South Africa||08 October 2008 01:13 Wed||
Former South African Defence Minister Mosiuoa Lekota is expected to shortly announce that he has formed a breakaway party from the ruling African National Congress (ANC).
It is reported that Mr Lekota, who has accused the new ANC leadership of damaging democracy, is being joined by other ANC members loyal to former President Thabo Mbeki, who was forced to step down last month.
Mr Mbeki resigned after a judge suggested he was implicated in the prosecution of ANC leader Jacob Zuma on corruption charges. The ANC is divided between supporters of Mr Mbeki and Mr Zuma, who won the party's elections last year.
General elections are due in South Africa in the first half of next year. The ANC has, since its foundation in 1912, shown a remarkable degree of unity.
Gretchen Wilson and Bill Corcoran in Johannesburg are covering this story.
|8027||Protests In Thailand Will Continue||Tom Bell||News||Thailand||08 October 2008 01:17 Wed||
Thai protesters seeking to force the government to resign have vowed to continue their protests, a day after bloody clashes in Bangkok.
Two people died and over 400 were injured in clashes on Tuesday as demonstrators attempted to disrupt the inauguration of the new government. They barricaded the building and trapped lawmakers inside for several hours as police outside fired teargas to try and clear protesters.
The new Prime Minister, Somchai Wongsawat - the brother-in-law of ousted leader, Thaksin Shinawatra - was forced to climb over a fence to escape. The People's Alliance for Democracy has been occupying the grounds of government buildings for weeks, claiming the government is being run by proxies of Mr Shinawatra.
Until Tuesday their demonstration has been largely peaceful.
Tom Bell is reporting from the protests in Bangkok.
|8028||US Presidential Hopefuls Complete Second Debate||Ed O||News||United States of America||08 October 2008 01:21 Wed||
US presidential hopefuls have gone head to head in a town-style debate dominated by the financial crisis and foreign policy.
During the second of three televised debates in Nashville, Tennessee, some signs of tensions between John McCain and Barack Obama emerged, following days of ill-feeling and increasingly personal attacks.
Following the debate, polls taken by CBS News and CNN, judged Mr Obama the winner. CNN's poll found 54% thought the Democratic candidate the winner, with 27% for Mr McCain and 35% calling it a draw. Recent opinion polls suggest Mr Obama is opening up the lead over his rival. The latest Gallup daily tracking poll puts Mr Obama at 50% and Mr McCain at 42%, while a new CNN poll put Mr Obama ahead by 53% to 45%.
Washington Post correspondent Ed O'Keefe and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are available for 2-ways.
|8029||Stock Markets Falling In Europe And Asia||Chris Walker||News||United Kingdom||08 October 2008 01:26 Wed||
European and Asian stock markets are continuing to fall amid fears the financial crisis will cause a prolonged global downturn.
In London, the FTSE 100 index was down 7% in early trading, despite the UK government announcing details of a rescue plan for the banking system worth at least £50bn. France's Cac 40 also lost 8% and Germany's Dax fell 6%.
Elsewhere, markets in Australia, China and Taiwan also fell. The slump in Europe and Asia followed a huge sell-off on Wall Street, which saw the Dow Jones index close on Tuesday, more than 500 points down.
GRN has correspondents covering all sectors of the current economic crisis.
|8030||US Admits More Deaths In Afghanistan||Tom Coghlan||News||Afghanistan||09 October 2008 10:43 Thu||
A US military inquiry has found that a 22 August air strike on Afghanistan militants killed more civilians than previously believed.
US Central Command now admits 33 people died in the air raid, not seven. However, according to UN officials and the Afghan government, the numbers are higher yet; they say up to 90 people, including 60 children, died in the strike on the village of Azizabad in the Herat province.
Video footage from the aftermath of the raid appears to show some 40 bodies, mainly of children and babies, lined up under sheets and blankets inside a mosque.
US Lt General Martin Dempsey says US forces acted on credible intelligence, in self-defence and within the lines with rules of engagement. "We are deeply saddened at the loss of innocent life in Azizabad," he said.
Tom Coghlan and Jon Boone in Kabul and James Gertenzang in Washington are covering this story.
|8031||Charges Thrown Out For Anti-Government Protesters||Amy Kazmin||News||Thailand||09 October 2008 10:49 Thu||
The appeals court in Thailand has thrown out insurrection charges against nine anti-government protest leaders.
The court ruled that "although the nine suspects have committed illegal acts, it's unreasonable to issue an arrest warrant on insurrection charges". However, arrest warrants remain on less serious charges, including that of illegal assembly.
According to some reports, the leaders may be willing to surrender to police. Two of them are already in custody.
The protesters have been occupying the grounds of government buildings for weeks, accusing the government of being a proxy for ousted PM Thaksin Shinawatra. Violence had escalated on Tuesday, when two people were killed in clashes.
Amy Kazmin, Tom Bell, Andrew Drummond and Andrew Chant are covering this story.
|8032||Inflation Rate Hits High In Zimbabwe||Gretchen Wilson||News||Zimbabwe||09 October 2008 10:51 Thu||
Zimbabwe's annual inflation rate has hit a new record, soaring to 231,000,000%, according to newly released official figures.
The inflation rise, from 11,200,000% - derives mainly from increases in bread and cereal prices. The September power-sharing deal between President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has not eased the country's economic crisis.
According to UN estimates, two million people in Zimbabwe are in need of food and aid. Critics of Mr Mugabe accuse him of having triggered the economic crisis by seizing white-owned farms for land redistribution.
Mr Mugabe, for his part, say Western sanctions which target him and his chief supporters are to blame for the destruction of Zimbabwe's economy.
Gretchen Wilson and Bill Corcoran in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
|8033||Suicide Bomber Attacks Police Headquarters In Pakistan||Graham Usher||News||Pakistan||09 October 2008 10:53 Thu||
The main police headquarters in Islamabad has been attacked by a suicide bomber.
The attack comes just over two weeks after 50 people were killed and some 260 injured in a suicide bombing outside a Marriot hotel, and following a second parliament session on Pakistan's internal security situation. The session was called to devise ways to handle Islamic militancy and the surge of suicide bombings.
Unconfirmed reports say several people have been wounded, and a police official told media that eight people have been killed. A senior police officer said the bomber managed to drive into the well guarded complex before blowing himself up inside an office of the anti-terrorist squad.
Graham Usher, Nadeem Sarwar and Saeed Shah in Islamabad are covering this story.
|8034||European And Asian Markets See Rise||Christopher Walker||News||United Kingdom||09 October 2008 10:56 Thu||
Most European and Asian markets are up as investors digest the coordinated interest rate cut.
The UK's FTSE 100 index pushed 3% higher in early trading, helped by banking shares, while France's Cac-40 went up 3% and Germany's Dax-30 rose 2%. However, Japan's Nikkei index went down despite early gains due to investors concerns prompted by Prime Minister Taro Aso's call for further action to boost the country's economy.
Christopher Walker in London, Julie Walker in New York and GRN's correspondents around the world are following the economic crisis.
|8035||Turkish Warplanes Bomb Kurdish Rebel Positions||Kameel Ahmady||News||Turkey||13 October 2008 10:44 Mon||
Turkish warplanes have bombed Kurdish rebel positions in northern Iraq, Turkey's military reports.
The military said it targeted a Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) hideout, which "included high-level members", in Iraq's mountainous Zap region. No details of casualties have been given. Turkey has staged cross-border raids into northern Iraq in recent months in pursuit of PKK rebels - who are fighting for greater autonomy in south-east Turkey.
Turkey's government accuses Iraq of not doing enough to prevent the PKK from using the mountainous areas as safe havens. On Wednesday, Turkey's parliament extended the army's mandate to carry out cross-border raids for one year.
Over 30,000 people have been killed since the PKK began its armed campaign in 1984.
Kameel Ahmady in Bait Al Shabab, Ayub Nuri in Irbil, LA Times correspondent Ned Parker and Rania Abouzeid in Baghdad are across this event.
|8036||European And Asian Markets Recover||Chris Walker||News||United Kingdom||13 October 2008 10:49 Mon||
European and Asian markets have recovered slightly in response to efforts by world leaders to stem the recent financial turmoil.
London's FTSE 100 index and France's Cac 40 index jumped more than 5%, following earlier gains on Asian markets. Banking shares were among the biggest gainers on London's FTSE 100 index, with Royal Bank of Scotland up 4.8%, Barclays up 16.75% and HSBC jumping 56%.
Over the weekend, governments around the world approved a five-point plan to unfreeze credit markets and a number of countries announced individual rescue packages to inject life into financial institutions before the major markets opened. EU leaders, meeting in Paris on Sunday, said no big bank would be allowed to fail.
Chris Walker in London, Francoise Tihon and Patricia Kelly in Brussels and GRN correspondents around the world are available to cover all angles of the finance crisis.
|8037||Mbeki To Save Zimbabwe Power-Sharing Deal||Gretchen Wilson||News||South Africa||13 October 2008 10:53 Mon||
Former South African President Thabo Mbeki is in Harare today to try and salvage the power-sharing deal he brokered last month.
The government and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change are deadlocked over the allocating of cabinet jobs. President Robert Mugabe has given key posts to his own Zanu-PF party, while opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai has threatened to pull out of the deal.
Under the existing agreement, Mr Mugabe remains president and Mr Tsvangirai becomes prime minister. This comes amid an escalating financial crisis. On Thursday, Zimbabwe's inflation rate had reached 231,000,000% - the highest in the world. The UN says it needs $140m (£82m) for food aid in Zimbabwe over the next six months.
Critics blame Mugabe for Zimbabwe's failing economy, while Mugabe blames Western sanctions, which target him and his chief supporters. This is Mr Mbeki's first intervention since he stepped down as president, just days after negotiating the Zimbabwe agreement.
Gretchen Wilson, Sebastien Berger and Bill Corcoran in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
|8038||Pakistani Security Forces Kill 35 Taliban Militants||Graham Usher||News||Pakistan||13 October 2008 10:57 Mon||
Pakistani security forces have killed 35 Taliban militants, including two commanders, near the Afghan border, a senior security official says.
Around a dozen would-be suicide bombers were also reportedly among the dead in north-western Orakzai district. The attack comes days after a car bomb killed dozens of people at an anti-militant tribal meeting on Friday. The suicide attack has been blamed on the Taliban. There has been no independent confirmation of today's event and the Taliban have not responded to the report yet. Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters have been hiding in the lawless tribal areas along the Afghan border.
In recent months, the US and Pakistani military have been attacking these bases. Local tribal leaders have also taken up arms against the militants.
Graham Usher in Islamabad and Shaheen Buneri in Peshawar are covering this story.
|8065||Amnesty Say Executions in Saudi Are On The Rise||Raid Qusti||News||Saudi Arabia||14 October 2008 10:42 Tue||
According to a new report by Amnesty International, executions in Saudi Arabia are being carried out at an average rate of over two a week. The report claims the rate of executions in the country has been on the rise in recent years. In Saudi Arabia, unlike in most countries, offenders can be executed for crimes committed when they were under 18 years old. Most executions take place in Riyadh on Fridays, in a site dubbed by Westerners "Chop Chop Square" outside the grand mosque. A large crown gathers to watch the executions of the week, which are carried out by beheading, under the law of Sharia. The Kingdom refuses to provide official numbers on how many people it kills each year. However Amnesty International has recorded at least 1,695 executions between 1985 and May 2008. Raid Qusti in Riyadh is covering this story.
|8066||Elections In Canada||Christopher Gully||News||Canada||14 October 2008 10:44 Tue||
Canada is holding its third general election in four years today. The snap elections have been called by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an attempt to secure a majority in parliament. Harper, who has been leading a minority government since 2006, called the snap poll in a bid to secure a majority in parliament. However, opinion polls suggest that although his party is favourite to win the current elections, it is not likely to gain the desired majority it seeks, mainly due to the global financial crisis. The main challenge to the Conservative Party comes from the official opposition, the Liberals led by Stephane Dion. The first polls open at 0830 local time (1100 GMT). Voting concludes on Canada's Pacific coast at 0200 GMT on Wednesday, with results expected shortly after that.
|8067||Wildfires in California||Ken McCoy||News||United States of America||14 October 2008 10:46 Tue||
Two people died and 12,000 have been forced to leave their homes due to vast wildfires near Los Angeles. Some 1,000 US fire-fighters are tackling the blazes. The first major wildfires of the season threaten hundreds of houses north of the city, in the San Fernando Valley. Autumn is prone to wildfires in Southern California as the warm, dry Santa Ana winds blow in, and dry out vegetation. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in two counties, Los Angeles and Ventura. Mr Schwarzenegger said "Winds are causing fire conditions to change by the hour, which is why it is so important that residents take notice of warnings from public safety officials to evacuate". Residents were alerted as winds of more than 60 mph (97 km/h) were forecast. "It is a blowtorch we can't get in front of," said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Frank Garrido.
|8068||Khmer Rouge Murderes Jailed||Cat Barton||News||Cambodia||14 October 2008 10:49 Tue||
Four former Khmer Rouge members have been jailed in Cambodia for their part in the murder of a British mine-clearer and his interpreter. Three were jailed for 20 years and a fourth for 10 years by the Phnom Penh court. A fifth defendant was acquitted. Christopher Howes was leading a Mines Advisory Group operation near the city of Siem Reap in north-west Cambodia when he was abducted and killed with his interpreter Houn Hourth in 1996. Mr Howes' sister Patricia Phillips said the verdicts come as an "enormous relief". The trial is seen as an indication that former Khmer Rouge members no longer enjoy immunity. The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia for four years in the late 1970s and is considered responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.
|8069||Stock Markets Continue To Rise||Christoper Wakler, Julie Walker and Elizabeth Noh||News||United Kingdom||14 October 2008 10:55 Tue||
Stocks markets in Europe and Asia have risen for a second day, indicating that investors are reassured that state action to strengthen the banking system will alleviate the credit crisis. London's FTSE 100 index has gone up almost 4% in early trade, while Japan's Nikkei stock index hit a record 14% gain. The US is set to reveal details of a plan to purchase stakes in banks, following steps taken by the UK and European leaders. US President George W Bush will make a statement about the bank plan shortly before US markets open later today. The FTSE 100 was up 3.93%, or 167.29 points, at 4,424.19 points. In France the Cac 40 was up 4.04%, or 142.53 points at 3,674.03. Bank shares led the gains in London. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended up 14.2% at 9,447.57 points - its biggest ever one-day gain.
|8070||Executions Rise In Saudi Arabia||Raid Qusti||News||Saudi Arabia||15 October 2008 01:10 Wed||
According to a new report by Amnesty International, executions in Saudi Arabia are being carried out at an average rate of over two a week.
The report claims the rate of executions in the country has been on the rise in recent years. In Saudi Arabia, unlike in most countries, offenders can be executed for crimes committed when they were under 18 years old.
Most executions take place in Riyadh on Fridays, in a site dubbed by Westerners "Chop Chop Square" outside the grand mosque. A large crowd gathers to watch the executions of the week, which are carried out by beheading, under the law of Sharia.
The Kingdom refuses to provide official numbers on how many people it kills each year. However Amnesty International has recorded at least 1,695 executions between 1985 and May 2008.
Raid Qusti in Riyadh is covering this story.
|8071||Canada Holds Snap Elections||Christopher Guly||News||Canada||15 October 2008 01:14 Wed||
Canada is holding its third general election in four years today.
The snap elections have been called by Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper in an attempt to secure a majority in parliament. Harper, who has been leading a minority government since 2006, called the snap poll in a bid to secure a majority in parliament.
However, opinion polls suggest that although his party is favourite to win the current elections, it is not likely to gain the desired majority it seeks, mainly due to the global financial crisis.
The main challenge to the Conservative Party comes from the official opposition, the Liberals led by Stephane Dion. The first polls open at 0830 local time (1100 GMT). Voting concludes on Canada's Pacific coast at 0200 GMT on Wednesday, with results expected shortly after that.
Christopher Gully in Ottawa is covering the Canadian elections.
|8072||Wildfires Displace Thousands In Los Angeles||Ken McCoy||News||United States of America||15 October 2008 01:19 Wed||
Two people died and 12,000 have been forced to leave their homes due to vast wildfires near Los Angeles.
Some 1,000 US fire-fighters are tackling the blazes. The first major wildfires of the season threaten hundreds of houses north of the city, in the San Fernando Valley. Autumn is prone to wildfires in Southern California as the warm, dry Santa Ana winds blow in, and dry out vegetation.
Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has declared a state of emergency in two counties, Los Angeles and Ventura. Mr Schwarzenegger said "Winds are causing fire conditions to change by the hour, which is why it is so important that residents take notice of warnings from public safety officials to evacuate".
Residents were alerted as winds of more than 60 mph (97 km/h) were forecast. "It is a blowtorch we can't get in front of," said Los Angeles County fire Inspector Frank Garrido.
Ken McCoy in Los Angeles is following the battle against the wildfires.
|8073||Khmer Rouge Members Jailed In Cambodia||Cat Barton||News||Cambodia||15 October 2008 01:22 Wed||
Four former Khmer Rouge members have been jailed in Cambodia for their part in the murder of a British mine-clearer and his interpreter. Three were jailed for 20 years and a fourth for 10 years by the Phnom Penh court. A fifth defendant was acquitted.
Christopher Howes was leading a Mines Advisory Group operation near the city of Siem Reap in north-west Cambodia when he was abducted and killed with his interpreter Houn Hourth in 1996. Mr Howes' sister Patricia Phillips said the verdicts come as an "enormous relief".
The trial is seen as an indication that former Khmer Rouge members no longer enjoy immunity. The Khmer Rouge ruled Cambodia for four years in the late 1970s and is considered responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution.
Cat Barton in Cambodia is covering this story.
|8074||Stock Markets Continue To Rise In Europe And Asia||Christopher Walker||News||United Kingdom||15 October 2008 01:24 Wed||
Stocks markets in Europe and Asia have risen for a second day, indicating that investors are reassured that state action to strengthen the banking system will alleviate the credit crisis.
London's FTSE 100 index has gone up almost 4% in early trade, while Japan's Nikkei stock index hit a record 14% gain.
The US is set to reveal details of a plan to purchase stakes in banks, following steps taken by the UK and European leaders. US President George W Bush will make a statement about the bank plan shortly before US markets open later today.
The FTSE 100 was up 3.93%, or 167.29 points, at 4,424.19 points. In France the Cac 40 was up 4.04%, or 142.53 points at 3,674.03. Bank shares led the gains in London. In Japan, the Nikkei 225 ended up 14.2% at 9,447.57 points - its biggest ever one-day gain.
Christopher Walker in London, Julie Walker in New York and Elizabeth Noh in Tokyo are covering the global economic turbulence.
|8078||Sex Couple Jailed For 3 Months In Dubai||Phil Moore||News||United Arab Emirates||16 October 2008 10:35 Thu||
A British man and woman have been sentenced to three months in jail after being found guilty of having sex on a public beach in Dubai. Michelle Palmer, 36, and Vince Acors, 34, deny charges of having unmarried sex, but admitted to consuming alcohol.
A police officer told the court he had warned the couple regarding their inappropriate behaviour, but later returned to find them having sex on a lounge chair.
The defence attorney for the couple, Hassan Matter said the two were upset by the verdict, but not surprised. Acors and Palmer will remain on bail until their appeal is heard at the court.
|8079||Power Sharing Government Close In Zimbabwe||Gretchen Wilson||News||South Africa||16 October 2008 10:41 Thu||
A power-sharing government could be announced shortly in Zimbabwe, says President Robert Mugabe.
One of Mr Mugabe's officials says changes could be made to the cabinet posts named last week, the state-owned Herald newspaper reports. This follows two days of crisis talks, led by former South African leader Thabo Mbeki.
Mr Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a deal last month to share power, but could not agree over the allocation of government posts. Last weekend, Mr Mugabe allocated all key posts to members of his Zanu-PF party, prompting Mr Tsvangirai to threaten to pull out of the agreement and Mr Mbeki to fly to Harare on Monday.
The mood now seems to have changed, although Mr Tsvangirai was less optimistic and said the talks had been "quite circuitous".
Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg are across this event.
|8080||Thai and Cambodia Commanders Hold Talks||Cat Barton||News||Cambodia||16 October 2008 10:46 Thu||
Thai and Cambodian army leaders have held talks after the two sides exchanged fire which killed two Cambodian soldiers.
Ten Thais were also taken captive by Cambodia and hundreds of thousands of Cambodian civilians fled the border area after a 40-minute exchange of rocket and gunfire on Wednesday.
The conflict is centred on land around a 900-year-old Preah Vihear temple, which the International Court of Justice awarded to Cambodia in 1962. The dispute lies in the court's failure to determine ownership of the 1.8 square miles next to the Hindu temple, which both sides claim ownership of.
Tensions over this small parcel of land became highly politicised in Thailand in July when protesters trying to overthrow the Bangkok government adopted it as a cause.
Cat Barton, Guy De Launey in Phnom Penh, Andrew Chant and Tom Bell in Bangkok are covering this story.
|8081||Recession Fears Mounting||Liz Noh||News||Japan||16 October 2008 10:49 Thu||
Recession fears are mounting following dramatic falls in the Asia market that saw Tokyo's Nikkei index fall 11%.
European markets also opened sharply lower. In early trading, London's FTSE fell 2% while the Cac 40 in Paris and the Dax in Frankfurt fell 3%. The falls have largely wiped out earlier week gains, resulting from optimism over government rescue packages.
The financial crisis is likely to be on the agenda as EU leaders meet for a second day of talks in Brussels. On Wednesday, French President Nicholas Sarkozy announced that all 27 EU states broadly support the bank rescue plan proposed for the bloc and the holding of a world finance summit.
Liz Noh and Peter Crookes in Tokyo, Patricia Kelly, Stephen Castle in Brussels and GRN correspondents around the world are available to cover all angles of the financial crisis.
|8082||US Presidential Hopefuls Clash In Final Debate||GRN||News||United States of America||16 October 2008 10:52 Thu||
US Presidential hopefuls John McCain and Barack Obama discussed their economic plans and other issues at their third and final debate last night.
The 90-minute debate, held on Long Island, New York, brought out more direct altercations than their preceding encounters. McCain attacked Obama, linking him to Bill Ayers, once a member of a US group that violently protested the Vietnam War, while Obama accused McCain of following the same policies as current President George W Bush. Both candidates proposed economic packages and spending plans for a rising US budget deficit.
The state of the economy is now the most important issue to American voters. Various opinion polls released immediately following the debate said Obama came out the winner.
Washington Post correspondent Ed O'Keefe and LA Times correspondent Peter Nicholas in Washington, D.C. are across this event.
|8124||Cannibal Chef Faces Life Sentence||GRN||News||United Kingdom||20 October 2008 05:10 Mon||
A chef who turned cannibal and ate part of his victim after knifing him to death faces a life sentence after being convicted of murder. Anthony Morley, 36, killed Damian Oldfield and then carved a piece of flesh off his thigh and seasoned it with chopped herbs before frying it in olive oil, cutting it into sections and chewing a piece.
The first Mr Gay UK, Mr Morley had invited homosexual Mr Oldfield for dinner after flirting with him through text messages. His victim was discovered in the bedroom at Morley's home in Bexley Place, Harehills, Leeds.
His throat had been cut and he died from multiple stab wounds. Mr Morley was found guilty on Friday at Leeds Crown Court. Sentencing is expected later today.
|8125||MDC Snubs Zimbabwe Talks||GRN||News||South Africa||20 October 2008 05:12 Mon||
South African leaders are meeting today in Swaziland to try and rescue Zimbabwe's power-sharing deal, which teeters on the edge of total collapse. Monday's meeting is being hosted by Swaziland's ruler, King Mswati; along with the leaders of Angola and Mozambique, he forms the security panel of the South African Development Community.
Zimbabwe's mediator, Thabo Mbeki, who stepped down as leader of South Africa and is now acting as a private citizen, will deliver a report. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai remains hopeful that a power-sharing deal with President Robert Mugabe can work, but said that there was a "problem of trust" between himself and the Zanu-PF leader.
Talks have reached deadlock over Mr Mugabe's insistence on appointing his supporters to key positions. Four days of negotiations ended on Friday with the two sides unable to agree on the division of government posts.
|8126||British Aid Worker Killed In Kabul||GRN||News||Afghanistan||20 October 2008 05:14 Mon||
A foreign woman has been shot dead near Kabul University in Afghanistan's capital city by men on a motorbike, officials say.
Police say the woman, who is believed to be South African, was killed while walking to work by two men on a motorbike who then fled the scene. It is not clear whether the attack was opportunistic or targeted. The woman was working with a Christian charity called Serve Afghanistan, police said.
The incident highlights the growing concern about security in Afghanistan. In the past week, there have been three assassinations in the southern city of Kandahar, all carried out by men on motorbikes. Serve Afghanistan is a UK registered charity whose foreign staff are all volunteers. It focuses on education and training for people with disabilities.
|8127||Mass Terror Trial To Begin In Turkey||GRN||News||Turkey||20 October 2008 05:16 Mon||
More than 80 people are to go on trial today in Turkey accused of belonging to an ultra-nationalist group. The 86 suspects appearing before the prison-court in Silivri, Istanbul, are facing charges of armed insurrection, aiding a terror group and possession of explosives.
|8128||China||GRN||News||China||20 October 2008 05:18 Mon||
China's economic growth rate has dropped for the third consecutive quarter, as fears mount that the economy could be heading for a downturn.
The National Bureau of Statistics announced today that the economy had grown at a rate of 9% in the three months to September - a significant fall from the 10.4% growth rate in the first half of 2008. Spokesman Li Xiaochao said the impact of the global financial crisis was more severe than the government expected. Meanwhile, shares rose in Asia. Japan's Nikkei index ended the day up 3.59% and shares also rose in Hong Kong, Australia and South Korea. Daniel Schearf and Alison Klayman in Beijing are across this story.
Reports are also coming in via Chinese and other media in the region that there could be an announcement anytime soon from North Korea....we will send out another alert as soon as we hear. GRN correspondents in Seoul are available.
|8130||MDC Calls For New Elections In Zimbabwe||GRN||News||South Africa||21 October 2008 10:29 Tue||
Zimbabwe's main opposition party has called for new elections, after regional talks on the power-sharing deal were delayed for a week.
Movement for Democratic Change spokesman, Nelson Chamisa, said that new polls are "the only way forward". Neighbouring Botswana has also called for new elections. The summit in Swaziland, aimed at rescuing the power-sharing agreement, was postponed after the MDC insisted its leader Morgan Tsvangirai be granted a passport. Zimbabwe authorities gave him an emergency travel document - which the MDC said was "an insult".
The MDC and ruling Zanu-PF agreed to share power last month, but talks have reached deadlock over the allocation of cabinet posts. The power-sharing deal was supposed to resurrect Zimbabwe's collapsing economy.
Gretchen Wilson, Bill Corcoran and Sebastien Berger in Johannesburg are following developments in Zimbabwe.
|8131||Japan's Lower House Extends Afghanistan Refussing Mission||GRN||News||Afghanistan||21 October 2008 10:31 Tue||
Japan's lower house of parliament has voted to extend a controversial refuelling mission backing US operation in Afghanistan.
Many opposition members are against the proposal, saying it breaches the country's pacifist constitution. The bill is likely to be rejected in the opposition-controlled upper house, before the more powerful lower house passes it into law.
Prime Minister Taro Aso had campaigned to keep the mission going, saying Japan should contribute to global security.
Liz Noh in Tokyo is across this story.
|8132||Thaksin Guilty Of Corruption||GRN||News||Thailand||21 October 2008 10:32 Tue||
Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to two years in prison by the Thai Supreme Court.
Hundreds of anti-government protesters gathered in the Thai capital ahead of the ruling against the ousted prime minister. The court found that Mr Thaksin abused his power by letting his wife purchase state land. The verdict is the first in a series of cases against the former Thai leader who was ousted in 2006 by the military, claiming massive corruption and abuse of power under his rule. His wife has already been convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to three years in jail.
The verdict comes as protesters continue to demonstrate against the Thai government, headed by Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat - who is Mr Thaksin's brother-in-law.
Andrew Chant is reporting from government house in Bangkok, where opposition PAD supporters, are awaiting the verdict.
|8133||Obama To Briefly Leave Campaign Trail||GRN||News||United States of America||21 October 2008 10:38 Tue||
US Democratic hopeful Barack Obama is to leave the campaign trail for two days to visit his sick grandmother in Hawaii.
Mr Obama has frequently referred to his close bond with Madelyn Dunham, who is said to be seriously ill. Mr Obama had been due to campaign in Wisconsin and Ohio on Thursday and Friday - states which analysts say he appears likely to win. Instead he will attend a campaign event in Indianapolis on Thursday before taking a flight to Honolulu. The presidential candidate will then resume campaigning on Saturday.
Although, Mr Obama is ahead in the polls, he is not sufficiently far ahead to be confident of victory.
Check out coverage from The Washington Post and The LA Times
|8134||Argentina To Nationalise Private Pension Funds||GRN||News||Argentina||22 October 2008 10:35 Wed||
Argentina looks set to nationalise the country's 10 private pension funds giving the government control over almost $30bn of investments.
Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez signed the bill giving the go ahead on Tuesday. The bill still needs the backing of Congress, but since the ruling party has a majority there, it looks likely to pass when it is debated next week. The government claims the move is aimed at protecting them from the global market turmoil, but critics accuse it of trying to get their hands on the money ahead of a tough budget year.
Shares slumped amid fears of the move's impact and the announcement also hit the value of the peso and Argentine bonds. Union leaders have welcomed the move.
Uki Goni and Daniel Schweimler in Buenos Aires are following this story.
|8135||India Launches First Moon Mission||GRN||News||India||22 October 2008 10:37 Wed||
India is celebrating the launch of its first mission to the Moon. The unmanned Chandrayaan 1 spacecraft took off from a launch pad in southern Andhra Pradesh to embark on a two-year mission of exploration.
Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh hailed the launch as the "first step" in the country's space programme, as it seeks to keep up with other space-faring nations in Asia. India, China, Japan and South Korea are all keen to participate in the commercial satellite launch business and see their space programmes as symbols of their international stature and economic development.
However, India's space efforts have drawn criticism from critics who regard it as a waste of money and resources in a country where millions are still living in poverty.
James Astill and Amy Kazmin in New Delhi are across this event.
|8136||International Air Strike Kills Afghan Troops||GRN||News||Afghanistan||22 October 2008 10:39 Wed||
An air strike by international forces has killed nine Afghan soldiers in the eastern part of the country, officials say. Four others were wounded when helicopter gunships reportedly fired on an Afghan army post in Khost province.
In a statement, the US confirmed coalition forces were involved in "multiple engagements" and that troops may have killed or injured Afghan forces in a case of "mistaken identity".
Afghanistan has seen an escalation of violence this year and a significant number of citizens have died in international air strikes.
Jerome Starkey, Jon Boone in Kabul and LA Times correspondent James Gerstanzang in Washington, D.C. are available for 2-ways.
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