Home > News > News in Brief: 27 July 2007

News in Brief: 27 July 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Inter-Korea military talks rupture. High-level military talks between South and North Korea ruptured after a bitter three-day dispute over their poorly marked western sea border. North Korean delegates walked out of the military talks held at the truce village of Panmunjom Thursday, describing the meeting as “fruitless” and accusing the South of rejecting the North’s proposal to address the border issue, according to defense officials in Seoul. (UPI)

Biofuels Pushing Up Food Aid Prices. According to World Bank price indexes, worldwide basic food commodities now cost 21 percent more than in 2005 and important commodities such as grain and oil have gone up in price more than 30 percent. (IPS)

Bring ’em on: Jihadis in Pakistan await US. The United States wants to take matters into its own hands to root out “high-value” targets in Pakistan’s tribal areas. Hardline al-Qaeda commanders organizing the Pakistani Taliban and militants there can’t wait – they are ready for a fight they believe will further their aims. President General Pervez Musharraf is caught in the middle, reduced to the role of a bystander. (Asia Times)

Large blast near Red Mosque. Hundreds of students clashed with security forces and a nearby explosion killed at least 11 people Friday during the reopening of Islamabad’s Red Mosque for the first time since a bloody army raid to oust Islamic militants from the complex. (Globe & Mail)

Case collapses, Haneef in detention. India-born doctor Mohamed Haneef was in a secret safe house in Brisbane last night after the case against him dissolved into fiasco, with Australia’s chief prosecutor admitting it had been bungled and there was no reasonable prospect of a conviction. (The Age)

Burma: A plight we can ignore no longer. The people of Burma endure human rights abuses on an unimaginable scale. Rape, torture and forced labour are facts of their lives. So why does the world refuse to act? A cross-party group of British MPs has returned shocked by what they discovered there. (The Independent)

Southern Africa: Unequal Water Resources Present a Challenge. Water resources are unevenly distributed throughout the countries of Southern Africa. The region boasts of some of the world’s largest lakes and rivers, but is also a land of vast deserts. (IPS)

State Dept IG Accused of Cover-Up. “This is a cover-up,” Rory Mayberry told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Thursday, referring to the State Department Inspector General’s report that cleared the contractor building the US embassy in Baghdad from allegations of forced labor and human trafficking. (IraqSlogger)

Russia accused of Chechen killings. Russia has been ordered by the European Court of Human Rights to pay $225,000 in damages after finding it responsible for the deaths of around 11 people killed in Chechnya in 2000. (Al Jazeera)

U.S. Congress on collision course with Bush over wiretapping inquiry. Congress was heading for a double constitutional showdown with the White House last night, as Democrats called for a special prosecutor to investigate whether Alberto Gonzales, the Attorney General, lied to them over the firing of US attorneys and over President Bush’s warrantless domestic surveillance programme. (The Independent)

U.S. Announces Nuclear Exception for India. Three years after President Bush urged global rules to stop additional nations from making nuclear fuel, the State Department today announced that the administration is carving out an exception for India, in a last-ditch effort to seal a civilian nuclear deal between the countries. (New York Times – may require free login)

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