Home > News > News in Brief: 3 August 2007

News in Brief: 3 August 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Inquiry sought over Oaxaca deaths. Amnesty International is asking the Mexican government to examine claims that state officials used torture and abductions during protests in the city of Oaxaca last year. (Al Jazeera)

‘Civilians dead’ in Nato air raids. Many civilians are said to be among hundreds of civilians reportedly killed in air raids by Western forces in the Afghan southern province of Helmand. Afghan authorities said on Friday they were checking the reports… Helmand’s police chief, said that at least 20 wounded civilians had been brought to a main hospital in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital. (Al Jazeera)

France to Supply Libya with European Weapons. Negotiations over French arms supplies played a role in the release of the Bulgarian medics held in Libya. Germany said Wednesday that it will continue to stay out of business with the African nation. France has agreed to sell Libya anti-tank missiles as part of the military agreement reached last week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi. (Duetsche Welle)

Egyptian President Mubarak discussed with Sarkozy Lebanon, Iran, Syria, Palestine. Mubarak, on a visit to France, met with President Nicolas Sarkozy for a working dinner to discuss a range of regional issues from Iran to Syria and Lebanon and the Israeli-Palestinian crisis, French presidential spokesman David Martinon said. (Ya Libnan)

Tehran the target of huge arms deal, says Rice. The US secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, increased pressure on Iran yesterday when she identified it as the biggest strategic challenge to America and the target of a proposed $63bn (£31bn) arms package. Iran, which expressed alarm over the sales, accused Washington of creating an arms race to help the US defence industry. (Guardian)

12 killed in Mogadishu attacks. Twelve people were killed and several wounded in separate mortar and grenade attacks in the Somali capital Mogadishu, witnesses and officials said Thursday. (Middle East Times)

65 killed in latest Darfur tribal fighting. At least 65 people have been killed in renewed tribal clashes in Sudan’s Darfur, a tribal leader said Thursday, two days after the UN approved a massive peacekeeping force for the war-wracked region. (Middle East Times)

Panic-buying follows runaway inflation in Zimbabwe. The lines around Robert Mugabe Road in the heart of Zimbabwe’s capital stretch for blocks. There are lines for sugar, lines for bread, lines for milk, and lines at banks and ATMs for cash, so people can go and stand in the other lines. (McClatchy)

Illegal Indian Laborers Working in Baghdad. More than a hundred Indian laborers are working “illegally” on the $592-million US embassy compound project in Iraq, according to a returning worker interviewed by The Asian Age. (IraqSlogger)

Iraq: Marines Can Get Away With Killing Civilians. A military tribunal at Camp Pendelton, released Cpl. Trent Thomas this week without ordering him to prison, despite his conviction in the murder of an Iraqi civilian last year in Hamdaniya, Iraq. Thomas is typical of most American soldiers charged with murdering Iraqi civilians. (Arab News)

IRAQ: A Nail in Maliki Government’s Coffin? The recent resignations of Iraq’s Army Chief of Staff and several of his council military leaders underscore a continuing decomposition of Iraq’s U.S.-backed government. (IPS)

Rice: Israel ready to discuss fundamental issues with Fatah. Israeli and Palestinian [Fatah] leaders are expected to start to sketch the contours of a Palestinian state next week. (The Independent)

US curbs on ‘undermining’ Lebanon. The US government has ordered the freezing of assets of anyone it accuses of undermining the Lebanese government. (BBC)

US won’t go into Pakistan after Al Qaeda: Cheney. US Vice President Dick Cheney has discounted the possibility of American forces going into Pakistan to hunt Al Qaeda even as they work closely with Islamabad. (Daily Times) — The US keeps saying it will reserve the right to stike north west Pakistan, then a statement is made that it won’t then, it’s suggested that it might, and now it’s again a no on attacks in Pakistan.

Bhutto’s planned return to Pakistan. Former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto will fly home later this year to contest parliamentary elections despite the risk of arrest, her spokesman in London said on Friday. (Khaleej Times)

Musharraf support plummets: poll. Support for President Gen Pervez Musharraf has plunged since February, according to an opinion poll published on Wednesday, while a think-tank warned that his bid to retain power could fuel ‘religious radicalism’. (DAWN)

Pakistan, India eye $10bn trade. India and Pakistan promised concrete measures on Wednesday to inaugurate a new era of bilateral trade, which both expect to grow to $10 billion by 2010 from the current level of less than $2 billion. (DAWN)

Pakistan objects to U.S.-India nuke deal. Pakistan has reportedly warned the recent U.S.-India civil nuclear deal could set off an arms race and upset the subcontinent’s strategic balance. (UPI)

India’s offer on maritime security. India on Thursday unveiled a maritime security package for the benefit of the ASEAN Regional Forum. (The Hindu)

UK police chief cleared over shooting. London’s police chief was cleared of lying in a report released on Thursday into the aftermath of the fatal shooting of an innocent Brazilian man mistaken for a suicide bomber. (Gulf News)

Abe Defeat Could Impact Support for U.S. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s electoral defeat may threaten Japan’s support of U.S.-led operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, as an energized opposition seeks to redefine the country’s relationship with Washington. (The Indian Express)

Mega Gas Pipeline Plans Held Up in South America. The South American mega-pipeline project to transport natural gas from the Caribbean to the River Plate, supplying a large part of Brazil en route, “has cooled down because of attacks from within South America itself” and due to attempts by the United States to delay the plans, complained Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez. (IPS)

New Commission to Investigate Prisons, Police in Guatemala. The Guatemalan national police and the prison and customs systems will be the first to be investigated by a joint Guatemalan – United Nations Commission against Impunity (CICIG) designed to shore up the justice system in this Central American country plagued by high levels of violent crime, human rights violations and corruption. (IPS)

Turkey: No alternative to Gül’s presidential bid. The Justice and Development Party (AK Party) will nominate Abdullah Gül, the foreign minister and deputy prime minister, as the party’s only presidential candidate. (Today’s Zaman)

In Terrorism-Law Case, Chiquita Points to U.S. Roderick M. Hills, who had sought the meeting with former law firm colleague Michael Chertoff [now head of homeland security], explained that Chiquita was paying “protection money” to a Colombian paramilitary group on the U.S. government’s list of terrorist organizations. Sources close to Chiquita say that Chertoff never did get back to the company or its lawyers. Neither did Larry D. Thompson, the deputy attorney general, whom Chiquita officials sought out after Chertoff left his job for a federal judgeship in June 2003. And Chiquita kept making payments for nearly another year. (Washington Post)

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