Home > News > News in Brief: 7 August 2007

News in Brief: 7 August 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Violence breaks out in East Timor. Violence has broken out in several areas of East Timor, a day after independence hero Xanana Gusmao was named as the new prime minister. Mr Gusmao was chosen as the new premier to end weeks of deadlock, after no single party won a majority in June’s parliamentary elections. (BBC)

Iraqi Kurds approve regional oil law. Iraq’s Kurdistan region approved an oil law, ahead of the federal legislation, that it says will benefit both its citizens and Iraqis as a whole. The law would need to be in line with a federal law that is stuck in Parliament negotiations in Baghdad. Factions, including the Kurds, are bitterly divided over how much control the regional and local governments will have over the exploration, development and production of Iraq’s oil, and how strong the federal government will be. A final version of the KRG law has not been made public. But the government’s Web site says it includes a revenue-sharing component, where the KRG and the rest of the oil producers pool oil revenues together, and they are then redistributed around the country. (UPI)

Iraq: Sectarianism Splits Security in Diyala. Militia from the Shia organisation Badr have taken over the police force in Diyala province north of Baghdad, residents say. The government led by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki is believed to have backed such infiltration, and this has reportedly led to clashes with U.S. military leaders. (IPS)

Taliban offer female hostage swap. The Taliban have said it is prepared to swap women hostages among 21 South Koreans being held in Afghanistan for female prisoners linked to the group. (Al Jazeera)

Russia Ups Pressure on Iran. Moscow has warned Iran that it will not deliver fuel to a nearly completed Russian-built nuclear reactor unless Tehran lifts the veil of secrecy on suspicious past atomic activities, a European diplomat said Tuesday. Separately, a U.S. official told The Associated Press that the Russians are not meeting other commitments that would allow the Iranians to activate the Bushehr nuclear reactor. (AP)

Mining giant faces tribal protest. On Thursday critics of the mine will finally find out whether their three-year campaign has been successful when the Indian Supreme Court sits to rule on the construction’s legality. Three petitioners have brought cases against Vedanta in what could be a landmark ruling. A Supreme Court committee has already accused Vedanta of “blatant violation” of planning and environmental guidelines. A separate report from the Wildlife Institute of India also criticised the project citing its “irreversible” impact on the environment. (The Independent)

Abbas to hold Mideast peace talks in Egypt. Abbas is due to arrive in Egypt on Tuesday for the talks, which will take place in the Mediterranean port city of Alexandria amid ”exerted efforts to revive the peace process,” the official MENA news agency reported. (Khaleej Times/AFP)

Pakistan: Agreement signed on joint force to protect Chinese. Pakistani and Chinese officials signed an agreement on Monday to form a joint task force tasked with improving security for Chinese nationals in Pakistan, and for reviewing investigations on recent attacks. (Daily Times)

Sweden: Refugees Test Progressive Claims. Rejected Afghan and Iraqi asylum-seekers have launched nationwide protest against a stricter migration policy. “We have a right to asylum; stop deportations”, shouted some 300 Afghans who joined a six-day march to protest against a recent decision by the Swedish Migration Board to deport asylum-seekers to Afghanistan. The protesters marched a total of 200km, starting from the Migration Board office in the city of Norrköping, located south of capital Stockholm on the east coast. Another 200 joined the demonstration outside the Swedish parliament, where the protesters ended their march last week. (IPS)

The 91 Iraqis abandoned by Britain. Britain was accused yesterday of abandoning 91 Iraqi interpreters and their families to face persecution and possible death when British forces withdraw. The Times has learnt that the Government has ignored personal appeals from senior army officers in Basra to relax asylum regulations and make special arrangements for Iraqis whose [service to British troops] have put their lives at risk. (Times Online)

Georgia accuses Russia of air attack. Georgia today accused its neighbour Russia of an “act of aggression” after two Russian jet fighters allegedly crossed into its airspace and fired a missile at a village close to its capital Tbilisi. Moscow immediately denied the attack saying its aircraft had “not violated the borders of sovereign Georgia”. (Guardian)

Japan ruling party loses key post. A Democratic party legislator has been elected leader of Japan’s upper house of parliament – the first opposition member to hold the post. (Al Jazeera)

Japan PM won’t visit war shrine for now. Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe will avoid stirring trouble with Asian neighbours by staying away from a controversial war shrine on the anniversary of the country’s World War Two surrender. (Khaleej Times/Reuters)

Turkish Commandos Inside Iraq? Hundreds of Turkish commandos have crossed the border into northern Iraq, according to a report by PUKmedia, a news service associated with the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) of Iraqi President Jalal Talabani. The news comes just as Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki is scheduled to lead an Iraqi delegation to Ankara for talks on Tuesday. (IraqSlogger)

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