Home > News > News in Brief: 13 August 2007

News in Brief: 13 August 2007

A brief list of news for the day:

Japanese central bank injects more funds into money markets. Japan’s central bank injected 600 billion yen (US$5 billion; €3.6 billion) into money markets Monday, a bank spokeswoman said, amid global worries about dubious U.S. mortgages. It was the second trading day in a row that the Bank of Japan has pumped money into the markets, BOJ spokeswoman Naomi Mariko said. On Friday, the U.S., European, Australian and Japanese central banks injected funds into money markets as stocks dropped on concerns over U.S. subprime mortgage problems. It was the first time these banks and others around the world have worked together to inject liquidity into the markets since the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in the United States. Investor confidence worldwide has been shaken by the credit market problems over concerns that they will affect the larger financial system and hurt the U.S. economy. (International Herald Tribune)

Two Koreans to Be Freed Today, Says Afghan Governor. Two ailing South Korean hostages held by the Taleban are to be freed this morning, the governor of the Afghan province where they were abducted said yesterday. “The Taleban are releasing two sick female hostages as a gesture of good faith. hey’ll be here by tomorrow morning in Ghazni (city),” Gov. Merajuddin Pattan said. (Arab News/Reuters)

Troika hint at Kosovo partition. The troika of major powers holding talks on Kosovo have said that partition could be an option if Serbs and Albanians agreed to it. (Al Jazeera)

Provincial Governor, Police Chief Killed. The governor of the southern Iraqi province of Diwaniyah along with its police chief were killed on Saturday in a blast east of the predominantly Shiite city, Diwaniyah deputy governor said. “Diwaniyah Governor Khalil Jalil Hamza and acting police chief Brigadier Khalid Hassan were killed, today [Saturday] afternoon, in an explosive charge blast,” Governor Deputy Dhia Shubbar told the independent news agency Voices of Iraq. (IraqSlogger)

Musharraf: Taliban hindering economic growth. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has said that Afghanistan and Pakistan must work together to fight Taliban extremism along the countries’ borders. He said that militancy had prevented the two countries from benefiting from globalization and economic development. He also said that “true Muslims must isolate die-hard Taliban militants.” Musharraf was speaking to more than 600 Pakistani and Afghan tribal leaders at the closing session of a four-day “peace council” in Kabul that aimed to address the growing Taliban and Al-Qaeda threat. (Deutsche Welle)

India wary of U.S. goalpost shift on Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) clearance. India will emphasise to the United States that under the terms of the July 2005 joint statement, responsibility for getting the Nuclear Suppliers Group to amend its guidelines to allow nuclear commerce with India rests with Washington and not New Delhi. (The Hindu)

U.K. panel tells Brown boycott of Hamas is counterproductive. Britain’s refusal to speak to Hamas is counterproductive and efforts should be made to form a new unity Palestinian government in the West Bank and Gaza, a British parliamentary committee said on Monday. (Ha’aretz/Reuters)

Vote count begins in Sierra Leone. Sierra Leone is awaiting the results of presidential and parliamentary elections seen as a test of whether the west African nation has fully emerged from its bloody past. Complete preliminary results are expected by the end of the week. Solomon Berewa, the vice-president of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s party (SLPP) [is] expected to face a stiff challenge from president Ernest Koroma of the opposition All People’s Congress (APC). (Al Jazeera)

Rice’s call stopped Pakistan’s stake of emergency: Kasuri. Emergency could not be declared in Pakistan after US Foreign Secretary Condoleezza Rice phoned President Musharraf, said Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri on Sunday, reported ARY television. (Daily Times)

Musharraf says not all Taliban terrorists. The Taliban are a part of Afghan society and those among them who are not committed to endless violence must be brought into the political mainstream, President Gen Pervez Musharraf said in an address to the concluding session of the Pak-Afghan Peace Jirga on Sunday, APP reports. (Daily Times)

Musharraf tries to shore up government as domestic problems grow deepen. Pakistan’s embattled leader, General Pervez Musharraf, dramatically intervened in a “peace council” meeting in Afghanistan yesterday, declaring that the two countries would work together to fight the extremism and hatred he said had held them back. More than 600 Afghan and tribal leaders listened as General Musharraf told them that the neighbouring countries were confronted with a “particularly dark form” of terrorism. (The Independent)

Hundreds of Police Sent to Ingushetia. Hundreds of Interior Ministry police reinforcements have been dispatched to Ingushetia, the ministry said Friday, as fears grow that a sharp spike in violence in the volatile North Caucasus republic is signaling a resurgence in rebel activity from neighboring Chechnya. The Ingush police force has been tripled — to almost 2,500 from 700 — and provided with additional armored personnel carriers, ministry spokesman Vasily Panchenkov said. The mostly Muslim republic of fewer than 500,000 people shares the language and culture of Chechnya, where rebels and other militants continue to mount daily hit-and-run attacks on federal forces and allied paramilitaries. About 60,000 Chechen refugees currently live in Ingushetia. (Moscow Times)

Putin Touts Air Defense Plan. President Vladimir Putin said Saturday that a new radar station near St. Petersburg was the first stage in a large-scale air defense program. It was the first public announcement of such a program. Russia has said it will beef up its air defense system in response to a U.S. initiative to station elements of a missile shield near Russia’s borders. (Moscow Times/Reuters)

Iran, Turkey cement commerce, energy tıes. The Turkish minister for foreign trade voiced high expectations for the future of bilateral trade with neighboring Iran on Sunday. A delegation from the Energy Ministry traveled to Tehran for talks aimed at finalizing a preliminary deal between the governments of the two countries in late July. Part of the deal will enable Turkey to use Iran as a transit route for Turkmen gas. (Today’s Zaman)

Turkey heading toward electricity crisis at full speed. As electricity consumption continues to increase with the extreme heat, the Energy Ministry seems willing to try almost anything to get power to the people. (Today’s Zaman)

Critical water shortages threaten Ankara hospitals. Water shortages plaguing all of Turkey have taken their latest toll in the capital, where Ankara hospitals are experiencing dire water shortages even where critical operations are concerned. Tankers bringing in water to area hospitals are only supplying enough for one hour of need, and hospital personnel are reported to be desperate. (Hurriyet)

Asia’s labour force to grow by 200 million. Asia’s economies face the challenge of finding jobs for an extra 200 million workers between now and 2015, according to a new International Labour Organisation (ILO) report out on Monday. It said the region will have its work cut out to improve the quality of jobs on offer and ensure the benefits of Asia’s future economic growth are distributed more evenly as the labour force, currently 1.8 billion, increases. (Khaleej Times/AFP)

Anti-Mafia police uncover arms-to-Iraq plot. US loss of control over the flood of weapons into Iraq was highlighted again [Saturday] when it emerged that Italian anti-Mafia investigators had uncovered an alleged shipment of 105,000 rifles of which the American high command was unaware. The Italian team, in an investigation codenamed Operation Parabellum, stopped the £20m sale and have made four arrests. The consignment appears to have been ordered by the Iraqi interior ministry. The US high command in Baghdad admitted that it had no knowledge of any such order, even though the ministry is supposed to inform the Americans before making any arms purchases. (Guardian)

Troubled Somali government pins hopes on summit. Diplomats say the conference on political reconciliation may be the government’s last chance to hold onto power against a growing Islamist insurgency and with one of its most powerful backers, the Bush administration, perhaps rethinking the military operation that brought the regime to power six months ago. Since Ethiopian troops, supported by U.S. training and intelligence, ousted an Islamist regime from the capital, Mogadishu, the government has been unable to control the city. Somali and Ethiopian forces face near-daily mortar attacks and assassination attempts by insurgents linked to the Islamists, who vowed on Friday to disrupt the summit. (McClatchy)

Poland heads for early vote. Seeking to end months of political turmoil, Polish officials confirmed Sunday that the government will hold early elections by November, two years ahead of schedule. (International Herald Tribune)

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