Home > News > News in Brief: 12 June 2008

News in Brief: 12 June 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Mali: Gun Running Worsening. Mali has become an established transit route for weapons heading from West Africa’s increasingly peaceful coastal states to active conflicts in West and Central Africa, an ECOWAS expert has warned. (allAfrica)

Ireland votes on EU reform treaty. Closely watched referendum on Lisbon treaty has been rated too close to call. A majority “no” verdict from Ireland’s 2.8 million registered voters could mean the end of the painstakingly negotiated Lisbon treaty for all 27 EU nations and their 495 million citizens. (Al Jazeera)

China, Taiwan agree historic deal. Taiwan and China have agreed to establish permanent offices in each other’s territories in the latest step in efforts to forge partnership between the long-time rivals. (Al Jazeera)

Zimbabwe: MDC Secretary General Biti Arrested. Secretary-General of Zimbabwe’s Movement for Democratic Change (MDC-T), Tendai Biti, was detained on his return to Zimbabwe from South Africa on Thursday, a party spokesman said. (allAfrica)

Army deploys to Darjeeling Hills to control protest. The Indian army on Thursday headed to the tourist attraction of Darjeeling Hills, where protesters have been clashing with police over demands for a separate state. (Gulf News)

Nepal’s former rebels quit government. Nepal’s former communist rebels quit the country’s interim government Thursday in an effort to force the current prime minister out and allow them to form a new administration. (CNN)

US releases video to justify fatal attack on Pakistan border. The US military has released video footage to justify Tuesday’s controversial aerial bombing on the Afghan border in which 11 Pakistani soldiers died. (Guardian)

Ministers plot UK nuclear future. Business Secretary John Hutton told energy companies that the UK should become the world’s number one location for new nuclear investment. The government is keen to see at least 10 nuclear reactors starting operations around 2020, as existing installations reach the end of their lives, with more to follow. (BBC)

World donors offer billions in aid for Afghanistan. Karzai sought support to finance part of a 50-billion-dollar development plan over the next five years to counter widespread poverty and a Taliban insurgency. (AFP)

Africa: Experts Ready With Draft Proposal to Merge AU Courts. The African Union experts have completed a draft proposal for the merger of the African Human Rights Court and the African Court of Justice “so as to have an effective single African judicial organ”. (allAfrica)

SKorean trade minister to travel to US for talks on beef dispute. South Korea’s top trade official said Thursday he would travel to the United States to seek restrictions on American beef shipped to his country in a bid to soothe anti-government protesters. (AP)

Commodity prices show no letup. The higher commodity prices are likely to add to a worldwide inflationary picture that seems to worsen by the day. Prices of many grocery items in the United States have been rising briskly, with some goods like eggs and milk – produced from animals fed with corn – up by 13 to 30 percent in the past year. (International Herald Tribune)

Human Rights Watch accuses Ethiopia military of war crimes while fighting rebels in Ogaden. Ethiopia’s government is committing war crimes in its military campaign against rebels in the Ogaden region, a rights group charged Thursday in a report that complained the U.S. and other Western governments willfully ignored abuses. (AP)

Italy and France form ‘trade axis’. Diplomats on Wednesday said a stronger protectionist stance against China, India and other developing countries was emerging under Italy’s new centre-right government. Silvio Berlusconi, the prime minister, views Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, as an economic and security ally. (FT)

Cuba to abandon wage caps. Cuba is to abandon egalitarian salaries after decades of government control in a bid to improve the nation’s productivity, a senior government official has revealed. (Guardian)

Native Canadian leader: Prime minister’s apology will help end ‘racial nightmare’. From the 19th century until the 1970s, more than 150,000 Indian children were required to attend state-funded Christian schools. Their treatment at the schools where they were often physically and sexually abused was a sad chapter in the country’s history, Prime Minister Stephen Harper said. (AP)

IRAQ: ‘Special Weapons’ Have a Fallout on Babies. Many doctors believe DU to be the cause of a severe increase in the incidence of cancer in Iraq, as well as among U.S. veterans who served in the 1991 Gulf War and through the current occupation. (IPS)

Rice to sign Czech-US missile defence deal in July. US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice is to arrive in Prague for the signing of a Czech-US deal on placing a missile defence radar on Czech soil in early July, according to press reports Thursday. (Khaleej Times)

Japan’s lower house votes in support of embattled PM. The motion passed by a vote of 336-10, with most of the opposition members having boycotted the session. (Deutsche Welle)

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