Home > News > News in Brief: 29 August 2008

News in Brief: 29 August 2008

A brief list of news for the day:

Afghan civilians killed in incident with German soldiers. At least three civilians have been killed in Afghanistan at a checkpoint manned by German ISAF soldiers and Afghan police. The German Defence Ministry said the incident occurred when two civilian vehicles approached the barrier and failed to stop on request. (Deutsche Welle)

An Embattled Enclave Yearns to Be Free (and Liechtenstein). Russia’s recognition of South Ossetia and Abkhazia as independent nations has filled people here with hope that other countries will follow. (New York Times)

Russia remains a Black Sea powerWith Russia recognizing the breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, it gains control over two major Black Sea ports and defeats the United States’ plan to make the sea an exclusive “NATO lake”. (Asia Times)

South Ossetia ‘will become Russian’. Georgia’s breakaway province of South Ossetia said today it will eventually become Russian territory. (The Independent/AP)

Mr Cheney goes to Georgia. United States Vice President Dick Cheney heads to Georgia next week, most likely to pledge military assistance to Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili in the wake of Moscow’s recognition of two breakaway Georgian states. (Asia Times)

Pressure mounts on Thailand’s PM. Pressure is building on Thai Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej, amid spiralling protests against his rule. (BBC)

Iran confirms further uranium enrichment. Iran is now operating 4,000 centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant, a top official said Friday, moving the country’s controversial nuclear program further out of the experimental stage and onto an industrial level. (The Independent/AP)

Ahmadinejad gets a crucial boost. An apparent public endorsement of President Mahmud Ahmadinejad by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei throws a new light on the 2009 presidential elections. Khamenei’s backing could silence some government critics and Ahmadinejad is already calling the leader’s approval “a medal of honor”. (Asia Times)

Bolivian President Morales calls referendum on draft constitution. Bolivian President Evo Morales has scheduled a national referendum on a disputed new constitution. Morales set December 7 as the date for the vote which would allow presidential re-election and empower a long-marginalized indigenous majority. (Deutsche Welle)

China’s gap between city and country incomes at widest ever. The gap between incomes in cities and the countryside has reached its highest level in 30 years despite a rapid rise in rural earnings, the state media has reported. (Guardian)

Japan plans $91.36bn stimulus package. Japan’s planned package of steps to help people and firms cope with high energy and food prices will total around 10,000bn yen (US$91.36bn) but will involve only around 1,000bn to 2,000bn yen in new spending, media reported. (FT)

Eurozone inflation shows signs of slowing. Eurozone inflation has eased more than expected this month, while latest survey results suggest recession risks have mounted. Annual inflation in the 15-country region dropped to 3.8 per cent in August, down from a record 4 per cent in July. (FT)

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