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Old Thursday, June 21, 2007
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Default Current Affairs

Here are the key news events of the year organized into three categories: World News, Nation News, and Business, Society, and Science News.

2007 Events (World)

January 2007

Former Communist Countries Admitted into European Union (Jan. 1): Romania and Bulgaria's entry expands the European Union to 27 nations and a population of about 490 million.

U.S. Launches Air Strike in Somalia (Jan. 8): Air Force gunship targets suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were forced to flee Mogadishu following Ethiopian air strikes that routed Islamist militias.

Chávez Moves to Assert Greater Control (Jan. 8): President of Venezuela says he will nationalize the telecommunications and electricity industries.

Somali Leader Arrives in Mogadishu (Jan. 8): President Abdullahi Yusuf enters the capital for the first time since assuming control of the interim government in 2004. Government troops and Ethiopian soldiers recently forced Islamist fighters from the city.

Standoff Follows U.S. Raid of Iranian Office in Iraq (Jan. 11): Troops storm an Iranian diplomatic office in Kurdish-controlled Erbil and detain five people. Kurdish officials are outraged at the move, and about 100 Kurdish troops stop U.S. troops from crossing a checkpoint.

Bangladeshi Leader Declares State of Emergency (Jan. 11): Responding to claims of corruption on the electoral commission and threats by an alliance of political parties to boycott Jan. 22 election, President Iajuddin Ahmed declares a state of emergency, resigns as head of the interim government, and postpones elections.

Mistake Made in Execution of Iraqi Official (Jan. 15): Barzan Ibrahim al-Tikriti, the half-brother of Saddam Hussein who was also sentenced to death for his role in the 1982 execution of Shiites in Dujail, is decapitated by the noose during his execution.

UN Announces Iraqi Civilian Death Toll (Jan. 16): Tally of death certificates and reports from morgues, hospitals, and other institutions indicates more than 34,000 Iraqi civilians died in 2006.

Toll High in Baghdad Violence (Jan. 16): At least 70 people die when three bombs explode in attacks at the mostly Shiite Mustansiriya University. (Jan. 21): Some 27 U.S. soldiers die over a two-day period in Iraq. (Jan. 22): Nearly 90 people are killed when two car bombs explode in a crowded market at lunchtime. The neighborhood is dominated by Shiites.

Israeli President Suspends Himself (Jan. 25): Parliamentary committee approves Moshe Katsav's request to suspend himself after Israel's attorney general announces that he would indict Katsav on charges of rape, sexual harassment, abuse of power, and other charges. Katsav denies the charges, calling them part of a “witch hunt.”

Billions Pledged for Lebanon at Aid Conference (Jan. 25): At a meeting in Paris, 30 countries promise about $7.6 billion in aid for Lebanon. The conference coincides with deadly violence in Beirut that kills four and wounds about 150 people.

Sinn Fein Votes in Favor of Revamped Police Force (Jan. 28): Sinn Fein endorses a plan to support the police in Northern Ireland. Over 15 years, the composition of the force will change to reflect the population of the province. Vote clears the path to pursue a power-sharing government between Catholic and Protestant parties.

Hundreds Die in Battle in Iraq (Jan. 28): As many as 250 are killed near Najaf as American and Iraqi troops fight with a Shiite militia. An American helicopter is shot down in the battle.
British Police Arrest Nine in Suspected Terrorism Plot (Jan. 31): Suspects, arrested in Birmingham, are accused of plotting to kidnap, torture, and kill a British Muslim soldier.

Chávez Given Enhanced Powers (Jan. 31): Venezuela’s legislature votes to grant the president broad power to enact laws at his discretion.


NATO, Pakistan discuss closer security cooperation IRNA 30 Jan 2007 -- Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz met the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Jaap de Hoop Scheffer in Brussels Tuesday afternoon and discussed military, security and political cooperation as well as the situation in Afghanistan.

Analysis: Pakistan’s Lack of Border Control 24 Jan 2007 -- The frontier between Pakistan and Afghanistan serves as the flash point for tensions between the two countries as Kabul grows increasingly critical of Islamabad's seeming inability to control cross-border raids by Islamic militants

Afghanistan: Kabul Sharing Intelligence With Pakistan, NATO RFE/RL 24 Jan 2007 -- The NATO-led force International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), Afghanistan, and Pakistan have set up a joint intelligence-sharing center at ISAF headquarters in Kabul.

Pakistan plans major operation against Taliban: police IRNA 18 Jan 2007 -- Police chief in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan said on Thursday that a major operation against Taliban suspects will soon be launched in the province.

Pakistan military rejects Afghan charges IRNA 18 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan military on Thursday rejected a claim from a captured Taliban spokesman that it is sheltering the movement's leader, Mullah Omar.

U.S. Intelligence Chief Says Pakistan Must Address 'Sanctuary' For Taliban RFE/RL 18 Jan 2007 -- The head of U.S. intelligence operations says Pakistan must do more to address the "sanctuary" that Taliban fighters enjoy in Pakistan before security can improve in Afghanistan.

Islamabad Denies Mullah Omar Sheltered in Pakistan VOA 18 Jan 2007 -- A Taleban spokesman has told Afghan authorities that the militant Islamic group's leader, Mullah Omar, is living inside Pakistan under the protection of the country's main intelligence agency, the ISI

South Asia: Captured Taliban Fuels Islamabad-Kabul Fire RFE/RL 18 Jan 2007 -- A captured Taliban spokesman, known as Mohammad Hanif, has claimed that the leader of Afghanistan's former Taliban regime is living in Pakistan under the protection of that country's intelligence service.

Pakistan gives detailed plan to settle Siachen conflict IRNA 17 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan has given to India a "detailed and comprehensive package" to resolve the conflict over Siachen, the world's highest battleground, Foreign Minister Khurshid Mehmood Kasuri said on Tuesday.

India Says Pakistani Troops Shoot to Cover for Militants VOA 17 Jan 2007 -- Indian border patrol officials say Pakistani forces have fired on Indian personnel, in an attempt to provide cover for militants trying to cross into Indian-controlled Kashmir

Pakistani forces attack militants' compounds IRNA 16 Jan 2007 -- Pakistani forces used helicopter gunships to bomb suspected militant hideouts in the tribal region near the rugged Afghan border early Tuesday, the military said.

Pakistan Army Strikes Al-Qaida Camps Near Afghan Border VOA 16 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan forces launched a powerful air strike against a series of suspected al-Qaida military camps in the country's tribal region near the Afghan border Tuesday

Pakistan Chooses Raytheon's Proven Air Defense Missiles to Secure Borders Raytheon 15 Jan 2007 -- The country of Pakistan has signed a Letter of Offer and Acceptance for the procurement of 500 Advanced Medium-Range Air-to-Air Missiles (AMRAAM) - generating the largest single international AMRAAM purchase -- and 200 AIM-9M Sidewinder missiles.

Pakistan Navy to get first P-3C Orion on January 18: Naval Chief IRNA 14 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan Navy (PN) will get the first of eight American-made long-range maritime surveillance aircraft P-3C Orion on January 18, Chief of the Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Afzal Tahir said on Saturday.

Pakistan, India agree to hold new round of talks IRNA 13 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan and India on Saturday agreed to launch the fourth round of composite dialogue in March, hold official level talks on Siachin and Sir Creek issues, hold joint ministerial commission meeting and complete work on liberalization of visa regime.

Indian Foreign Minister in Pakistan for Talks VOA 13 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan and India held talks to review progress in their slow-moving three-year-old peace dialogue Saturday

Complexity Marks Pakistan-US Relationship on Counterterrorism VOA 12 Jan 2007 -- Remarks by outgoing U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte have sparked an angry reaction from Pakistan

Pakistan Rejects US Assertion of New Al-Qaida Headquarters VOA 12 Jan 2007 -- Pakistani officials sharply reject U.S. comments alleging al-Qaida has re-established its global headquarters in Pakistan

Northrop Grumman to Provide Pakistan Air Force with F-16 Fire Control Radar Systems Northrop Grumman 10 Jan 2007 -- Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) has been awarded a contract to provide its advanced AN/APG-68(V)9 airborne fire control radar capability for a total of 52 F-16 fighter aircraft for the Pakistan Air Force.

Pakistan to go ahead with border fencing, mining: spokesperson IRNA 09 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan said Monday that it would go ahead with selective fencing and mining of its border with Afghanistan and that the army has been tasked to identify problem areas along some 2500 kilometers of the border.

UN calls on Afghanistan, Pakistan to end war of words and cooperate in fighting Taliban UN News Centre 08 Jan 2007 -- A senior United Nations official in Afghanistan today called on the Afghan and Pakistani governments to end their mutual recriminations and cooperate in fighting the Taliban insurgency in the south of the war-torn country, saying it is being fuelled from both sides of the border and urging greater action against the rebellion in Pakistan itself.
Pakistan, India to finalize agreement of avoidance nuclear accidents: official IRNA 08 Jan 2007 -- Pakistan and India are working to finalize three agreements including avoidance of nuclear accidents and visa liberalization which will be hopefully signed during the forthcoming visit of the Indian Foreign Minister to Islamabad.


Catholic Church Officials Resign in Poland (Jan. 7): A month after being appointed archbishop by Pope Benedict XVI, Stanislaw Wielgus resigns after admitting to collaborating with the Polish secret police during the Communist era. (Jan. 8): Rev. Janusz Bielanski, the rector of Krakow's Wawel Cathedral, also steps down for his involvement with the Communist Secret Service.

Cancer Deaths Decrease in the United States (Jan. 17): American Cancer Society reports that cancer deaths fell by 3,014 cases from 2003–2004. It's the second consecutive year the number of deaths has dropped.

February 2007

Analysis of Iraq Expresses Doubt on Leadership (Feb. 2): National Intelligence Estimate finds the Iraqi leadership is likely too weak to hold the country together, the military is ill-equipped to rein in militias, and U.S. troops are necessary to stabilize Iraq.

Violence Escalates Between Palestinian Factions (Feb. 2): At least 17 people are killed as members of Hamas and Fatah fight in the Gaza Strip.

Massive Bomb Kills Dozens in Baghdad (Feb. 4): At least 130 people die when a truck bomb explodes in a crowded Shiite market.

U.S. and Iraq Begin a New Offensive (Feb. 7): Troops attempt to increase security in Baghdad to stem increasingly deadly attacks by insurgents and militias. (Feb. 18): At least 60 people die when a bomb tears through a crowded market in Baghdad. The attack comes two days after Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki called the security offensive a “dazzling success.” (Feb. 25): A bomb explodes at Baghdad’s Mustansiriya University, killing about 40 people, mostly students.

Palestinian Factions Agree to Form Coalition Government (Feb. 8): Leaders from Hamas and Fatah, two Palestinian factions that have been engaged in deadly violence, meet in Mecca and reach deal to end the fighting and to form a unity government.

U.S. Military Officials Say Iran is Supplying Weapons to Shiites in Iraq (Feb. 11): Officials show weapons, including mortar shells, rocket-propelled grenades, and explosively formed penetrators that they say were manufactured in Iranian factories. They also say that Iranian government officials sanctioned the transfer of the weapons to Iraq.

Portugal Votes in Favor of Legalizing Abortion (Feb. 11): More than 59% of voters support legalizing the procedure in the first 10 weeks of pregnancy. Because of a low turnout, however, the referendum is not considered valid.

President of Guinea Declares Martial Law (Feb. 12): President Lansana Conté declares martial law in response to a wave of anti-government protests and a general strike that has paralyzed the country. Demonstrators are demanding that Conté resign. (Feb. 27): The strike ends as President Conté agrees to name diplomat Lansana Kouyaté as prime minister. More than 100 people have died in battles with security officials during the strike.
Breakthrough Reached with North Korea (Feb. 13): At a meeting in Beijing with diplomats from the U.S., China, South Korea, Russia, and Japan, North Korea agrees to dismantle its nuclear facilities and allow international inspectors to enter the country in exchange for about $400 million in oil and aid.

Dozens Die in India Train Bombing (Feb. 18): Some 70 people die when two homemade bombs explode on a train headed for Pakistan from India.

Southern Thailand Rocked by Bombs (Feb. 18): Some 30 coordinated bombs explode at bars, hotels, and electricity transmitters in Pattani Province, killing or wounding 60 people.

Italian Prime Minister Resigns After Losing Key Vote in the Senate (Feb. 21): Romano Prodi submits his resignation after a measure about deploying more troops to Afghanistan and allowing the U.S. to expand a military base in Italy fails in the Senate. He has been in power only nine months. (Feb. 28): Prodi remains in power, as the Senate narrowly passes a vote of confidence in the prime minister’s weak government.

Blair Announces Plans to Withdraw Troops from Iraq (Feb. 21): British prime minister says as many as 1,600 of the 7,100 troops stationed in southern Iraq will leave in the next few months. “What all this means is not that Basra is how we want it to be, but it does mean that the next chapter in Basra’s history can be written by Iraqis,” Blair said.

Canada Court Strikes Down Law on Detention of Terror Suspects (Feb. 23): Country’s Supreme Court nullifies a law that permits foreign terrorism suspects to be detained indefinitely without charges while waiting for deportation. The Court’s decision is in stark contrast to a U.S. ruling that upheld such detentions.

International Court Calls Bosnian Massacre Genocide (Feb. 26): International Court of Justice rules that the slaughter of some 8,000 Bosnian Muslims by Bosnian Serbs in Srebrenica in 1995 was genocide, but stops short of saying Serbia was directly responsible. The court’s president, Judge Rosalyn Higgins, criticizes Serbia for not preventing the genocide. Court also orders Serbia to turn over Bosnian Serb leaders, including Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karakzic, who are accused of genocide and other crimes.

Cheney Tells Pakistan to Control al-Qaeda and the Taliban (Feb. 26): U.S. vice president travels to Pakistan and urges Pakistani president Pervez Musharraf to rein in terrorists that are operating from remote tribal areas in Pakistan. Musharraf responds, “Pakistan does not accept dictation from any side or any source.”

Iraqi Cabinet Passes Draft on Oil Revenues (Feb. 26): Law calls on government to distribute oil revenues to regions based on their populations and allows regions to negotiate contracts with foreign companies to explore and develop oil fields.

U.S. Agrees to Talks With Iran and Syria (Feb. 27): In a policy shift, U.S. officials say they will participate in high-level talks with Iran and Syria at a meeting about Iraq.

Cheney Escapes Assassination Attempt in Afghanistan (Feb. 27): A suicide bomber attacks a United States base near Kabul, about a mile away from where the vice president was staying. The Taliban claims responsibility for the attack which killed more than 20 people.

Court Names Suspects in Darfur Atrocities (Feb. 27): International Criminal Court at the Hague names Ahmad Harun, Sudan’s deputy minister for humanitarian affairs, and Ali Abd-al-Rahman, a militia leader, as suspects in the murder, rape, and displacement of thousands of civilians in the Darfur region of Sudan.


US Intelligence Chief: Al-Qaida Grows Stronger in Pakistani Safe Havens VOA 27 Feb 2007 -- The top U.S. intelligence officer says Pakistan could make more energetic anti-terrorist efforts along the Afghan border

US Vice President Presses Pakistan on Taleban VOA 26 Feb 2007 -- Vice President Dick Cheney has made unannounced stops in Pakistan and Afghanistan

US Vice President Presses Pakistan on Taleban VOA 26 Feb 2007 -- Vice President Dick Cheney has made unannounced stops in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Analysis: Cheney Presses Pakistan 26 Feb 2007 -- Vice President Dick Cheney made a surprise stop in Islamabad to deliver a stern warning (NYT) to President Pervez Musharraf that Washington may reduce aid to Islamabad if he does not take a more offensive approach toward terrorists that have allegedly sought refuge close to the Afghan border

Pakistan Key Counterterrorism Ally, Says White House Washington File 26 Feb 2007 -- The United States considers Pakistan a vital ally in the struggle against terrorism and will look to its government for continued support as al-Qaida and the Taliban gear up to target neighboring Afghanistan in a new spring offensive, says White House spokesman Tony Snow.

Cheney, Musharraf Discuss War on Terrorism During Surprise Visit to Pakistan VOA 26 Feb 2007 -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney made an unannounced visit to Pakistan Monday, and warned of U.S. concerns that al Qaida militants might be regrouping inside Pakistan

U.S. Vice President Makes Surprise Visit To Pakistan RFE/RL 26 Feb 2007 -- U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney made an unannounced visit today to Pakistan, where he went straight into security-related talks with Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf.

India, Pakistan Sign Pact on Nuclear Weapons Security VOA 21 Feb 2007 -- India and Pakistan have signed a pact on nuclear weapons security and pledged their renewed commitment to a peace process

Pakistan Rejects Fresh Reports of Al-Qaida Activity VOA 20 Feb 2007 -- Pakistan is sharply rejecting new U.S. reports that the terrorist group al-Qaida has reestablished training bases inside the country's remote tribal areas.

Terrorism Suspected in Blasts Aboard India-to-Pakistan 'Peace Train' VOA 19 Feb 2007 -- More than 66 people, including many Pakistani nationals, have been killed in a fire aboard the only train linking India's capital with the Pakistani border

US Officials Urge Pakistan To Help Fight Taleban Threat Against Afghanistan VOA 14 Feb 2007 -- U.S. defense and military officials have told Congress Pakistan needs to do more to eliminate Taleban insurgents along the border with Afghanistan

LOCKHEED MARTIN AWARDED $186 MILLION CONTRACT TO UPGRADE P-3C MARITIME SURVEILLANCE AIRCRAFT MISSION SYSTEMS FOR PAKISTAN NAVY Lockheed Martin 13 Feb 2007 -- The U.S. Navy’s Naval Air Systems Command has awarded Lockheed Martin [NYSE: LMT] a $186.5 million Foreign Military Sale contract to continue providing mission system upgrades and sustainment work for seven P-3C Orion maritime surveillance aircraft for the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

Gates, Pakistani President Discuss Border Issues AFPS 12 Feb 2007 -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates met with President Pervez Musharraf of Pakistan this morning at the president’s Camp Office in Rawalpindi.

PAKISTAN: ICRC to continue operations despite attack VOA 12 Feb 2007 -- The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on Monday confirmed that the agency would continue its work in Pakistan's North West Frontier Province (NWFP), having briefly suspending operations after an attack on its office on Saturday.

Pakistan Concerned about Possible Arms Race with India VOA 10 Feb 2007 -- A top Pakistani diplomat says rival India's spending spree on fighter jets and other state-of-the-art weaponry could start a regional arms race

Pakistan Air Force aircraft crashes IRNA 07 Feb 2007 -- A Mirage fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force crashed in the eastern province of Punjab on Wednesday but the pilot was able to eject safely, an official said.

Vice Chairman: Pakistan Strong, Dedicated Ally in War on Terror AFPS 07 Feb 2007 -- Pakistan has proven to be a dedicated ally of the United States since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said in an interview.

Bush Seeks Aid Increases For Afghanistan, Pakistan RFE/RL 06 Feb 2007 -- U.S. President George W. Bush has submitted his proposed budget for fiscal year 2008 to the U.S. Congress.

Iran: Pakistani President Seeks Support To Curb Mideast Conflict RFE/RL 05 Feb 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is in Iran today for talks with President Mahmud Ahmedinjad and other Iranian leaders on how to break the cycle of violence in the Middle East region.

Pakistan to go ahead with Pak-Afghan border fencing: Musharraf IRNA 04 Feb 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf, announcing selective fencing of 35 kilometers of the Pakistan-Afghan border, called for joint control of the border, immediate repatriation of Afghan refugees and checking of finances to curb the resurgence of the Taliban.

Pakistan Admits Security Forces Allowed Taleban Raids VOA 02 Feb 2007 -- Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf has acknowledged that some members of his security forces have turned a "blind eye" to Taleban raids into neighboring Afghanistan

US Gives Eight Attack Helicopters to Pakistan VOA 02 Feb 2007 -- The United States has given Pakistan eight attack helicopters, bolstering the key U.S. ally's ability to combat Taleban and al-Qaida militants.


Scientists Confirm Global Warming (Feb. 2): Three-year study by the influential Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says global warming is very likely caused by human activity—specifically the emission and buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Report also says that the rise in temperatures and rising seas can be curtailed with quick action.
Florida Twister Kills Several (Feb. 2): Some 20 people die when tornadoes and thunderstorms rip through central Florida.

Harvard Names Its First Woman President (Feb. 11): Board of Overseers votes to name Drew Gilpin Faust, a historian, as the university’s first female president in its 371-year history.
U.S. Mint Debuts New Dollar Coin (Feb. 15): The first coin features President Washington. The Mint plans to introduce a new dollar coin four times a year, one for each president of the United States, from Washington to Ford.

Stock Market Plummets (Feb. 28): Dow Jones industrial average falls 416 points, or 3.3% after the market in China takes a plunge of nearly 9%. U.S. economists blame the drop on anxiety about the economy.

March 2007

U.S. Troops Kill Several Civilians in Afghanistan (March 4): After a suicide attack near Jalalabad, American soldiers open fire on a road filled with civilians and kill 16 of them.

Dozens of Shiites Are Killed (March 6): Sunni insurgents attack pilgrims as they make their way to a religious ceremony in Karbala, killing about 120 people and wounding as many as 200.

Britain Moves to Introduce Elections to the House of Lords (March 7): House of Commons votes in favor of electing legislators to the upper chamber of Parliament, replacing current system of inherited or appointed seats.
Sept. 11 Organizer Said to Have Confessed (March 10): Khalid Shaikh Mohammed reportedly assumes responsibility for the attacks on the United States and a role in many others, including the 1993 bombing of New York's World Trade Center, a failed plan to bomb Big Ben in London, and assassination attempts on Pope John Paul II and former presidents Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton.

French President Announces Plans to Retire (March 11): President Chirac announces his retirement after more than 40 years in politics. He did not, however, endorse a presidential candidate in the upcoming elections.
Iraq Failing to Meet Timecap Set by U.S. (March 14): Pentagon report finds Iraq is lagging behind on meeting major political objectives, including holding local elections, ending de-Baathification laws, reforming the Constitution, and passing a law on distributing oil revenues.

Palestinians Form Unity Government (March 15): Leaders of Hamas and Fatah agree on a coalition government. The platform that outlines the government does not recognize Israel, accept earlier Israeli-Palestinian accords, or renounce violence, conditions required by Western countries before they resume aid to the Palestinian government. (March 17): The Palestinian legislature approves the Hamas-dominated unity government. Palestinian prime minister Ismail Haniya, who is also the leader of Hamas, and Mahmoud Abbas, president of the Palestinian Authority and the leader of Fatah, remain divided on important issues regarding Israel.

UN Security Council Approves Stricter Sanctions on Iran (March 24): Unanimously votes in favor of resolution that bans the sale or transfer of weapons and freezes the assets of 15 Iranians and 13 groups, many of which are associated with the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, an elite military corps. Sanctions are meant to push Iran to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

Iran Detains British Sailors (March 26): Iranian troops claim that the Britons, eight sailors and seven marines, were in Iranian territorial waters. British officials deny the allegation, saying they were in Iraqi waters. (March 28): Britain suspends all "bilateral business" with Iran in response to the crisis.

First Guantánamo Detainee Is Convicted (March 26): David Hicks, an Australian, pleads guilty to providing material support to al Qaeda. He's the first person to be convicted by a military commission set up by the Bush administration in late 2006. Hicks had trained at an al Qaeda camp.
Leaders of Northern Ireland Reach Historic Agreement (March 26): For the first time, Gerry Adams, the leader of Sinn Fein, and Rev. Ian Paisley, the head of the Democratic Unionist Party, meet face-to-face and hash out an agreement for a power-sharing government. The new administration is set to take control in May.

New Ambassador Takes Over in Iraq (March 28): Seasoned diplomat Ryan Crocker replaces Zalmay Khalilzad, who has been nominated to become the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Crocker previously served as the ambassador to Pakistan.

Arab Leaders Weigh In on Iraq and Israel (March 28): At the opening of the Arab League meeting in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Saudi King Abdullah calls the American occupation of Iraq "illegal." (March 29): The leaders of 21 Arab governments offer to normalize relations with Israel if it agrees to withdraw from the land it captured in the 1967 Middle East war, allows Palestinian refugees the right to return to the homes they lived in before the 1948 war, which are in what is now Israel, and agrees to the establishment of a Palestinian state with the capital in Jerusalem. (March 30): Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert says that Israel will not give Palestinian refugees the right to return to their original homes.

Dozens Are Killed in Iraq (March 29): Sectarian violence escalates as some 60 people are killed in a suicide attack in a Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. More than 30 others die in coordinated attacks in Khalis, a Shiite town. The attacks follow intense violence in Tal Afar, which claimed about 140 people in two days.


Pakistan Tries to Negotiate Peace in Tribal Areas VOA 29 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan is trying a new approach of negotiations and development projects to secure its volatile tribal regions
Pakistan: Crackdown Could Pose Threat To Central Asia RFE/RL 28 Mar 2007 -- While reports say that more than 150 people have been killed this month in Waziristan in fighting between Uzbek militants and local tribesmen, it is difficult to obtain precise information on events in an area where the Pakistani government has almost no presence and exerts little influence.

Pakistani Militants Overwhelm Village Near Volatile Afghan Border VOA 28 Mar 2007 -- A large force of well-armed militants has overwhelmed a Pakistani village near the country's volatile border with Afghanistan

Analysis: Musharraf’s Faltering Grip 27 Mar 2007 -- A few weeks after Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf suspended Iftikar Chaudhry, Pakistan’s chief justice, demonstrations boil on around the country

Pakistan: Judicial Crisis Adds To Pressure On President RFE/RL 23 Mar 2007 -- President Pervez Musharraf's recent suspension of the Pakistani Supreme Court's chief justice has been met with protests by lawyers and judicial officials across the country, increasing pressure on Musharraf's embattled government.

Pakistan test-fires Cruise Missile IRNA 22 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan on Thursday successfully test-fired nuclear capable indigenously developed cruise missile, the military said.
Pakistan successfully tests nuclear-capable missile RIA Novosti 22 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan has carried out a successful launch of a cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads, the country's television channels reported Thursday.

Fighting Intensifies in Pakistan's Tribal Border Area VOA 22 Mar 2007 -- Pakistani officials say at least 135 people have been killed after four days of sometimes intense fighting between local and foreign militants in the country's remote tribal region

Pakistan tribesmen clashes kill 46: reports IRNA 21 Mar 2007 -- Latest clashes between Pakistani tribesmen and foreign militants have killed at least 46 people, including 35 militants in Pakistan's tribal areas, it was reported on Wednesday.

Dozens Dead In Clashes In Pakistan Tribal Region RFE/RL 21 Mar 2007 -- Reports say at least 50 people have been killed in continuing clashes between Al-Qaeda-linked militants -- most of them Uzbeks -- and tribesmen near the Pakistani border with Afghanistan.

United States Urges “Utmost” Restraint After Pakistan Protests Washington File 16 Mar 2007 -- The Bush administration urged Pakistani authorities and protesters to “exercise the utmost degree of restraint” in the wake of violent clashes that followed the suspension of the country’s chief justice.

US Diplomat Reafirms Ties to Pakistan in Anti-Terror Effort VOA 15 Mar 2007 -- The top U.S. diplomat dealing with South Asia, Richard Boucher, defended Pakistan's record on the war against terrorism

Pakistan for continued engagement with NATO: Kasuri IRNA 14 Mar 2007 -- Foreign Minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri said on Wednesday that Pakistan looked forward to a continued and constructive engagement with NATO.

Pakistan-India Peace Talks Make Slow But Steady Progress VOA 14 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan and India have completed their latest round of peace talks in Islamabad on a decidedly upbeat note

Pilot dies as Pakistan Air Force fighter plane crashes IRNA 13 Mar 2007 -- A Pakistan Air Force fighter aircraft crashed in southwestern Balochistan province on Tuesday, killing the pilot, TV channels reported.

Pakistan's top nuclear scientists in Taliban Custody IRNA 08 Mar 2007 -- Two top nuclear scientists of Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission (PAEC) are currently in Taliban custody
Pakistan plays down U.S general's remarks on operations inside country IRNA 04 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan on Saturday played down remarks from senior U.S military officials that American forces in Afghanistan routinely pursue and fire upon Taliban enemies into Pakistan.

Pakistan test-fires short-range ballistic missile IRNA 03 Mar 2007 -- Pakistan on Saturday carried out "a successful" test of a surface-to-surface nuclear-capable missile with a 200-kilometer range in an undisclosed location, the military said.

South Asia: Pashtun Elders In Pakistan Want NATO, U.S. Troops In Tribal Regions RFE/RL 02 Mar 2007 -- About 60 Pashtun tribal elders from Pakistan's tribal regions met with Afghan authorities in the Afghan city of Jalalabad on March 1 to discuss how to bring security to the border regions.

US Links Pakistan Agreement With Tribal Leaders to Upsurge in Afghan Attacks VOA 01 Mar 2007 -- Senior U.S. defense officials said Thursday Pakistan's agreement last year with tribal leaders along the Afghan border has led to an increase in cross-border attacks, and that Pakistan needs to do more to address the problem


Tornadoes Ravage Several States (March 1): Storms hit Alabama, Minnesota, Missouri, and Georgia, killing about 20 people, including eight high school students.

U.S. Says It Will Impose Duties on Chinese Goods (March 30): In a policy shift, Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez announces the U.S. will impose duties on some manufactured materials, claiming the Chinese government is illegally subsidizing some exports
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