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Old Thursday, May 29, 2008
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April 2008


Opposition Leader Declares Himself the Winner in Zimbabwe Election (April 2): Morgan Tsvangirai, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change, says he won 50.3% of the vote in March's presidential election, defeating Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980 and presided over the economic collapse of the country. The Movement for Democratic Change wins a majority of the seats in Parliament. Mugabe refuses to concede, and election officials have not yet released results from the March 29 vote. (April 7): Zimbabwe's HIgh Court delays a ruling on a petition filed by the Movement for Democratic Change to force the government to release the results of the presidential election. (April 14): The High Court of Zimbabwe dismisses the opposition's request for the release of election results. (April 19): Election officials begin a partial recount of the vote. (April 24): As the government continues to violently crack down on the opposition, the United States declares Morgan Tsvangirai the outright winner of March's presidential election. (April 25): Police raid the offices of the opposition and election monitors and detain dozens of people for questioning.

Irish Prime Minister Announces His Resignation (April 2): Bertie Ahern, who is under investigation for allegedly accepting a bribe in the early 1990s when he was finance minister, says he will step down in May.

NATO Invites Two Countries to Join Alliance (April 3): Leaders of NATO invite Croatia and Albania to become part of the alliance. Once admitted, NATO will include 28 countries. Greece vetoes the invitation to Macedonia, and despite lobbying by the U.S., Ukraine and Georgia are also denied membership.

Iran Announces Plans to Expand Uranium Enrichment (April 8): President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad says that the country has begun installing 6,000 additional centrifuges to its uranium enrichment plant at Natanz, which already has 3,000 centrifuges.

Nepal Holds Historic Election (April 10): Millions of voters turn out to elect a 601-seat Constituent Assembly that will write a new constitution. Maoist rebels, who recently signed a peace agreement with the government that ended the guerrilla’s 10-year insurgency, are vying for seats in the assembly. (April 21): The Maoists win 120 out of 240 directly elected seats.
Kenyan President Names New Cabinet (April 13): President Mwai Kibaki, who was narrowly elected over opposition leader Raila Odinga in flawed elections in December 2007, announces a new national unity cabinet that includes 94 ministers. Odinga is named prime minister. Kibaki's supporters head powerful ministries, such as finance and foreign relations.

Iraqi Government Fires Soldiers Who Failed to Fight in Basra (April 13): About 1,300 soldiers who either refused to fight or deserted the military during the March operation in Basra to oust Shiite militias are dismissed.

Berlusconi to Serve Third Term as Prime Minister (April 14): The center-right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi, who was ousted by Romano Prodi in 2006, wins parliamentary elections. Prodi's government collapsed in January.
Dozens Are Killed in Suicide Attacks in Iraq (April 15): As many as 50 people die in a car bombing in Baquba, a northern city formerly under the control of Sunni insurgents that U.S. troops say they had won control of. An additional 13 are killed in a suicide attack in Ramadi in Anbar Province, another city that was once a Sunni stronghold.

Putin Is Elected Leader of Russia's Leading Political Party (April 15): Russian president Vladimir Putin is chosen as chairman of the United Russia party and agrees to become prime minister when Dmitri Medvedev assumes the presidency in May.

Iraqi Forces Take Control of Basra (April 19): The Mahdi Army, led by radical Shiite cleric Moktada al-Sadr, retreats from the last districts under its control. In March, Iraqi troops attempted and failed to oust the miltiants in Basra. Iran endorses the assault on the Mahdi Army, a group which it once supported.

Sunnis Say the Will Rejoin Government (April 24): After a boycott of almost a year, the largest Sunni block in Iraq's government, Tawafiq, announces it will return to the cabinet of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. Tawafiq's leader, Adnan al-Dulaimi, says by passing an amnesty law and launching an assault on Shiite militias, the government has met enough of its demands to end the boycott.

Bush Administration Releases Photos That Link North Korea with Syria's Nuclear Reactor (April 24): Seven months after Israel destroyed a building it suspected housed nuclear reactor, the U.S. publicizes photos it says confirm that North Korea helped Syria with the technology to build the facility.

Afghan President Survives Assassination Attempt (April 27): Three people are killed and about a dozen are wounded when suspected Taliban militants attack President Hamid Karzai, who was taking part in a parade to celebrate Afghan national day.


New Pakistani Government Tries Talking Peace with Taliban Militants VOA 30 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan's top Taliban commander has suspended rare peace talks with the country's new government.

Pakistan's Leaders Hold Last Ditch Talks to Break Deadlock Over Top Judges VOA 30 Apr 2008 -- Pakistani leaders are holding a final round of talks Wednesday on stalled plans to reinstate deposed judges, in a dispute that is threatening the coalition government.

Pakistani, Turkish air forces conclude 10-day joint exercise IRNA 29 Apr 2008 -- The air forces of Pakistan and Turkey on Tuesday concluded joint exercises, the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said.

Pakistani Taliban suspend peace talks with government: spokesman IRNA 29 Apr 2008 -- Pakistani Taliban Monday said they have suspended peace talks with the government as 'the government has refused to accept their demand of troops withdrawal from the tribal regions', a spokesman for the group said.

Pakistani Taliban Leader Pulls Out of Peace Talks VOA 28 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan's top Taliban commander has suspended rare peace talks with the country's new government.

Afghan President Says Fight Should Be Taken to Pakistan VOA 26 Apr 2008 -- Afghanistan's president, Hamid Karzai, is urging U.S. forces to stop arresting suspected Taliban members and sympathizers in his country, saying that approach discourages militants from laying down their arms.

Car Bomb Kills 4 in Northwestern Pakistan VOA 25 Apr 2008 -- A car bomb has ripped through a police station in northwestern Pakistan Friday, killing four people and wounding at least 30 others.

Pakistan: Peace Deal Between Islamabad, Pro-Taliban Militants Rankles U.S. RFE/RL 24 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan's new government is close to signing a peace accord with pro-Taliban militants as part of a softer counterterrorism policy from Islamabad that deemphasizes military strikes and calls for U.S. forces to show more restraint in the area.

Militant Orders His Fighters to Stop Attacks in Pakistan VOA 24 Apr 2008 -- In Pakistan, a fugitive militant commander linked to the al-Qaida network is said to have ordered his fighters to stop attacks on security forces and government installations in the country.

Pakistan cuts U.S. fighter order - paper RIA Novosti 23 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan plans to cut by half a $5.1 billion order for F-16 fighter jets from the United States for financial reasons, a national daily said quoting diplomatic sources Wednesday.

India does not give much credence to Pakistan Hatf-VI missile test IRNA 19 Apr 2008 -- India Saturday did not give much credence to the test firing of a ballistic missile by Pakistan saying such tests were regularly required as the technology imported.

Report Faults US Counterterrorism Efforts in Pakistan VOA 18 Apr 2008 -- A new report by U.S. government auditors has sharply criticized U.S. counterterrorism planning for Pakistan.

Pakistan says no foreign access to strategic nuclear assets IRNA 18 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan Foreign Minister said on Thursday the government will not give any foreign country access to its strategic nuclear assets.

PAKISTAN: Violence marks closure of Afghan refugee camp IRIN 17 Apr 2008 -- Police clashed with Afghan refugees earlier this week as the authorities began the process of closing down Jalozai refugee camp, home to over 70,000 people, outside Peshawar.

PAKISTAN: Displaced people begin returning to conflict-hit Waziristan IRIN 16 Apr 2008 -- With the opening of some roads into conflict-ravaged South Waziristan this month, thousands of people displaced by fighting in Pakistan’s tribal areas, which lie along the country’s western border with Afghanistan, have begun returning to their homes.

PAKISTAN: Polio campaign could miss 160,000 children due to insecurity IRIN 08 Apr 2008 -- An estimated 160,000 children in Pakistan's volatile Swat Valley in North West Frontier Province (NWFP) will probably be missed during this week's polio vaccination drive, says the UN Children's Fund (UNICEF).

Pakistan slaps media restrictions on detained nuclear scientist IRNA 08 Apr 2008 -- Pakistani government has imposed restrictions on the country's detained nuclear scientist Dr Abdul Qadeer Khan after he disclosed he had taken responsibility of transferring nuclear technology only to save the country, local TV channels reported Tuesday.

Pakistan's regional assembly for halt to military operation IRNA 08 Apr 2008 -- Provincial assembly in Pakistan's southwestern Balochistan on Monday unanimously adopted a resolution calling for an immediate end to military operation in the province.

Pakistan Air Force gets American radar system IRNA 07 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan Air Force (PAF) said Monday it has got the latest generation of American radar system.

Pakistan Air Force gets early Swedish warning and control system aircraft IRNA 04 Apr 2008 -- Swedish defence major Saab on Thursday delivered the first of five airborne early warning and control system aircraft to the Pakistan Air Force (PAF), the PAF said.

Pakistan rejects Afghanistan statement on nuclear waste IRNA 03 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan on Wednesday termed as baseless a statement from an Afghan cabinet Minister that Pakistan had dumped nuclear waste in southern Afghanistan during Taliban period.

Pakistan: New Government Announces Major Reforms In Tribal Areas RFE/RL 03 Apr 2008 -- Pakistan's new coalition government has announced plans to abolish the century-old Frontier Crimes Regulations in the troubled tribal areas along the Afghan border as one of its major reform inititiatives.


Olympic Torch Relay Draws Protests (April 6): Dozens of human rights protesters are arrested in London after they clash with police who line the route of the Olympic torch relay. (April 7): The torch is extinguished several times during the Paris leg of the relay.

Pope Denounces Pedophile Priests (April 15): During his first visit to the United States, Benedict XVI says he is "deeply ashamed" by the scandal that has rocked the Catholic church in recent years. "It's difficult for me to understand how it was possible that priests betrayed in this way their mission to give healing, to give the love of God to these children," he said. (April 17): Benedict XVI celebrates a mass before 46,000 people at Washington Nationals stadium in Washington, DC. He later holds a suprise meeting with several victims of sexual abuse by priests in the Boston archdiocese.
Woman Wins Indy Race (April 20): Danica Patrick wins the Indy Japan 300, becoming the first woman to win an IndyCar race.

Tornadoes Strike in Virginia (April 29): Twisters in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Colonial Heights injure more than 200 people and destroy at least 140 homes.
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