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Old Friday, September 05, 2008
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July 2008

World


U.S. Agrees to End Immunity for Contractors in Iraq (July 1): Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari says private security contractors, like Blackwater USA, whose employees killed 17 Iraqi civilians in 2007, will no longer be immune from Iraq's laws. The negotiations are part of a security agreement being worked out among the two countries.

Violence Is on the Upswing in Afghanistan (July 1): According to the Pentagon and icasualties.org, June 2008 was the deadliest month for U.S. and coalition troops since the American-led invasion began in 2001. Forty-six troops were killed even though the number of coalition troops reached a high point. (July 7): More than 40 people are killed and about 130 wounded in a suicide bombing outside the Indian Embassy in Kabul. Two Indian diplomats died in the blast. It is the deadliest suicide bombing since the U.S.-led invasion began in 2001.

Hostages Are Freed in Colombia (July 2): After being held for six years by FARC rebels, 15 hostages, including three U.S. military contractors and French-Colombian politician Ingrid Betancourt, are freed by commandos who infiltrated FARC's leadership.

Serbia Forms a New Government (July 7): Parliament approves a new government, which is composed of the Democratic Party, led by President Boris Tadic, and the Socialist Party, which was formerly led by Slobodan Milosevic. The Democratic Party's Mirko Cvetkovic becomes prime minister and Ivica Dacic, who heads the Socialist Party will be deputy prime minister and interior minister. The government vows to tame the nationalistic fervor that has raised concern internationally, particularly when Kosovo declared independence in February 2008. Cvetkovic also says Serbia will reach out to the West and join the European Union.

Peacekeepers Are Attacked in Sudan (July 8): Seven UN peacekeepers die and 22 are wounded in Darfur when their convoy is ambushed by men in trucks and on horseback.

The U.S. and the Czech Republic Sign Deal on Missile Shield (July 8): After lengthy negotiations and much debate, the Czech Republic agrees to allow the United States to deploy on its land an antiballistic missile shield. Russia strongly objects to the accord, which views the system as a threat. U.S. officials say the shield is meant to deter an attack from Iran. Czech lawmakers must approve the deal.

Iran Test Fires Missiles (July 9): The Revolutionary Guards fire nine long- and medium-range missiles, which could reach parts of Israel. A commander of the Revolutionary Guard says, "The aim of these war games is to show we are ready to defend the integrity of the Iranian nation." The United States and Israel both condemn the move.

Gunmen Attack U.S. Consulate in Turkey (July 9): Four gunmen open fire on security guards outside the consulate. Three police officers and three attackers are killed in a gun battle.

Sanctions on Zimbabwe Fail to Pass (July 11): China and Russia block a U.S.-led effort in the UN Security Council to impose sanctions on Zimbabwe. Proposed sanctions included an arms embargo, travel and financial restrictions on President Robert Mugabe and other top officials, and a UN mediator who would have worked with the Mugabe's party to include the opposition, led by Morgan Tsvangirai into the government. (July 25): President Bush expands existing U.S. sanctions against Mugabe, companies in Zimbabwe, and individuals.

Negotiators Reach Deal on Verifying North Korean Disarmament (July 12): The U.S., China, North Korea, South Korea, Russia, and Japan announce that international inspectors will visit North Korea's nuclear facilities to check documents and speak with personnel to confirm that it has shut down its main processing facility at Yongbyon. In return, North Korea will receive financial and energy assistance.

Several U.S. Troops Are Killed in Afghanistan (July 13): Nine U.S.soldiers and at least 15 NATO troops die when Taliban militants boldly attack an American base in Kunar Province, which borders Pakistan. It's the most deadly against U.S. troops in three years.

International Court Issues Arrest Warrant for Sudanese President (July 14): Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, formally charges Sudan's president Omar Hassan al-Bashir, with genocide for planning and executing the decimation of Darfur's three main ethnic tribes: the Fur, the Masalit, and the Zaghawa. Moreno-Ocampo also says Bashir "purposefully targeted civilians" and used "rapes, hunger, and fear" to terrorize civilians. Many observers fear that Bashir will respond to the charges with further violence.

Israel and Lebanon Carry Out Prisoner Exchange (July 16): Israel releases five Lebanese prisoners, including Samir Kuntar, who killed an Israeli policeman, a man, and his young daughter in 1979. Lebanon, in turn, returns to Israel the bodies of two soldiers who were captured in a 2006 cross-border raid into Israel. The raid, carried out by the militant group Hezbollah, resulted in what is now considered a disastrous invasion of Lebanon.

U.S. Envoy Participates in Talks with Iran (July 19): Iran's chief negotiator, Saeed Jalili, meets with representatives from the U.S., France, Britain, Germany, Russia, and China. Iran, however, does not commit to a proposal that calls on Iran to freeze its nuclear program, and in exchange, the six nations would not seek further sanctions against Iran. William Burns, the U.S. under secretary of state for political affairs, who attends the meeting, is the highest-ranking member of the Bush administration to meet with a representative from Iran.

Sunni Bloc Returns to Iraqi Government (July 19): Parliament approves the nomination of six Sunni ministers to the cabinet. The ministers are all members of Tawafiq, a Sunni political party, who had boycotted Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's government for a year.

Government and Opposition Leaders Meet in Zimbabwe (July 21): In a historical meeting, President Robert Mugabe, who recently won a controversial presidential election that was marred by brutal voter intimidation and outright rigging, and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, who won the first round of voting and dropped out of the second round amid increasing violence against him and his supporters, agree to end the political violence and engage in talks to form a government of national unity.

Serbian Leader Is Arrested After 13-Year Manhunt (July 21): Radovan Karadzic, the Bosnian Serb president during the war in Bosnia in the 1990s, is charged with genocide, persecution, deportation, and other crimes against non-Serb civilians. Karadzic orchestrated the massacre of almost 8,000 Muslim men and boys in 1995 in Srebrenica. He was found outside Belgrade. He altered his appearance and had been openly practicing alternative medicine in Serbia. The arrest will likely bring Serbia closer to joining the European Union. (July 30): Karadzic is transferred to The Hague to await trial. (July 31): Karadzic appears before the war crimes tribunal for the first time.

India's Government Survives a Confidence Vote (July 22): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh wins the vote, 275 to 256, with 11 members of Parliament abstaining. He recently lost the support of Communist parties as he sought to seal a deal that has the U.S. providing India with nuclear technology and fuel for civilian purposes.

Iraqi President Vetoes Election Law (July 23): President Jalal Talabani, a Kurd, vetoes legislation, passed by Parliament, that governs upcoming provincial elections. Kurdish legislators had boycotted the vote in Parliament in a dispute over the status of the northern city of Kirkuk, which they claim should be part of the Kurdish enclave.

Two Bombs Explode in Istanbul (July 27): At least 15 people die and more than 100 are wounded in a double bombing in a crowded neighborhood in Turkey's largest city. Terrorism is suspected.

Dozens Die in Ethnic Fighting and Suicide Attacks in Iraq (July 28): As Kurds in Kirkuk protest part of an election law that they fear will dilute their political power in the city, a female suicide bomber kills 17 people and wounds dozens. Kurds blame Turkmen militants for the bombing, and in response began attacking Turkmen. About a dozen people die in the violence. In Baghdad, two female suicide bombers kill 32 Shiite pilgrims.

Israeli Prime Minister to Resign (July 30): Ehud Olmert, who is under investigation for fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, announces he will step down once a new party leader is selected in September.

Turkey's Ruling Party Survives Legal Challenge (July 30): Turkey's 11-member Constitutional Court falls one vote short of banning the Justice and Development party for violating the country's secular constitution. The court does rule, however, to reduce by one-half the party's public financing.
Wife of Former Thai Leader Is Sentenced to Prison (July 31): Pojaman Shinawatra, the wife of Thailand's former prime Thaksin Shinawatra, is convicted of tax evasion and sentenced to three years in jail. Thaksin himself faces corruption charages.
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Last edited by Sureshlasi; Friday, September 05, 2008 at 11:44 AM.
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