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Old Saturday, October 06, 2007
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September 2007




World


North Korea Agrees to Disable Nuclear Fuel Plants (Sept. 2): After a two-day meeting between Christopher Hill, the U.S. assistant secretary of state for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and North Korean negotiators, North Korea says it will disable its nuclear fuel production facility and disclose to international monitors an accounting of all of its nuclear programs by the end of 2007.

Myanmar Completes Constitutional Convention (Sept. 3): Representatives to the convention, which has met on and off since 1993, release a draft constitution that ensures the military will continue to control the ministries and legislature and have the right to declare a state of emergency. The document also limits the rights of political parties.


Bush Makes Surprise Visit to Iraq (Sept. 3): President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates travel to Anbar Province, a Sunni stronghold, and meet with Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki and other leaders. Bush stresses that progress in security and reconciliation have been made in Anbar and hints that a troop withdrawal may start if such gains continue.


Report Says Iraq Lags in Meeting Benchmarks (Sept. 4): Government Accountability Office report finds that while violence in Iraq seems to be abating, the Iraqi government has failed to stem the sectarian violence and has three of the 18 benchmarks outlined by Congress in May.


German Officials Arrest Terror Suspects (Sept. 5): Three Islamic militants are arrested and authorities confiscate large amounts of explosive materials and detonators. Officials say the suspects were planning to attack the Ramstein Air Base and the Frankfurt International Airport.


Panel Says Iraq's Army and Police Ill Prepared to Take Control (Sept. 5): Independent commission, led by Gen. James Jones, a retired Marine, declares that while Iraq's armed forces are improving, it will be 12 to 18 months before the police and army can assume control over the country.
Bin Laden Releases a Video (Sept. 7): In his first video message in nearly three years, bin Laden says promises to "continue to escalate the killing in Iraq."


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Is Arrested (Sept. 10): Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted in a coup in 1999 by Pervez Musharraf, is arrested and deported after trying to re-enter Pakistan from exile in Saudi Arabia. Pakistan's Supreme Court recently ruled that Sharif could return to the country.


Japanese Prime Minister Quits (Sept. 12): Shinzo Abe abruptly announces his resignation. The move follows a string of scandals and July's stunning defeat in parliamentary elections, in which his Liberal Democratic Party lost control of the upper house to the opposition Democratic Party.


Russian President Nominates New Prime Minister (Sept. 12): Hours after the resignation of Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Vladimir Putin names Viktor Zubkov, a cabinet official, as the next prime minister.


Sunni Sheik Allied with the U.S. Is Killed in Iraq (Sept. 13): Abdul Sattar Buzaigh al-Rishawi, a leader of Sunni tribes in Anbar Province that have joined forces with the U.S. to fight Sunni militants, such as al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia, dies in a bombing. Such cooperation is credited with bringing relative peace and stability to Anbar Province.


Influential Cleric Says He Will Withdraw from Governing Coalition (Sept. 15): The political movement led by Moktada al-Sadr announces that it plans to withdraw from the United Iraqi Alliance, the largest bloc in Parliament. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would lose his majority in Parliament if the Sadrists follow through.


Iraqi Civilians Are Killed by U.S. Security Company (Sept. 16): Seventeen Iraqi civilians, including a couple and their infant, are killed when employees of private security company Blackwater USA, which was escorting a diplomatic convoy, reportedly fire on a car that failed to stop at the request of a police officer. Iraqi prime minister Nuri al-Maliki threatens to evict Blackwater employees from Iraq.


Pakistani President Says He Will Resign as Military Leader if Reelected (Sept. 18): If elected to a second term as president, Pervez Musharraf announces he will step down from his post as army chief before taking the oath of office. Some opposition leaders, however, question whether he would follow through on his promise.


Lebanese Politician Is Killed in Attack (Sept. 19): A car bomb kills Parliament member Antoine Ghanem of the Christian Phalange Party, which is part of the governing coalition. He is the eighth anti-Syrian leader to be killed since the 2005 assassination of former prime minister Rafik Hariri.


Khmer Rouge Leader Is Arrested (Sept. 19): Nuon Chea, who was second-in-command to Pol Pot during the four years of Khmer Rouge rule that led to the state-sponsored massacre of between 1 million and 2 million, is charged with war crimes.


Japanese Lawmakers Select New Prime Minister (Sept. 23): The governing Liberal Democratic Party elects Yasuo Fukuda as prime minister, replacing Shinzo Abe, who resigned after a disappointing year in office. Fukuda was elected to Parliament in 1990 and held the post as chief cabinet secretary under Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.


Iranian President Stirs Protets at Columbia Speech (Sept. 25): In his controversial speech, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad insists there are no homosexuals in Iran, says the U.S. supports terrorism, and calls U.S. and European efforts to halt Iran's nuclear weapons program hypocritical. Columbia's president, Lee C. Bollinger, preceded Ahmadinejad's speech with an attack of his own. "Mr. President, you exhibit all the signs of a petty and cruel dictator,”he said. “You are either brazenly provocative or astonishingly uneducated."


Government Cracks Down on Protesters in Myanmar (Sept 26): After a month of peaceful pro-democracy demonstrations, which saw steady increases in participation and recently drew in hundreds of monks, protesting sharp prices in fuel, government forces shoot at crowds, raid pagodas, and arrest monks. Dozens of people are killed. The protests are the largest in the country in 20 years. The brutally of the attacks spark international outrage.


Court Rules in Favor of Musharraf's Election Bid (Sept. 28): Pakistan's Supreme Court rules that President Pervez Musharraf can run for re-election while maintaining his role as military chief.


Rebels in Darfur Kill Peacekeepers (Sept. 30): Hundreds of rebels attack an African Union base in Haskanita, a town in the Darfur region of Sudan, and kill at least 10 peacekeeping troops.






Nation


Pakistan President Musharraf Approved to Run For Re-Election, Police Clash With Protesters and Media VOA 29 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's election commission has approved President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid a day after the Supreme Court dismissed challenges to his candidacy

Pakistan Court Dismisses Challenges to President Musharraf's Re-Election Bid VOA 28 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed a series of challenges to President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid, paving the way for Mr. Musharraf to run in the October presidential election while still holding his post as chief of the military


Pervez Musharraf to run for re-election in Pakistan 27 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf registered Thursday to run in presidential elections due on October 6, Pakistani media reported.


Pakistan Chief Justice Orders Release of Detained Opposition Supporters VOA 27 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's chief justice has ordered the government to release dozens of activists detained last week during a crackdown on protesters opposed to the re-election of President Pervez Musharraf.
Pakistan: How Are Domestic Crises Impacting War Against Terrorism? RFE/RL 26 Sep 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is facing crisis from within and without his country.


Bhutto Says Pakistan at a Crucial Point VOA 25 Sep 2007 -- Exiled former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she plans to return home, even without reaching a political deal with the country's military ruler


Pakistan Supreme Court Dismisses Two Challenges to Musharraf VOA 24 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed two challenges to President Pervez Musharraf's bid for reelection, but the justices are still considering several others


Pakistan Police Arrest Opposition Party Leaders Ahead of Election VOA 23 Sep 2007 -- Police in Pakistan have arrested at least four leading figures in political parties opposed to the re-election of President Pervez Musharraf
Pakistan appoints new spy chief IRNA 21 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan on Friday appointed Major General Nadeem Taj as the new chief of the country's spy agency with several other top level promotions and appointments, the army said.


Calls For Jihad By Bin Laden Add To Musharraf's Woes RFE/RL 21 Sep 2007 -- Al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has vowed to retaliate against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the killing of a radical cleric during a raid on Islamabad's Red Mosque in July


Islamists Demonstrate Against Pakistan's President VOA 21 Sep 2007 -- Islamist political parties have added their voice to charges that Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's bid for re-election is unconstitutional


Islamic Web Site Says Bin Laden to Declare War on Pakistani Leader in New Video VOA 20 Sep 2007 -- An Islamist web site says it will soon carry a new video from al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden declaring war on Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and the country's army.
PAKISTAN: Illegal arms threaten peace across troubled NWFP IRIN 20 Sep 2007


Pakistan's Presidential Election Scheduled Despite Court Challenges to Musharraf Candidacy VOA 20 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's Election Commission says the presidential election will take place on October 6, despite legal challenges to President Pervez Musharraf's re-election bid


Pakistan president to quit military if re-elected - lawyer RIA Novosti 18 Sep 2007 -- Pervez Musharraf is poised to give up his post as army chief if re-elected as Pakistan's president, his chief lawyer said Tuesday.
Musharraf to Step Down as Military Leader After Election VOA 18 Sep 2007 -- A lawyer for Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has said Mr. Musharraf plans to give up his post as chief of the military if he wins forthcoming presidential elections


Pakistan Court Hears Challenge to Musharraf Re-Election Bid VOA 17 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has begun hearing challenges to President Pervez Musharraf bid for re-election


Former PM Announces Return to Pakistan But May Face Corruption Charges VOA 14 Sep 2007 -- The political party of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has announced she will return to the country in October to take part in elections


Ex-Premier Bhutto to return to Pakistan October 18 - Pakistan People's Party RIA Novosti 14 Sep 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is set to return home after eight years in self-imposed exile, a spokesman for her Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said Friday.



Analysis: U.S. Nervously Eyes Pakistani Impasse cfr.org 13 Sep 2007 -- Every day that passes without a settlement to Pakistan’s political crisis raises concerns about escalating violence and instability


Pakistani Military: Troops, Gunships Pound Militant Hideouts VOA 13 Sep 2007 -- A Pakistani military spokesman says troops backed by helicopter gunships have pounded militant hideouts in a tribal region of northwest Pakistan.


Pakistani ex-PM Sharif to challenge deportation in Supreme Court RIA Novosti 11 Sep 2007 -- Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif has filed a petition with the country's Supreme Court protesting his deportation, local media quoted Sharif's lawyers as saying.


Sharif Appeals Expulsion from Pakistan VOA 11 Sep 2007 -- A lawyer for Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, has filed a legal challenge against the government for deporting him from Pakistan



Nawaz Sharif deported again IRNA 10 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned to the country on Monday morning after ending seven year of exile, was again deported after four-hour stay at the Islamabad International Airport, officials said.

Former Prime Minister Sharif Deported From Pakistan RFE/RL 10 Sep 2007 -- Pakistani officials say former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has been sent back to Saudi Arabia, where he had been living in exile since 2000.

Ex-PM Sharif deported soon after return to Pakistan RIA Novosti 10 Sep 2007 -- Pakistani former prime minister Nawaz Sharif was arrested at Islamabad airport after returning from a long exile Monday, and deported to Saudi Arabia, Pakistani TV reported.

Former Pakistan PM Sharif Deported After Arrival in Pakistan VOA 10 Sep 2007 -- Former prime minister of Pakistan Nawaz Sharif has been deported from Pakistan after attempting to enter the country


Pakistan Strengthens Security Ahead of Former Prime Minister's Return VOA 09 Sep 2007 -- Pakistan has tightened security at all major airports and banned rallies one day before the arrival of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, the leader deposed by Pakistan President Musharraf. As of last reports, Mr. Sharif is about to arrive in Pakistan


Saudi Intelligence Chief urges Pakistani Sharif to honor exile deal IRNA 08 Sep 2007 -- Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Muqrin bin Abdulaziz Al Saud on Saturday urged former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif to honor his exile agreement brokered by the Saudi King in 2000.


Pakistan Reopens Corruption Charges Against Sharif VOA 07 Sep 2007 -- The Pakistani government has reopened a corruption case against former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, and a court has ordered the arrest of Mr. Sharif's brother


Musharraf to remain President till November 15: Court told IRNA 06 Sep 2007 -- The Supreme Court of Pakistan was told on Thursday that General Pervez Musharraf's term as President will expire on November 15.
Old Rivals Poised to Re-enter Pakistan Political Stage VOA 05 Sep 2007 -- Two former prime ministers of Pakistan say they will return from their self-imposed exiles


Bombs Kill Dozens In Pakistan Army City RFE/RL 04 Sep 2007 -- Two bombs have exploded in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi amid morning rush-hour traffic, killing at least 24 people and injuring more than 60.

Suicide Attacks Kill 25 Outside Pakistani Capital VOA 04 Sep 2007 -- Twin suicide bomb blasts have rocked the garrison town outside Pakistan's capital city


Former Pakistani Leader Bhutto Vows Return From Exile Soon VOA 01 Sep 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says that despite stalled power-sharing talks, she will be heading back to her country soon






Business/Science/Society


Job Losses Spark Worries about the Economy (Sept. 6): A Labor Department report that shows that 4,000 jobs were lost in August, the first such decline since 2003, leads some economists to say a recession may follow.


Federal Judge Endorses States' Rights to Cut Emission (Sept. 12): Vermont judge William Sessions III rules that standards set by the state to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases by cars and light trucks do not intrude upon federal law. The standards are based on those set by California in 2002.


Three Earthquakes Strike Indonesia (Sept. 12 and 13): More than a dozen people die on the island of Sumatra when three quakes, one with a magnitude of 8.4, hit.

Fed Cuts Interest Rate (Sept. 18): In an attempt to bring stability to the economy, which has been rocked by turbulence in the housing and financial markets, the Federal Reserve cuts benchmark interest rate to 4.75% from 5.25%.


United Auto Workers Strike Against General Motors (Sept. 24): Some 73,000 workers take to the picket lines when contract negotiations over wages and benefits reach a stalemate. (Sept. 26): The UAW and GM reach a deal that has the auto maker creating a $55 million trust, called a voluntary employee benefit association (VEBA), that will administer health benefits for retirees.
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October 2007




World


Blackwater Faces Criticism and Monitoring (Oct. 1): House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform finds that employees of Blackwater USA, the security firm involved in the deaths of 17 Iraqi civilians in September, have been involved in some 200 shootings in Iraq. The report says the company paid some families of victims and tried to cover up other incidents. According to the report, Blackwater's use of force has been "frequent and extensive, resulting in significant casualties and property damage." (Oct. 5): The State Department announces that its own monitors will accompany Blackwater employees on all security convoys. (Oct. 23): Two separate reviews of security practices by private companies in Iraq and Afghanistan under State Department control find disarray, a lack of coordination, and accountability.

North Korea Agrees to Disable Its Nuclear Facilities (Oct. 3): As part of the breakthrough deal, North Korea will disclose details about its nuclear facilities, including how much plutonium it has produced, and dismantle all of its nuclear facilties by the end of 2007. In exchange, it will receive some 950,000 metric tons of fuel oil or financial aid. The Bush administration will also start the process of removing North Korea from its list of nations that sponsor terrorism.

Musharraf Breezes to Victory (Oct. 6): Pakistani president is easily reelected to a third term by the country's national and provincial assemblies. The opposition boycotts the vote, however, and only representatives from the governing party participate in the election. In addition, the Supreme Court has yet to rule if he was constitutionally eligible to run for president while still head of the military.


Britain to Sharply Reduce Force in Iraq (Oct. 8): Prime Minister Gordon Brown announces that half of the 5,000 British troops stationed in Basra will be removed by the end of 2008.

Turkish Parliament Authorizes Incursion into Iraq (Oct. 17): Votes, 507 to 19, to allow the deployment of troops into northern Iraq to deal with attacks on Turkey by Kurdish rebels in Iraq. (Oct. 21): Kurdish militants in northern Iraq, members of the Kurdistan Workers Party, attack and kill 12 Turkish soldiers about three miles inside Turkey.

Former Prime Minister Returns to Pakistan (Oct. 18): Benazir Bhutto arrives in Pakistan after eight years in exile to much fanfare and jubilation by her supporters. The triumphant mood gives way to panic when a suicide bomber attacks her convoy, killing as many as 135 people. Bhutto survives the attack.

Bush Administration Extends Sanctions on Iran (Oct. 25): U.S. designates Iran's military, the Quds force of the Revolutionary Guard, and four state-owned Iranian banks sponsors of terrorism and accues the Guard of exporting weapons of mass destruction.

First Lady of Argentina Is Elected President (Oct. 28): Cristina Fernández de Kirchner takes 45% of the vote. Elisa Carrió, a congresswoman, comes in second, with 23%. De Kirchner is the first woman in Argentina to be elected president. She succeeds her husand, Néstor Kirchner.

Suicide Bomber Attacks Police Brigade (Oct. 29): Bomber on a bicycle blows himself up in Baquba, killing 29 people, including 26 police officers.




Nation

Benazir Bhutto demands US-UK assistance on terror probe IRNA 29 Oct 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto formally asked the government of Pakistan through a letter asking it to request assistance from the US and the Britain in carrying out investigations in the October 19 bombing of her rally.


Pakistan Army and militant groups agree ceasefire RIA Novosti 28 Oct 2007 -- Militants and government troops in northwestern Pakistan have agreed a ceasefire in the mountainous region of Swat, where over 50 extremists died over the weekend in clashes, Pakistan TV said Monday.
At least 20 killed in bomb attack on army convoy in Pakistan RIA Novosti 25 Oct 2007 -- At least 20 soldiers were killed and 25 injured in a bomb attack on an army convoy in northwest Pakistan on Thursday, national TV reported.
Blast Targeting Military in Northwest Pakistan Kills 30 VOA 25 Oct 2007 -- Local officials in Pakistan's northwestern Swat district say a roadside blast targeting a military transport has killed at least 30 people


Pakistan/Iran: The Baluchi Minority's 'Forgotten Conflict' RFE/RL 25 Oct 2007 -- The Baluchi minority in southwestern Pakistan and southeastern Iran is increasingly marginalized, discriminated against by the state, and suffers from limited access to the benefits of citizenship, according to political observers and human rights groups.

Pakistani deploys troops to fight pro-Taliban militants RIA Novosti 24 Oct 2007 -- Around 2,500 Pakistani troops have been sent to Swat, a northeast mountain valley, following a roadside bomb explosion injuring four soldiers late on Tuesday, an army spokesman said on Wednesday.

Pakistan Sends Troops to Counter Pro-Taliban Militants VOA 24 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's military says it has sent more than 2,000 paramilitary troops to reinforce security forces in Swat district, a stronghold of pro-Taliban groups in the country's northwest


Analysis: Pakistan's Riddles cfr.org 23 Oct 2007 -- Serious questions loom over Pakistan’s efforts to return to a democratic form of government as its inability to rein in violent militants and its dissident security institutions grow increasingly apparent

Pakistani Investigators Suspect Two Suicide Bombers in Bhutto Attack VOA 22 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani investigators now suspect two suicide bombers were responsible for Thursday's attack on the procession of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

PAKISTAN: Thousands displaced by renewed fighting in Waziristan IRIN 21 Oct 2007 -- After over a week of fierce fighting in and around the town of Mirali, in Pakistan’s tribal North Waziristan Agency, lying along the country’s mountainous north-western border with Afghanistan, some semblance of normal life is returning slowly.

Pakistan's Bhutto Seeks International Help for Bomb Investigation VOA 21 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is calling for international assistance in the investigation into the bomb attack that killed more than 130 of her supporters in Karachi on Friday

India, Pakistan reiterate to uphold 4 year old cease-fire agreement IRNA 20 Oct 2007 -- India and Pakistan have reiterated their commitment to uphold the four year old bilateral cease-fire agreement in place.

The ISI and Terrorism: Behind the Accusations cfr.org 19 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan’s intelligence agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), has long faced accusations of meddling in the affairs of its neighbors

Fallout From Karachi Bombing Felt In Afghanistan RFE/RL 19 Oct 2007 -- Between Karachi and Kabul stand the vast deserts and mountains of Balochistan

Pakistan's Bhutto Undeterred by Deadly Attacks VOA 19 Oct 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says the deadly bomb attacks targeting her motorcade will not dissuade her struggle to bring democracy to Pakistan.

Blasts cause carnage as ex-premier Bhutto returns to Pakistan RIA Novosti 19 Oct 2007 -- Up to 140 people died and hundreds were injured in two explosions early on Friday that overshadowed the return of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan's Bhutto Says She Had Forewarning of Attack VOA 19 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she had prior warning of an assassination plot against her, but insisted on carrying through with her homecoming on Thursday


Can Bhutto's Return To Pakistan Boost Afghan Security? RFE/RL 18 Oct 2007 -- Defying threats from Taliban militants, former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has returned home after eight years of exile, vowing to help push Pakistan in a democratic direction -- and win the war on terrorism.

Pakistan's Bhutto Ends 8-Year Exile with Jubilant Homecoming VOA 18 Oct 2007 -- Hundreds of thousands of supporters of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto are cheering her homecoming after eight years in self-imposed exile


Bhutto Pledges Return to Democracy on Eve of Homecoming VOA 17 Oct 2007 -- Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says her arrival in Pakistan on Thursday will mark the country's transition from dictatorship to democracy
Putin: US May Be Softening Its Position on Missile Defense VOA 16 Oct 2007 -- Russian President Vladimir Putin says the United States may be ready to soften its position on plans for a missile defense system in Europe and stressed that talks on the issue should continue.


Pakistan lifts curfew in tribal town IRNA 16 Oct 2007 -- Authorities in Pakistan's tribal region on Tuesday lifted curfew from a major town after 10-day of clashes with militants, which has killed more than 200 people, the army spokesman said.


Pakistan's Bhutto Prepares to Return Home VOA 16 Oct 2007 -- The political turmoil that has gripped Pakistan for weeks could take several more turns this week, with key hearings in the nation's Supreme Court and the expected return of exiled former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

Army backs Musharraf's civilian president plan RIA Novosti 15 Oct 2007 -- The Pakistani Army supports General Pervez Musharraf's decision to become a civilian president if elected to a new term, an Army spokesman said Monday.

Pakistan does not know whereabouts of Osama bin Laden RIA Novosti 15 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan has no information on where terrorist No. 1 Osama bin Laden, the head of the al-Qaeda terrorist network, is hiding, the chief spokesman of the Pakistani Army told RIA Novosti.


Pakistan's PM Defends Government's Anti-Terrorism Efforts VOA 14 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's prime minister says a recent surge in fighting in the country's tribal regions bordering Afghanistan is the result of the government's more aggressive stance against terrorists


Pakistan's Parliamentary Elections Viewed as Credibility Test for Musharraf VOA 11 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's parliamentary elections scheduled for early January are expected to be a key indicator of the country's political future and an important credibility test for Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf

Analsysis: Pakistan’s Tribal Warfare cfr.org 10 Oct 2007 -- Violent clashes with militants in the mountainous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan come at a politically sensitive time for Pakistan’s embattled president, Gen. Pervez Musharraf

Pakistani Jets Bomb Militants in Border Clash VOA 09 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani jets have bombed Islamic militants near the border with Afghanistan bringing a four-day death toll to 250 people killed in fierce battles
Civilians Flee Fighting in Pakistan's Northwest as Warplanes Target Militants VOA 09 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani families are fleeing their homes in North Waziristan as government warplanes pound the restive tribal region on the fourth day of fighting with militants.

More than 175 Dead as Militants Clash With Troops in Northern Pakistan VOA 08 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's military say at least 130 militants and 45 soldiers are dead after three days of clashes in the troubled tribal region of North Waziristan.

Helicopter escorting Pakistan president crashes in Kashmir RIA Novosti 08 Oct 2007 -- Four soldiers were killed on Monday when an army helicopter escorting President Pervez Musharraf crashed over the Pakistan-controlled portion of Kashmir, local television said.

Pakistan army copter crashes, 4 troops die IRNA 08 Oct 2007 -- At least four Pakistani security officers of were killed when an army helicopter crashed in Pakistan-administered Kashmir on Monday, the army spokesman said.
Army says 60 militants, 20 soldiers killed in Waziristan clashes IRNA 08 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani security forces have killed have killed around 60 pro-Taliban militants in fighting in North Waziristan, the military spokesman said on Monday.

At Least 50 Soldiers Missing After Violent Clashes in North Pakistan VOA 08 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's military says at least 50 soldiers are missing Monday after clashes with Islamic militants in the North Waziristan tribal region.
Musharraf Wins Presidential Vote as Expected, Victory Not Yet Official VOA 06 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani legislators have cast their votes for president in a controversial election, and President Pervez Musharraf is the victor, as expected


Musharraf Wins Presidential Vote as Expected, Victory Not Yet Official VOA 06 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani legislators have cast their votes for president in a controversial election, and President Pervez Musharraf is the victor, as expected

Pakistan Politics Mired in Uncertainty VOA 05 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, signed an order dropping corruption charges against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Friday, paving the way for her to return home from self-imposed exile

Bhutto, Musharraf strike last-minute deal before polls RIA Novosti 05 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's government and the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), headed by exiled ex-premier Benazir Bhutto, reached a national reconciliation deal on the eve of polls slated October 6, local press said Friday.
Pakistan's Presidential Election, Power-Sharing Deal Set to Proceed VOA 05 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has rejected requests to postpone Saturday's presidential election, but says the results will be kept secret until the court decides whether President Pervez Musharraf can legally run for re-election

Analysis: A Rough Ride for Pakistan cfr.org 04 Oct 2007 -- Gen. Pervez Musharraf, by most accounts, appears set to win (Reuters) a new term as president

President Musharraf ready to launch reconciliation policy RIA Novosti 04 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf is ready to resign as Armed Forces chief next month and launch a national reconciliation policy if re-elected president, Pakistani media said on Thursday.

Former Pakistan PM Bhutto Hints at Power-Sharing Deal VOA 04 Oct 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says she expects to reach a power-sharing agreement with President Pervez Musharraf by the end of the day.

Weinbaum: On Eve of Reelection Musharraf Has Bought Some Time cfr.org 03 Oct 2007
Pakistan Re-Opens Red Mosque Three Months After Deadly Raid VOA 03 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan has re-opened a mosque where a raid three months ago against militants left more than 100 people dead
Bhutto Says Charges Against Her Remain, Talks With Musharraf Stalled VOA 03 Oct 2007 -- Former Prime Minister of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto says there is no agreement on granting her amnesty from corruption charges and that power-sharing talks with Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf are totally stalled


Pakistan to Grant Amnesty to Benazir Bhutto VOA 02 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's government has agreed to drop corruption charges against former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

President Musharraf names his Army chief successor RIA Novosti 02 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani President General Pervez Musharraf has nominated a new Army commander, Pakistani television reported on Tuesday.
Musharraf Opponents Resign From Parliament, File Last-Minute Challenge VOA 02 Oct 2007 -- Pakistani lawmakers have resigned and opposition lawyers filed a last-minute petition against General Musharraf's re-election bid as president

Pakistan Court Orders Suspension of Top Police Chief, Other Officials VOA 01 Oct 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the suspension of Islamabad's police chief and other city officials in the wake of a widely condemned crackdown that wounded dozens of journalists and lawyers on Saturday.






Business/Science/Society

Track Star Admits Steroid Use (Oct. 5): Marion Jones, who won five medals at the 2000 Olympics, three of them gold, pleads guilty to making false statements to federal agents about her use of performance-enhancing drugs.

Utility Settles Lawsuit with States and Environmental Groups (Oct. 9): American Electric Power agrees to spend $4.6 billion to cut 813,000 tons of emissions each year from its coal-powered facilities. The settlement ends an 8-year-old lawsuit brought by eight states and 14 environmental groups. It is the largest-ever environmental settlement.

Gore Shares Nobel Peace Prize (Oct. 12): Former vice president Al Gore and the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change are awarded the prize for their work educating the world about human-caused climate change and for outlining ways to reverse global warming.

Wildfires Devastate Southern California (Oct. 21): Fifteen wildfires in seven counties are fanned by 50 to 60 m.p.h. winds burning over 267,000 acres. Nearly 600 homes and 100 commerical buildings are destroyed. One person dies and at least 20 firefighters and 25 civilians are injured. More than 500,000 people evacuate their homes.

Space Shuttle Heads for Space Station (Oct. 23): Discovery takes off for a 14-day mission to the International Space Station where astronauts will add a "room" to the station and move a 17.5-ton solar array and truss.
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November 2007



World

Pakistani President Declares State of Emergency (Nov. 3): Pervez Musharraf suspends the country's constitution and fires Chief Justice Iftakar Mohammed Chaudhry and the other judges on the Supreme Court. In addition, police arrest at least 500 opposition figures. Analysts suggest that Musharraf was trying to preempt an upcoming ruling by the Supreme Court, which is expected to declare he could not constitutionally run for president while head of military. Musharraf, however, says he acted to stem a rising
Islamist insurgency and to "preserve the democratic transition.” (Nov. 5): Thousands of lawyers take to the streets to protest the emergency rule. Many clash with baton-wielding police. As many as 700 lawyers are arrested, including Chaudhry, who is placed under house arrest. (Nov. 8): Musharraf says elections will be held by Feb. 15, 2008. (Nov. 9): Thousands of police officers barricade the city of Rawalpindi, the site of a protest planned by opposition leader Benazir Bhutto. (Nov. 13): Bhutto is placed under house arrest so she cannot organize another rally. (Nov. 16): On the day that Parliament's term ends its five-year term, Musharraf swears in a caretaker government, with Mohammedmian Soomro, the chairman of Pakistan's senate, as prime minister. He also lifts Bhutto's house arrest. (Nov. 22): The Supreme Court, filled with judges loyal to Musharraf, dismisses the case challenging the constitutionality of Musharraf being elected president while head of the military. (Nov. 25): Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif returns to Pakistan after eight years in exile and demands that Musharraf lift the emergency rule and reinstate the Supreme Court justices that were dismissed on Nov. 3. Musharraf overthrew Sharif in a coup in 1999. (Nov. 28): Musharraf steps down as military chief. He is replaced by Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, the former head of Pakistan’s intelligence agency, Inter-Services Intelligence. (Nov. 29): Musharraf is sworn in as a civilian president. Since he no longer controls the military, his power over Pakistan is significantly diminished.


U.S. Suffers More Casualties in 2007 Than Any Other Year (Nov. 6: ) Six American soldiers are killed in Iraq, bringing the total deaths in 2007 to 852, the highest annual total since the war began in 2003.


Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Afghanistan (Nov. 7): More than 50 people, including 18 children, four teachers, and six members of Parliament, die in the attack in Baghlan. Members of Parliament were visiting the city in northern Afghanistan. It is the worst single suicide attack since 2001.


Georgian President Declares State of Emergency (Nov. 7): After days of protests by opposition parties, President Mikheil Saakashvili imposes a state of emergency. The opposition calls for early elections and the resignation of Saakashvili, who demonstrators accuse of abusing power and stifling the opposition. Earlier in the day, riot police used tear gas and rubber bullets to break up the demonstrations. (Nov. 8): Saakashvili announces that presidential elections will be held in January 2008. (Nov. 10): Parliament votes, 149 to 0, to approve the state of emergency. The opposition in the 235-seat Parliament boycotts the vote, however.


Hamas Police Kill Civilians at Gaza Rally (Nov. 12): Fighting breaks out between members of Hamas and Fatah at a Fatah-led rally commemorating the third anniversary of Yarsir Arafat's death. Hamas police shoot and kill at least seven civilians.


FBI Investigation Finds Killings by Blackwater Guards Were Unjustified (Nov. 13): Report says 14 of the 17 shootings of Iraqis on Sept. 16 were unjustified and the guards were reckless in their use of deadly force.
Number of Weekly Attacks Falls in Iraq (Nov. 18): U.S. military reports that for three consecutive weeks, the number of car bombs, roadside bombs, mines, rocket attacks, and other violence have fallen to the lowest level since January 2006.


Khmer Rouge Leader Appears in Court (Nov. 20): Kaing Guek Eav, alias Duch, who ran the notorious Tuol Sleng prison and is the first Khmer Rouge defendant to appear in court, seeks bail on charges against humanity.
Troop Withdrawal Begins in Iraq (Nov. 24): A brigade of 5,000 U.S. troops starts to leave Diyala Province, the first significant pullback of troops. Once the withdrawal is complete, there will be 157,000 soldiers in Iraq, from a high of 162,000.


Australian Prime Minister Is Defeated (Nov. 24): John Howard, the leader of the Liberal Party and a close ally of President Bush, loses to the Labor Party's Kevin Rudd. Howard had been in power for 11 years.
Presidential Vote Is Delayed in Lebanon (Nov. 24): A caretaker government, led by Prime Minister Fouad Siniroa, takes over after President Émile Lahoud's term expires and Parliament for the fourth time postpones a vote on his successor.


Bush Hosts Middle East Peace Conference (Nov. 27): At a meeting in Annapolis, Md., Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas agree to work together to broker a peace treaty by the end of 2008. Officials from 49 countries attend the conference.






Nation

Analysis: Pakistan’s Tricky Transition cfr.org 29 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has stepped down as army chief and is set to rule as a civilian president (WashPost) for the next five years

Backgrounder: The Troubled Afghan-Pakistani Border cfr.org 29 Nov 2007
White House Welcomes Musharraf Announcement to Lift Emergency Rule VOA 29 Nov 2007
-- The White House has welcomed word from Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that he intends to lift emergency rule on December 16

Pakistan's Musharraf sworn in as civilian president RIA Novosti 29 Nov 2007 -- Pervez Musharraf was sworn in for a second presidential term in Pakistan on Thursday as a civilian leader, a day after he stepped down as military commander.

Pakistan's Musharraf Sworn In as Civilian President; Plans to Lift Emergency Rule VOA 29 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been sworn in for a second five-year term, a day after he kept his promise to step down as army chief


Pakistan's president steps down as army chief RIA Novosti 28 Nov 2007 -- President General Pervez Musharraf stepped down as Pakistan's army chief on Wednesday, fulfilling his pledge a day before he is to be sworn in as civilian leader for a new term.

Pakistan's Musharraf Steps Down as Army Chief VOA 28 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has stepped down as chief of the army in a ceremony transferring power to his hand-picked successor, General Ashfaq Kayani



Musharraf to handover command of Army to General Kayani IRNA 27 Nov 2007 -- President General Pervez Musharraf Tuesday began a two-day blitz of farewell calls to the Services Chiefs at the end of his around 43-year career with the Pakistan Army, including his nine years as the chief of Army Staff, an army statement said Tuesday.

Pakistan frees all political prisoners: spokesman IRNA 27 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan government has freed more than 5,000 political prisoners and lawyers who were arrested after President General Pervez Musharraf imposed emergency on November 3, the Interior Ministry said Tuesday.

Musharraf pays farewell visits to military headquarters IRNA 27 Nov 2007 -- General Pervez Musharraf, who is to relinquish charge of army chief on November 28, paid farewell visits to various military headquarters on Tuesday.

Pakistan's Musharraf Attends Military Farewell Ceremonies VOA 27 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has attended military farewell ceremonies before his expected retirement as head of the country's armed forces


Nawaz says he will not work under Musharraf IRNA 26 Nov 2007
-- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on Monday that he will not work as Prime Minister under President General Pervez Musharraf.

Officials Say Musharraf to Take Oath as Civilian President on Thursday VOA 26 Nov 2007 -- Senior Pakistani officials say President Pervez Musharraf will resign as army chief and take the oath of office as a civilian president on Thursday.

Former PM Sharif applies to run in Pakistan polls RIA Novosti 26 Nov 2007 -- Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif, who returned to the country on Sunday after eight years exile, has applied for registration to run in the upcoming parliamentary elections.

Pakistani Opposition Figure Nawaz Sharif Files Papers to Participate in January Elections VOA 26 Nov 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif filed nomination papers in Pakistan Monday for general elections set for early January.


Former Pakistani PM Receives Boisterous Homecoming Celebration VOA 25 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's exiled former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has returned to Pakistan, ending seven years in exile in Saudi Arabia


20 Killed in Suicide Attacks on Pakistani Military Targets in Rawalpindi VOA 24 Nov 2007 -- Two suicide bombers in Pakistan have killed at least 20 people and wounded many more in separate blasts on military targets in Rawalpindi, outside the capital, Islamabad


Exiled Pakistani Opposition Leader Plans Return VOA 23 Nov 2007 -- Former Prime Minister and leader of the Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz Sharif is planning to return to Pakistan, ending his seven-year exile in Saudi Arabia
Pakistan expected to be suspended from Commonwealth IRNA 22 Nov 2007 -- Commonwealth foreign ministers were meeting in Uganda Thursday ahead of the 53-member nations' biennial summit, which is expected to confirm the suspension of Pakistan following the imposition of emergency rule earlier this month.


Pakistani Court Dismisses Final Challenge to Musharraf Re-Election VOA 22 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's newly appointed Supreme Court has dismissed the final legal challenge to President Pervez Musharraf's re-election victory, clearing the way for him to step down as army chief in the coming days
Pakistani Authorities Release More Political Detainees, Including Former Cricket Star VOA 21 Nov 2007 -- Hundreds of Pakistani political activists, including former cricket star and opposition leader Imran Khan, were released from prison Wednesday.


Pakistani Officials Predict Musharraf May Soon Abandon Army Post VOA 21 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's attorney general says conditions may be appropriate in the coming days for President Pervez Musharraf to honor his pledge to step down as army chief

Leader of Banned Baloch Rebel Group Killed by Pakistani Security Forces VOA 21 Nov 2007 -- The leader of a banned rebel group in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan has been killed by security forces.
Pentagon Wants More Funding For Pakistan Frontier Corps RFE/RL 20 Nov 2007 -- The U.S. military wants to nearly double its funding to train and equip Pakistan's Frontier Corps, a paramilitary force with members who are the same ethnicity as pro-Taliban tribal fighters near the border with Afghanistan.


Pakistan to hold parliamentary elections on Jan. 8 RIA Novosti 20 Nov 2007 -- General parliamentary elections in Pakistan will be held on January 8, 2008, Mohammad Farooq, head of the Electoral Commission, said on Tuesday.
Pakistan Releases Over 3,000 Prisoners Detained During Emergency Rule VOA 20 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's Interior Ministry says about 3,400 hundred prisoners detained since emergency rule was decreed on November 3 have since been released

Pakistani Army Continues Offensive in Restive Swat Valley; Residents Evacuate VOA 20 Nov 2007 -- The Pakistani army is continuing its offensive against pro-Taliban militants in the restive northern Swat Valley region, as residents evacuate the area ahead of a major operation.
State's Negroponte Urges Lifting of Emergency Rule in Pakistan Washington File 19 Nov 2007 -- Emergency rule in Pakistan is undermining years of successful reforms, says Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, who met with Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf November 16-17 to underline U.S. concerns about a key regional ally.


US Looks at Ways to Get Help From Pakistani Tribal Leaders VOA 19 Nov 2007 -- The U.S. Defense Department says a series of ideas for a new effort to try to get Pakistani tribal leaders to cooperate in the fight against terrorists is just a staff document and is far from any senior level consideration

US Continues Push for Immediate Lifting of Pakistan Emergency VOA 19 Nov 2007 -- The Bush administration says it is continuing to push for an immediate end to the state of emergency in Pakistan, despite President Pervez Musharraf's refusal to heed such a call Saturday from visiting Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte

Musharraf-Appointed Court Dismisses Main Challenges to Presidential Re-Election VOA 19 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's Supreme Court has dismissed the main legal challenges to General Pervez Musharraf's presidential re-election on October 6


Pakistan's Bhutto Pessimistic on Chances for Free Elections VOA 18 Nov 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says the recently-concluded visit of a top U.S. envoy played a critical role in securing her release from house arrest, but adds that more steps need to be taken if Pakistan is to hold free and fair elections, as the country's military ruler has pledged

US Envoy Voices Support for Musharraf, Urges End to Emergency Rule VOA 18 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has urged Pakistan's President to end emergency rule, free political prisoners and step down as army chief


Pakistani Media Networks Close After Government Pressure Ends Overseas Broadcasts VOA 17 Nov 2007 -- Two leading Pakistani media outlets that had their television broadcasts shut down inside Pakistan have now been forced to end international broadcasts


Senior US Diplomat Begins Pakistan Mission, Calls Bhutto VOA 16 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte, beginning a critical political mission to Pakistan late Friday, held a telephone discussion with former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto

Pakistan's Opposition Rejects New Caretaker Government VOA 16 Nov 2007 -- A caretaker government has been installed in Pakistan to oversee parliamentary elections in January


Pakistani Nuclear Safeguards in Place, Mullen Says AFPS 15 Nov 2007 -- U.S. officials are satisfied that Pakistani nuclear weapons are under sufficient security, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said today.
US Defense Chief Says Coming Weeks Could Determine US Future With Musharraf VOA 15 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says developments in Pakistan in the coming weeks will determine whether Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf can continue to be a U.S. partner in the global war on terrorism

Musharraf to step down as army chief before December RIA Novosti 15 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharaff intends to resign as commander-in-chief before the start of December, the country's prosecutor general said.
Caretaker Government to Take Office in Pakistan Ahead of Elections VOA 15 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's parliament is scheduled to dissolve itself at midnight Thursday to make way for a new caretaker government to oversee January elections

Pakistani Army Claims Success in Battles Against Swat Valley Militants VOA 15 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's army says troops killed 20 militants Thursday, in the northwestern Swat Valley as security forces stepped up a campaign to drive Islamic rebels out of the scenic ski resort area.


Analysis: Tremors Worry India cfr.org 14 Nov 2007 --Pakistan’s political crisis has elicited little official response from its eastern neighbor so farPakistan’s

Pakistani Police Arrest Former Cricket Star, Opposition Leader, Imran Khan VOA 14 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani police have arrested former cricket star and opposition politician Imran Khan, after he made his first public appearance since the imposition of emergency rule.

Analysts Say Hopes for Pakistan Political Truce Slim VOA 14 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte is heading to Pakistan late this week to meet with President Pervez Musharraf

Pakistani Opposition Considers Alternatives After Protests Thwarted VOA 14 Nov 2007 -- Security forces in Pakistan have largely succeeded in preventing mass protest rallies since emergency rule was imposed on November 3.


Pakistani opposition leader Bhutto again put under house arrest RIA Novosti 13 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was placed under house arrest on Tuesday for the second time in a week ahead of a new rally against the current state of emergency.

Pakistan's Bhutto Detained, Calls for Musharraf's Resignation VOA 13 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has been placed under house arrest ahead of a planned protest march against the emergency law imposed by President Pervez Musharraf.


Pakistan's Bhutto Placed Under Seven-Day House Arrest VOA 12 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani police have placed opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto under house arrest for the second time in less than a week to stop her from leading a mass rally against emergency rule.

Commonwealth Gives Musharraf November 22 Deadline VOA 12 Nov 2007 -- Foreign ministers from the Commonwealth of Britain and its former colonies said Monday it would suspend Pakistan from the organization unless President Pervez Musharraf lifted the state of emergency by November 22

Pakistan's Bhutto Prepares 'Long March' Against Emergency Rule VOA 12 Nov 2007 -- Opposition calls for an end to emergency rule in Pakistan grew louder Monday as former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto prepared a 300-kilometer protest tour against President Pervez Musharraf.


Rice Welcomes Musharraf's Pledges, Calls for Lifting Emergency Rule VOA 11 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has welcomed Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's promise to hold elections by early January and give up his military post

Bhutto Able to Leave Home, Meets Party Officials VOA 11 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani police have allowed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto to move around the capital, Islamabad, for meetings with protesters and political party officials.


Former Pakistani Prime Minister Allowed to Meet Party Officials VOA 10 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto joined protests in the capital against emergency rule Saturday and tried to meet with the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court

Bush: Musharraf Promises 'Positive Steps' VOA 10 Nov 2007 -- President Bush says Pakistan's President General Pervez Musharraf has taken "positive steps" by promising to lift the state of emergency, step down as army chief, and hold elections early next year


Pakistan Withdraws Arrest Order Against Former PM Bhutto VOA 09 Nov 2007 -- The government of Pakistan freed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto from house arrest late Friday, after earlier blocking her from leading a rally against emergency rule.

White House Seeks Release of Pakistani Detainees VOA 09 Nov 2007 -- The Bush Administration is calling for an end to emergency rule in Pakistan and the release of political opponents.

Pakistani Police Prevent Bhutto-led Protest Rally VOA 09 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani forces have stopped former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto from leaving her home to lead a demonstration against the country's emergency laws

Bhutto pledges to continue fight for democracy in Pakistan RIA Novosti 09 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, who has been placed under house arrest, said on Friday she was determined to continue the struggle for democratic reform in the country.

Pakistan's Bhutto under house arrest - opposition RIA Novosti 09 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been placed under house arrest prior to her planned rally against the current state of emergency, the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) said on Friday.


More Arrests Reported in Pakistan; Bhutto Prepares For Friday Protest VOA 08 Nov 2007 -- The Pakistan People Party of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto says police have arrested hundreds more of its supporters
Pakistan's Musharraf Announces Elections Before February 15 VOA 08 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has announced national elections will be held before February 15

Pentagon: US-Pakistan Military Cooperation Unaffected by Emergency Rule VOA 08 Nov 2007 -- A senior U.S. military officer says there has so far not been any impact on U.S.-Pakistani military cooperation, since the declaration of a State of Emergency in Pakistan on Saturday


Analysis: Bhutto-Musharraf Faceoff cfr.org 07 Nov 2007 -- President Pervez Musharraf’s main political opponent, former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, has demanded that he end emergency rule, step down as army chief, and promise to hold elections by January 2008

Backgrounder: Pakistan’s Institutions and Civil Society cfr.org 07 Nov 2007
Bush Tells Musharraf to Hold Elections and Resign as Army Chief VOA 07 Nov 2007 -- President Bush says he has personally told Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf that he must hold parliamentary elections and resign his post as head of the nation's army

Bush Calls Musharraf, Urges Elections in Pakistan VOA 07 Nov 2007 -- President Bush has personally contacted Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf for the first time since the imposition of emergency rule in Pakistan
Pakistan's Bhutto Vows Uprising Unless Musharraf Reverses Emergency Rule VOA 07 Nov 2007 -- Former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto has vowed to launch a massive protest march unless President Pervez Musharraf steps down as head of the army and restores the constitution by next Tuesday
Deposed Top Judge in Pakistan Urges Resistance VOA 07 Nov 2007 -- Protests continue in Pakistan against President Pervez Musharraf's state of emergency

Islamic Militants Seize More Territory in Pakistan's Swat Valley VOA 07 Nov 2007 -- Fighters loyal to a radical Islamic cleric have seized more territory in Pakistan's Swat Valley, taking over police stations and checkpoints in several towns.

PAKISTAN: Militants threaten to burn Swat camp IRIN 08 Nov 2007 -- Efforts to establish a displaced persons camp in Pakistan’s Swat Valley are under threat from militants fighting the government, according to aid officials.
Pakistan’s Musharraf Urged To Hold Elections, Shed Uniform Soon Washington File 06 Nov 2007 -- Pakistan's president, General Pervez Musharraf, should lift the state of emergency in the country and hold elections as soon as possible, President Bush and other administration officials say.


Bhutto Arrives in Islamabad VOA 06 Nov 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto arrived in Islamabad Tuesday, saying she has no plans to meet or negotiate with President Pervez Musharraf.

About 670 Pakistanis killed by terrorists so far this year RIA Novosti 06 Nov 2007 -- About 670 people in Pakistan have been killed and over 1,800 injured in a total of 157 terrorist attacks since the start of the year, the country's Interior Ministry said on Tuesday.


PAKISTAN: Government cracks down on civil society IRIN 05 Nov 2007 -- A senior UN expert has condemned the rounding-up of civil society leaders and activists in Pakistan after the declaration of emergency rule in the country.

Markey: Crucial To Hold Pakistan Elections on Time in January cfr.org 05 Nov 2007

Analysis: U.S. Officials Mull Pakistan Position cfr.org 05 Nov 2007 -- The United States responded cautiously to the November 3 news that Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf had declared a state of emergency (Dawn), suspending the country's constitution and giving himself the right to rule by decree

Pakistani Police Arrest Protesters; US Blasts Military Rule VOA 05 Nov 2007 -- Security forces in Pakistan have fired tear gas and clubbed demonstrators who are objecting to President Pervez Musharraf's decision to suspend the constitution

US Urges Pakistan's Musharraf to Remove Army Uniform, Restore Civilian Rule VOA 05 Nov 2007 -- U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice says Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf should resign as army chief and restore civilian rule.

Pakistani Supreme Court Justice Describes Last-Minute Attempt to Stop Emergency Order VOA 05 Nov 2007 -- When Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf abruptly ordered a state of emergency and suspended the Constitution on Saturday, military forces quickly surrounded the Supreme Court and detained judges, including the chief justice

U.S. to Review All Military Support to Pakistan AFPS 05 Nov 2007 -- U.S.-Pakistani military cooperation along Pakistan’s border with Afghanistan is continuing unfettered despite the crisis that’s led to widespread arrests in Pakistan and has U.S. officials reviewing assistance programs to Pakistan, a senior defense official told reporters today.

U.S. Postpones Defense Meetings With Pakistan AFPS 05 Nov 2007 -- The United States is watching the developing situation in Pakistan closely and will review all assistance programs to the country, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said here today.


Musharraf targets opposition after imposing emergency rule RIA Novosti 04 Nov 2007 -- Some Pakistani opposition leaders and activists were detained on Sunday following President Pervez Musharraf's decision to impose emergency rule and suspend Pakistan's Constitution.


Suicide Bomber Targets Pakistani Air Force Bus VOA 01 Nov 2007 -- Pakistani officials say a suicide attack on an Air Force bus has killed at least eight people and wounded about 40 others.






Business/Science/Society

Mexican City Paralyzed by Floods (Nov. 4): Villahermosa, the capital of the southeastern state of Tabasco, has no clean drinking water and electricity after severe flooding caused by five days of torrential rain. At least 300,000 people evacuate their homes, 70,000 people are in shelters, and one person dies. Most of the state's crops are destroyed and 4,000 schools are damaged.


Space Shuttle Lands Safely After Challenging Mission (Nov. 7): During its 14-day mission to the International Space Station, astronauts aboard Discovery add a "room" to the station and move a 17.5-ton solar array and truss. They unexpectedly had to repair a rotary joint and a solar array on the left side of the space station.


Cyclone Ravages Bangladesh (Nov. 15): Cyclone Sidr, with winds over 100 miles per hour, kills nearly 3,500 people in southern Bangladesh. The United Nations reports that a million people are left homeless.


UN Report on Climate Change Details Imminent Perils (Nov. 16): In its last of four reports on climate change, th UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore, says global warming of one to three degrees will lead to a rise in sea levels that will swallow up island nations, the decimation of one-quarter or more of the world’s species, famine in Africa, and increasingly violent hurricanes.


Scientists Devise New Method to Create Embryonic Stem Cells (Nov. 20): Two teams of scientists, one in Wisconsin the other in Japan, announce they have discovered a way to make embryonic stem cells without using embryonic stem cells. By adding four genes to skin cells, they were able to reprogram skin cells into any of the body's 220 types of cells.
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Sureshlasi's Avatar
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Medal of Appreciation: Awarded to appreciate member's contribution on forum. (Academic and professional achievements do not make you eligible for this medal) - Issue reason: Best Moderator Award: Awarded for censoring all swearing and keeping posts in order. - Issue reason: Best ModMember of the Year: Awarded to those community members who have made invaluable contributions to the Community in the particular year - Issue reason: For the year 2007Diligent Service Medal: Awarded upon completion of 5 years of dedicated services and contribution to the community. - Issue reason:
 
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December 2007




World


Putin's Party Dominates Parliamentary Elections (Dec. 2): United Russia takes 64.1% of the vote, far ahead of the Communist Party of Russia, which wins 11.6%. Opposition parties complain that the election was rigged, and European monitors say the vote wasn't fair. Putin used his sway over the media to stifle the opposition and campaign for United Russia, making the election a referendum on his popularity.


Venezuela Rejects Referendum (Dec. 2): Voters, 51% to 49%, reject referendum put forward by President Hugo Chávez that proposed 69 amendments to the constitution, including the abolishment of presidential term limits, removal of the Central Bank's autonomy, which would have given Chávez new power to build a socialist economy, and others that enjoyed wide support, including reducing the work day to six hours and offering pensions to street vendors and housewives.


Intelligence Report Concludes Iran Has Halted Weapons Program (Dec. 3): A National Intelligence Estimate compiled by the 16 agencies of the U.S. intelligence community says "with high confidence" that Iran froze its nuclear weapons program in 2003. The report contradicts one written in 2005 that
stated Iran was determined to continue developing such weapons. (Dec. 4): Despite the report, President Bush says ran remains a threat and can not be trusted to pursue enriching uranium for civilian use. "Look, Iran was dangerous, Iran is dangerous, and Iran will be dangerous, if they have the knowledge necessary to make a nuclear weapon," he said. "What’s to say they couldn't’t start another covert nuclear weapons program?"


CIA Destroyed Interrogation Tapes (Dec. 6): New York Times reports that in 2005 the CIA destroyed videotapes of the interrogation of two al-Qaeda suspects. The tapes reportedly included agency operative using harsh interrogation techniques. The tapes, the paper said, were not given to members of the Sept. 11 commission, which had requested such evidence, or to the defense team of terrorism suspect Zacarias Moussaoui. CIA director Michael Hayden said the tapes, if released, posed a "serious security risk" and could have jeopardized the safety of CIA officials and their families.


Putin Names His Choice for Successor (Dec. 10): Russian president Vladmir Putin endorses Dmitri Medvedev in March 2008's presidential election. A Putin loyalist who is said to be moderate and pro-Western, Medvedev serves as a first deputy prime minister and the chairman of Gazprom, the country's oil monopoly. He has never worked in intelligence or security agencies, unlike Putin and many members of his administration. (Dec. 11): Medvedev says he will name Putin as prime minister if elected president.
Car Bombs Explode in Algiers (Dec. 11): As many as 60 people are killed in two suicide attacks near United Nations offices and government buildings in the capital of Algeria. The bombings occur within minutes of each other. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb, formerly called the Salafist Group for Preaching, claims responsibility. It's the worst attack in the Algeria in more than 10 years.


City in Southern Iraq Hit By Bombs (Dec. 12): In the worst violence in months, nearly 30 people are killed and 150 wounded when three car bombs explode in Amara. Local officials had recently assumed control of security.
European Union Votes to Adopt New Treaty (Dec. 13): Treaty, if ratified by all 27 members, would have the president of the EU in office for two-and-a-half years rather than the current six-month term, and allows most decisions to be reached with a majority vote instead of unanimity, as is currently required.


Musharraf Ends Emergency Rule (Dec. 14): Pakistani president also restores the Constitution, but he also issues several executive orders and constitutional amendments that preclude any legal challenges related to his actions during and after emergency rule was established and bars the judges who he fired from resuming their positions. "Today I am feeling very happy that all the promises that I have made to the people, to the country, have been fulfilled," he said.


Turkey Attacks Kurdish Targets in Iraq (Dec. 16): With the help of the U.S. military, Turkish fighter jets bomb areas in Dohuk Province in northern Iraq, targeting the Kurdish militant group, the Kurdistan Workers' Party. At least one civilian is reported to have died in the attack.


Britain Transfers Control of Basra to Iraqis (Dec. 16): Iraqi government takes military control of Basra, the last region that was still under British control.


Russia Delivers Nuclear Fuel to Iran (Dec. 17): Russia says Iran has promised to use the enriched-uranium fuel rods for a power plant at Bushehr. The International Atomic Energy Agency will monitor and control the fuel.
African National Congress Selects New Leader (Dec. 18): Delegates choose Jacob Zuma as their leader, ousting South African president Thabo Mbeki, who had been in control of the party for the last ten years. With the victory, Zuma is poised to become president when Mbeki's term expires in 2009. Zuma was acquitted of rape charges in 2006 and faces corruption charges.


Conservative Politician Wins Presidential Election in South Korea (Dec. 19): Lee Myung-bak, of the opposition Grand National Party, wins 48.7% of the vote. Chung Dong-yong, who was endorsed by outgoing president Roh Moo-hyun, takes 26.1%. Lee has been dogged by allegations of ethical improprieties, and the National Assembly voted two days before the election to reopen an investigation into whether he manipulated the stock of an investment company.


Dozens Die in Suicide Bombing at Pakistan Mosque (Dec. 21): About 50 people die in an assassination attempt on Aftab Ahmed Khan Sherpao, Pakistan's former interior minister, during a celebration of Id al-Adha at a mosque in the northwest part of the country.


Backers of Ousted Prime Minister Win Parliamentary Elections in Thailand (Dec. 23): People Power Party, which supports former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, takes 233 out of 480 seats in parliamentary elections, a clear rebuke to the military, which ousted Thaksin in a coup in 2006.


Bhutto Killed in Suicide Attack (Dec. 27): Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto dies at a campaign rally in Rawalpindi. President Pervez Musharraf blames al Qaeda for the attack, which kills 23 other people. Bhutto's supporters, however, accuse Musharraf's government of orchestrating the bombing. Rioting throughout the country follows the attack. (Dec. 30): The Pakistan People's Party selects Bhutto's eldest son, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, as its chairman to succeed his mother.


Disputed Kenyan Election Sparks Deadly Tribal Violence (Dec. 27): Preliminary results have opposition candidate Raila Odinga, of the Orange Democratic Movement, defeating incumbent Mwai Kibaki, 57% to 39%, in Kenya's presidential election. In addition, several of Kibaki's closest allies, including the vice president, lose their seats in Parliament. Odinga, a champion of the poor, had promised to eliminate corruption and tribalism. (Dec. 30): Odinga's lead diminishes, and Kenya's election commission declares Kibaki the winner, 46% to 44%. Violence breaks out among members of the Luo and Kikuyu tribes. Odinga is Luo, and Kibaki is Kikuyu. International observers say the vote was rigged.


Attacks in Iraq Fall Significantly (Dec. 29): Gen. David Petraeus reports that car bombs and suicide attacks dropped by 60% since June 2007. He also says that al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia remains the greatest threat to Iraq's security.






Nation


US Would Oppose Indefinite Pakistan Election Delay VOA 31 Dec 2007 -- The United States said Monday it would oppose an indefinite delay in parliamentary elections in Pakistan in the wake of last week's assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.


Afghanistan: Khalilzad Hopes Response To Pakistan's 'Huge Loss' Is Renewed Effort To Counter Extremism RFE/RL 28 Dec 2007 -- The assassination of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto prompted quick international condemnation, as well as intense examination of its effect on South Asia and the rest of the world.


Pakistan Should Move Forward with Democratic Process, U.S. Says Washington File 28 Dec 2007 -- The United States is reaching out to political leaders across Pakistan in the wake of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's assassination, urging them to move forward with the democratic process.


Benazir Bhutto laid to rest IRNA 28 Dec 2007 -- Hundreds of thousands of people attended funeral of former Pakistan prime minister Benazir Bhutto, who was assassinated on Thursday.


India to review situation following assassination of Benazir IRNA 28 Dec 2007 -- In the wake of Pakistan's former Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto's assassination, the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold a meeting with political leaders Friday to discuss the situation in Pakistan.


Pakistani Government Blames Al-Qaida for Bhutto Assassination VOA 28 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's government says al-Qaida terrorists were behind the assassination of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


Pakistan Tightens Security to Thwart Violence as Bhutto is Buried VOA 28 Dec 2007 -- Hundreds of thousands of mourners gathered to at the family graveyard where former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was being laid to rest.


Pakistan Plans to Hold General Elections on January 8 VOA 28 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's caretaker prime minister says the government has no immediate plans to postpone general elections scheduled for January 8, 2008.


Asian Leaders Express Concerns About Pakistan's Future VOA 28 Dec 2007 -- Leaders across Asia are voicing condemnation and shock over the killing of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, and their fears for the future stability of the country.


Remembering Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto VOA 28 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's former prime minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been assassinated.


Bhutto Assassination Condemned by World Leaders Washington File 27 Dec 2007 -- President Bush joined world leaders in shocked condemnation of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and called for continued progress toward democratic reforms in Pakistan.


Security Council urges calm following ‘reprehensible’ terrorist attack in Pakistan UN News Centre 27 Dec 2007 -- Condemning the deadly terrorist attack that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and at least a dozen others in the northern city of Rawalpindi, the United Nations Security Council called on all Pakistanis to show restraint in the wake of today’s tragedy.
Bhutto Assassination Condemned by World Leaders Washington File 27 Dec 2007 -- President Bush joined world leaders in shocked condemnation of the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and called for continued progress toward democratic reforms in Pakistan.


Security Council urges calm following ‘reprehensible’ terrorist attack in Pakistan UN News Centre 27 Dec 2007 -- Condemning the deadly terrorist attack that killed former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and at least a dozen others in the northern city of Rawalpindi, the United Nations Security Council called on all Pakistanis to show restraint in the wake of today’s tragedy.


World Leaders Condemn Bhutto Assassination VOA 27 Dec 2007 -- Leaders from around the world have condemned the assassination of former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto
Riedel: Bhutto’s Assassination ‘Almost Certainly’ Work of Al-Qaeda cfr.org 27 Dec 2007
Backgrounder: Pakistan’s Institutions and Civil Society cfr.org 27 Dec 2007
Analysis: Pakistan After Bhutto cfr.org 27 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan’s former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed December 27 in a gun and bomb attack (NYT) following a preelection rally near Islamabad.

Iran strongly condemns assassination of Benazir Bhutto IRNA 27 Dec 2007 -- Foreign Ministry Spokesman Mohammad Ali Hosseini here on Thursday strongly condemned assassination of Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto who was killed in a suicide attack at a campaign rally.

India expresses shock over Benazir's assassination IRNA 27 Dec 2007 -- Expressing shock over the brutal assassination of Pakistan former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, India Thursday described Benazir as an 'outstanding woman leader of the subcontinent'.

Secretary-General voices outrage at assassination of ex-leader of Pakistan UN News Centre 27 Dec 2007 -- Expressing his shock and outrage at the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today strongly condemned the “heinous crime” and called for those behind the attack to be brought to justice.


Pakistan's Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto Assassinated VOA 27 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's former prime minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated Thursday at a campaign rally just two weeks before parliamentary elections.


Bush Condemns Bhutto Assassination VOA 27 Dec 2007 -- President Bush has condemned the assassination of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto. President and Mrs. Bush Extend Condolences Regarding Assassination of Benazir Bhutto, Condemn Violence The White House 27 Dec 2007

Bhutto's Death Felt Keenly In Kabul RFE/RL 27 Dec 2007 -- The death of Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto in an apparent suicide attack outside the capital, Islamabad, has shaken the country's political landscape and underscored the threat that politically motivated violence poses in Pakistan and the region.


Pakistan, Afghanistan Governments Pledge Enhanced Cooperation VOA 26 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan and Afghanistan have pledged to enhance cooperation between their spy agencies and tighten border controls in an effort to curb militant activities on both sides of the border.


Opposition Leaders Target Musharraf During Campaign VOA 24 Dec 2007 -- Former Pakistani prime minister Nawaz Sharif says the country's president has made Pakistan a laughing stock of the world by removing the judiciary.


Pakistani Authorities Arrest 2 Police Officers After Terror Suspect's Escape VOA 18 Dec 2007 -- Pakistani authorities have arrested two police officers in connection with Saturday's escape of a British terror suspect.


PAKISTAN: Swat Valley picks up the pieces after clashes IRIN 17 Dec 2007
Pakistan Confirms 1st Human Bird-Flu Death VOA 16 Dec 2007
-- Health officials in Pakistan have confirmed the country's first human fatality caused by bird flu.


Pakistan air force fighter aircraft crashes IRNA 15 Dec 2007 -- A fighter aircraft of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed in the country's eastern Punjab province, the PAF said.


Pakistani President lifts emergency IRNA 15 Dec 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf on Saturday lifted the state of emergency, proclaimed by him on November 3, according to a Presidential order.

Pervez Musharraf lifts state of emergency in Pakistan RIA Novosti 15 Dec 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has lifted the state of emergency in the country and restored the Constitution in full, local television said Saturday.

Musharraf Promises Free, Fair Elections after Altering Constitution VOA 15 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf has promised upcoming parliamentary elections will be free and fair after he quashed what he said was a conspiracy among the judiciary against democracy.


Pakistan President Amends Constitution; Prepares To Lift Emergency Rule VOA 14 Dec 2007 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf made last-minute changes to the constitution on Friday, just a day before lifting the six-week-old state of emergency.

Pakistan Opposition Leader Bhutto Leaves Door Open to Compromise VOA 14 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan opposition leader Benazir Bhutto says she remains open to working with President Pervez Musharraf, but only if next month's parliamentary elections are free and fair.


New Poll Finds Pakistanis Want President Musharraf to Quit VOA 13 Dec 2007 -- A new opinion poll indicates more than two-thirds of Pakistanis are angry at the current state of affairs and want President Pervez Musharraf to resign.


Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable cruise missile - media RIA Novosti 11 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan has successfully conducted a test launch of a cruise missile capable of carrying nuclear warheads, national television said on Tuesday.


Sharif's Party Decides to Participate in Pakistan Elections VOA 10 Dec 2007 -- Campaigning for January elections has begun following the decision by the political party of Pakistan's former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to participate


Pakistan's Musharraf Promises Fair Vote; Opposition Boycott Crumbles VOA 09 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's President is again promising that next month's elections will be free and fair, as efforts by opposition parties to present a united front appear to have crumbled.


Pakistan's Army: Most of Swat Valley Cleared of Pro-Taliban Militants VOA 08 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's army says it has cleared almost all pro-Taliban militants from the country's northwestern Swat Valley, after killing nearly 300 militants in recent weeks.


U.S. Lawmaker Questions Approaches To Pakistan, Afghanistan RFE/RL 07 Dec 2007 -- A U.S. congressman who once traveled with mujahedin fighters as they battled Soviet forces in Afghanistan says Pakistan has been exerting a negative influence on stability in the region.

Pakistani Opposition Party Deadlocked Over Electoral Demands VOA 07 Dec 2007 -- Pakistan's two main opposition parties remain deadlocked over a list of demands the government must meet to prevent an election boycott.
Pakistani Police Prevent Ex-PM from Visiting Ousted Chief Justice VOA 06 Dec 2007 -- Pakistani riot police Thursday prevented opposition leader and former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif from meeting the country's ousted chief justice, who is under virtual house arrest.


Pakistani Army Claims Major Gains Against Pro-Taliban Militants in Swat Valley VOA 06 Dec 2007 -- The Pakistani army says its troops have recaptured two militant-held towns in northwestern Swat Valley and destroyed the headquarters of a radical pro-Taliban cleric.


Musharraf to meet opposition demands or face poll boycott RIA Novosti 04 Dec 2007 -- ISLAMABAD, December 4 (RIA Novosti) - Media said on Tuesday opposition leaders are threatening to boycott upcoming parliamentary elections due January 8, if President Pervez Musharraf does not meet their demands.


Former Pakistani PM Bhutto Launches Election Campaign; Still Considering Boycott VOA 01 Dec 2007 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto launched her election campaign Saturday, traveling to Pakistan's northern tribal area to appeal to voters.








Business/Science/Society

Gunman Opens Fire at Omaha Mall (Dec. 5): Robert Hawkins, 19, of Bellevue, Nebraska, kills eight people before turning the gun on himself at the Von Maur department store in the Westroads Mall in Omaha. Five people are also wounded.


Report on Steroids Rocks Professional Baseball (Dec. 13): Document, the result of a thorough, far-reaching investigation led by former U.S. senator George Mitchell, accuses 89 current and former Major League Baseball players of using illegal performance-enhancing drugs. Players include Roger Clemens, Chuck Knoblauch, and Eric Gagne.


U.S. Resists Pressure at Climate Change Conference (Dec. 15): At the end of a two-week conference on climate change in Bali, Indonesia, delegates from 187 countries agree to formulate a follow-up to the Kytoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The U.S. concedes that a new agreement is necessary, but refuses to make a firm commitment to reduce emissions.


EPA Says States Can't Set Own Emissions Standards (Dec. 19): Environmental Protection Agency administrator Stephen Johnson declares that 17 states, including California, do not have the authority to implement their own standards. The states had sought to impose tougher restrictions than those in place under federal law.
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2008




January 2008




World



Hundreds Die in Tribal Violence in Kenya (Jan. 1-4): After incumbent president Mwai Kibaki is declared the winner in the presidential election over opposition candidate Raila Odinga, who had a wide lead in preliminary results, about 50 Kikuyu who sought refuge in a church in Kiambaa die when a mob of mostly Luo burn down the church. Odinga is Luo, and Kibaki is Kikuyu. Nearly 500 people die in fighting across the country. (Jan. 8): Odinga refuses Kibaki's invitation to discuss the political crisis after Kibaki appoints his cabinet, which does not include any members of Odinga's Orange Democratic Party.


Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Baghdad (Jan. 1): In the worst attack in Iraq in months, a suicide bomber kills 30 people at a home where mourners were paying their respects to the family of a man killed in a car bomb.

Pakistani Government Postpones Elections (Jan 1): In the wake of the assassination of former prime minister Benazir Bhutto, parliamentary elections, which were scheduled for Jan. 8, are postponed until February 18.

U.S. Attorney General Opens Investigation into Destroyed Tapes (Jan. 2): Michael Mukasey orders a formal criminal investigation into the destruction in 2005 of CIA videotapes of the interrogation of two al-Qaeda suspects. The tapes, from 2002, reportedly included agency operative using harsh interrogation techniques. Federal prosecutor John Durham is chosen to head the inquiry.

President of Georgia Is Reelected (Jan. 4): Mikhail Saakashvili wins 52.% of the vote over his nearest challenger, Levan Gachechiladze, who tallies 27%. Saakashvili called for early elections in November 2007, after massive protests during which demonstrators accused him of abusing power and stifling dissent.

War Crimes Trial of Former President of Liberia Reopens (Jan. 7): The trial of Charles Taylor, who's charged with crimes against humanity for supporting rebel troops in Sierra Leone's brutal civil war that claimed the lives of about 300,000 people in the 1990s, resumes at the Hague.


Insurgents Kill Several U.S. Soldiers in Iraq (Jan. 9): Six soldiers die in Diyala Province when they enter a home that had been booby-trapped.
U.S. Drops Dozens of Bombs Near Baghdad (Jan. 10): Air attacks, in which about 40,000 pounds of bombs are dropped, target insurgents linked to al-Qaeda in Mesopotamia on the outskirts of southern Baghdad.


Suicide Bomber Targets Police in Pakistan (Jan. 10): Attacker blows himself up outside a courthouse in Lahore, where a rally of opposition lawyers was set to occur. About 25 people, mostly police officers, are killed.


Iraqi Parliament Passes Law to Allow Some Baathists to Resume Jobs (Jan. 12): Measure creates a new committee to determine if lower-level Baathists, former members of Saddam Hussein's party, are eligible to be reinstated to their government jobs. It also will pay pensions to many former Baathists who will not be permitted to return to their positions. Most Baathists lost their posts after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003. If passed by the presidential council, it would be the first major benchmark of political progress reached by the Iraqi government. The law, called the Justice and Accountability Law, was criticized for being vague and confusing, and its many loopholes may exclude more Baathists from government jobs than it allows.


Israeli Strike Kills Several Palestinians in Gaza (Jan. 15): As many as 20 Palestinians, many member of Hamas, die in the attack. The Israeli operation was in retaliation to the firing of Qassasm rockets and mortar bombs into Israeli towns by Palestinian militants. (Jan. 18): Israel closes all border crossings into the Gaza Strip in response to the Palestinian attacks. Aid and fuel shipments are affected by the border closing. (Jan. 22): Facing criticism for shutting off fuel deliveries to Gaza, Israel resumes oil shipments.

Palestinian Militants Break Through Border Fence (Jan. 23): After members of Hamas destroy parts of a wall that separates the Gaza Strip from Egypt, tens of thousands of Palestinians pass into Egypt to buy food and supplies that are either unavailable in Gaza or are exorbitantly priced.


Italy's Government Collapses (Jan. 24): Prime Minister Romano Prodi resigns after losing a no-confidence vote in the senate. He survived one a day earlier in the lower house.


Popular Kenyan Opposition Politician Is Murdered (Jan. 29): Melitus Mugabe Were, a member of Parliament representing the Orange Democratic Movement who has worked to mend the ethnic strife in Kenya and help the poor, is dragged from his car and shot. Members of the opposition said the killing was a political assassination. The ethnic violence that has dragged on for a month since President Mwai Kibaki was narrowly re-elected in a race deemed tainted by international observers, has spun out of control throughout the country. (Jan. 31): A second member of the Orange Democratic Movement, David Kimutai Too, is shot and killed by a police officer. His supporters say his death was a political assassination. The police, however, call it a "crime of passion," saying the police officer who shot Too was upset that Too was traveling with his girlfriend.


U.S. Strike Kills al-Qaeda Leader (Jan. 31): The United States announces that Abu Laith al-Libi, a senion commander of al-Qaeda who recruited and trained operatives, was killed in a missile strike in northwest Pakistan.


Report on Israeli Offensive in Lebanon Finds Failures (Jan. 31): Final report by an Israeli-government-appointed panel, the Winograd Commission, on Israel's 2006 war against the militant group Hezbollah in Lebanon, calls the operation a "large and serious" failure and criticizes the country's leadership for failing to have an exit strategy in place before the invasion. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is spared somewhat, as the commission says that in ordering the invasion, he was acting in "the interest of the state of Israel."





Nation



Suspected US Air Strike Kills Militants in Pakistan VOA 31 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani intelligence officials are blaming a suspected U.S. missile strike for killing up to 13 foreign militants in the country's volatile North Waziristan region this week.

PAKISTAN: Government aims to close more Afghan refugee camps in 2008 IRIN 31 Jan 2008 -- The government of Pakistan is considering provincial plans to close a number of Afghan refugee camps, according to officials.
Kidnapped Pakistani Soldiers Found Dead in Volatile Northwest VOA 30 Jan 2008 -- The Pakistani army says it has recovered the bodies of 13 paramilitary soldiers who were kidnapped by militants near the northwestern city of Peshawar.


Pakistan: Shari'a Courts Spark Fears Of 'Taliban-Like State' On Afghan Border RFE/RL 30 Jan 2008 -- Fearing the creation of a Taliban-like state near the Afghan border, Pakistani rights activists are up in arms over plans to set up a hard-line Islamist judicial system in Pashtun-populated parts of the country's Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP).


Missile strike kills 12 militants in Pakistan's tribal region IRNA 29 Jan 2008 -- A missile strike in Pakistan's tribal region has killed 12 suspected militants, local tribesmen and TV channels reported on Tuesday.

Pakistani Police Battle Militants in Karachi VOA 29 Jan 2008 -- Police in Pakistan's largest city, Karachi, say at least two police officers and two militants have been killed in an intense gunbattle.


Pro-Taliban commander among 66 captured militants in Pakistan RIA Novosti 28 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani troops have captured a pro-Taliban commander among 66 alleged militants in the northern Swat valley during an offensive against followers of a radical cleric, an Afghan news agency said Monday.


Pakistani Forces Retake Control of Key Tunnel in Northwest VOA 27 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani security forces say they have retaken control of a key highway tunnel in the country's Northwest Frontier Province, killing at least 24 militants who had blocked the tunnel since Friday.


Pakistan Tightens Security at Nuclear Facilities VOA 26 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan says it has tightened security around all its nuclear facilities following a surge of militant attacks within its borders.


Pakistan test fires nuclear-capable medium-range missile Hatf-4 IRNA 25 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan on Friday successfully test-fired a medium-range ballistic missile Hatf-4 Shaheen-1 at the conclusion of the army's annual field training exercises, the military said.

Gunmen hijack 3 trucks load of weapons of Pakistani forces IRNA 25 Jan 2008 -- Suspected militants have hijacked three trucks loaded with arms of Pakistani security forces in a tribal region, a senior official said.

Pakistani President, in Britain, Rejects US Offer of Troops VOA 25 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf took his diplomatic offensive to Britain Friday at the start of a four-day visit. Speaking in London, the president quickly rejected any U.S. offer to send combat troops into Pakistan, and he chided the West for not acknowledging Pakistan's efforts to fight terrorism and for judging the country only on western notions of human rights and democracy

Pakistan test fires medium-range ballistic missile RIA Novosti 25 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan conducted on Friday a successful test launch of a medium-range nuclear-capable ballistic missile, national media said, citing military sources.

Pakistani Army Says Up to 30 Militants Killed in Northwest VOA 25 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani military officials say troops have killed up to 30 militants during an operation in the country's northwest tribal region.

Pakistan Tests Nuclear Capable, Medium Range Missile VOA 25 Jan 2008 -- The Pakistani military says it has successfully test-fired a medium-range, nuclear capable ballistic missile.


U.S. ‘Ready, Willing, Able’ to Assist Pakistan, Gates Says AFPS 24 Jan 2008 -- The United States remains “ready, willing and able” to assist Pakistan and partner with the nation as it takes on al Qaeda, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during a Pentagon news conference today.

Defense Chief: US Ready for Military Operations in Pakistan, If Asked VOA 24 Jan 2008 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says the United States is prepared to conduct joint military operations with Pakistani forces, inside Pakistan, to fight increased al-Qaida activity there.

Pakistan Army Says Scores of Islamic Militants Killed, Captured VOA 24 Jan 2008 -- The Pakistani army says it killed 40 Islamic militants and arrested 30 during two days of fighting along its border with Afghanistan.

US Plans More Training of Pakistani Forces Fighting Islamic Militants VOA 24 Jan 2008 -- U.S. defense and military officials say they want to step up the training of Pakistani forces in the country's fight against a growing insurgency.


Pakistan army launches major operation in tribal region IRNA 23 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani army on Wednesday launched a major operation against the local Taliban of Baitullah Mehsood group in the country's South Waziristan tribal region, locals said.

Pakistan Sends Military Reinforcements to Fight Militants in South Waziristan VOA 23 Jan 2008 -- The Pakistani military says it is sending reinforcements to the South Waziristan region on the Afghan border to target a rebel commander accused of involvement in the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


Musharraf Says Al-Qaida and Taliban No Threat to Pakistan VOA 22 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani leader Pervez Musharraf downplayed fears Tuesday that Islamist militants are gaining strength in Pakistan

Pakistan starts mass production of JF-17 fighters - national TV RIA Novosti 22 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan began on Tuesday the mass assembly of a JF-17 fighter at an aircraft-manufacturing plant in the northwest of the country, national television reported.

Top US Military Leader Arrives in Pakistan as Violence Escalates in Tribal Region VOA 22 Jan 2008 -- A top U.S. military commander has arrived in Pakistan for talks, as Pakistani forces continue to battle al-Qaida-linked militants along the Afghan border.


Musharraf Pledges to Hold Free Elections, Honor Results of Next Month's Vote VOA 21 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has opened a four-nation tour of Europe, pledging that his country's legislative elections next month will be free and fair.


Pakistan's Musharraf Seeks European Support RFE/RL 19 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf is due to start a four-nation tour of Europe on Sunday, during which he is expected to seek to bolster his credibility with the West

Pakistan Arrests Teenage Suspect in Bhutto's Assassination VOA 19 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani security officials say they have arrested a teenager allegedly linked to last month's assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.


Pakistan army kills over 90 militants in tribal region: spokesman IRNA 18 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani security forces on Friday killed over 90 militants in two incidents in the country's tribal region, an army statement said.

CIA Blames Islamic Militants for Bhutto's Death; Pakistan Steps Up Security VOA 18 Jan 2008 -- The CIA has blamed al Qaida-linked militants operating in Pakistan's mountainous tribal region for the assassination last month of former Prime Minister and opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.


Suicide Blast at Mosque in Pakistan Kills at Least 9 VOA 17 Jan 2008 -- Authorities in Pakistan say a suicide bomb attack at a Shiite mosque in the northwestern city of Peshawar has left at least nine people dead and many others injured.

Pakistan Militants Abandon Captured Army Fort VOA 17 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani military officials say Islamic militants have abandoned a fort they captured near the Afghan border earlier this week.

Explosion Rocks Shi'ite Mosque in Northern Pakistan VOA 17 Jan 2008 -- At least four people have been killed and 20 wounded in an explosion at a Shi'ite mosque in northwestern Pakistan.


Islamic Militants Capture Military Base in NW Pakistan VOA 16 Jan 2008 -- Islamic militants have captured a remote military outpost in northwest Pakistan near the Afghan border.


US to extend $43 million for Pakistan tribal regions IRNA 15 Jan 2008 -- The United States has extended $43 million for the capacity building program to improve economic and social conditions in Pakistan tribal regions, the U.S embassy said on Tuesday.


Bomb in Southern Pakistan Kills at Least 10 VOA 14 Jan 2008 -- A bomb blast in the southern Pakistani city of Karachi has killed at least 10 people.

PAKISTAN: NGOs worried about "volatile" security situation IRIN 14 Jan 2008 -- Insecurity continues to dominate the concerns of non-governmental organisation (NGO) staff in Pakistan, a country still reeling from last month's assassination of opposition figure Benazir Bhutto.


Pakistani Troops Kill Militants Along Afghan Border VOA 13 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani troops have killed a number of militants in the restive tribal region bordering Afghanistan.


Pakistan says IAEA ElBaradei's misquoted IRNA 12 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan said on Friday that the IAEA has informed the country's Mission in Vienna that the Director General's remarks about nuclear program safety had been quoted out of context.


US Military 'Extremely' Concerned About Al-Qaida Safe Havens in Pakistan VOA 11 Jan 2008 -- The top U.S. military officer says he is extremely concerned about the presence of al-Qaida safe havens in Pakistan.
Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 20 in Pakistan VOA 10 Jan 2008 -- At least 20 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a suicide bomber struck outside a courthouse in the Pakistani city, Lahore.

Pakistan denies U.S troops, intelligence agents operating in tribal areas IRNA 09 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan has said that U.S troops and intelligence agencies are not operating inside its tribal areas and described American media reports as baseless.


Musharraf vows to find Benazir's killers IRNA 08 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf Tuesday said his government is committed to finding those behind the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and bringing the perpetrators of the heinous crime to justice.


British detectives meet Pakistan police in Benazir's murder probe IRNA 06 Jan 2008 -- British investigators on Sunday continued their probe into the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was killed last month in Rawalpindi.

Pakistan Rejects US Plans to Strike Terrorists on its Soil VOA 06 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan says it will not permit the United States to unilaterally hunt terrorists on its soil, despite a common desire to defeat radical Islamist militants.


Bhutto's assassination an attempt to destabilize Pakistan IRNA 05 Jan 2008 -- Visiting Iran's Foreign Minister Manoucher Mottaki while offering condolences over death of former Prime Minister Pakistan Peoples Party Chairperson Benazir Bhutto, said her death was ''an attempt to destabilize Pakistan and derail ongoing democratic process.

Pakistan rejects International Crisis Group's report IRNA 05 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan Friday rejected a report released by International Crisis Group's (ICG), saying it is patently biased and reflects a complete lack of understanding and appreciation of the environment and ground realities in Pakistan.


Musharraf rejects intelligence agencies role Benazir's assassination IRNA 04 Jan 2008 -- President Pervez Musharraf on Thursday rejected the impression that Pakistan's military or intelligence agencies were involved in the assassination of former premier Benazir Bhutto.


PAKISTAN: Country slowly returns to normal IRIN 03 Jan 2008 -- An uneasy calm has returned to Pakistan one week after the assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan Opposition Demands UN Investigation of Bhutto Assassination VOA 03 Jan 2008 -- The party of the slain Pakistani opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, is demanding the United Nations lead the investigation into Ms. Bhutto's assassination.


Analysis: Pakistan's Frayed Politics cfr.org 02 Jan 2008 -- Following former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s assassination on December 27 and the ensuing violence and social unrest, Pakistan’s parliamentary elections have been rescheduled (AFP) for February 18.

Haass: Pakistan Faces ‘Prolonged Difficult Future’ cfr.org 02 Jan 2008
Analysis: U.S.-Pakistan Policy After Bhutto cfr.org 02 Jan 2008 -- The assassination of Pakistan’s former prime minister and iconic opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, and the ensuing violence (NYT) there threatens the stability and the political future of the country.

Pakistan says UK, US, France offer help in Benazir's assassination probe IRNA 02 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan said on Wednesday that a number of countries including the United States, the United Kingdom and France have offered help in the probe.

Pakistan Postpones National Elections RFE/RL 02 Jan 2008 -- The head of Pakistan's Election Commission today announced the postponement of parliamentary elections until February 18, following last week's assassination of opposition leader Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan Accepts Help From Britain to Probe Bhutto Assassination VOA 02 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says a team from Britain's Scotland Yard will assist in an investigation into the death of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Musharraf Calls Bhutto Assassination a 'Great Tragedy' VOA 02 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says a team from Britain's Scotland Yard will assist in an investigation into the death of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto.

Pakistan Elections Delayed Until February 18 VOA 02 Jan 2008 -- Officials in Pakistan say parliamentary elections will be delayed until next month.
Pakistani Troops Kill At Least 25 Militants Near Afghan Border VOA 02 Jan 2008 -- Pakistani officials say troops have killed at least 25 militants in fighting near the border with Afghanistan.


India, Pakistan exchange lists of nuke installations IRNA 01 Jan 2008 -- India and Pakistan on Tuesday exchanged the lists of their installations and facilities, taking forward their 17-year-old confidence building measure in the field.

Pakistan, India exchange lists of nuclear installations IRNA 01 Jan 2008 -- Pakistan and India on Tuesday exchanged lists of their nuclear installations under a special agreement prohibiting them from attacking each other's nuclear facilities, officials said.






Business/Science/Society



Tornadoes Ravage Midsection of the U.S. (Jan. 7-8): A series of winter tornadoes caused by record-breaking temperatures kill at least six people, including two children, destroy houses, and flood roads in Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri, and Wisconsin.

Markets Plunge Around the World (Jan. 21): Responding to fears that the U.S. is headed for an imminent recession, stock markets fall drastically in Frankfurt, Mumbai, Hong Kong, Paris, London, and other major cities in Europe and Asia.

Federal Reserve Slashes Interest Rates (Jan. 22): In response to the plunge in markets around the world, the Federal Reserve bank cuts interest rates by .75%, the largest single-day reduction in the bank's history.
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February 2008



World


Dozens Die in Suicide Bombing (Feb. 1): Nearly 100 people die when two women suicide bombers attack crowded pet markets in eastern Baghdad.

Serbian President Is Reelected (Feb. 3): Incumbent Boris Tadic, a pro-Western leader who favors joining the European Union and closer ties with the U.S., defeats Tomislav Nikolic, of the hardline nationalist Radical Party, in the second round of presidential elections. Tadic takes 50.5% of the vote to Nikolic's 47.7%.

Israel Hit By First Suicide Bomb in Over a Year (Feb. 4): The militant group Hamas claims responsibility for the attack that kills one person in Dimona. A second attacker is shot and killed by police.

U.S. Director of National Intelligence Warns of Al Qaeda Threat (Feb. 5): Mike McConnell tells the Senate Intelligence Committee that al-Qaeda has improved its recruiting and training techniqes and has produced a new group of Western operatives that could carry out an attack in the U.S.
Inquiry Concludes Bhutto Died of a Head Injury (Feb. 7): Scotland Yard investigators report that former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto died of an injury to her skull. They say she hit her head when the force of a suicide bomb tossed her. Bhutto's supporters, however, insist she died of a bullet wound.

Bomb Kills Top Hezbollah Leader (Feb. 12): A top Hezbollah millitary commander, Imad Mugniyah, who is thought to be behind a series of bombings and kidnappings in the 1980s and 1990s, is killed in a car bombing in Damascus, Syria. Mugniyah was one of America's most wanted men with a price tag of $25 million on his head. Hezbollah accuses Israel for arranging his death.

Panamanian Investigators Release Report on Mass Poisoning (Feb. 14): The Panamanian government reports a precise death toll for the 2006 poisoning for the first time. Investigators conclude that at least 174 people were poisoned resulting in 115 deaths. The death toll may be higher, however, since many cases in remote areas of the country were probably not reported.

Kosovo Declares Independence (Feb. 17): Three months after negotiations between the European Union, Russia, and Washington on the future of Kosovo end in stalemate, Kosovo's prime minister Hashim Thaci declares independence from Serbia. Serbian prime minister Vojislav Kostunica says he would never recognize the "false state." International reaction is mixed, with the United States, France, Germany, and Britain indicating that they planned to recognize Kosovo as the world's 195th country. Serbia and Russia, however, call the move a violation of international law. (Feb. 18): The United States and several other nations, including Britain, Germany, and France, recognize Kosovo as a sovereign and independent state.

Dozens Die in Suicide Bombing in Afghanistan (Feb. 17): About 80 people are killed and nearly 100 injured when a suicide bomber attacks at a crowded dogfight near Kandahar. A local police chief Abdul Hakim Jan is among the dead. It is the worst suicide attack since 2001.

Castro Resigns as President of Cuba (Feb. 19): Fidel Castro, who temporarily handed power to his brother Raúl in July 2006 when he fell ill, permanently steps down after 49 years in power. (Feb. 24): Raúl Castro succeeds his brother, Fidel, as president of Cuba. He says that there will be few changes made in governing and that he will consistently consult Fidel when making decisions.

Musharraf Suffers Resounding Defeat in Elections (Feb. 18): President Pervez Musharraf's party, the Pakistan Muslim League-Q, which has been in power for five years, loses most of its seats in Parliamentary elections. The opposition Pakistan People's Party, which was led by former prime minister Benazir Bhutto until her assassination in December 2007 and is now headed by her widow, Asif Ali Zardari, wins 80 of the 242 contested seats. The Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by another former prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, takes 66 seats. Musharraf party's wins 40. His defeat is considered a protest of his attempts to rein in militants, his coziness with President Bush, and his dismissal of Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry. (Feb. 21): The Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N say they will form a coalition government and exclude Musharraf and members of his government.

Dozens of Shiite Pilgrims Are Killed in Suicide Attack (Feb. 24): At least 52 people, who were headed to the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala to celebrate Arbaeen, are killed in the attack at a rest stop. (Feb. 25): In the second day of attacks against Shiite pilgrims, at least four people are killed by suicide bombers.

Kenyan Government and Opposition Reach Power-Sharing Deal (Feb. 28): Agreement, hashed out over protracted negotiations between President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga, creates a prime minister position, which will be filled by Odinga. In addition, cabinet positions will be divided between the two rivals.




Nation


Pakistani Winning Party Meets with Islamists to Build Anti-Musharraf Coalition VOA 29 Feb 2008 -- The party of slain former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto is trying to convince Islamist politicians to build a stronger coalition against Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

US Urges Pakistan's Moderate Political Parties to Work Together VOA 28 Feb 2008 -- The United States is urging the moderate political parties in Pakistan that made significant gains in recent parliamentary elections to work together to form a coalition government.

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN: Most Pakistani refugees return home IRIN 28 Feb 2008 -- Most of the Pakistani families that had fled sectarian violence in Pakistan by seeking refuge across the border in southeastern Afghanistan earlier this year have returned to their homeland.

U.S.: Intelligence Chief Assesses Security Threats From Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan RFE/RL 28 Feb 2008 -- It has been more than six years since U.S. forces entered Afghanistan to battle the Taliban and help establish a stable central government.


Pakistani Military Battling Swat Insurgency Pins Hopes on New Government VOA 26 Feb 2008 -- Last year much of Pakistan's scenic Swat valley had been taken over by a band of Islamic militants.

US Senator: If Afghanistan Fails, Pakistan Could Follow VOA 26 Feb 2008 -- U.S. Democratic Senator Joseph Biden says Washington must focus on securing Afghanistan because if it fails, then neighboring Pakistan could be next.

Pakistani Sharif urges Musharraf to say 'goodbye' IRNA 26 Feb 2008 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif Tuesday urged President Pervez Musharraf to say 'goodbye' to power as the people have given verdict against him.


Suicide Bomb Kills Eight in Pakistan VOA 25 Feb 2008 -- Authorities in Pakistan say that a suicide bomb attack on a military vehicle in the garrison city of Rawalpindi has killed at least eight people, including a senior army general.

Taliban Calls for Peace Talks With New Pakistan Government VOA 24 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan's Taliban militants say they are willing to talk with the parties expected to form the country's new government, but only if military operations against militants and terrorists end in the tribal regions.

Elections Prove Islam, Democracy Are Compatible, Expert Says RFE/RL 23 Feb 2008 -- Fatah had long been considered the political voice of the Palestinians.

Victorious Opposition Looks To Shift Strategy Toward Militants RFE/RL 21 Feb 2008 -- Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, on the United States, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf has been a key ally in the U.S. war on terror.

Pakistan Opposition Leaders Agree to Form New Government VOA 21 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan's two main opposition parties say they have agreed to work together to form a new government after winning general elections Monday.

Analysis: U.S. Scrambles to Remake Pakistan Policy cfr.org 20 Feb 2008 -- The unstinting support Washington has lent to Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf throughout the past year of tumult has led to something of a crisis for U.S. policy toward Pakistan.

Pakistani President Calls for 'Harmonious Coalition' Following Opposition Election Wins VOA 20 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf is calling for a "harmonious coalition" in the new national assembly, which is now dominated by opposition parties.

Pakistan's former ruling party chief defeated IRNA 19 Feb 2008 -- In a major upset, Chief of the former ruling Muslim League (PML-Q) Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain lost his seat to his rival of the Pakistan Peoples Party, according to unofficial results.

Early Returns in Pakistan Election Indicate Big Wins for Opposition Parties VOA 19 Feb 2008 -- Political allies of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf are conceding defeat in Monday's general elections.

Pakistan Opposition Parties Predict Election Wins VOA 18 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan's opposition parties are predicting strong gains in national and provincial elections today.

Pakistan Focuses on Vote Count Following Largely Peaceful Poll VOA 18 Feb 2008 -- Pakistanis are expressing relief that national elections were largely peaceful, but there is tension and skepticism about the vote counting process.


Crucial Elections in Pakistan on Monday VOA 17 Feb 2008 -- Voters in Pakistan will go to the polls Monday in one of the most crucial elections in the nation's history.

Suicide bomb attack kills 37 in Pakistan's tribal region: official IRNA 16 Feb 2008 -- At least 37 people were killed in a suicide car bomb attack near the election office of Pakistan Peoples Party in the country's tribal agency on Saturday, the local official said.

Afghanistan: Analysts Mixed On Pakistani Elections' Impact On Regional Security RFE/RL 16 Feb 2008 -- There are no signs of the Taliban and Al-Qaeda insurgency abating along the Afghan-Pakistani border.

Analysis: A Crucial Vote in Pakistan cfr.org 15 Feb 2008 -- Many have expressed hope that Pakistan’s February 18 parliamentary elections (ElectionGuide.org) will bring political stability to a country torn by militancy, emergency rule, and political upheaval.

PAKISTAN: Schools in Lahore face bomb threats ahead of polls IRIN 15 Feb 2008 -- As uncertainty continues in the run-up to next week's potentially violent elections in Pakistan, a new wave of fear and panic has been created by a series of threats to schools in Lahore, the capital of the Punjab Province.

Pilot killed as Pakistan Air Force fighter plane crashes IRNA 15 Feb 2008 -- A pilot was killed as French-made Mirage fighter plane of the Pakistan Air Force (PAF) crashed near the city of Sargodha in eastern Punjab province on Friday, the PAF said.

Pakistan Prepares for Crucial Elections VOA 15 Feb 2008 -- Voters in Pakistan go to the polls Monday in one of the most crucial elections in the South Asian nation's 60-year history.

PAKISTAN: Apprehension palpable ahead of 18 February elections IRIN 14 Feb 2008 -- With just days to go before the general election, colourful flags and election banners flutter in the winter breeze across towns and cities in Pakistan.

Pakistan's President Promises Free, Fair Elections VOA 14 Feb 2008 -- Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is pledging that next week's parliamentary elections will be free, fair, transparent and peaceful.

Pakistani Police Announce Breakthrough in Bhutto Assassination Probe VOA 13 Feb 2008 -- Pakistani police investigating the murder of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto say two suspects in custody have confessed to helping the suicide bomber who carried out the attack.

Pakistan test-fires short range nuclear-capable missile IRNA 13 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan on Wednesday conducted test of a short-range nuclear-capable missile during military exercises, the army said.

PAKISTAN: Gearing up for another Afghan repatriation drive IRIN 13 Feb 2008 -- As the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) gears up for another Afghan repatriation drive, it is clear that fewer Afghans could return home from Pakistan this year because of continuing insecurity in Afghanistan and the fact that there will be no special UN assistance for unregistered refugees as in 2007.

Pakistan army says top Taliban commander arrested IRNA 12 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan army said on Monday that the security forces have arrested top Taliban commander Mulla Mansoor Dadullah.

Pakistan Nuclear Officials Kidnapped, Ambassador to Afghanistan Missing VOA 12 Feb 2008 -- Police officials in Pakistan say two nuclear energy officials have been kidnapped in the northwest near the border with Afghanistan.

Pakistan Deploys Troops Prior to Elections VOA 12 Feb 2008 -- Tens of thousands of troops are fanning out across Pakistan in an effort to improve security before next week's parliamentary elections.

Pakistani Officials Arrest Top Afghan Taliban Commander VOA 11 Feb 2008 -- A former top Taliban commander was critically wounded and captured by Pakistani security forces Monday after a shootout near the border with Afghanistan.

Top US Military Officer Visits Pakistan's Northwest VOA 10 Feb 2008 -- The top U.S. military officer met with Pakistani military commanders in the North West Frontier Province Sunday.

US Military Chief: Terrorists Threat to US, Pakistan VOA 09 Feb 2008 -- U.S. Navy Admiral Mike Mullen, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says militants linked to the Taliban and al-Qaida have found safe haven in Pakistan and represent a threat to both the United States and Pakistan
Pakistan Denies US Claims of Bin Laden, Mullah Omar Whereabouts VOA 09 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan is dismissing an assertion by a U.S. official that the leaders of al-Qaida and the Taliban are operating out of that country's remote tribal areas.

Suicide Bombing in Pakistan Leaves At Least 20 Dead VOA 09 Feb 2008 -- Authorities in Pakistan say a suicide bomb attack at an election rally in northwestern Pakistan has killed at least 20 people.

Scotland Yard Says Suicide Bomb Blast Killed Bhutto, Not Bullet VOA 08 Feb 2008 -- British investigators from Scotland Yard have concluded that former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was killed as the result of a suicide bomb blast and not an assassin's bullet.

Pakistan Finally Understands Terror Danger, Gates Says AFPS 07 Feb 2008 -- Pakistan only recently has realized that terrorists on its border with Afghanistan pose a significant threat, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates said during a news conference here today.

Mullen to Discuss Security Issues During Pakistan Visit AFPS 07 Feb 2008 -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff departed for Pakistan today to discuss security issues with Pakistani military officials, a senior U.S. military officer told Pentagon reporters here.

Pakistani Taliban declares ceasefire IRNA 07 Feb 2008 -- Pakistani Taliban on Wednesday announced to suspend attacks against security forces in the tribal region of Waziristan and the Swat valley in northwest, a purported Taliban spokesman said.

Backgrounder: Pakistan’s New Generation of Terrorists cfr.org 06 Feb 2008
Tellis:
Pakistan’s Mixed Record on Anti-Terrorism cfr.org 06 Feb 2008
PAKISTAN: Barbecued chicken still popular despite bird flu scare IRIN 07 Feb 2008 -- As chicken meat slowly cooks over a smoke-belching barbeque at one of Karachi’s popular and crowded barbecue eateries, it is clear neither the owner nor its customers seem that worried about the most recent bird flu scare.

Senators Seek Analysis of U.S. Aid to Pakistan AFPS 06 Feb 2008 -- The Senate Armed Services Committee today requested a report on the effectiveness of U.S.-funded Pakistani operations against an insurgency spreading along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

Taliban, Al-Qaida Threaten Pakistan VOA 06 Feb 2008 -- Military and political analysts in Pakistan are expressing growing concern that al-Qaida and Taliban-linked insurgents are now emerging from their traditional strongholds along the border with Afghanistan and are becoming a serious threat to the entire country.

Suicide Bomber Kills at Least 6 in Pakistan VOA 04 Feb 2008 -- A suicide bomber in the Pakistani city of Rawalpindi has rammed his motorcycle into a bus carrying military personnel, killing at least 6 people and wounding at least 25 others.

PAKISTAN: Authorities begin taking action on bird-flu IRIN 04 Feb 2008 -- The avian flu epidemic that has swept across parts of neighbouring India has led Pakistan's Health Ministry to begin putting in place a number of preventative measures.




Business/Science/Society


Economy Loses Jobs for the First Time in 52 Months (Feb. 1): Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that 17,000 jobs were eliminated in January. The figures increase fears of an imminent recession.

Microsoft Makes Hostile Bid for Yahoo (Feb. 1): In a move to challenge Google's dominance of search and advertising on the internet, software giant Microsoft offers to buy Yahoo for $44.6 billion.

Tornadoes Kill Dozens in the South (Feb. 5): At least 55 people are killed and hundreds more injured after violent tornadoes rip through Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Tennessee.

New Module Added to the International Space Station (Feb. 9): The Atlantis delivers the Columbus science laboratory, a $2 billion module that will double the station’s zero-gravity research capacity, and Europe’s most recent contribution to the ISS.

Four Art Masterpieces Stolen (Feb. 10): Three men wearing ski masks steal four pieces of artwork from the Zurich Museum in one of the largest art robberies in history. In broad daylight, the robbers took a Cezanne, a Degas, a van Gogh, and a Monet, with a combined worth of $163 million. (Feb. 18): Two of the paintings, the Monet and the van Gogh, are found in perfect condition in the backseat of an unlocked car in Zurich.

Writers' Strike Ends (Feb. 12): A tentative three-year deal with production companies is approved, ending the three-month Writers' Guild of America strike that began on Nov. 5, 2007, and cost the entertainment industry over $2 billion.

General Motors Suffers Profit Loss (Feb. 12): GM reports a $722 million fourth-quarter loss in 2007 compared to a $920 million profit in the fourth-quarter of 2006. For the whole of 2007, GM lost $38.7 billion, the largest loss in history for an automaker.

Wheat Prices Rise (Feb. 13): Due to drought and high demand from abroad, the U.S. wheat supply is the lowest it's been in 30 years. Stockpiles in 2008 are predicted to fall to 312 million bushels from 456 million bushels in 2007.

Gunman Kills Six Students in Illinois (Feb. 14): Gunman kills six students and then himself and wounds 15 more when he opens fire on a classroom at Northern Illinois University. The gunman, Stephen P. Kazmierczak, was as a former graduate student at the university.

Missile Shoots Down Satellite (Feb. 20): A U.S. missile interceptor, launched from a Navy ship, strikes down a dying satellite 130 miles over the Pacific Ocean. The satellite contained 1,000 pounds of frozen toxic fuel that could have been deadly had it landed on its own in a populated area.
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March 2008




World

Colombian Forces Kill Rebel Leader in Ecuador (March 1): Colombian troops cross into Ecuadorean territory and kill FARC's Raúl Reyes and 23 other rebels. In response, Venezuela and Ecuador break off diplomatic relations with Colombia and send troops to the Colombian border.

Fighting Between Israel and Hamas Continues (March 2): More than 100 Palestinians are killed in five days as members of Hamas and the Israeli military trade rocket fire. The violence intensifies after Hamas begins to launch longer-range rockets at Israel and as the fighting enters the West Bank. In response to the mounting civilian deaths, Palestinian prime minister Mahmoud Abbas suspends peace talks with Israel.

Putin's Choice for President Is Easily Elected (March 2): As expected, Dmitri A. Medvedev, a former aide to Russian president Vladimir Putin who has never held elected office, wins the presidential election in a landslide. Putin will remain in a position of power, serving as Medvedev's prime minister.

Security Council Imposes Third Round of Sanctions on Iran (March 3): Resolution, the third since December 2006, punishing Iran for refusing to stop uranium enrichment allows inspections of cargo leaving and entering Iran that officials suspect is carrying banned materials, expands monitoring of financial institutions, and bans the travel and freezes the assets of people and businesses involved in Iran's nuclear program.

Eight Students Killed at Jerusalem Seminary (March 6): A Palestinian gunman from East Jerusalem fires hundreds of rounds of automatic weapons fire at the Mercaz Harav yeshiva in Jerusalem, killing eight students. The attack is the most deadly on Israeli citizens in two years.

Pakistani Leaders Agree to Limit Musharraf's Power (March 9): The two political parties that dominated February's parliamentary elections, the Pakistan People's Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-N, agree that once the new Parliament is seated, they will reinstate the Supreme Court justices Musharraf ousted in late 2007 and pass legislation voiding the law that Musharraf passed legalizing the firings. The Supreme Court, once reinstated, could reverse the ruling that legitimized Musharraf's controversial reelection as president when he was still the military chief.

China Cracks Down on Protests by Monks in Tibet (March 10): Some 400 Buddhist monks participate in a protest march in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, to commemorate the failed uprising of 1959, that resulted in the Dalai Lama fleeing to India. (March 14): The protests, the largest in two decades, turn violent, with ethnic Tibetans reportedly attacking Chinese citizens and vandalizing public and private property. Chinese police use force to suppress the demonstrations. Tibetan leaders say that more than 100 Tibetans are killed, but Chinese officials say there are only 16 fatalities and deny that police had used lethal force. The demonstrations and violence spill into Gansu, Qinghai, and Sichuan Provinces in western China. Chinese officials accuse the Dalai Lama of masterminding the protests, a charge the spiritual leader denies.

Body of Iraqi Archbishop Is Found (March 13): Paulos Faraj Rahho, who led Mosul's Chaldean Catholic Church, had been kidnapped in February. His remains were recovered in Mosul.

Bush Acknowledges Toll of War on Anniversary of War (March 19): On the fifth anniversary of the U.S.-led war in Iraq, President Bush insists that the outcome will be worth the sacrifice, yet he admits the cost of war had exceeded expectations in money and loss of life. "Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it," he said. "The answers are clear to me. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight that America can and must win."

Taiwan Elects New President (March 22): Ma Ying-jeou, of the Nationalist Party, prevails over Frank Hsieh, of the Democratic Progressive Party, 58.4% to 41.6%. Ma favors closer ties to mainland China.

Pakistan Leader Nominates a Prime Minister (March 22): Asif Ali Zardari, leader of the Pakistan People's Party, selects Yousaf Raza Gilani, who served as speaker of Parliament in the 1990s under Benazir Bhutto, as prime minister. (March 24): On the same day that Parliament approves Gilani as prime minister, Gilani releases the Supreme Court justices that President Pervez Musharraf ousted and detained in late 2007. (March 31): Musharraf swears in the new cabinet, which is comprised of his political opponents.
U.S. Suffers 4,000th Death in Iraq (March 23): A roadside bomb in Baghdad kills four U.S. soldiers, bringing the death toll of American troops to 4,000. President Bush said of the losses, "I have vowed in the past, and I will vow so long as I'm president, to make sure that those lives were not lost in vain, that, in fact, there is an outcome that will merit the sacrifice."

Iraqi Troops Attack Militants in Basra (March 25): About 30,000 Iraqi troops and police, with air support from the U.S. and British military, attempt to oust Shiite militias, primarily the Mahdi Army led by radical cleric Moktada al-Sadr, that control Basra and its lucrative ports in southern Iraq. Sadr declared a cease-fire in August 2007, but has allowed his forces to fight in self defense. (March 29): The Mahdi Army maintains control over much of Basra, despite the assault by Iraqi troops. The operation, ordered by Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, is criticized for being poorly planned and executed. (March 31): After negotiations with Iraqi officials, Moktada al-Sadr orders his militia to end military action in exchange for amnesty for his supporters, the release from prison of his followers who have not been convicted of crimes, and the government's help in returning to their homes Sadrists who fled fighting. The compromise is seen as a defeat to Maliki.

Zimbabwe Votes in Presidential Election (March 29): President Robert Mugabe, who has been in power since 1980, faces his toughest challenge yet from Morgan Tsvangirai, of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change. Zimbabwe has been in economic collapse since 1980, with an inflation rate of more than 100,000%.



Nation


Analysis: A Balancing Act in Pakistan cfr.org 31 Mar 2008 -- The new government in Islamabad has wasted little time making clear its disapproval of Washington’s policy toward Pakistan and its strategy on counterterrorism.

Pakistan's 24-member central cabinet sworn in IRNA 31 Mar 2008 -- A 24-member Pakistani cabinet was sworn-in on Monday, which marks the completion of the transfer of power to the new government after the February 18 parliamentary elections.

Pakistan names Shaha Mehmood Qureshi as new Foreign Minister IRNA 31 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan on Monday named Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi as the country's new foreign minister.

CIA Chief Says Al-Qaida Found Safe Haven in Pakistan VOA 30 Mar 2008 -- The head of the US Central Intelligence Agency says al-Qaida has established a safe haven in the tribal areas near the border between Pakistan and Afghanistan, and that it presents a "clear and present danger" to the West.

Pakistan: With Confidence, New Prime Minister Vows To Fight Terrorism RFE/RL 29 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's parliament has given incoming Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani its unanimous backing, in a vote of confidence
Top US diplomat told govt to hold dialogue with local militants IRNA 28 Mar 2008 -- A Pakistani political leader told the visiting top US diplomat on Friday that the incoming government of North West frontier province will hold dialogue with the local militants to establish peace in the province.

Possible Pakistan Policy Shift Worries US VOA 27 Mar 2008 -- A newspaper report published Thursday says the United States has stepped up its unilateral air strikes on al-Qaida fighters holed up in Pakistan's rugged tribal areas.

US Envoy says US Not Interested in Dictating Pakistan's Policies VOA 27 Mar 2008 -- Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte has dismissed suggestions the United States is trying to dictate anti-terrorism policy to Pakistan's new government.

Musharraf's Future in Hands of New Pakistani Government VOA 26 Mar 2008 -- The advent of a new elected civilian government in Pakistan effectively ends the military rule of Pervez Musharraf. However, Mr. Musharraf still remains president, at least for now.

Pakistani PM Advocates Political Approach to US War on Terror VOA 26 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's new prime minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani, has told President Bush he wants a broader approach to fighting terrorism in Pakistan.
Pakistan to pursue a comprehensive strategy to counter terrorism: President IRNA 26 Mar 2008 -- The US Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte called on President Pervez Musharraf at the Aiwan-e-Sadr here Tuesday.
Pakistan new Prime Minister sworn in IRNA 25 Mar 2008 -- Makhdoom Syed Yousaf Raza Gillani was sworn in as Pakistan's new Prime Minister on Tuesday.

Musharraf renews support to new Prime Minister IRNA 25 Mar 2008 -- President Pervez Musharraf Tuesday renewed his support to the new government shortly after he administered oath to the new Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani.

Pakistan to chalk out new anti-terror policy: spokesman IRNA 25 Mar 2008 -- The Interior Ministry would spell out its action plan for maintaining law and order and to curb the menace of terrorism under the policy guidelines of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani, the spokesman said on Tuesday.

Bhutto's widower acquitted in murder case IRNA 25 Mar 2008 -- A court in the Pakistani southern port city of Karachi on Monday acquitted widower of slain leader Benazir Bhutto in a murder case of a judge and his son.

Top American Envoys Meet Pakistani Officials as New Prime Minister is Installed VOA 25 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's president has sworn in a political enemy as prime minister. Meanwhile, two top U.S. State Department officials arrived in the country and held talks with the embattled president and the new government leaders.

Pakistan's Deposed Judges Freed From House Arrest VOA 24 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's deposed chief justice and other ousted high court judges have been freed from house arrest.

Pakistan's Parliament Picks PPP's Gilani as Prime Minister VOA 24 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's National Assembly has elected as prime minister a long-time opponent of President Pervez Musharraf.

Bhutto party nominate Pakistan's next Prime Minister: spokesman IRNA 23 Mar 2008 -- The party of assassinated leader Benazir Bhutto on Saturday nominated Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani candidate to become Pakistan's next prime minister, the party Co-Chairman Asif Ali Zardari announced.

Pakistani opposition party withdraws candidate for PM slot IRNA 23 Mar 2008 -- The lone candidate fielded by the pro-Musharraf's opposition parties for the office of the Prime Minister announced Saturday that he is withdrawing in the favor of the candidate of the would-be coalition government.

Pakistan: President Pledges Support To New Government RFE/RL 23 Mar 2008 -- President Pervez Musharraf says that a "democratic era" has begun in Pakistan and that the incoming government will enjoy his "full support," even as the opposition named a candidate to lead a coalition government united against him.

Musharraf Praises 'New Era of Democracy' for Pakistan VOA 23 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's president says his country, is ushering in a new era of democracy following years of his autocratic rule.

Pakistan Poised to See Veteran Politician as Next Prime Minister VOA 22 Mar 2008 -- The Pakistan Peoples Party has selected as its candidate for prime minister the veteran politician Yousuf Raza Gilani.

Pakistan tests indigenously developed unmanned aerial vehicle: army IRNA 21 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan on Thursday successfully conducted a test flight of its indigenously developed Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the army said.
Security Forces Cooperate Along Afghanistan-Pakistan Border AFPS 19 Mar 2008 -- As part of their ongoing effort to enhance communication and cooperation, Afghan and Pakistani border security forces at Torkham Gate met Feb. 28 with the 173rd Airborne Brigade’s Special Troops Battalion commander to address security and communication issues and the upcoming opening of the Khyber Border Coordination Center.

AFGHANISTAN-PAKISTAN: Afghans reluctant to leave Jalozai refugee camp IRIN 20 Mar 2008 -- Afghans in Jalozai refugee camp, Pakistan’s largest refugee camp, are reluctant to leave, despite a deadline to vacate coming up in less than a month.

Pakistan's Parliament Elects First Female Speaker VOA 19 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan has seen its first significant transfer of power since last month's nationwide elections.

PAKISTAN: Violent attacks now focusing on new targets? IRIN 17 Mar 2008 -- Militants behind a recent wave of suicide and bomb attacks on Pakistani security forces appear to have changed tactics this weekend: Aid workers and/or foreigners could be the new targets.

Pakistan's Parliament Convenes VOA 17 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan's parliament has convened in Islamabad, but nothing significant is expected to happen until later this month when a new government is installed.

Missiles strike kills 16 in Pakistan's tribal region IRNA 16 Mar 2008 -- At least 16 people were killed when missiles hit a residential compound in Pakistan's tribal region near the Afghan border, local tribesmen and eye witnesses said.

Missile Strike in Pakistan Destroys Suspected Militant Hideout VOA 16 Mar 2008 -- A missile strike against a suspected militant hideout in a Pakistan tribal region bordering Afghanistan on Sunday is said to have killed at least 18 people.

Pakistan gets six more fighter planes IRNA 15 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan Air Force (PAF) has recently received six additional Joint Fighter-17 (JF-17) Thunder from China, a PAF statement said on Friday.

Bomb in Islamabad Kills One, Injures Eleven Others VOA 15 Mar 2008 -- A bomb explosion at a restaurant in the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, killed a foreign woman and wounded at least 11 others, including American nationals, on Saturday night.

Legal Barriers Removed for Bhutto Widower to Hold Office in Pakistan VOA 14 Mar 2008 -- The husband of the late former Pakistani Prime Minister, Benazir Bhutto, has cleared another hurdle that could help him catapult his way into the job once held by his late wife.

South Asia: Pakistani Appointee Vows To Do Good By Afghanistan RFE/RL 12 Mar 2008 -- The Pakistani government's selection to serve as chief minister for restive western tribal areas has stressed the need to "restore peace and security" in the Pashtun-dominated area and foster good relations with neighboring Afghanistan.

Pakistan's Interior Ministry confirms 24 deaths in twin suicide attacks IRNA 11 Mar 2008 -- The Interior Ministry on Tuesday said that 24 people were killed in the twin suicide attacks in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore.
Deadly Twin Car Bombings Hit Lahore, Pakistan VOA 11 Mar 2008 -- Two bomb blasts have rocked Pakistan's second-largest city, killing at least 24 people and injuring 200 others.

Pakistan's top nuclear scientist discharged from hospital IRNA 09 Mar 2008 -- Founder of Pakistan's nuclear program Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is suffering from cancer, was on Sunday discharged from a hospital where he was admitted few days ago due to low blood pressure and fever, a cabinet minister said.

Pakistani Opposition Parties Form Coalition Government VOA 09 Mar 2008 -- Two rival opposition political parties in Pakistan have agreed to form a governing coalition after emerging on top in last month's national election.

Musharraf vows to support new government IRNA 07 Mar 2008 -- President Pervez Musharraf Friday announced that he would support the new government and hoped that the new set up will continue his economic policies as well as fight against extremism and terrorism.

Musharraf Promises to Back New Pakistan Coalition VOA 07 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan, in the midst of an attempt to form a new government, will see the parliament convened within two weeks. President Pervez Musharraf says he will call the national and provincial assemblies together and he is pledging to support the new government that will be formed by lawmakers.

Analysis: Uncertain Times for U.S.-Pakistan Military Ties cfr.org 06 Mar 2008 -- The U.S. military appears to be redoubling its efforts to cooperate with Pakistani troops and crack down on terrorist groups in the country’s tribal areas.

Backgrounder: Pakistan’s Constitution cfr.org 06 Mar 2008
Mullen Talks Training, Supply With Senior Pakistani Leaders AFPS 06 Mar 2008 -- The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff continued U.S. engagement with Pakistan, a crucial ally in the war on terror, during March 4 meetings here with military leaders and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf.

Military Contacts Focus on Pakistan Counterinsurgency Needs AFPS 06 Mar 2008 -- Pakistan is a key ally in the war on terror, and its cooperation with NATO and U.S. forces in Afghanistan is crucial to progress in that country, according to senior U.S. embassy officials here, speaking on background.
Pakistan nuclear scientist shifted to hospital on infection problem IRNA 05 Mar 2008 -- Founder of Pakistan's nuclear program Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, who is suffering from cancer, was taken to hospital on Wednesday after his health was deteriorated, the army said.

Suicide Bomber Attacks Pakistan's Naval War College VOA 04 Mar 2008 -- A suicide bomb attack on one of Pakistan's premier military academies has killed at least five people and wounded 19 others

Mullen Arrives in Pakistan for Military Talks AFPS 03 Mar 2008 -- Navy Adm. Mike Mullen arrived here today for his second set of meetings with Pakistani military leaders in a month.

Suicide Blast at Pakistani Tribal Security Meeting Kills 35 VOA 02 Mar 2008 -- Officials in northwest Pakistan say a suicide bomber killed at least 35 people and wounded scores more in an attack on a meeting of tribal elders



Business/Science/Society

New York Governor Admits Involvement in Prostitution Ring (March 10): Eliot Spitzer, the former attorney general of New York who prosecuted a prostitution ring in Staten Island and was a crusader against white-collar crime, is pressured to resign after the New York Times reports that he was caught on a federal wiretap arranging to meet a prostitute in a Washington hotel. (March 12): Spitzer announces his resignation as governor of New York. Lt. Gov. David A. Paterson will replace him. (March 17): David Paterson, the former lieutenant governor of New York, is sworn in as governor, replacing Spitzer.

EPA Modifies Smog Standards (March 12): The Environmental Protection Agency tightens the smog standards, which are stated in average concentrations of ozone at ground level over an eight-hour period. The new standard is reduced to 75 from the current 84.

Government Intervenes to Avert Financial Crises (March 11): Federal Reserves outlines a $200 billion loan program that lets the country's biggest banks borrow Treasury securities at discount rates and post mortgage-backed securities as collateral. (March 13): The White House announces a plan to ease credit crisis. It includes provisions that require states to tighten rules for mortgage brokers and calls on lenders to make full disclosure of payment terms to buyers. Critics say the plan is too weak to have much effect. (March 16): The Federal Reserve approves a $30 billion loan to JPMorgan Chase so it can take over Bear Stearns, which is on the verge of collapse. The Fed had hoped the acquisition would avert a financial panic. Bear Stearns sells for one-tenth of its market price. (March 18): The Federal Reserve cuts short-term interest rates by three-quarters of a percentage point.

Several Are Killed in Crane Collapse (March 15): Seven people die and dozens are wounded when a construction crane collapses in Manhattan and destroys a town house and damages other buildings.
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April 2008


World

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.




Nation


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.



Business/Science/Society


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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May 2008


World

U.S. Missile Kills Top Militia Leader in Somalia (May 1): American officials say Aden Hashi Ayro, the leader of Shabab, an Islamic militant group with ties to al-Qaeda, was killed in a missile attack. U.S. intelligence officers had been tracking him for several weeks.

Pakistan Leaders Agree to Reinstate Judges (May 2): Former prime minister Nawaz Sharif announces that on May 12, 2008, the Supreme Court justices who were dismissed in November 2007 by President Pervez Musharraf will resume their positions. (May 12): The agreement falls apart when the junior member of the governing coalition, the Pakistan Muslim League-N, led by former prime minister Nawaz Sharif, says it is withdrawing from the cabinet because the senior coalition partner, the Pakistan People's Party, insists on retaining the judges who replaced those who were dismissed. In addition, the two parties disagree on how to reinstate the justices. Sharif wants the judges immediately reinstated by executive order; Asif Ali Zardari, the leader of the Pakistan People's Party prefers it be done through Parliament, a process that may be protracted.

Zimbabwe Announces Presidential Election Results (May 2): More than a month after the election, officials announce that opposition candidate Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the Movement for Democratic Change, defeated President Robert Mugabe, 47.9% to 43.2%. A runoff election is necessary because neither candidate won more than 50%. (May 16): The election commission sets a runoff between Tsvangirai and Mugabe for June 27.
New President of Russia Is Sworn In (May 7): Dmitri Medvedev succeeds Vladimir Putin as the president of Russia. Although he's a Putin loyalist, Medvedev is said to be moderate and pro-Western. (May 8): Parliament elects Putin, head of the United Russia party, as prime minister.


New Prime Minister of Ireland Is Elected (May 7): The Dáil, Ireland's parliament, votes 88 to 76, to elect former finance minister Brian Cowen as prime minister.


Hezbollah and Government Supporters Battle in Beirut (May 7): Members of Hezbollah, a Shiite militia backed by Iran, block city streets to support a labor union strike and fight with supporters of the pro-Western government in Lebanon. (May 9): Hezbollah takes control of large swaths of western Beirut, force a government-supported television station off the air, and burn the offices of a newspaper loyal to the government. The government accuses Hezbollah of staging an "armed coup." The fighting is mainly sectarian, with Shiites fighting against Sunnis. (May 14): In an attempt to end the violence and the threat of a civil war, the government rescinds plans to shut down a telecommunications network run by Hezbollah and backs off attempts to dismiss a Hezbollah-backed head of airport security. In return, Hezbollah agrees to dismantle roadblocks that have paralyzed Beirut's airport. The decisions are seen as a major victory for Hezbollah. (May 21): After several days of negotiations, Hezbollah and the government reach a deal that ends the violence in Beirut and calls on Parliament to move toward electing Gen. Michel Suleiman, the commander of Lebanon’s army, president; for the formation of a new cabinet, which gives Hezbollah and other members of the opposition veto power; and a discussion of a new electoral law. (May 25): Lebanon's Parliament elects Gen. Michel Suleiman as president, filling the position that had been vacant since November. Suleiman, the consensus candidate, is considered neutral.


North Korea Discloses Information on Plutonium Program (May 8): North Korea gives U.S. officials about 18,000 pages of documents detailing its efforts in 1990, 2003, and 2005 to reprocess plutonium for nuclear weapons. It does not, however, hand over information on its uranium program and its efforts to sell nuclear material.


State Department Renews Deal with Controversial Contractor (May 9): Blackwater Worldwide, the company whose guards killed 17 civilians in 2007, will continue to provide security for U.S. diplomats for another year. "We cannot operate without private security firms in Iraq," says Patrick Kennedy, an undersecretary of state.

Sudanese Rebels Attempt to Attack Capital (May 10): In an unusually bold move, about 3,000 members of the Justice and Equality Movement move to within a few miles of Khartoum before being repulsed by government troops. It was the first time that the conflict in Darfur has threatened to spill over into Khartoum.


Iraqi Government and Shiite Militia Reach Cease-Fire (May 10): Government and militia led by Moktada al-Sadr agree to end the fighting in the Sadr City area of Baghdad. As part of the deal, the government will assume control over Sadr City and the rebels who didn't actively participate in the battles, which killed hundreds of people, will avoid arrest. Iran helped to broker the truce. The cease-fire, however, fails to stem the violence in Sadr City. (May 20): Iraqi troops move into Sadr City, meeting very little resistance from the Mahdi Army.


Israel and Syria Announce Peace Talks (May 21): For the first time in eight years, Israel and Syria return to t the bargaining table to try to negotiate a peace deal. Syria hopes to regain control over the Golan Heights, which was taken by Israel in 1967, and Israel wants to distance Iran from Syria and diminish some sway Iran holds in the Middle East.


Nepal Nears Final Transition Away from Monarchy (May 28): The newly elected Constituent Assemby votes to dissolve the monarchy and form a republic. King Gyanendra is told he must step down within 15 days.



Nation


Jalali: Qadeer Khan's confession a clear-cut victory for Iran IRNA 31 May 2008 -- Member of Majlis National Security and Foreign Policy Commission Kazem Jalali said here Saturday that recent confessions by Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan is regarded as a clear victory for Iranian nation.

Pakistan's Khan Now Denies Selling Nuclear Weapons Technology VOA 29 May 2008 -- The founder of Pakistan's nuclear program has broken a long silence, following four years under house arrest for selling banned nuclear technology.

Doubts Surround Pakistan's Peace Talks with Taliban Groups VOA 29 May 2008 -- Pakistan's attempts in 2006 to strike peace deals with pro-Taliban groups were widely viewed as failures that allowed the militants to grow stronger.

Musharraf makes mind to quit: report IRNA 29 May 2008 -- President Pervez Musharraf has made mind to quit as he has no other option left with him, local media reported Thursday.

Pakistan to contribute to UN Darfur peacekeeping, says army IRNA 29 May 2008 -- Pakistan will contribute troops in the United Nations Darfur peacekeepers, the army said Thursday.

Pakistani Islamists Demand Release of Nuclear Scientist VOA 28 May 2008 -- Pakistani Islamists are calling for the release of a scientist regarded as the father of Pakistan's atomic bomb, on the 10th anniversary of the country's first nuclear tests.

Pakistan's Sharif Says Government to Expel Musharraf VOA 28 May 2008 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says the ruling coalition has agreed to remove President Pervez Musharraf from power.

PAKISTAN: Child soldiers in Swat Valley IRIN 26 May 2008 -- Authorities are investigating allegations that militants running some madrassas (Islamic schools) in Swat Valley, north-western Pakistan, are recruiting and training children as soldiers.

Pakistani Taliban Vows Attacks in Afghanistan, Seek Peace in Pakistan VOA 24 May 2008 -- Pakistan's top Taliban commander is vowing to continue fighting U.S. and NATO forces in neighboring Afghanistan, even if he signs a peace deal with the Pakistani government.

Analysis: Pakistan's Other Border cfr.org 23 May 2008 -- South Asia's nuclear-armed neighbors India and Pakistan resumed peace talks May 20 amid reminders of how vulnerable the two nations are to terrorism.

Pakistan and local Taliban sign peace deal IRNA 22 May 2008 -- Pakistani government in the country's northwest and local Taliban on Wednesday signed agreement, under which Taliban will stop suicide attacks and the army will be gradually withdrawn from the Swat valley, a provincial minister said.

U.S., Pakistani Forces Complete ‘Inspired Union 2008’ AFPS 22 May 2008 -- Pakistani and U.S. naval forces completed Exercise Inspired Union 2008 in the North Arabian Sea yesterday.

Is a Pakistan Truce Good for the United States? cfr.org 21 May 2008
Pakistan
: Reports Hint At Possible Prisoner Swap With Militants RFE/RL 21 May 2008 -- The Pakistani government has denied local reports claiming that the release of Islamabad's kidnapped ambassador to Afghanistan was part of an exchange for Taliban prisoners.

Pakistan Strikes Deal with Militants in Troubled Swat Province VOA 21 May 2008 -- Pakistani government representatives and a spokesman for a pro-Taliban militant group say they have struck a peace deal aimed at ending months of fighting in the restive Swat valley.

India to Raise Infiltration, Terrorism in Bilateral Talks with Pakistan VOA 19 May 2008 -- The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan are meeting in Islamabad on Wednesday, May 21, for the fourth round of the so-called composite dialogue process.

Pakistan's Sharif Says Resolving Judiciary Key to Addressing Problems VOA 19 May 2008 -- Pakistan's fragile coalition government has made little progress on the key issue that swept them to power in February's elections: reinstating judges who were thrown out of office by President Musharraf last November.

Bush, Pakistan's Gilani Discuss Fighting Terrorism VOA 18 May 2008 -- U.S. President George Bush and Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani say they are determined to continue fighting terrorism.

NATO: Pakistan's Deal With Militants Spurring Violence in Afghanistan VOA 14 May 2008 -- NATO officials say a sharp rise in violence in eastern Afghanistan may be linked to Pakistan's peace deal with militants in the border area.

Pakistan's Zardari Tries to Ease Concerns About Fragile Coalition VOA 14 May 2008 -- The leader of Pakistan's main ruling party says he is optimistic the country's six-week-old governing coalition will remain intact despite the Cabinet resignations of a key coalition partner.

Refugees can resume returning to Afghanistan from Pakistan – UN UN News Centre 13 May 2008 -- After security concerns prompted the United Nations to suspend assistance to Afghan refugees who are voluntarily returning to their home country from Peshawar in Pakistan, the UN refugee agency announced today that it will reopen its voluntary repatriation centre (VRC) in the city.

Pakistan: Islamabad Plunged Into Political Crisis After Nine Ministers Resign RFE/RL 13 May 2008 -- Pakistan is in the midst of a political crisis after nine ministers from the party of former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif resigned from the cabinet because of a disagreement over reinstating sacked judges.

Pakistan's PM Optimistic About Mending Government Rift VOA 13 May 2008 -- Pakistan's new prime minister says he hopes the two main political parties in Pakistan will resolve their differences over how to reinstate judges deposed by President Pervez Musharraf.

Pakistan Coalition Government Shaken by Impasse Over Reinstatement of Judges VOA 12 May 2008 -- The second largest party in Pakistan's ruling political coalition is vowing to quit its federal cabinet posts, threatening the stability of the six-week-old coalition government.

Pakistani Party Quitting Coalition Government VOA 12 May 2008 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says his party is withdrawing from the federal Cabinet because the two leading parties have failed to reach agreement on re-instating deposed judges.

Pakistan Coalition Leaders Fail to Reach Agreement on Reinstating Fired Judges VOA 10 May 2008 -- The leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition have again failed to reach agreement on reinstating the country's top judges who were deposed by President Pervez Musharraf last year.

Pakistan FM Criticizes Proposed US Defense Appointment VOA 09 May 2008 -- Pakistan's foreign minister has rejected the proposed appointment of the former U.S. commander of the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba as the top defense liaison to Pakistan.

Experts Voice Concerns About US Approach on Pakistan, Afghanistan VOA 08 May 2008 -- Experts appearing before a congressional panel have voiced concerns about U.S. policies toward Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Pakistan: U.S. Urges Islamabad To Fight Terrorists As Fragile Peace Collapses RFE/RL 08 May 2008 -- After a two month lull in the violence that has plagued Pakistan's border regions, Islamist militants appear to have resumed the violence when a recent suicide-bomb attack in the northwestern city of Bannu killed five.

US Official Says Terror Safe-Havens in Pakistan Remain a Challenge VOA 07 May 2008 -- A top counterterrorism official says the United States has had a mixed record of success in the fight against al-Qaida terrorists.

Pakistan's Sharif Says Deposed Judges to be Reinstated May 12 VOA 02 May 2008 -- Former Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif says judges dismissed during a state of emergency last year will be reinstated through a parliamentary resolution on May 12.

Deal Reached To Restore Deposed Judges in Pakistan VOA 01 May 2008 -- Leaders of Pakistan's ruling coalition have reached a deal to reinstate judges fired by President Pervez Musharraf under a state of emergency.

Suicide Bomber Wounds 30 in Northwestern Pakistan VOA 01 May 2008 -- Pakistani officials say a suicide bomber has wounded at least 30 people in the northwestern Khyber tribal region



Business/Science/Society

Storms Cause Wide Damage and Death in Arkansas (May 2): At least seven people are killed, more than a dozen are injured, and about 350 homes and businesses are badly damaged or destroyed in tornadoes and storms in Arkansas.

Microsoft Withdraws Bid for Yahoo (May 3): After Yahoo rejects Microsoft's offer of $33 per share, or about $47.5 billion, up from $29.40 a share, Microsoft chief executive Steve Ballmer announces the company has rescinded its offer.

Cyclone Devastates Myanmar (May 3): Cyclone Nargis ravages the Irrawaddy Delta and Yangon, killing 78,000 people and leaving up to a million homeless. About 28,000 people are reported missing and are feared dead. Most of the death and destruction are caused by a 12-foot high tidal wave that formed during the storm. (May 10): The ruling military junta goes ahead with a constitutional referendum intended to cement its grip on power.


Tornadoes Strike in Midwest and South (May 11): More than 20 people die and hundreds more are injured when tornadoes hit Missouri, Oklahoma, and Georgia. Racine, a town about 170 miles south of Kansas City, Missouri saw the most damage, leaving about 9,000 people without electricity for over three days.


Earthquake Kills Thousands in China (May 12): At least 68,000 people are killed and thousands injured when a 7.9 magnitude earthquake strikes Sichuan, Gansu, and Yunnan Provinces in western China. Nearly 900 students are killed when Juyuan Middle School in the Sichuan Province collapses. Several other schools collapse, killing about 10,000 students. It is China's worst natural disaster in three decades. (May 19): Nearly 160 rescue workers are killed in landslides caused by rain and floods. (May 27): Authorities begin evacuating residents who are threatened by the potential flooding of "quake lakes," which formed when landslides blocked several rivers. As many as 1.3 million people may have to be relocated.


Polar Bear Designated as Threatened (May 14): Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne announces that the polar bear has been listed as threatened, thus protected by the Endangered Species Act. The Interior Department includes provisions, however, that allow oil exploration to continue in the Arctic, somewhat watering down the protection.
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June 2008


World


U.S. Casualties in Iraq Reach Lowest Point (June 1): The U.S. military announces that fatalities in Iraq in May dropped to 19, the lowest level since the war began in 2003.

Sept. 11 Suspects Are Arraigned (June 5): Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who has claimed to have organized the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S., and four others involved in the planning, face a tribunal for the first time at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. All five defendants say they will defend themselves.

Turkey's Highest Court Rules Against Head Scarves (June 5): The Constitutional Court overturns a measure passed by Parliament in February and endorsed by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, which allowed women to wear headscarves at universities, saying it violates secularist principles inherent in the country's constitution.

Massive Turnout in South Korea to Protest Beef Imports (June 10): As many as several hundred thousand people demonstrate in the streets of Seoul against the government's decision to resume imports of American beef, which was banned in 2003 after mad cow disease was diagnosed in the U.S. The protests, which have taken place in Seoul for about six weeks and peaked on June 10, imply overall dissatisfaction with President Lee, who promised to boost the flagging economy and reach out to the United States. Prime Minister Han Seung-soo and all 15 cabinet members submit their resignations. (June 21): The U.S. and South Korea reach an accord that says the U.S. will not export beef from cattle more than 30 months old. (June 22): Facing continued public pressure, the government says it will put the accord on hold.

U.S. Attack Kills Several Pakistani Soldiers (June 10): U.S. soldiers launch an air strike aimed at Taliban militants who had crossed the border from Pakistan into Afghanistan and fired on American-led troops. Eleven members of a Pakistani paramilitary force die, angering Pakistani officials and increasing tension between the U.S. and Pakistan.

Ireland Votes Against European Union Treaty (June 13): Dissent by Ireland, the only country in the 27-member EU that put the Lisbon Treaty to a popular vote, jeopardizes the future of the pact that would have strengthened the EU’s influence in global politics.

Taliban Masterminds Brazen Jailbreak (June 13): Fighters attack guards outside a prison in Kandahar and then launch a rocket-propelled grenade at a fuel tanker parked outside the prison. The blast kills several guards and opens a hole in the prison wall. About 900 inmates escape, including 350 members of the Taliban.

Bombings Kill Dozens in Iraq (June 17): At least 60 people are killed and about 75 are wounded when an explosive-laden minibus explodes at a bus terminal near a crowded market in a Shiite district of Baghdad. The blast causes an apartment building to burst into flames. (June 18): The U.S. military attributes the bombing to a Shiite militia leader, Haydar Mehdi Khadum al-Fawadi, saying he orchestrated the bombing to incite sectarian violence between Sunnis and Shiites. (June 26): At least 30 people are killed in two separate attacks in Anbar Province and the city of Mosul. The suicide bombing in Anbar occurred at a meeting of the Awakening Council, an alliance of moderate Sunnis who support the U.S.

Israel and Hamas Sign a Truce (June 19): Egypt brokers a cease-fire between Israel and Hamas, the militant group that controls the Gaza Strip. The agreement is intended to quell the violence in the region.

Opposition Leader Drops Out of Runoff in Zimbabwe (June 22): Morgan Tsvangirai, of the Movement for Democracy and Change, who was to face incumbent president Robert Mugabe in a June 27 runoff election, withdraws from the race, saying he could not subject his supporters to violence and intimidation. He also says he refused to take part in "this violent, illegitimate sham of an election process." Tsvangirai had been detained by police several times in the past weeks and 85 supporters of his party have been killed in government-backed violence against the opposition. (June 27): Voters go to the polls to cast ballots in an election widely called a sham. Mugabe wins with about 85% of the vote. (June 28): President Bush urges the UN to impose an international arms embargo against Zimbabwe and announces that the U.S. will punish Mugabe with economic sanctions. "The international community has condemned the Mugabe regime's ruthless campaign of politically motivated violence and intimidation," Bush says.

North Korea Takes Steps Toward Denuclearization (June 26): Officials hand over to China a list of its nuclear facilities as well as information on the amount of reprocessed plutonium in its possession. In exchange, the U.S. removes North Korea from its list of countries that sponsor terrorism and lifts some sanctions against the country. (June 27): North Korea destroys a cooling tower at its main reactor in Yongbyon.

U.S. Army Faults Itself in Report on Post-Hussein Iraq (June 30): In 700-page study called "On Point II: Transition to the New Campaign," the Army says that while it was capable of toppling Saddam Hussein, it was not equipped to rebuild Iraq into a functional country.



National


Pakistan Faces Domestic, International Pressure Over Militants VOA 30 Jun 2008 -- The Pakistani army operation against pro-Taliban militant groups has raised questions about the government's motives and intentions.

Pakistan Takes Steps to End Militant Threat on Afghan Border VOA 29 Jun 2008 -- Afghan and NATO officials say insecurity has increased in Afghanistan in recent months, citing peace deals neighboring Pakistan has signed with Taliban militants on its side of the border.

Pakistan Launches Military Operation Against Taliban RFE/RL 28 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani forces have launched a military operation against Taliban militants near the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Pakistan Army Moves Against Pro-Taliban Militants VOA 28 Jun 2008 -- Security forces in Pakistan have begun an operation against pro-Taliban militants in a tribal region bordering Afghanistan and serving as a major route for trade and supplies to U.S-led foreign forces based there

Pakistan Denies Involvement in Karzai Attack VOA 26 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan has rejected as baseless and irresponsible Afghan allegations that its spy agency was behind a recent assassination attempt on President Hamid Karzai
Gates Calls for Better Security on Pakistan-Afghanistan Border, Welcomes

Pakistani Initiative VOA 26 Jun 2008 -- U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has expressed concern about the continuing ease with which insurgents based in Pakistan are able to cross into Afghanistan, and welcomed the plan the Pakistani government announced Wednesday to try to change the situation

Gates Welcomes Pakistan’s Pledge to Reassert Pressure at Afghan Border AFPS 26 Jun 2008 -- Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates today praised a pledge by Pakistani officials to renew pressure along its northwestern border, where militants responsible for violence in eastern Afghanistan have taken refuge.

Afghanistan: Kabul Accuses Pakistani Spies Of Attack On Karzai RFE/RL 26 Jun 2008 -- Tensions between Afghanistan and Pakistan have been rising for months. Now, they have hit a new peak

Pakistan says foreign militants present in tribal regions IRNA 26 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan has said that there are indications about presence of foreigners in the tribal regions and foreign hand in exploiting the situation there.

Pakistan-Tribal Areas-Operation Military operation in tribal areas last option, says PM IRNA 26 Jun 2008 -- A high level meeting was held here Wednesday chaired by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani to review war against terrorism and restoration of law and order in NWFP.

Pakistan, India to share information to prevent terrorist acts IRNA 25 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan and Indian anti-terror experts on Tuesday agreed to assist in investigations through exchange of specific information and for preventing violence and terrorist acts, officials said.

Pakistani Taliban kill over 20 pro-govt tribal elders IRNA 25 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani Taliban have shot dead over 20 tribal elders of peace committee in the restive South Waziristan tribal region, witnesses said Wednesday.

General Cites Work to Improve Communications With Pakistan AFPS 24 Jun 2008 -- Senior U.S. and Pakistani military officials are working hard to improve communications and collaboration between their organizations, especially with regard to operations along the 450-mile-long Afghanistan-Pakistan border, a senior U.S. officer posted in Afghanistan said today.

Pakistan, India open anti-terror talks IRNA 24 Jun 2008 -- Senior officials from Pakistan and India opened talks here on Tuesday to review joint mechanism against terrorism, the Foreign Ministry said.

NATO targets Afghan border after coming under fire from Pakistan IRNA 22 Jun 2008 -- NATO forces launched artillery strikes across the Afghan border at attackers who fired at them from Pakistan.

Afghanistan: Five Civilians Reported Killed In Cross-Border Attacks From Pakistan RFE/RL 22 Jun 2008 -- Afghan officials and the international coalition have reported four cross-border attacks on June 21 in which five civilians were killed

Afghanistan: Legality Of 'Hot Pursuit' Into Pakistan Debated RFE/RL 22 Jun 2008 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai's threat to send troops after Taliban militants in neighboring Pakistan has kindled debate about cross-border military incursions and international law.

Pakistan Reports New Bird Flu Outbreak VOA 22 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani authorities have reported a new outbreak of bird flu at a poultry farm in the country's northwest.

Afghanistan: Karzai's Retaliation Threat Inflames Relations With Pakistan RFE/RL 17 Jun 2008 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai has pleaded for years with Islamabad to stop Taliban fighters based in Pakistan's tribal regions from launching attacks in Afghanistan.

Pakistan installs satellite monitoring system on Afghan border: official IRNA 17 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan has installed satellite monitoring system on its border with Afghanistan, in Islamabad, the chief of the country's interior ministry said Tuesday.

RIA Novosti 17 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan's nuclear arsenal poses a greater threat to security in the region than Iran's uranium enrichment, due to the volatile political situation in the country, a Russian expert said on Tuesday.
Afghan President's Comments Highlight Frustration in Kabul and Islamabad VOA 16 Jun 2008 -- Afghanistan's president has threatened to send troops after Taliban militants who take sanctuary in neighboring Pakistan. Analysts say the threat is somewhat hollow

Pakistan Summons Afghan Envoy to Protest Karzai's Military Threat VOA 16 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan has summoned Afghanistan's ambassador to formally protest Afghan President Hamid Karzai's threat to send troops into Pakistan to fight Taliban militants.

Afghanistan: Karzai Threatens Retaliation Against Taliban In Pakistan RFE/RL 15 Jun 2008 -- Afghan President Hamid Karzai said today that Kabul reserves the right to strike Taliban insurgents on Pakistani soil as a form of self-defense against cross-border attacks

Afghan President Threatens Raids into Pakistan VOA 15 Jun 2008 -- Afghanistan's President Hamid Karzai has threatened to send troops into neighboring Pakistan to fight militants that have been launching cross-border attacks in his country

US-Pakistan Relationship Strained by Terror Issue VOA 13 Jun 2008 -- Relations between the United States and Pakistan have hit some bumpy spots over efforts to curb terrorist acts by Islamic extremists

Condoleezza Rice regrets killing of Pakistani soldiers in US air raids IRNA 13 Jun 2008 -- U.S Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Friday expressed regret over the killing of 11 Pakistani soldiers in air raids by American planes, the Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan's MP condemns US bombing in tribal region IRNA 13 Jun 2008 -- Former Pakistani Interior Minister and member of the National Assembly Aftab Ahmad Khan Sherpao has strongly condemned the bombing by US-Led forces in the tribal region, calling it a brutal act against the security and sovereignty of Pakistan.

Pakistan FM raises U.S sir strike with NATO secretary general IRNA 13 Jun 2008 -- Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi Thursday raised the issue of U.S air strike in the Pakistani tribal region, which killed 11 soldiers, with NATO secretary general, the Foreign Office said.

US Releases Video of Clash Along Pakistan-Afghan Border VOA 12 Jun 2008 -- The U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has released video footage of a disputed air strike that Islamabad says resulted in the deaths of 11 Pakistani soldiers.

US aircraft bomb areas in Pakistan's Waziristan tribal region IRNA 12 Jun 2008 -- The U.S aircraft have again violated Pakistan's air space and launched another air strike in the country's South Waziristan tribal region, witnesses in the region said Thursday.

Pakistan: Relations With U.S. In Crisis After Clash Across Afghan Border RFE/RL 12 Jun 2008 -- Relations between U.S. and Pakistani military forces are in crisis after clashes and a U.S. air strike that hit a Pakistani border post and killed 11 Pakistani soldiers.

Air Strike in Pakistan ‘Legitimate, Self-Defense,’ Pentagon Official Says AFPS 11 Jun 2008 -- Defense Department officials called a U.S. air strike yesterday in Pakistan near the Afghanistan border “legitimate” and “self-defense,” and said they are investigating the attack with Pakistani officials.

Pentagon Defends Deadly Air Strike on Afghan-Pak Border VOA 11 Jun 2008 -- The Pentagon is defending a deadly air strike on the Pakistan-Afghan border that killed 11 Pakistani soldiers and drew strong protests from the government in Islamabad

U.S. airstrike kills 13 Pakistani border guards RIA Novosti 11 Jun 2008 -- At least 13 Pakistani border guards have been killed in a U.S. airstrike, Afghanistan's Bakhtar news agency has said.

Pakistan Says Coalition Airstrike Kills 11 Troops at Border Checkpoint VOA 11 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan says an airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition in Afghanistan has killed 11 Pakistani security forces at a checkpoint near the Afghan border
Pakistani PM Gilani condemns U.S-led coalition attack IRNA 11 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani Prime Minister on Wednesday condemned air strike on its border check post by the coalition forces in Afghanistan, which resulted into the killing of 11 soldiers.

Pakistani Prime Minister on Wednesday condemned air strike on its border check post by the coalition forces in Afghanistan, which resulted into the killing of 11 soldiers. IRNA 11 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan on Wednesday strongly condemned air strike on its border check post by the coalition forces in Afghanistan, which resulted into the killing of 11 soldiers, the Foreign Ministry said.

Pakistan busts network of suicide bombers: officials IRNA 10 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani security agencies have busted a local network of suicide bombers and frustrated a big terrorist attack, chief of the country's interior ministry said on Tuesday.

Pakistan freezes defence budget, says prime minister IRNA 10 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani Prime Minister Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani announced on Monday that the government has decided to freeze the defence budget as a measure of Pakistan's tangible display to seek peace with neighbours.

Pakistan-Taliban deal Pakistani provincial govt. says deal with Taliban intact IRNA 10 Jun 2008 -- Provincial government in Pakistan's northwest Monday said that a peace deal with the local Taliban in Swat valley has not ended.
Pakistan scraps peace deal with militants: advisor IRNA 09 Jun 2008 -- The Pakistani government has scrapped a peace deal with the militants in the country's northwest as the militants have continued their attacks, the Interior Advisor said Monday.

Pakistani Lawyers Prepare Cross-Country March for Ousted Judges VOA 09 Jun 2008 -- Thousands of lawyers gathered in the southern Pakistan city of Karachi to begin a cross-country march demanding the return of senior judges sacked by President Musharraf last November

Pakistan's Musharraf Denies Resignation Rumors VOA 07 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf is denying rumors that he is planning to resign following weeks of criticism from his opponents, some of whom have vowed to impeach him

Pakistani Police Foil Bomb Plot Near Capital City VOA 06 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani police say they have foiled a planned bomb attack involving three alleged suicide bombers, three vehicles and hundreds of kilograms of explosives
Pakistan FM Defends Taliban Peace Talks on Eve of Afghan Trip VOA 05 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan's foreign minister says government peace deals with pro-Taliban militants are aimed at establishing a "peaceful coexistence" with the groups

Pakistan: At Least Six Killed In Car Bombing Outside Danish Embassy RFE/RL 02 Jun 2008 -- A suicide attacker detonated a car bomb in front of the Danish Embassy in Islamabad, killing at least six people and injuring more than a dozen.

Blast Kills at Least 8 Near Danish Embassy in Pakistan VOA 02 Jun 2008 -- A large car bomb blast outside the Danish embassy in Pakistan's capital has killed at least 8 people and wounded dozens of others

Pakistan's ex-PM Nawaz Sharif can contest election: Commission IRNA01 Jun 2008 -- Pakistan's Election Commission on Sunday allowed former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to contest a seat in Parliament, the Commission said.
Pakistan steps ahead to scrap presidential power: minister IRNA01 Jun 2008 -- Pakistani government Sunday stepped ahead to introduce wide-ranging amendments in the Constitution to scrap powers of the president in dissolving the parliament and appointing services chiefs, the law minister said.



Business/Science/Society


California Governor Declares a Drought (June 4): With reservoir levels well below average and the state experiencing its driest spring in 88 years, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger officially declares that California is in a drought and warns of potential rationing. It is the first such declaration in 17 years.
Unemployment Rate Spikes (June 6): The U.S. Department of Labor reports that the jobless rate increases from 5% to 5.5%, the biggest monthly increase in 22 years.

Several Die in Midwest Floods (June 9): Severe flooding from storms cause already swollen rivers and lakes in Iowa, Indiana, and Wisconsin to flood, killing 10 people, breaking three dams, and forcing thousands to evacuate their homes. In addition, at least 90 roads are closed.

Boy Scouts Are Killed by Tornado (June 11): Four Boy Scouts die and another 48 are injured when a tornado tears through the Little Sioux Scout Ranch in western Iowa. The tornado also touches down in Kansas, killing two people.
Hundreds Are Killed by Typhoon in the Philippines (June 21): More than 800 people die when a ferry is struck by Typhoon Fengshen. About 500 other people die during the storm.

Gates Ends Day-to-Day Work at Microsoft (June 27): Bill Gates remains chairman of the software giant, but he will no longer work at the company full time. Instead, he will devote more time to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
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