Category: News

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 In Kosovo, it’s ‘Independence Eve’

By WILLIAM J. KOLE, Associated Press Writer

18 minutes ago

PRISTINA, Serbia – Tiny Kosovo – poor, mostly Muslim but feverishly pro-Western – braced itself Saturday for a historic declaration of independence from Serbia, a decade after a war that killed 10,000 people and years of limbo under U.N. rule.

The province’s bold bid for statehood, expected Sunday, and its quest for international recognition set up an ominous showdown with Serbia and Russia. Moscow contends the move will set a dangerous precedent for secessionist groups worldwide.

Revelers took to the streets in giddy anticipation. Prime Minister Hashim Thaci – a former leader of the guerrilla Kosovo Liberation Army – marked the eve of the new nation’s birth by visiting a village where Serbian troops massacred ethnic Albanians in 1998.

The Morning News

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Iraqi threatens to disband parliament

By QASSIM ABDUL-ZAHRA, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 56 minutes ago

BAGHDAD – The speaker of Iraq’s fragmented parliament threatened Tuesday to disband the legislature, saying it is so riddled with distrust it appears unable to adopt the budget or agree on a law setting a date for provincial elections.

Disbanding parliament would prompt new elections within 60 days and further undermine Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s shaky government, which is limping along with nearly half of the 40 Cabinet posts vacant.

The disarray undermines the purpose of last year’s U.S. troop “surge” – to bring down violence enough to allow the Iraqi government and parliament to focus on measures to reconcile differences among minority Sunnis and Kurds and the majority Shiites. Violence is down dramatically, but political progress languishes.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

1 East Timor president wounded in attack

By GUIDO GOULART, Associated Press Writer

13 minutes ago

DILI, East Timor – Rebel soldiers shot and wounded East Timor President Jose Ramos-Horta and opened fire on the prime minister Monday as part of a failed coup in the recently independent nation, officials said.

Ramos-Horta, a Nobel Peace laureate, was injured in the stomach but in stable condition, while Prime Minister Xanana Gusmao escaped the attack on his motorcade unhurt.

Army spokesman Maj. Domingos da Camara said notorious rebel leader Alfredo Reinado was killed in the attack against the home of Ramos-Horta, while one of the president’s guards also died.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Gates in Iraq amid an explosion of violence

by Daphne Benoit, AFP

50 minutes ago

BAGHDAD (AFP) – US Defence Secretary Robert Gates arrived in Baghdad on Sunday on a surprise visit amid an explosion of violence across Iraq which officials said killed at least 35 Iraqis and 10 insurgents.

Gates, on his seventh trip to Iraq, was to meet the head of the US armed forces in the country, General David Petraeus, to discuss a possible drawdown of American troops, and top Iraqi leaders.

“I will obviously be interested in hearing General Petraeus about his evaluation, where he stands and what more work he feels he needs to do before he is ready to come back with his recommendations,” he told reporters travelling with him on the plane from Germany to Iraq.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Suicide blast at Pakistan rally kills 20

By RIAZ KHAN, Associated Press Writer

1 hour, 5 minutes ago

PESHAWAR, Pakistan – A suicide bomber struck an election rally in volatile northwest Pakistan Saturday, killing at least 20 people and wounding more than 45, officials said.

In southern Pakistan, the campaign for Feb. 18 parliamentary elections moved back onto the streets with Benazir Bhutto’s widowed husband urging about 100,000 supporters to help him “save” the country. It was the first major campaign rally by the opposition leader’s party since her December assassination.

In the capital Islamabad, riot police used water cannons and tear gas against hundreds of lawyers protesting the detention of the deposed chief justice.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Chad rebels say they seized eastern town

By MICHELLE FAUL, Associated Press Writer

34 minutes ago

NAIROBI, Kenya – Chadian rebels said they had seized an eastern town in an area housing more than 400,000 refugees along the border with Sudan’s war-ravaged Darfur region, but the government said Sunday it had repelled the attack.

Rebel spokesman Abderaman Koulamallah said he had no other information because he had been fighting all day in N’Djamena, the capital of the former French colony in Central Africa, where rebels were battling for a second day to oust President Idriss Deby.

“We defeated the garrison there and took Adre at around 4 p.m.,” Koulamallah said.

But Chad’s Gen. Mahamat Ali Abdallah Nassour said government forces fought off the attack, and claimed that Sudanese troops were involved.

Weekend News Digest

Okay, campers, rise and shine, and don’t forget your booties ’cause it’s cooooold out there today.

Groundhog predicts more winter weather

Associated Press

Sat Feb 2, 8:57 AM ET

PUNXSUTAWNEY, Pa. – Brace yourself for more wintry weather. Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow Saturday, leading the groundhog to forecast six more weeks of winter.

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

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1 Chad rebels seize capital after heavy fighting: military source

by Francesco Fontemaggi, AFP

16 minutes ago

NDJAMENA (AFP) – Rebels seized Chad’s capital Ndjamena on Saturday after intense fighting with government forces, military and rebel sources said, as President Idriss Deby Itno remained holed up in the presidential palace.

“The whole of the city is in the hands of the rebels. It’s down to mopping-up operations,” according to the military source.

Chadian rebel spokesman Abakar Tollimi said the president could leave his palace, if he so wishes, but later added that there were plans to attack the presidential residence.

The Morning News

The Morning News is an Open Thread

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1 US troops reductions in Iraq may slow

By ROBERT BURNS, AP Military Writer

1 hour, 22 minutes ago

WASHINGTON – The Bush administration is sending strong signals that U.S. troop reductions in Iraq will slow or stop altogether this summer, a move that would jeopardize hopes of relieving strain on the Army and Marine Corps and revive debate over an open-ended U.S. commitment in Iraq.

The indications of a likely slowdown reflect concern by U.S. commanders that the improvement in security in Iraq since June – to a degree few had predicted when President Bush ordered five more Army brigades to Iraq a year ago – is tenuous and could be reversed if the extra troops come out too soon.

One of those extra brigades left in December and the other four are due to come out by July, leaving 15 brigades, or roughly 130,000 to 135,000 troops – the same number as before Bush sent the reinforcements.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Indonesia’s ex-dictator Suharto dies

By ANTHONY DEUTSCH, Associated Press Writer

22 minutes ago

JAKARTA, Indonesia – Former Indonesian President Suharto, a Cold War ally of the United States whose brutal military regime killed hundreds of thousands of left-wing political opponents, died Sunday. He was 86.

Although he oversaw some of the worst bloodshed of the 20th century, Suharto is credited with developing the economy and will be buried with the highest state honors Monday at the family mausoleum.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and others from the country’s political elite prayed over his body. Yudhoyono declared a week of national mourning and called on Indonesians “to pay their last respects to one of Indonesia’s best sons.”

Docudharma Times Sunday January 27

This is an Open Thread: There is no time limit

Sunday’s Headlines: At Florida Polls, Touch Screens and Crossed Fingers: Pundits in early rush to judge Bush’s legacy: Dozens die in Kenyan riots: A rough guide to Hebron: The world’s strangest guided tour highlights the abuse of Palestinians: Margaret Thatcher told navy to raid Swedish coast: Top agents in secret trip to Pakistan

Obama Wins South Carolina Primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. – Senator Barack Obama won a commanding victory over Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton in the South Carolina Democratic primary on Saturday, drawing a wide majority of black support and one-quarter of white voters in a contest that sets the stage for a multistate fight for the party’s presidential nomination.

In a bitter campaign here infused with discussions of race, Mr. Obama’s convincing victory puts him on equal footing with Mrs. Clinton – with two wins each in early-voting states – and gives him fresh momentum as the contest plunges into a nationwide battle over the next 10 days.

Weekend News Digest

Weekend News Digest is an Open Thread

From Yahoo News Top Stories

1 Police question French bank trader

By PIERRE-ANTOINE SOUCHARD, Associated Press Writer

1 minute ago

PARIS – The French trader accused of one of the biggest bank frauds ever surfaced Saturday – in the custody of police, who were questioning him about bad bets that cost France’s No. 2 bank billions of euros in a season of jittery markets.

Financial police in Paris were questioning Jerome Kerviel in a probe into Societe Generale’s allegation against the 31-year-old trader, judicial officials said. They were speaking on condition of anonymity because the investigation is continuing.

Kerviel has kept a low profile since the bank said Thursday that Kerviel’s unauthorized trades caused it losses of euro4.9 billion (US$7.14 billion). His picture made the front page of newspapers around the world, and journalists staked out his apartment and those of his family members for days, but they did not catch him on camera – prompting rumors he had fled the country.

Docudharma Times Saturday January 26

This is an Open Thread: No Hiding Under a Rock Here.

Saturday’s Headlines: Senators Push to Expand Stimulus: Huckabee’s book deal after Jonesboro tragedy still rankles: A Clash of Views On Whale-Loving: Gazans foil Egyptian moves to close border: Kenya’s Olympic hopefuls forced to choose between training and survival

U.S. Race Captures World’s Eye, and Holds It

DAVOS, Switzerland – To look at the reams of coverage in newspapers outside the United States or to follow the hours of television news broadcasts, you might conclude that foreigners had a vote in selecting an American presidential candidate – or, at least, deserved one, so great is America’s influence on their lives.

From Berlin to London to Jakarta, the destinies of Democratic and Republican contenders in Iowa or New Hampshire, or Nevada or South Carolina, have become news in a way that most political commentators cannot recall. It is as if outsiders are pining for change in America as much as some American presidential candidates are promising it.

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