Category: News

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1 Pakistan bombings kill 18 as spy agency hit

by Lehaz Ali, AFP

Fri Nov 13, 8:36 am ET

PESHAWAR, Pakistan (AFP) – A powerful suicide car bomb ripped through the Peshawar headquarters of Pakistan’s top spy agency Friday, killing at least 10 people and leaving much of the fortified building in ruins.

A similar bombing killed eight people in another northwest town, the latest in a spate of attacks as 30,000 troops press their most ambitious assault yet against Taliban militants in their mountain strongholds on the Afghan border.

The attack devastated the three-storey Inter Services Intelligence (ISI) provincial headquarters in the northwestern city of Peshawar, sending huge clouds of smoke spewing into the sky and destroying more than half of the building.

Afternoon Edition

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1 US Afghan envoy warns against troop surge: reports

by Laurent Lozano, AFP

2 hrs 33 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – The US envoy to Afghanistan has warned against a troop surge for the country as President Barack Obama heads to Asia, weighing strategy options in the eight-year conflict, reports said Thursday.

The Washington Post and The New York Times reported that Ambassador Karl Eikenberry, a retired army general who commanded US forces in Afghanistan from 2005-2007, detailed his concerns in classified cables last week.

Eikenberry also expressed worries about the behavior of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, who was re-elected to a five year term in August polls tainted by widespread fraud, the Post said.

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1 World remembers sacrifice of WWI lost generation

by Rory Mulholland, AFP

2 hrs 45 mins ago

PARIS (AFP) – Former foes France and Germany held a joint World War I Armistice Day ceremony for the first time as events around the globe Wednesday honoured the millions killed in the conflict.

In London, Queen Elizabeth II led tributes to the war dead, including the growing number of soldiers killed in Afghanistan. But the last British veteran of the 1914-18 conflict boycotted official events.

President Nicolas Sarkozy and Chancellor Angela Merkel rekindled the flame on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and vowed that their nations would never wage war on each other again.

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1 Kerry vows US climate outline for Copenhagen

by Shaun Tandon, AFP

Tue Nov 10, 9:03 pm ET

WASHINGTON (AFP) – Senator John Kerry has pledged to complete a framework of an elusive US climate change deal in time for next month’s high-stakes summit in Copenhagen, vowing not to let the world down.

President Barack Obama’s election returned the United States to active global efforts to fight climate change, but a year later Congress has yet to make good on promises to set the first-ever US caps on carbon emissions.

After a lobbying mission in the US Capitol by UN chief Ban Ki-moon, Kerry said Tuesday the Senate, while unlikely to complete legislation, would give US negotiators an outline before the December 7-18 talks in the Danish capital.

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1 Suicide car bomb kills 32 in Pakistan market: officials

by Lehaz Ali, AFP

2 hrs 15 mins ago

CHARSADDA, Pakistan (AFP) – A suicide car bomb tore through a crowded shopping street in Pakistan on Tuesday, killing 32 people in the third militant attack to strike the nuclear-armed country in as many days.

The bomber blew up his vehicle in the heart of the northwest town of Charsadda on a road lined with fruit and juice shops, ripping off shop roofs and littering the ground with slippers, human flesh and broken push carts.

The United States has put Pakistan on the frontline of its war against Al-Qaeda and has been increasingly disturbed by deteriorating security in the country where attacks and bombings have killed about 2,500 people in 28 months.

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1 Huge crowds mark fall of Berlin Wall

by Deborah Cole, AFP

1 hr 8 mins ago

BERLIN (AFP) – Tens of thousands thronged the route of the Berlin Wall on Monday for emotional celebrations to mark 20 years since its fall, but Chancellor Angela Merkel said Germany still bears the scars of division.

World leaders joined huge crowds recalling the defining moment of the end of communist rule in Europe, when the embattled East German state finally opened the despised concrete border on November 9, 1989. Facts about the Wall

Merkel, who grew up in the communist state, attended a “very moving” memorial service at a church where pro-democracy rallies were held in the weeks before the end of the communist regime.

Weekend News Digest

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1 Wall anniversary celebrations kick off in Berlin

by Deborah Cole, AFP

Sun Nov 8, 11:11 am ET

BERLIN (AFP) – Berlin warmed up Sunday for the 20th anniversary of the Wall’s fall with celebrations throughout the city, as crowds gathered to relive the ecstatic scenes that heralded the demise of European communism.

Leaders from across the continent were due in the German capital to join around 100,000 revellers Monday at the Brandenburg Gate, the symbol of national unity since the peaceful revolution that tore down the Wall in 1989.

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was to give a speech late Sunday on the challenges facing the West two decades after the Cold War.

The Week In Review

Since Saturday before last (and not including today or yesterday) I’ve brought 382 stories to your attention more or less, an average of 54 a day.

Saturday 10/31 35 Sunday 11/1 35
Monday 11/2 52 Tuesday 11/3 80
Wednesday Science 11/4 24 Wednesday 11/4 58
Thursday 11/5 48 Friday 11/6 50

I think by any objective measure this is a lot of news.

Because of the volume it can be easy to overlook some important stories or trends and that’s why I’m considering posting a Week in Review piece every week (of which this is the first) to highlight things you may have missed.

Make no mistake, the HTML is more complicated than it looks which is why it didn’t publish on Saturday, but once having worked out the kinks I’m hopeful that it will become much easier to produce (or I’ll abandon it as ‘too much work’).

The other motivation for publishing this is that there is one story in particular this week that I wanted to highlight.

Do you remember Frederick Forsyth’s The Dogs of War?

(A) company of European mercenary soldiers (is) hired by a British industrialist to depose the government of the African country of Zangaro.

(T)hough fictional, the Central African ‘Republic of Zangaro’, is based upon Equatorial Guinea, a former Spanish colony.

Actually, like me, it’s not fictional at all.

Sir James Manson is Sir Mark Thatcher, son of Maggie, and ‘Cat’ Shannon is Simon Mann and this week he was released from “Black Beach prison, one of the most notorious in Africa” where he has been held since the failed 2004 coup.

And he wants to chat about it.

Sir Mark and friends have been warned “that those who abandoned him in adversity – which may well include Thatcher – should brace themselves for ‘an ice axe between the eyes’.”

I’ve covered this and I’ll highlight it here above the fold to get you used to the format-

Equatorial Guinea- 4 Stories

Tuesday 11/3 – 2

Wednesday 11/4 – 2

There is much, much more.

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1 G20 wants ‘ambitious’ Copenhagen talks, but gives no figures

by Katherine Haddon, AFP

16 mins ago

ST ANDREWS, Scotland (AFP) – G20 countries committed to work for an “ambitious outcome” at next month’s vital UN climate change conference after meeting Saturday, but fell short of agreeing a figure on climate funding.

Finance ministers from leading developed and emerging economies also said they would keep economic policy support in place in the face of “uneven” recovery.

“We are not out of the woods yet and we need to maintain the measures we have taken,” said Alistair Darling, finance minister of host country Britain after the meeting in St Andrews.

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1 US jobless rate hit 10.2 percent; Obama eyes new steps

by Rob Lever, AFP

7 mins ago

WASHINGTON (AFP) – US unemployment jumped to double digits in October for the first time since 1983, reaching 10.2 percent, prompting renewed talk of additional stimulus for an economy struggling to emerge from recession.

Friday’s Labor Department report, seen as one of the best indicators of economic momentum, showed job losses narrowed last month to 190,000.

The improvement was not enough however to prevent the jobless rate from surging to the first double-digit level for more than 26 years, from 9.8 percent in September.

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1 UN in Afghanistan to evacuate 600 foreign staff

by Waheedullah Massoud, AFP

1 hr 31 mins ago

KABUL (AFP) – The United Nations announced Thursday it will evacuate more than half its international staff based in Afghanistan after a deadly Taliban attack on a guesthouse for UN workers.

But the UN said it had no intention of abandoning Afghanistan, where 100,000 US-led foreign troops are battling a bloody insurgency eight years after the extremist Taliban regime was driven from power.

About 600 expatriate staff, from a total of 1,100 foreigners, will be temporarily relocated either within Afghanistan or abroad, UN spokesman Dan McNorton told AFP.

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