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Jan. 27, 2007

International News for Jan. 22-26

by Hokuma Karimova, Foreign Desk Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the BBC World News and New York Times International News. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.


Nigeria
Unidentified gunmen in the southern Nigerian city of Port Harcourt kidnapped an American and a British man. The victims were abducted while heading to work. Their abduction is one of the nearly 100 foreign hostages cases that have occurred in Nigeria as a result of low wages, causing many to kidnap for ransom.

China
China confirmed US suspicion of conducting an anti-satellite weapons test, in which an old Chinese weather satellite was destroyed by a missile on Thursday. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said that a test had been carried out but insisted that China was committed to the "peaceful development of outer space."

Nepal
The Nepalese government ordered a judicial investigation as violence rose in the southern town of Lahan. The violence has left four dead and dozens of people injured since Friday. Senior judge Janardham Bahdur Khadka will lead the there-member panel that will submit its report in 15 days.

Taliban
The Taliban has set aside $1 million to be used towards building schools for children in southern Afghanistan. Commissioning schools could start as early as March. Currently, there are no schools or most schools are closed because of arms and threats by armed militants.

Somalia
Around 200 Ethiopian troops have left Somali capital of Mogadishu after entering the country four weeks ago in order to help Somalia defeat Islamists. Ethiopian general Suem Hagoss said that the troops would start moving out Tuesday. The withdrawal will take place in three stages. Meanwhile the African Union is trying to set up a peacekeeping force to replace Ethiopia.

Israel
Israel's mostly ceremonial head of state, Moshe Katsav, will be charged with rape and abuse of power by Israel's ministry of justice. Katsav was accused of rape and abuse by several female employees in recent months. He denies the allegations.

Lebanon
General strikes that evolved to street clashes paralyzed Lebanon, left three people dead and caused flight cancellation and business closure. More than 100 people were injured as protesters demonstrated against government supporters in the capital, Beirut and other parts of the country.

Taiwan
An earthquake with 6.2 magnitude hit off the eastern coast of Taiwan on Thursday, rocking buildings in Taipei, the nation's capital. No immediate injuries were reported. While quakes are common, the last damaging quake hit in September 1999, killing more than 2,300 people with a 7.6 magnitude.

Ecuador
Guadalupe Larriva, Ecuador's new defense minister, and one of her children were killed when their helicopter collided on Wednesday with another near a military base in southern Ecuador. Larriva took office with President Rafael Correa nine days before her death.

Chad
Mahamat Abdelatif Mahamat hijacked a Sudanese plane on Wednesday trying to force the pilot to fly to Europe in hopes of bringing an end to the Darfur conflict. Instead, the plane was diverted to Chad, where Mahamat was arrested and the passengers were released unharmed.

Kenya
Over the last five weeks 114 people died in Kenya from Rift Valley fever. The outbreak was first reported in mid-December and continued to spread to the country's central region. As of now, 165 human cases of Rift Valley fever have been reported.

Congo Republic
Around 100 inmates of a prison in Brazzaville, capital of Congo Republic, forced open the doors of their cells and the prison's main door in order to escape, reportedly over poor food. One prisoner was shot and killed while scaling a wall. The prison's 500 inmates receive just one meal a day.



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