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Feb. 13, 2007

International News for Feb. 5- Feb. 11

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.

Britain
A man called a BBC radio phone-in show and took responsibility for sending one of the seven letter bombs that exploded in British offices in recent weeks. The man, whose name was not made public, was later detained under the Mental Health Act.

China
Negotiations on Thursday, Feb. 8, resumed the long-stalled talks aimed at North Korean nuclear disarmament. The talks were stopped four months ago when North Korea tested a nuclear device.

China
China executed an ethnic Muslim, Ismail Semed, from the far western region of the country, who was accused of separatist activities, according to Radio Free Asia. Human rights groups condemned the execution by saying that prosecutors lacked evidence, and critics accused Beijing of using claims of terrorism as an excuse to crack down on peaceful pro-independence sentiment.

Colombia
A mine explosion in northeast Colombia on Sunday, Feb. 4, left 30 miners dead and made it difficult to recover the bodies due to dangerously high levels of methane gas. The initial efforts to remove the bodies a day earlier, more than 1,300 feet underground, were hampered by toxic gases.

Guinea
Protests erupted Saturday, Feb. 10, in towns across Guinea, resulting in deaths of at least eight people, as union leaders vowed to resume a crippling general strike. The strike was caused by President Lansana Conté's decision to appoint an old ally as prime minister.

Indonesia
With widespread flooding caused by torrential rains and overflowing rivers, much of the capital city of Jakarta was still under water Tuesday, Feb. 6. Officials estimated that 40-70 percent of the city has been flooded. To make matters worse, meteorologists said more rain was possible in the coming day.

Iraq
Following the worst suicide bombing in the war, which damaged a Shiite market in Baghdad, many Iraqis are beginning to blame the United States for creating conditions that led to this attack.

Israel
The Israeli military reported that they found and detonated four bombs that were placed along a road, often used by Israeli soldiers. The bombs were disguised to look like rocks and are believed to have been placed there by Hezbollah guerrillas.

Italy
Italian government approved a draft bill that legally recognizes unmarried couples, including gay ones, over the opposition of the Vatican and a member party of Prime Minister Romano Prodi's nine-party center-left coalition.

Mauritania
Mauritania, the country in northwest Africa, has agreed to allow ashore a ship carrying hundreds of Asian and African migrants, ending a standoff over which country would accept them, said the Spain's government. Spain's deputy Prime Minister, María Teresa Fernández de la Vega, told reporters that once the people have been identified they will be sent to their countries of origin.

Nepal
With at least 21 people dead due to clashes between police and Madhesi protesters, the leaders of the Madhesi ethnic group agreed to suspend strikes and protests following Prime Minister's Girija Prasad Koirala agreement to increase the number of seats allotted to the southern Terai region.

Nigeria
Nigeria's antigraft agency declared on Wednesday, Feb. 7, that more than 130 candidates were unfit to run in Nigeria's next state and national elections, scheduled for April, due to serious corruption allegations.

Pakistan
A suicide bomber armed with pistols and grenades killed himself and one other person following a shootout with security guards at Islamabad's international airport on Tuesday, Feb. 6. This is the second suicide bombing in Pakistan's airport in its capital, Islamabad.

Portugal
Portugal government's proposal to give all women the right to an abortion up to the 10th weeks of pregnancy won 57-61 percent of votes, the polls suggested. But the turnout in support of the law was about 40 percent, which is far less than the 50 percent needed to make the result legally binding. Regardless of the turnout, the Socialist government has said it will act on the poll result.

Russia
The immigration authorities in Russia turned back a close ally of President Viktor A. Yushchenko of Ukraine at the St. Petersburg airport. This was a sign of lingering animosity between the two countries after the 2004 revolution in Ukraine.

Saudi Arabia
The leaders of Hamas and Fatah, two main Palestinian political groups, met for an emergency summit meeting on Wednesday, Feb. 7. Both leaders promised to stay in Mecca until they agreed on a new government that would end a wave of violence in Gaza and the West Bank.

Somalia
In the past month in central and southern towns a cholera outbreak killed 115 people and hospitalized 724 people who were forced to use contaminated water from the flooded Shabelle River. The flood left thousands homeless.

Sudan
Despite a peace agreement and numerous ceasefires, the conflict in Sudan shows little sign of ending. In a joint mission to re-energize the peace process for Darfur, envoys from the United Nations and the African Union are visiting Sudan.

Thailand
A 76-year-old woman from Malaysia, Jaeyaena Beuraheng, was reunited with her family after being missing for 25 years. Local reports said that Ms. Jaeyaena, who does not speak, read or write Thai, and only speaks Yawi, a dialect also spoken by Muslims in southern Thailand, took the wrong bus to Bangkok and got lost.

Turkmenestan
Electoral officials in Turkmenistan said that 95 percent of voters have cast their ballots to choose a successor to the late president, Sapramurat Niyazov, who ruled for an uninterrupted 21 years.



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