International News from Jan. 29- Feb. 4

Feb. 5, 2007, midnight | By Hokuma Karimova | 13 years, 11 months ago

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.

Gaza Strip
After 23 people died and more than 200 were injured in the past days of fighting between Fatah and Hamas, a cease-fire appears to take hold. Since Hamas won the January of 2006 election, both Hamas and Fatah have been in a power struggle.

China has used its veto power in the UN Security Council to block a series of economic deals in Sudan from being sanctioned over the Darfur conflict. China's President Hu Jintao has agreed to build a new presidential palace and two schools, all on an interest-free loan. As the number one buyer of Sudanese oil, Jintao called for "dialogue" in order to find a peaceful resolution to a conflict that has killed 200,000. However, western countries urge China to add more pressure on the country because of Darfur.

The town, Musa Qala, out of which British troops pulled out after a peace deal with local orders, was retaken by Taliban forces. US diplomats and commanders criticized the deal by saying that the contract was not done with elders but rather with Taliban itself, and was not a way to defeat the group. As BBC's reporter Alastair Leithead said, the loss of the town is a blow to the strategy of establishing peace in Helmand, Afghanistan. The BBC's Alastair Leithead in Kabul says the loss of Musa Qala to the Taliban is a blow to the strategy of establishing peace deals in Helmand.

Because of recent economic growth, poverty is declining in many parts of India. And while 25 percent of all Indians still live in "abject poverty," Palaniappan Chidambaram, India's finance minister, said that he is confident poverty will be wiped out from India by 2040.

Around 25 suspected Muslim rebels are thought to have stormed a prison in Kidapawan city on the island of Mindanao. In the invasion, they freed 47 prisoners. After blasting a hole in the jail wall, the attackers escaped with the inmates. Authorities have launched a massive manhunt to find the suspects, many of whom were jailed for serious crimes.

Serbia's president Boris Tadic said he will never accept Kosovo as an independent state breaking away from Serbia. A new UN plan, published by Special Envoy Matti Ahtisaari, recommends that Kosovo should become separate, govern itself democratically and make international agreements. President Tadic rejected the plan.

Recent attacks in Somalia's capital, Mogadishu, killed eight people and seriously injured others. One of the deaths was caused after a mortar landed on a Koranic school, killing a female student and injuring seven others. It is not yet clear who is responsible for the incident.

Bishop emeritus of San Pedro, Fernando Armindo Lugo Méndez, was suspended by the Vatican due for his intention to run for president next year.

A long-awaited deal for new financing of the national health care system was approved by the lower house and is yet to be approved by the upper house of the German's Parliament. The new legislation requires everyone in the country to have health insurance by 2009, after a state-run central fund will pool contributions and distribute money to insurers.

About half of Parliament's lawmakers signed a letter to Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker, asking for David Hick's return. Hick, an Australian, has been detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, for more than five years after being picked up in Afghanistan. The recent action represents the strongest political support for a growing movement in Australia to send Hicks home.

Osama bin Laden's brother-in-law, Muhammad Jamal Khalifa, who has was accused of channeling money to a number of Islamic militants and several of the 1993 World Trade Center plotters, was shot and killed in his house in Madagascar. As Khalifa's brother describes, his death was a result of an armed robbery.

A bomb explosion killed more than 23 people in Baghdad, as many residents took to the street in celebration of the Ashura holy day. In the Adhamiya neighborhood, only 35 miles southeast of Baghdad, 30 mortar shells rained down on the area killing many Sunni residents. Overall, more than 50 people were killed on Thursday.

Five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor will not be executed, said Saif al-Islam, a son of the Libyan leader, in a newspaper interview. The six were sentenced to death last month for internationally infecting hundreds of children with HIV. Saif al-Islam said that a solution would be found that would not only spare the six lives, but also satisfy the families of the infected children. No further details were given.

A massive flood in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, killed at least 20 and left 340,000 people homeless. Three days of torrential rain caused rivers to burst their banks, sending water up to 10ft deep into homes and businesses. The flood is said to be the worst to hit Jakarta in five years.

At least 130 people were killed and 300 were wounded, as a truck bomb exploded in the popular central Baghdad market, Sadriya, on Sunday. One ton of explosives were detonated by a suicide bomber in the evening as shoppers finished buying food for dinner and men sipped coffee in near by cafes. This was the deadliest single bomb blast since the United States invasion almost four years ago.

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Hokuma Karimova. Hokuma is a fun and happy person, who has been described by some as crazy and eccentric. She is ecstatic to be part of the Silver Chips Online staff and hopes to someday fulfill the legacy that her older sister left behind. One thing that … More »

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