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Iraq PM Slams Law Pardoning Mainly Sunni Prisoners PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 24 May 2009

Iraq's Shi'ite leader vowed on Saturday to amend a law meant to foster sectarian reconciliation by pardoning mostly Sunni prisoners, saying it had led to the release of "terrorists" and corruption suspects.

Iraq has blamed a spike in violence since April on the release of detainees from Iraqi and U.S. prisons, and is also on a drive to stamp out the rampant corruption that has crippled efforts to attract foreign investment and rebuild the country.

Indian PM Singh Sworn In Amid Reform Hopes PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 23 May 2009

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh was sworn in on Friday for a second five-year term with a host of old-guard ministers at a time of economic downturn and fraught ties with Pakistan.

Singh's Congress party-led coalition has a stronger parliamentary majority than his first administration, although a southern ally said it would not join the government because of differences over ministerial positions.

Sri Lanka's Rajapaksa Wins 25-Year Civil War PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa did what four of his predecessors could not do, and many thought was impossible -- win one of the world's most stubborn civil wars.

Now, the veteran politician, 64, must win the confidence of Tamil people scarred by decades of brutality and suspicious of his support from hardline Sinhalese nationalists.

Myanmar's Suu Kyi Faces Prison Trial, West Outraged PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 May 2009

Police clamped tight security on Myanmar's Insein Central Prison on Monday where opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi faces trial on charges that could jail the Nobel Peace laureate for up to five years.

The military regime has ignored international outrage at what outside groups call trumped up charges against Suu Kyi, accused of breaking the conditions of her house arrest set to expire on May 27 after six years of detention.

Sri Lanka Wins Civil War, Kills Prabhakaran PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 May 2009

Sri Lankan troops won the final battle in one of the world's most intractable separatist wars, and put the island nation under government control for the first time since 1983, the military said.

In the climactic final gunbattle, special forces troops killed Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) leader Vellupillai Prabhakaran as he tried to flee the war zone in an ambulance early on Monday, state television reported.

India's Congress To Pick Allies After Election Win PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 May 2009

India's ruling Congress-led alliance, toasting a sweeping victory in a general election, began choosing on Sunday a small group of allies to support the coalition and focus on reviving a slowing economy.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's coalition defied predictions of a tight election and was only just short of an outright majority from the 543 seats at stake, according to data from the election commission.

Congress Sweeps Left, Right and Centre PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 17 May 2009

Congress supporters celebrate the party's emphatic win in the Lok Sabha elections.India has yet again been surprised by Indians. Last time, no one thought a Congress-led UPA would emerge winners. It did. This time, many said Congress would be the single-largest party and UPA the top coalition, but few imagined Congress would retain office with 201 seats — the highest any single party has got in 25 years — and UPA 258 seats. And yet like a silent tsunami, the Congress swamped its rivals to triumphantly return to power.

France Backs India-Style Nuclear Deal For Pakistan PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 16 May 2009

French President Nicolas Sarkozy told his Pakistani counterpart he wanted the Muslim country to have a wide-ranging deal to buy nuclear equipment like the one obtained by its rival India, Pakistan said on Friday.

Such a suggestion would cause uproar in the international community because a Pakistani scientist was at the centre of the world's biggest nuclear proliferation scandal, raising fears that sensitive technology could leak out once again.

'Slumdog' Child Star's Mumbai Shanty Home Torn Down PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 15 May 2009

City authorities in Mumbai demolished the shanty home of a "Slumdog Millionaire" child star on Thursday, forcing his family into the streets months after the Oscar-winning film shot him to global fame.

Azharuddin Ismail, 9, played the character of Salim as a child in the film, a rags-to-riches romance about a poor Indian boy competing for love and money on a television game show.

Congress Seen Ahead As Voting Ends: Poll PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 14 May 2009

India's month-long general election ended on Wednesday with one exit poll suggesting that the ruling Congress-led coalition was ahead of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led alliance.

The poll showed the Congress to be way short of a majority, renewing concerns that a shaky coalition government will emerge at a time when Asia's third largest economy is faced with a slowdown and instability in neighbouring Pakistan.

Iran Frees Jailed US-born Journalist: Lawyer PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 12 May 2009

US-born journalist Roxana Saberi walked free Monday after an Iranian appeals court cut her eight-year jail sentence for spying to a suspended two-year term in a case that had further strained US-Iranian relations.

Saberi, whose was jailed on April 18 on charges of spying for the United States, would be allowed to leave the Islamic Republic but it was not immediately clear when she would do so, her lawyers and a judiciary source said.

US Forces Shoot Iraqi Boy Dead After Grenade Attack PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 10 May 2009

The US military said on Saturday its troops had shot dead a 12-year-old Iraqi boy suspected of throwing a grenade at them, and said it believed insurgents were paying children to help them.

Iraqi police, speaking on condition of anonymity, said however the boy, whom they named as Omar Moussa Salih, had not been involved in the grenade-throwing.

UN Experts Prepare To Investigate War Crimes In Gaza PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 09 May 2009

International human rights experts examining alleged war crimes in the Gaza Strip said on Friday they planned to visit soon, and renewed a call for Israel to support their investigation.

An Israeli government official said last month that the Jewish state would not cooperate with the United Nations inquiry into violations by Israeli troops and Hamas militants during the December 27-January 18 offensive in Hamas-ruled Gaza.

Madoff Firm A `Piggy Bank' For Family: Court Papers PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 07 May 2009

Swindler Bernard Madoff's family were enriched by millions from his firm, which also paid their country club memberships and salaries of boat captains, housekeepers and others who did not work for the company, according to new court documents.

The papers provide more details than previously disclosed about Wall Street's biggest fraud amounting to about $65 billion. The documents were filed on Tuesday evening by the court-appointed trustee winding down the firm.

Nepal President Sets Deadline For New Government PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 05 May 2009

Nepal's president has given political parties until Saturday to form a government after Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda resigned in a crisis that has threatened the Himalayan nation's fragile new democracy.

The president's deadline came as the main parties met on Tuesday to try to form a coalition government after former guerrilla leader Prachanda quit because his decision to sack Nepal's army chief was blocked by President Ram Baran Yadav.

Taliban Behead Two Pakistani Officials In Swat PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 03 May 2009

Pakistani Taliban have beheaded two government officials in the northwestern Swat Valley in revenge for the killing of two insurgent commanders by security forces, a militant spokesman said on Sunday.

Authorities struck a peace deal in February aimed at ending militant violence in the former tourist valley of Swat but the militants have refused to disarm and pushed out of the valley into neighboring districts.

Philippines Had Most Displaced People In 2008: Study PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 02 May 2009

The biggest new internal displacement of people last year was in the Philippines, where 600,000 fled fighting between the government and Muslim rebels, a United Nations-backed report said on Friday.

International efforts failed to reduce the number of those internally displaced by conflicts around the world, which was unchanged from the previous year at around 26 million, the highest level since the mid-1990s, it said.

Pakistan Army Pushes Taliban Back PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 01 May 2009

The Pakistan army battled through mountain passes on Thursday in a third day of fighting to evict Taliban fighters from a strategic valley, after U.S. President Barack Obama welcomed its newfound resolve.

The militants were still controlling parts of Buner valley, just 100 km (60 miles) northwest of the capital, Islamabad, though troops had secured the main town of Daggar on Wednesday after helicopters dropped them behind enemy lines.

Ecuador votes, Correa Expected To Win Easily PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 27 April 2009

Ecuadoreans voted on Sunday in a presidential election that incumbent Rafael Correa was expected to win by a big margin, despite a flagging economy.

Polling stations were busy when they opened at 7 a.m. local time/1200 GMT across the volatile Andean country of 14 million people known as much for toppling presidents as its Galapagos Islands and remote Amazon tribes.

Karzai Looks Strong In Afghan Nominations PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 April 2009

Afghanistan's election commission began accepting nominations on Saturday for an August presidential vote, with opponents seen struggling to settle on a candidate that can oust President Hamid Karzai.

Afghanistan's second democratic presidential election will be a defining test of progress this year in the country, where violence is surging despite the presence of 70,000 foreign troops, which is expected to rise to some 90,000 by election day.

India To Ship Wheat To Afghanistan As Aid: Sources PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 25 April 2009

India, facing surplus stocks of grains, will soon send 250,000 tonnes of wheat to Afghanistan as aid, official sources said, raising hopes the ban on exports of the staple will be lifted after elections.

India is expected to produce 77.78 million tonnes of wheat in 2009, almost as much as last year's record, creating a shortage of storage space as exports have been banned for two years.

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