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March 16, 2008

German Pilot might have killed French author of The Prince

Horst Rippert, an 88-year old former pilot of Germany believes that he killed the French writer and war plot Antoine de Sant-Exupery in 1944 reports Yahoo News.


Saint-Exupery was an acclaimed French author who wrote the world wide famous tale of The Little Prince. He died under mysterious circumstances while on a reconnaissance mission and his body was never found.


“It’s me, I shot down Saint-Exupery,? said Rippert as quoted in Le Figaro magazine.


Rippert was a fan of Saint-Exupery’s work and has said that he hopes he did not kill him, but it would be impossible to know because he could not see the pilot in the other aircraft.


Saint-Exuper was a pioneer pilot of his era. He moved to New York when the Nazi German occupied France but came back and joined the Free French air force. He died 44 year old.

March 10, 2008

Tibetans exiles march to China

Tibetan exiles in India will begin their march back to their homeland on Monday as a protest marking the Dalai Lama’s escape from China in 1959 and the Beijing Olympics reports Yahoo News.


The group of 100 marchers will begin their long journey which could take up to six month to the border of China where they intend to cross over through the mountains but did not specify as to where and where there exact destination is.


It has been speculated as reported by Yahoo News that the marchers are unlikely to reach or make it over China’s borders without being arrested.


The group of ‘The ‘Return-Home’ march is to tell the world that we Tibetans are the rightful owners of Tibet,? said one of the march organizers, Lobsang Yeshi.


The marchers have received special physical and spiritual training for the long march said the president of the Tibetan Women’s Association B. Thering.


It is expected that hundreds more will join the march along the way. But the specifics of the journey were kept under wrapt as New Delhi will not allow the group to use India as a “springboard? for anti-China campaigns. Thering said that the United Nations has said no one can stop a refugee from going back home.


This march is seen as the distance between the Dalai Lama who believes that there should be a “middle path? between a more autonomous China in regards to Tibet and younger Tibetans that are frustrated with China’s grip over Tibet.

February 29, 2008

The beginning of a new Kenya, leaders sign an agreement

Kenyas leaders signed an agreement to end the bloodshed and divide the government's roles to satisfy both parties, reported CNN.com.


The agreement calls on parliament for a constitutional change, where a prime minister role will be taken by Raila Odinga and the president role will still be assumed by President Mwai Kibaki, the cabinet and the parliment will also be divided to represent both parties.


The agreement includes parliment to change the countries constitution; according to The National Accord and Reconciliation Act 2008 the new constitution will establish the president, vice president, prime minister and other ministers for the governments cabinet.


U.N.'s former Secretary-general and chief mediator, Kofi Annan said, "Let the spirit of healing start today. Let it start now. Compromise was necessary for the health of this country."


The agreement was signed after augmented pressure from both national and international institutions.


The talks were stuck at various points, and even though there has been a signed agreement, this is the "beginning of a long and difficult political relationship," reports NYT.com


One of the biggest underlying questions is how will the country run with the bosses that have been in bitter dispute just months ago. More than 1,000 people have been killed and tens of thousand driven from their homes.


In Kenya, both "fighting and voting," are along the lines of ethnicity. "We should begin to ensure the Kenyans begin to celebrate and love each other and that we destry the monster that is called ethnicity," said President Kibaki.

February 19, 2008

Castro resigns as president of Cuba

Castro reigned on Tuesday as president of Cuba after half-century of "iron fisted rule," reported CNN.com.


He revealed his resignation in an online Cuban state run newspaper, Granma. "I will not aspire to, nor will I accept the position of president of the council of state and commander in chief," Castro wrote. "I wish only to fight as soldier of ideas... Perhaps my voice will be heard."


Castro, 81, hasn't been seen in public since his operation in July 2006, reports BBC News. His brother Raúl Castro, 76, has been leading Cuba and is seen as the prospect president in the upcoming elections on Sunday.


US state department said the embargo on Cuba will remain in place.


"The international community should work with the Cuban people to begin to build institutions that are necessary for democracy and eventually this transition out to lead to free and fair elections," said president Bush Tuesday in Rwanda. "The United States will help the people of Cuba realize the blessing of liberty." (CNN)


According to BBC News, the European Union hoped to revive ties with Cuba.


China described Castro as an old friend and they will continue their co-operation with Havana. Beijing is one of Havana's key economic partner, said BBC's Nick Miles.

February 16, 2008

Hezbollah leader and one of most wanted terrorist killed

One of the top leaders of the Hezbollah lebanese group, Imad Mughniyeh was killed in a car bombing in Damascus Wednesday night reported BBC News.


According to BBC, Mughneiyeh was the special operations or intelligence chief of Hezbollah's secretive military wing, the Islamic Resistance. He was one of the top most wanted in both the United States and Israel.


Hezbollah has blamed Israel for the killing, but the Israeli prime minister's office issued a statement "rejecting 'the attempt by terror groups to attribute to it any involvement' in the killing", reports BBC News.

"After a life full of jihad, sacrifices and accomplishments... he died a martyr at the hands of the Israeli Zionists," said a Hezbollah statement. Iran also condemned Israel for the killing and considers Mughniyeh as a martyr said BBC News.


He was held accountable for high profile attacks in the 1980's, such as the suicide bombing in 1983 in Beirut that killed hundreds of US and French military personnel, Israel believes that he was involved in the bombing of their embassy in Argentina in 1992 killing 29 people as well as the explosion of the Jewish centre in Buenos Aires that killed 95 people in 1994.


According to CNN.com, U.S. State Department spokesman Sean McCormack called Mughniyeh "a cold-blooded killer, a mass murdered and a terrorist who was responsible for [ending] countless lives."


He went on to say that "the world is a better place," without Mughniyeh.


February 10, 2008

Will peace talks and a potential shared government work?

Peace talks and conversation of leaders sharing power has been the talk this last week in Nairobi, Kenya.


Over 1,000 people died since the elections held in December 27, and more than 300,000 have fled the country.


According to BBC.com, at the second face-to-face meeting since the elections, President Mwai Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga are making agreements that could be reached by next week, said ex UN Secretary General Kofi Annan.


"There has been an agreement in principle," said President Kibaki. The opposition spoke of a "positive development."


Even though the violence has improved, there is still tension and hesitation as for what will happen next.


A government negotiator, Mutula Kilonzo said to Reuters news agency, "We cannot afford our people using bows and arrows, people being pulled out of buses to be asked 'which language do you speak?' and then being chopped."


The election held in December are being critiqued as flawed, reports CNN.com.


Unlike BBC News which says that negotiations are still underway. CNN reports that they have agreed to form a power sharing government.


They are now in the process of discussing who would lead the government and what each party would be responsible for and the role that they would play, said the lawmaker for the Orange Democratic Movement, William Ruto.


"We are finally agreed that there is a problem in the country and neither side can proceed on its own," Ruto said. "We have agreed to form a joint government. Details of that government, it's time and how to share it are under discussion."


There has been speculation that politicians and businessmen of Kenya are the once financing and banking the violence.


As reported in CNN, Washington has sent ten letters to politicians and businessmen that may be involved in "supporting or inciting violence." said U.S. Ambassador Michael Ranneberger.


There is substantial evidence observed by Kenyan human rights group, foreign observers and diplomats that both parties have been triggering the attacks.

February 2, 2008

Disabled women used as suicide bombers in Iraq

Both bombers involved in the attacks in Iraq were women with apparent mental disabilities, reports CNN.com They were strapped with bombs which were detonated via cell phones recounts the spokesmen for Baghdad’s security, Gen. Qasim Atta. It is believed that both women were unaware of the plans to detonate the bombs.

At least 98 people were killed, and over 200 people wounded in both attacks.
It is the bloodiest attacks since August 2007, when three car bombs killed 80 people. (BBC.co.uk)

The attacks occurred in animal markets, "A popular spectacle for Baghdad is the animal market that only opens on Fridays and regularly draws crowds, despite having been targeted by bombers twice in 2007," states BBC.co.uk

The first bomb went off at 10:20 local time, followed by the second just twenty minutes afterwards.

CNN states that the Pentagon has condemned al Qaeda in Iraq for these attacks.

The response to these attacks by American officials are as followed, and portray some of the judgments of the aftermath of these attacks.

"By targeting innocent Iraqis, they show their true demonic character,? said Lt. Col. Steve Stover a spokesman for the Multi-National Division-Baghdad. (CNN.com)

"There is nothing they won't do if they think it will work in creating carnage and the political fallout that comes from that," said the US ambassador to Iraq, Ryan Crocker. (BBC.co.uk)