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December 3, 2007

Iran Halted Nuclear Weapon Development in 2003

The U.S. intelligence community believes "with moderate-to-high confidence" that Iran does not have any nuclear weapons and they halted their nuclear weapon development program in 2003.

The Associated Press is reporting that Iran is continuing to enrich uranium, meaning that they could have a nuclear weapon between 2010 and 2015

"Tehran's decision to halt its nuclear weapons program suggests it is less determined to develop nuclear weapons than we have been judging since 2005," said the summary of the secret report.

November 28, 2007

Musharraf Relinquishes Control of Army

ABC News is reporting that President Pervez Musharraf stepped down as commander of the Pakistani army Wednesday.

"After 46 years of being in uniform, today I say goodbye to the army," Musharraf told Pakistani officers. According to PBS, Musharraf was "holding back tears."

Musharraf will become a civilian president on Thursday. When Musharraf was elected for another term in October, the Supreme Court questioned his dual leadership role, and Musharraf promptly declared emergency rule and removed judges.

According to the LA Times, two senior Pakistani officials said that language related to lifting emergency rule were incorporated into Musharraf's speech, which is scheduled to be on Thursday.

November 12, 2007

Bhutto Detained Again Before March

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto has been placed on house arrest for the second time in four days, officials said. This most recent declaration of house arrest is to prevent her from staging a protest to protest the emergency rule by the Pakistani government, according to the Associated Press.

"We have sent the (detention) notice inside and we have not yet got a reply," Lahore Police Chief Aftab Cheema told Reuters India.

The protest was set to begin in hours and was going to last for 3-4 days, according to Reuters India.

November 5, 2007

Pakistan Police Attempts to Curb Protests

Tear gas and batons were needed when the Pakistan police attempted to curb protests by lawyers across the country on Monday.

ABC News reports that the lawyers were protesting Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf's recent suspension of the constitution.

According to the New York Times, this is the first organized protest since Musharraf temporarily suspended the constitution.

Benazir Bhutto, the leader of the largest opposition party, has pledged to lead a major protest rally on Friday.

October 31, 2007

Seven Men Acquitted in Madrid Bombings

Seven men charged with killing 191 people in bombings in Madrid in 2004 have been acquitted of their charges. Three men were convicted.

Three of the seven men were charged with being conspirators to the bombings.

The bombings were on early-morning communter trains back on March 11, 2004. 191 people died and another 1,800 people were injured. It was the deadliest attack in the West since September 11.

According to the International Herald Tribune, many Spaniards were dissapointed in the verdict, because they felt like they had enough evidence on the suspects.

"Today justice has been rendered," Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero said in a statement.

October 28, 2007

Northwest Pakistan Experiences More Violence

Fighting broke out in northwestern Pakistan on Sunday when army helicopters pounded hideouts of local militants. Hundreds of people were reported to have left the area where the fighting occurred.

According to ABC News, the militants who were trying to defend their hideout were supporters of Maulana Fazlullah, a radical Islamic fundamentalist who, according to iol.co.za, is trying to introduce pro-Taliban laws to Pakistan.

Al Jazeera notes that ten opposition fighters have been killed in battle.

"The NWFP (North West Frontier Province) has army helicopters at its command and they use these whenever there is a need," Maj. Gen. Waheed Arshad, a senior military spokesman, said on Sunday

October 18, 2007

Suicide Bomber Kills Over 100 on Return of Pakistani Prime Minister

Former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto's return to Pakistan after eight years in exile was not a pleasant one, as her convoy was targeted by suicide bombers. Bhutto was not harmed, but the New York Daily News reports that over 100 are dead.

Reuters reports that 115 are confirmed dead and speculates that the attacks were carried out by Al-Qaeda militants.

However, even though she received much support from Pakistani citizens, the attack on her life stole the headlines. Bhutto has received criticism from militants for being a woman and taking a pro-U.S. stance on her policies.

October 8, 2007

Army Destroys Town in Darfur

The New York Times is reporting that a town near the African Union peacekeeper base was razed after it had previously been attacked on Sept. 29.

The New York times didn't confirm exactly who attacked the base -- even though the Associated Press confirms the attackers as the Sudanese Army -- but the violence in the region has increased ever since peace talks between the clashing Sudanese were announced for Oct. 27.

The Associated Press was able to get an interview with Minni Minawi, leader of the Sudan Liberation Movement. In the interview, he says that his ground was attacked by the Sudanese government. Exactly why, it is unclear.

October 1, 2007

Volcano Erupts on Yemeni Island

A volcano erupted on a tiny island off of the coast of Yemen, killing at least four British soldiers, according to the AFP news agency on Sunday. Nine more soldiers are missing.

The island has no civilian population, just military personnel.

The AHN is reporting that eight soldiers are missing.

Ken Allan, a Navy Public Affairs with the Canadian Armed Forces said a NATO fleet passing nearby reported seeing a "catastrophic volcanic eruption" at 7 p.m. local time Sunday.

"I hesitate to say how many (soldiers) are actually missing," Lt. Cmdr. Angus Topshee, the executive officer aboard HMCS Toronto, told the CBC. "However, what I can say is we have recovered one survivor on board Toronto and unfortunately pulled two dead bodies from the water as well."

At least 23 people have been saved, said CNN.

September 26, 2007

Myanmar Cracks Down on Buddhist Protesters

Buddhist monks who have been protesting against the military regime in Myanmar were cracked down upon by security personnel on Wednesday.

The current military junta acknowledged that one person was killed and three were injured, however, AFP is reporting that senior officials have confirmed that at least four have been killed, including three Buddhist monks. AFP also reports that at least 100 people were injured, and at least 200 have been arrested.

The reason for the onset of the protest was a sharp rise in fuel prices, which caused the already impoverished country's citizens to have to make more ends meet.

The United Nations advised the country to stop the violence, and the AFP warns British travelers to avoid going to the country until the violence has ended.

September 21, 2007

Bin Laden Calls on Pakistan to Rebel

Osama Bin Laden released a tape on Thursday telling the Pakistanis to rebel against Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf and the rest of the government. Bin Laden says that Musharraf has been bending to the will of the United States.

The video was released on an Islamic militant website, according to CTV.

According to the Associated Press, the U.S. government is calling the video "ridiculous."

"I think a response to such ridiculous rhetoric is just dignifying it. We don't want to do that," said Rashid Qureshi, the presidential spokesman of Pakistan.

Still, it worries many in the area over Musharraf's willingness to follow the recommendations of the U.S. government.

September 12, 2007

Earthquake in Indonesia

News broke out Thursday in Indonesia, where an 8.2 magnitude earthquake shook the area. It is the second earthquake in as many days that has struck Indonesia. The Associated Press reports that today's earthquake had a magnitude of 7.8, while Wednesday's was measured at 8.4 on the Richter scale. Aftershocks are expected in the area.

According to the Los Angeles Times, it has been confirmed that Wednesday's earthquake has left at least seven dead. BBC News reports at least six dead, although those numbers can be expected to rise over the next couple of days as rescue workers find their way through the demolished buildings.

There are tsunami warnings throughout the coasts surrounding the epicenter of the earthquake. So far, no tsunamis have been reported.