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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Worst Plane Crash:Polish President And High Ranking Goverment Member Killed

Polish President Lech Kaczynski, his wife and high-ranking members of the Polish government died in a plane crash on Saturday morning in heavy fog in Smolensk, Russia. The government in Warsaw has called an emergency meeting.

Rescue workers on Saturday combed through the wreckage of a plane crash in Smolensk, Russia that killed Polish President Lech Kacynski and other senior members of the country's government. The plane, a Tupolev-154 jet, apparently hit the treetops in heavy fog and broke apart before reaching the runway. There were no surviviors, according to Polish and Russian officials.

The governor of the Smolensk region, Sergei Antufiyev, told Russian state television: "The Polish president's plane didn't make it to the runway. No one survived the catastrophe."

Among the passengers were Kaczynski, his wife Maria Mackiewicz and other high-ranking representatives of the country. Kaczynski had been accompanied by Army chief of staff Franciszek Gagor, Deputy Foreign Minister Andrzey Kremer, deputy speaker of Poland's parliament, Jerzy Szmajdzinski and Slawomir Skrzypek, president of the national bank NBP, according to reports. Also among the passengers were important members of Kaczynski's staff, including Wladyslaw Stasiak, Aleksander Szczygo, Pawel Wypych and Mariusz Handzlik. Several members of the Polish parliament were also said to be on board.

"The modern world has not seen a drama like this," Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk said at a brief press conference on Saturday. He added that Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev had been the first to express their condolences. Tusk planned to travel to Smolensk to the crash site on Saturday.

'A Political and Human Tragedy for Poland'

In Berlin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel telephoned with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk after the accident to express her deepest sympathy and condolences, her spokesperson said. In a statement released to the public by the Chancellery, Merkel said: " It is with dismay and bewilderment that we have learned of the crash of the Polish president's plane. Our thoughts and our sympathies go out to the family of the president as well as the families of the many victims of the plane crash. This is a political and human tragedy for Poland, for our neighbor country."

Merkel called Kaczynski a "valiant European." "I can remember many encounters with him on the European and international level," Merkel said. "In the end, we always found a result. I knew that he dedicated his entire life to the fight for freedom in Poland and in Europe."

"Lech Kaczynski will be missed by Germany," she said. "Germany is mourning today together with all Polish people."

Delegation Was Traveling to Memorial Ceremony

Kaczynski and his delegation were on their way to a memorial ceremony for Polish soldiers murdered by the Russian secret service in Katyn 70 years ago. On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin visited Katyn together with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk to honor the murdered Polish officers in a highly symbolic reconciliatory gesture between Moscow and Warsaw, whose relations have been badly strained in recent years.

In April and May of 1940, Stalin ordered the murder of 4,000 Polish military officers, intellectuals, government employees and other "counterrevolutionary elements" in Katyn. Similar massacres took place in Twer and other locations, with more than 20,000 Polish citizens killed in total.

The massacre at Katyn has long been a source of conflict in relations between Russia and Poland. For decades, leaders in Moscow sought to blame the crimes that took place at Katyn on the Germans. It was only after the fall of the Soviet Union that the Russians admitted that the Polish officers' corps had been shot there in 1940 under orders from Stalin. Just before, Soviet troops had marched into Poland under the auspices of the Hitler-Stalin Pact.

According to the New York Times, former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski told TVN24: "It is a damned place. It sends shivers down my spine. First the flower of the Second Polish Republic is murdered in the forests around Smolensk, now the intellectual elite of the Third Polish Republic die in this tragic plane crash when approaching Smolensk airport. This is a wound which will be very difficult to heal."

'Deeply Shocked'

Members of the German government expressed their shock at the news. "I am deeply shocked by the crash and the death of the Polish president," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Saturday. She sent her condolences to Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, who is reported to have burst into tears upon hearing the news of the crash. "I wish you, all the families of the dead and all Poles comfort and strength," Merkel said. "The whole of Germany is standing in sympathy and solidarity by your side and by the side of Poland in this difficult time."

"We are shocked and full of grief," said German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who has put a focus on Polish-German relations since taking office and who knew Kaczynski and several of the other victims personally. "The whole German nation mourns with our Polish neighbors. We want to convey to the Polish people that we are at your side."

Investigative Commission to Be Set Up

The plane used by the president on Saturday, a Tupolev-154 which was at least 20 years old, had taken off from Warsaw. It crashed into trees during its approach to Smolensk and burst into flames. A Polish government spokesperson said there had been fog in the area. According to press reports, the pilots of the plane attempted to land four times.

The Russian general prosecutor said it was investigating foggy weather conditions, a technical defect or human error as possible causes for the deadly crash. Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said he would set up an investigative commission to be headed by Prime Minister Putin.

Putin said Saturday that the bodies of the victims would be taken to Moscow so that they could be identified. He also said he would take steps to ensure that the families of the victims could travel to Moscow.

Earlier reports stated that 132 people died in the crash, but the Polish Foreign Ministry is now reporting that 96 people died, of whom 88 were part of the Polish delegation.

In Warsaw, people began laying flowers and candles in front of the presidential palace in remembrance of Kaczynski. The crash is also likely to rekindle a long-simmering debate over the country's aged government aircraft fleet. The Tupolev plane had been designed by the Russians in the 1960s and officials had long sought to upgrade the fleet.

Safety Concerns about Govenment Fleet

According to the Associated Press, the Aviation Safety Network has reported that there have been 66 crashes involving Tu-154 jets, including six in the past five years. Russian flag carrier airline Aeroflot recently withdrew the aircraft from its fleet.

After surviving a helicopter crash in 2003, former Polish Prime Minister Leszek Miller said he predicted a disaster like this, according to the New York Times. "I once said that we will one day meet in a funeral procession, and that is when we will take the decision to replace the aircraft fleet."

Sixty-year-old Kaczynski had served as president of Poland since 2005. Together with his brother Jaroslaw, he founded the nationalist conservative Law and Justice party (PiS). He promoted policies that fostered a stronger state and emphasized nationalist values. From 2000 to 2001, he had served as justice minister. After his election as head of state, some dubbed Poland the "twin state" because twin brother Jaroslaw served as prime minister from 2006 to 2007.

The next presidential election in Poland had been slated for this fall, but the vote is now expected to take place sooner. According to the Polish constitution, Speaker of Parliament Bronislaw Komorowski will assume the office of president until a replacement for Kaczynski can be elected.
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Story of Lech Kaczynski

Together with his twin brother Jaroslaw, Lech Kaczynski shaped Polish politics for years -- at times keeping the rest of the European Union on tenterhooks over its next political moves. On Saturday, the Polish president died in a tragic plane crash -- on his way to a memorial ceremony in Katyn, of all places.

Lech Kaczynski and his twin brother Jaroslaw made a bizarre political team. Aware of their own power, with an intuition for their people's current emotional state and a passion for political battles, the brothers kept the European Union on tenterhooks for years. Relations with Germany in particular suffered. But in the end, they took things too far -- and it's unlikely Lech would have been reelected as president this fall.

Now Lech Kacyznski is dead, the victim of a plane crash this Saturday as he flew to the airport at Smolensk, Russia, on his way to Katyn, a particularly emotionally charged site for Poland. There and in the surrounding forest in 1940, Soviet secret police murdered around 20,000 Polish officers captured after the Soviet and German invasion of Poland. Stalin gave the orders to have the Polish leadership -- including military officers, engineers, teachers, and priests -- shot.

The crash of the presidential plane Saturday morning also meant the deaths of dozens of other Polish dignitaries, including the president's wife, several bishops, the head of the national bank, deputy government ministers, and the head of the Polish commission that oversees the files kept by the country's former secret police. "Our country's elite has died," former Polish President Lech Walesa said in the wake of the catastrophe.

Had any other politician crashed on the way to a memorial event in Katyn, Lech Kaczynski would surely have declared him or her to have died in the service of the country. Kaczynski and his brother Jaroslaw, who was not on board the plane, always understood service to the country to mean a political interpretation of history more than anything. In their eyes, Poland was best served by remembrance of its history of suffering, especially during and after World War II, and by consistently reminding the perpetrators -- Communist rulers, Russia, and Germany -- of their crimes against Poland. Their country's martyrdom, full of victims and glory, was political currency for the Kaczynski brothers.

Child Film Stars

Lech Kaczynski was born in Warsaw on June 18, 1949, about 45 minutes after his brother Jaroslaw. Their father Raimund, an engineer, and mother Jadwiga, a philologist, had fought against the German occupying forces. The brothers, strikingly identical even for twins, achieved fame while still children, as the main characters Jacek and Placek in a children's film called "The Two Who Stole the Moon." The shape their symbiosis would take was clear even then -- Lech as the friendly, approachable one, the foreign minister of the pair, and Jaroslaw as the cynical strategist and mastermind. When Lech became president in 2005, he reported back to his brother and announced, "Mission accomplished."

The brothers joined Poland's anti-communist opposition in the 1970s, while studying law. For them, the fact that Poland fell within the Soviet Union's sphere of control was another chapter in the country's history of suffering, following the partitioning of the country in the 18th century and the high death toll of its war against Hitler's Germany. The fight against Soviet hegemony was -- and remained -- their national mission.

After the fall of communism, the Kaczynskis briefly belonged to various governments, but had a falling out with the dissidents surrounding Lech Walesa. Those politicians had joined round table discussions with the communists in 1989 to negotiate a gradual power transition. Tadeusz Mazowiecki, Poland's first non-communist prime minister, proposed drawing a "clear line" on the country's communist past and not allowing the connections many Poles had to the secret police to overshadow its new beginning. The Kaczynskis found his position unacceptable.

By 2002, the Kaczynskis and their Law and Justice party had become the strongest force on the right side of the Polish political spectrum and Lech Kaczynski won the election to become Warsaw's mayor. His main objective was to build a museum about the Warsaw Uprising, the 1944 rebellion of the city's inhabitants against the German occupation. The resistance put up weeks of fighting, while the Red Army dug in within firing range on the east bank of the Vistula River. Stalin betrayed Poland, allowing Hitler's troops to raze Warsaw to the ground and carry out an unprecedented massacre of the Polish people.

The exhibit on Grzybowska Street became the Kaczynski era's central political-historical project. Its stated goal was -- through teaching about their ancestors' heroic deeds -- to give modern Polish people a new national solidarity and the feeling of belonging together that many sought amid the confusion that followed the fall of communism.
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Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jerusalem issue 'a red line', says Jordan's king

King Abdullah of Jordan added to pressure on Israel over its settlements policy today, demanding the international community take firm action over what he called the "red line" of Jerusalem.

Abdullah, a close ally of the US and Britain, demanded "firm, swift, direct and effective action to stop Israel's provocative measures in Jerusalem that seek to change its identity and threaten holy sites".

"Jerusalem is a red line and the world should not be silent about Israel's attempts to get rid of Jerusalem's Arab residents, Muslims or Christians," the king told Lady Ashton, the EU foreign policy chief, according to a palace statement.

Ashton is visiting Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip tomorrow before flying to Moscow to join a meeting of the Middle East Quartet: Hillary Clinton for the US, the UN's Ban Ki-Moon, Russia's foreign minister, Sergei Lavrov, and Tony Blair, the Quartet's special representative.

Abdullah's comments came a day after the worst clashes in months broke out across East Jerusalem during a "day of rage" announced by Hamas, as the Palestinian movement urged Muslims to reach the al-Aqsa mosque to protect it from an alleged Israeli takeover attempt.

Tensions soared over the rededication of the 17th century Hurva synagogue and Israel's announcement that it was building 1,600 new homes for Jewish settlers in East Jerusalem. The al-Aqsa mosque compound was reopened and a closure of the West Bank lifted yesterday.

Jordan is one of only three Arab countries that have peace treaties with Israel. Abdullah's uncharacteristically strong language reflects a pro-western camp dismayed by the deadlock in Israeli-Palestinian negotiations and the opportunities it offers to Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran, which backs both Islamist groups.

King Abdullah has a special position because the 1994 Jordanian-Israeli peace treaty recognises the Hashemite kingdom's "historic" role in caring for the Muslim holy sites in East Jerusalem.
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Wednesday, March 17, 2010


Mourinho dumps Chelsea out of Champions League

Chelsea 0 Inter Milan 1 (Inter win 3-1 on aggregate)

Jose Mourinho made a triumphant return to Stamford Bridge to dump his former club out of the Champions League and remind Roman Abramovich of the mistake he made by kicking him out of the club.

Inter, leading 2-1 from the opening leg of this last-16 tie in the San Siro, secured their place in the last eight when Samuel Eto'o scored the winner at Stamford Bridge in the 78th minute.

Chelsea's campaign ended in more misery when Didier Drogba was sent off in the 87th minute for a crude moment of petulance, appearing to stamp on Thiago Motta.

Samuel Eto holds off Branislav Ivanovic's challenge and finishes well to send Inter Milan through to the Champions League quarter-finals

Mourinho, who never lost a home league game during his time as manager at Chelsea, had begun the evening with a low profile entry from the tunnel and into his dugout seat.

Chelsea fans responded with warm applause but Mourinho refrained from hogging the limelight. He knew he and his team had a job to do.

Mourinho had cleverly picked an attacking side with Eto'o, Diego Milito and Goran Pandev up front, and his plan worked superbly.

They set about the task of preserving their one-goal advantage from the opening leg in the San Siro with a determination and energy rarely associated with Italian teams.

They closed Chelsea down with alarming efficiency for much of the half and squandered a gilt-edged opportunity to pile on the agony for the English side.

But when the home side did get into gear, there was enough encouragement to suggest the deficit could easily be wiped out.

In the 11th minute, Michael Ballack collected a pass from Frank Lampard and sent a 20-yard low drive just wide of the post. But it was an isolated moment.

The low intensity of the game was briefly interrupted in the 15th minute when Florent Malouda was kicked in the face by Lucio.

Drogba quickly squared-up to the Inter defender before referee Wolfgang Stark, who had a poor game, restored calm.

But the Serie A side were doing everything to protect their lead and Maicon was the hero in the 25th minute when he blocked a shot from Drogba.

Milan responded with the miss of the half from Eto'o. Maicon's cross eluded Chelsea captain John Terry and fell straight to the Inter striker at the far post.

But instead of planting his header into the net, Eto'o headed the ball down and over the cross bar.

It was a real let-off for the home side who then had two penalty claims rejected within minutes.

First Motta escaped when he rugby-tackled Branislav Ivanovic and moments later Walter Samuel was guilty of an atrocious challenge on Drogba as the Ivorian attempted to lose his marker from a corner.

Amazingly, Stark missed both offences and Motta then cleared off the line after Nicolas Anelka had turned a pass from Drogba towards the empty goal.

It had been a frustrating half for the English side and more of the same was dished-up in the second period.

Malouda briefly threatened to take the game to the Italians and his trickery earned Motta a booking in the 47th minute. It was a yellow card that will keep him out of the quarter-final.

The France winger, the architect of West Ham's downfall in the Barclays Premier on Saturday, then forced Julio Cesar into a fine save at his near post.

Lucio was also booked by Stark and he too will miss the first-leg of Inter's quarter-final tie.

But as the second-half wore on, Milan began to exploit Chelsea's nervousness.

Yury Zhirkov produced a sensational block tackle to prevent Goran Pandev from putting Milan in front on the night and in the 65th minute Diego Milito put his shot wide with just Ross Turnbull to beat.

Moments later Motta headed over the bar from close range as Mourinho's side edged closer to the last eight.

The goal they had threatened throughout the second half finally arrived in the 79th minute when Eto'o collected a superb pass from Wesley Sneijder and ran on to fire past Turnbull.

Mourinho allowed himself a short run out of his dugout but then remembered his pledge not to celebrate and walked back to his seat.

Chelsea, who had never looked like scoring in the second half, now had to get two - a task that was clearly beyond them.

It got worse for Chelsea in the 87th minute when Drogba was given a straight red card for a lunge on Motta, seemingly raking his studs down the midfielder's calf after the ball had gone.

Inter wasted another chance in the closing stages when Eto'o's shot was superbly saved by Turnbull.

But it was all academic in terms of the result and with a minute of added time to go, Mourinho ended the game with a low profile exit.

The former Chelsea boss watched the closing seconds from the sanctuary of the tunnel and disappeared at the final whistle to leave the glory and celebrations to his victorious team.
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Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Fiji declares state of disaster as Cyclone Tomas hits

A state of disaster has been declared in parts of Fiji, as Cyclone Tomas blasts through the north and east of the Pacific island country.

At least 5,000 people have had leave their homes, and 50 properties have so far been destroyed.

Cyclone Tomas, a category four storm, is blowing at up to 170km/h (106 mph).

The eastern Lau group of islands is bearing the brunt of the storm, but the main islands of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu have escaped the worst.

"The National Disaster Council has declared a state of disaster in the northern division and eastern division," National Disaster Management Office operations officer Anthony Blake said.

There is particular concern about the islands of Cikobia and Qelelevu; nothing has been heard from them since the cyclone hit there on Monday.

Mr Blake added that he expected the number of destroyed homes to increase over the coming days.

Schools have closed, public services have been suspended, and international flights have been cancelled.

There have been no casualties reported since officials said a woman was swept away in heavy seas as the storm approached.

The cyclone was said to be moving slowly, increasing the potential for damage.

Power and telephone lines are down in many parts of the country, and some healthcare buildings have been damaged.
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Thursday, March 11, 2010


Wayne Rooney drives Manchester United past hapless Milan

Champions Lge KO Rnd 1, Leg 2

Manchester United 4-Milan 0

Wayne Rooney starred on the field but David Beckham stole the limelight on his return to Old Trafford. He received a standing ovation when he came off the bench but it was his final act which further enhanced his legend status. At full time he donned a green-and-gold scarf – a symbol of opposition to the Glazer family's ownership of the club

This evening needed every square inch of football heritage to conceal the drabness of the match. Manchester United overwhelmed inept and ageing visitors. David Beckham eventually took the field as a substitute against his old club and was a tactful guest. The veteran won cheers for a volley that did no harm as the attempt was tipped over the bar by Edwin van der Sar.

The drubbing administered at Old Trafford fell just short of the 5-0 margin by which Arsenal had swamped Porto the night before. Perhaps the recent Premier League ascendancy in this tournament is not destined to end shortly after all. It will be a relief to Sir Alex Ferguson and others that Real Madrid, following the 1-1 draw with Lyon, have yet again been eliminated in the last 16 of the Champions League.

United were never confronted by that sort of risk and the sheer energy in their ranks prevented Milan from disguising the elderliness of some and the mediocrity of others in their line-up. The contrast between the teams was all the more pronounced because Wayne Rooney, who began his professional life as a phenomenon, seems now to be getting better still.

There were to be two strikes from him, but he had confirmed United's passage to the Champions League quarter-finals as soon as he notched the opener. The entertainment continued to the 88th minute when Darren Fletcher headed in a cross from the substitute Rafael da Silva. This emphatic beating will not have taken Milan wholly by surprise.

The fuss over Beckham's return to Old Trafford overlooked the fact that the coach, Leonardo, would have been a sentimental fool to include him in the starting line-up. His mediocre outing in the first leg indicated that the inevitable decline of a veteran is getting steeper. At least Beckham showed nice touches and a fellow substitute Filippo Inzaghi might have forced home one of the deliveries in stoppage time.

The 34-year-old Beckham was introduced with the score was 3-0 and there had been nothing to distract the crowd from lauding him. "Fergie, Fergie sign him up," chanted the fans. The intention was kind, but it must have hurt a veteran who knew he was being patronised. At least he was not alone. This had been a chastening night for Milan.

Nothing could have stopped them from being outclassed but the aggregate score might not have reached 7-2 if Alexandre Pato and, more relevantly, the centre-half Alessandro Nesta had been fit to play. Any suggestion that the tie was in balance at kick-off was pure fiction, even if Ferguson had been in charge of the story-telling.

On the eve of the game he had regretted the late goal by Clarence Seedorf at San Siro. That had done no more that trim the margin of United's win to 3-2. At the very least, Milan would have had to score twice at Old Trafford and the task of keeping a clean sheet had always looked an impossibility.

There could have been some tension when a free-kick from the right glanced off Nani and went straight to Ronaldinho after eight minutes but the Brazilian's header ran wide with the goalkeeper Van der Sar almost motionless. Rooney is more practised at that art and his opener was the seventh consecutive goal he had nodded home.

The attacker got in front of the centre-half Daniele Bonera to glance the ball past a helpless Christian Abbiati. The visitors had come with attacking intent, but they also brought to Manchester the same basic vulnerability that had afflicted them in Milan.

Even if they had been rigorous, Rooney might still have been their undoing. The string of goals highlights the movement essential to a striker who is not all that tall. Often there is no marker to outjump him because Rooney has left him trailing. The opener dismayed Milan, but there was also collateral damage to the fixture itself.No one could pretend that a grand drama was unfolding.

Leonardo's side did not get much encouragement although they had bouts of possession. Before half-time excitement was restricted in their efforts to counter Rooney's goal. Milan had to seek a lot more than that. They sent on Seedorf for the second half, but the removal of Bonera proved more relevant because the middle of their defence was disturbed.

Massimo Ambrosini, a midfielder, had been reassigned to that post, but the back four were left helpless when possession was surrendered cheaply. Nani, from the left, crossed precisely with his right foot in the 46th minute and Rooney shot past Abbiati. A finish with boot rather than brow was the sole element of surprise. Uncertainty involved nothing more than the ultimate margin of victory in the tie.

United, with the match won, were too composed to be lenient. After 59 minutes, Paul Scholes slid through a pass that Park Ji-sung converted for the third goal. A crowd that relished the display and remembered to protest lustily against the ownership of the Glazers had an ideal evening.

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Mahmoud Ahmadinejad accuses US of creating Afghanistan terrorists

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian President, today said that the US is playing a "double game" in Afghanistan, fighting the terrorists it once supported.

During a visit to the Afghan capital, Mr Ahmadinejad was asked to respond to comments made by Robert Gates, the US Defense Secretary in which he accused Tehran of "playing a double game" by trying to have a good relationship with the Afghan government while undermining US and Nato efforts by providing some support to the Taliban.

Tehran has said it supports the Afghan government and denies allegations that it helps the Taliban. Iran calls the accusation part of a broad anti-Iranian campaign and says it makes no sense that its Shiite-led government would help the fundamentalist Sunni movement of the Taliban.

"I believe that they themselves," who are now fighting militants in Afghanistan, "are playing a double game," he said. "They themselves created terrorists and now they're saying that they are fighting terrorists."

During the 10 years the that the Soviet Union fought in Afghanistan, the US helped rebels with supplies ranging from mules to advanced weaponry, including Stinger anti-aircraft missiles that played a crucial role in neutralising Soviet air power. The US money spigot, however, was later turned off and the world watched Afghanistan plunge into chaos and eventually harbour al-Qaeda terrorists.

Mr Gates, who left Afghanistan shortly before Mr Ahmadinejad spoke, called the Iranian President's visit to Kabul "certainly bothersome."

"We think Afghanistan should have good relations with all its neighbours, but we want all of Afghanistan's neighbours" to deal fairly with President Hamid Karzai's government," Mr Gates said.

Mr Karzai said Iran was assisting Afghanistan with reconstruction projects, improving education and helping provide electricity.

"We are very hopeful that our brother nation of Iran will work with us in bringing peace and security to Afghanistan so that both our countries will be secure," Mr Karzai said, adding that Afghanistan has a very good relationship with Tehran.

"We have mentioned several times to our brother nation, Iran, that we don't want any one to use our soil against any of our neighbours," he said.

Mr Ahmadinejad and Mr Karzai both spoke at the presidential palace, but it was the Iranian leader who did nearly all of the talking.

He said the best way to fight terrorists was not on the battlefield, but through the use of intelligence, which does not result in the death of troops or civilians.

He said: "We do not see the presence of foreign military forces in Afghanistan as a solution for peace in Afghanistan."

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Tuesday, March 9, 2010


Israel wants to build nuclear power plants

PARIS—Israel's infrastructure minister says his country wants to build nuclear power plants in cooperation with its Arab neighbors.

Uzi Landau says all nuclear plants built in Israel will be subject to strict safety and security controls.

He told a nuclear conference in Paris on Tuesday that "Israel has always considered nuclear power to partially replace its dependence on coal."

The program would be aimed to help Israel secure energy supplies and battle global warming by curbing its use of fossil fuels.

Landau says that Israel hopes to develop nuclear energy in cooperation with scientists and engineers from "our Arab neighbors."
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US drone strike kills five in NW Pakistan

Three missiles fired by US drone aircraft killed five militants in Pakistan's northwest tribal belt, a bastion of Taliban and Al-Qaeda-linked fighters, security officials said.

The latest in a series of US drone attacks targeted militants in the centre of Miranshah, the main town of North Waziristan, a rebel stronghold near the Afghan border.

A security official in Peshawar confirmed the strike saying missiles from two drones hit a compound in Miranshah, while residents said the missiles struck two different buildings close to each other in the main bazaar.

Baitullah Mehsud's Taliban rival shot dead in Pakistan

"Two drones fired three missiles in Miranshah bazaar. Two buildings in the centre of the bazaar were hit and destroyed in the attack," he added.

Three suspected militants killed by US missile in Pakistan

A US drone strike in Miranshah in February killed Mohammed Haqqani, a brother of Al-Qaeda-linked warlord Sirajuddin Haqqani, whose network is fighting against US and local forces in neighbouring Afghanistan.

US drone attack kills 13 in Pakistan

Suspected US drone hits alleged Taliban training centre in Pakistan, 12 dead

Officials in Washington have praised the drone campaign for eliminating a number of high-value targets in terrain classified as an intelligence black hole and which Al-Qaeda has turned into its global headquarters.

Eight killed in US missile strikes in Pakistan

The covert US drone war against Al-Qaeda and Taliban leaders has focused increasingly on North Waziristan, a bastion of multiple militant groups, since a December 30 suicide attack killed seven CIA employees in Afghanistan.

North Waziristan borders Khost province, where a Jordanian doctor turned Al-Qaeda double agent blew himself up in the deadliest attack on the US spy agency in 26 years.

US officials, who never confirm the drone strikes, increasingly believe that Hakimullah Mehsud, leader of the Pakistani Taliban, perished in a US attack in January.

However, there has been no official confirmation from the Pakistani government and the Pakistani Taliban insist he is alive.

His predecessor Baitullah Mehsud was killed in a similar attack in August.
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Kandahar offensive to wait for more troops

KABUL—The top U.S. general in Afghanistan says that an upcoming campaign to secure the city of Kandahar is still some time away.

Without being specific, Gen. Stanley McChrystal says the Kandahar operation will wait for a larger U.S. and NATO troop buildup over the next couple of months. The bulk of additional forces expected for the region will be in place by early summer.

The Kandahar operation is perhaps the most anticipated military effort of the war as President Barack Obama has redesigned it. The recent operation round the town of Marjah (MAR'-jah) was a small-scale rehearsal for Kandahar, home base for the Taliban.

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