WORLD: Kosovo rebels told UN of organ harvests, # China cracks down on call for ‘Jasmine Revolution’, # Venezuela: US should mind own business on protests

February 19, 2011
By CMAC

Report: Polish priest killed in Tunisia

1 day, 7 hours ago

(AP) Tunisia’s official TAP news agency says a Catholic priest from Poland has been killed and his body had multiple stab wounds and his throat was slit.The report cites the Tunis archbishopric as saying 34-year-old Marek Marius Rybinski worked at a religious school in the Tunis suburb of Manouba. His body …

Two Iranian naval ships will sail through the Suez Canal to the Mediterranean on Monday, a Suez Canal official said, in what will be the first passage of Iranian naval ships through the canal since 1979.

Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman has described Iran’s plan to send the ships through the canal en route to Syria as a “provocation.”

The official said the vessels would arrive at the southern mouth of the canal in the Red Sea’s Gulf of Suez on Sunday. They would enter the canal in the northern convoy on Monday morning and complete the journey to the Mediterranean by evening.

An Egyptian army source said on Friday that the military, which has been running Egypt since President Hosni Mubarak was toppled from power on Feb. 11, had approved Iran’s request to send the ships through the canal.

The decision had posed an early diplomatic headache for Egypt’s interim government. Cairo is an ally of the United States and has a peace treaty with Israel but its relations with Iran have been strained since the 1979 revolution.

Egypt’s Western allies are watching for hints of any shift in policy towards its Middle East neighbours.

Writing by Tom Perry; editing by Michael Roddy

Copyright 2011 Thomson Reuters. Click for restrictions.

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Planned Parenthood expected to fight back

video icon buttonThe House has voiced its opinion about Planned Parenthood and said federal funding of the abortion-provider should stop.

Abortion-provider in ‘exploitation business’

Concerned Women for America is a major voice in the chorus of groups and individuals asking Congress to defund Planned Parenthood.

Christian student groups agree not to compete

Christian ministries with chapters on college and university campuses have agreed to cooperate rather than compete with one another.

The snowballing culture of life

Melinda Delahoyde smallThe truth about Planned Parenthood is coming to light — and that light of truth is causing a culture of life to bloom in America.

Taking the Bible to challenging locations

Wycliffe Associates has branched into a new program and extended its Bible translation into two areas of the world where Christianity is heavily restricted and believers represent a small minority of the population.

Cigarette ads not blowing smoke

Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, says when it comes to teen smoking, parents can’t afford to butt out.

‘Economic nightmare’ to continue

An expert on energy policy says the first causality of the drilling moratorium in the Gulf of Mexico may not be the last.

The week’s top stories (Feb. 14-18, 2011)

These were the most popular stories on our website this past week.

House de-funds Planned Parenthood, blocks funds for ObamaCare

video icon buttonThe House has voted to block money to implement President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, a victory for Republicans trying to derail the program, and has approved a GOP proposal to block federal aid for Planned Parenthood.

Abortion funding – ‘Offensive to every American’

poll vote button 2Indiana Republican Mike Pence stood before the U.S. House Thursday night to say it’s “morally wrong” to take the tax dollars of millions of pro-life Americans and use that money to support organizations like Planned Parenthood.

Question: Will Prop. 8 proponents have legal standing?

The California Supreme Court has announced it will take up the case of Proposition 8, delaying the outcome of the decision on same-sex “marriage.”

School to revisit religious discrimination policy

With a little motivation from students and a legal alliance that defends religious freedom, the University of California-Davis has decided to revise its discrimination policy that targets Christians as oppressors.

‘Spit wads’ … expulsion … now a lawsuit

The Rutherford Institute is going to court to defend a 14-year-old honor student who was thrown out of school for shooting plastic “spit wads” at classmates.

Abortuary scrutiny a ‘good first step’

The raid of an infamous Philadelphia abortion clinic has motivated Pennsylvania’s governor to make changes to the state’s inspection laws, but pro-lifers feel they are long overdue.

Egypt ‘paying terrible price’ for anti-Semitism

Bestselling author Joel Rosenberg says Egypt is still experiencing tremendous anti-Semitism as the country endures a period of political uncertainty.

Biology teachers breaking the rules

A new study finds that many biology teachers are uncomfortable with teaching the theory of evolution and are instead telling their students about creation.

Iowa wrestler defaults rather than face girl

video icon buttonAn Iowa high school wrestler who was one of the favorites to win his weight class defaulted on his first-round state tournament match rather than face one of the first girls to ever qualify for the event. He refused to compete against her as a matter of conscience and his faith.

Ruling

clears way for Germans’ release in Iran

36 minutes ago

(AP) Iranian state TV says two German journalists arrested after interviewing the son of a woman sentenced to death by stoning have been fined $50,000 each, clearing the way for their release.They were found guilty of committing acts against Iran’s national security. The TV report did not elaborate. The court ruling …

Europe and Russia

Brown’s wife recalls Berlusconi’s eye for Campbell

1 hour, 8 minutes ago

(AP) The wife of Britain’s ex-leader Gordon Brown says she spotted Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi asking for model Naomi Campbell’s phone number at an official dinner.Sarah Brown said in an interview with the Daily Mail published Saturday that she later joked about the episode with "Harry Potter" author J.K. Rowling. She …

Asia

China cracks down on call for ‘Jasmine Revolution’

1 hour, 10 minutes ago

(AP) Chinese authorities are detaining activists as a call circulates for people to gather Sunday in 13 cities for a "Jasmine Revolution."The organizers are not known. Searches for the word "jasmine" were blocked Saturday on China’s largest Twitter-like microblog.Families and friends reported the detention or harassment of several activists Saturday after …

The body of a protester is taken for burial as his family members and supporters follow in Sitra Reuters

Bahrain protesters occupy square as Libyans bury dead

Reuters – 39 mins ago MANAMA (Reuters) – Protesters in Bahrain appeared to gain the initiative on Saturday and mourners buried their dead in western Libya as the wave of protest washing across the Arab world tested more of the region’s longtime rulers. Full Story »

World Slideshows

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Hillary Clinton: Israeli Settlements ‘Illegitimate’

World Slideshows

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Politics News

Jolted to action by deficit-conscious newcomers, the Republican-controlled House agreed early Saturday to cut $61 billion from hundreds of federal programs and shelter coal companies, oil refiners and farmers from new government regulations. Full Story »

U.S. News

A Wisconsin Republican leader said on Saturday there was no room for compromise on legislation to curb public workers’ bargaining rights despite mass protests and a Democratic legislative boycott. Full Story »

China resisting G20 deal on indicators

Reuters – 2 hours 21 minutes agoChina was holding out on Saturday against an agreement among the world’s major economies on ways to measure and correct global economic imbalances, refusing to have its massive currency reserves used as an indicator.

Opinion

Sen. Scott Brown’s revelation of physical and sexual abuse can help others

The Christian Science Monitor – Thu Feb 17, 4:08 pm ET

Why did Sen. Scott Brown (R) of Massachusetts take so long to reveal a big secret from his childhood? Full Story »

World Video

Europe and Russia

Clashes erupt at German far-right rally

1 hour, 37 minutes ago

(AP) German police fired tear gas and water cannons to keep apart groups of far-right supporters and thousands of counterdemonstrators trying to hinder their rally in an eastern city Saturday, police said.Hundreds of leftist protesters in Dresden tried to break through police barriers, hurling rocks and fireworks at officers who responded …

Middle East

Bahrain’s Sunni outreach fuels protests

2 hours, 3 minutes ago

(AP) Among the marchers pledging loyalty to Bahrain’s embattled king were many from afar: other Sunni Arabs and South Asians granted citizenship and jobs in the tiny Gulf nation.But here also lies one of the most deep-seated grievances by the nation’s Shiite majority, who strongly object to the royal policies to …

Africa

Pirates hijack 4 Americans; US mulls responses

3 hours, 8 minutes ago

(AP) The United States government on Saturday said it was assessing possible responses after Somali pirates hijacked a yacht with four Americans on board in the Arabian sea off the coast of Somalia.Pirates hijacked the yacht Quest on Friday, two days after a Somali pirate was sentenced to 33 years in …

Algeria PM: state of emergency gone by month’s end

3 hours, 37 minutes ago

(AP) Algeria’s prime minister says a state of emergency in place for 19 years will be lifted by the end of this month.The government has insisted so far that the state of emergency was a necessary tool in the fight against terrorism, but critics charge that recently it has been used …

Trial over Iranian arms seizure in Nigeria starts

3 hours, 37 minutes ago

(AP) The trial over an illegal Iranian arms shipment intercepted in Nigeria began Wednesday, with both the presiding judge and a defense lawyer questioning suspect statements allegedly obtained by the country’s secret police.Justice Okechukwu Okeke flung one of the statements out into the audience, complaining that the date of a rights …

Europe and Russia

Scandal-hit Berlusconi attends event with Vatican

3 hours, 44 minutes ago

(AP) An annual celebration of the 1929 treaty that governs relations between Italy and the Vatican took an awkward turn Friday, as Premier Silvio Berlusconi, engulfed in a prostitution scandal, attended a ceremony with the Vatican’s No 2. official.Berlusconi said the encounter with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone had been "great, as always," …

UK royal wedding draws tasteless merchandise

4 hours ago

(AP) Fancy a royal wedding condom? Or maybe a commemorative sickbag?The April wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton has spawned a cottage industry of inappropriate souvenirs.For ladies and gentlemen who wouldn’t dare touch anything that hadn’t personally been approved by the princely couple, the Royal Collection sells handmade tankards, plates …

Asia

2 trains hit packed buses in Bangladesh; 13 dead

4 hours, 59 minutes ago

(AP) Two trains plowed into packed buses at unmanned railroad crossings in separate accidents on Saturday, killing at least 13 people and injuring 45 others, police and news reports said.Police recovered eight bodies from the wreckage of one bus in Comilla district, 90 kilometers (55 miles) east of the capital Dhaka, …

Middle East

Veteran Egypt activist sees revolution as ongoing

5 hours, 22 minutes ago

(AP) He organized his first demonstration while still a student in 1998, then got arrested and tortured by Egyptian police two years later at age 23. Now he has seen the fall of the president he spent his adult life struggling against.For 33-year-old activist Hossam el-Hamalawy, though, Egypt’s three-week youth revolution …

Africa

Ousted Madagascar president barred from returning

6 hours, 25 minutes ago

(AP) Madagascar’s ousted president was on Saturday barred by officials in his homeland from returning from exile in South Africa, but the politician told reporters at Johannesburg’s airport that he would keep trying to return.Marc Ravalomanana said aviation authorities in Madagascar had written to South African Airways to say he was …

Latin America

Peruvian from US spy scandal back home

7 hours, 49 minutes ago

(AP) A Peruvian journalist deported by the United States to Russia in a spy swap returned home and said she was in Peru to attend her father’s burial.Vicky Pelaez told reporters at Lima’s airport on Friday night that she would not speak publicly until after her father’s burial in the highlands …

Tijuana’s former top cop leave government

9 hours, 44 minutes ago

(AP) A retired Mexican army officer who led an overhaul of the notoriously corrupt police force of the border city of Tijuana has quit as a state law enforcement official after only three months on the job.The Baja California Public Safety secretary’s office says Julian Leyzaola resigned Friday as deputy secretary.The …

Latin America

Guatemala ends ‘siege’ in drug-plagued province

12 hours, 41 minutes ago

(AP) The Guatemalan government lifted a two-month-old state of siege Friday in a northern province that authorities said was controlled by Mexican drug traffickers.President Alvaro Colom said the emergency measures allowed security forces to reduce violence in Alta Verapaz and arrest at least 20 suspected members of the Mexico-based Zetas drug …

Middle East

Al-Qaida No. 2 issues video after Egypt upheaval

14 hours, 52 minutes ago

(AP) Al-Qaida’s deputy leader, Ayman al-Zawahri, issued the terror network’s first message since the upheaval began in Egypt, saying the country’s rule has long "deviated from Islam" and warning that democracy "can only be non-religious."The wave of popular protests that ousted Egypt’s president, Hosni Mubarak, appeared to have caught al-Qaida off …

Protesters step in to help at Bahrain hospital

14 hours, 52 minutes ago

(AP) The scenes inside the hospital were so horrific even doctors cried."He was shot in the head. I saw it, it was in the head," a nurse said to a group of women, clutching their mouths in disbelief. A female doctor sobbed into the shoulder of a colleague.Military gunfire sent a …

Latin America

Peru: Soccer stadium stands collapse, injuring 117

15 hours, 26 minutes ago

(AP) Police in Peru say the metal bleachers at a soccer stadium have collapsed right before a youth championship, injuring 117 people. A dozen fans suffered serious injuries.Lima Fire Chief Alfonso Panizo tells RPP radio most of those hurt have minor injuries, but he says 12 seriously injured people have been …

Teachers trek across DomRep in weeklong protest

15 hours, 58 minutes ago

(AP) Thousands of teachers in the Dominican Republic have walked more than 120 miles (200 kilometers) to demand wage increases and other changes in the Caribbean nation’s public schools.The teachers also want the government to dedicate 4 percent of its revenues to the school system as required by law and to …

Asia

US sanctions target Afghan money laundering

17 hours, 4 minutes ago

(AP) Stepping up its pressure on corruption in Afghanistan, the United States on Friday sanctioned a major Afghan money-exchange outfit suspected of laundering billions of dollars in drug money.The U.S. Treasury Department sanctioned the New Ansari Money Exchange, which it says is at the center of a network of individuals, money-exchange …

Latin America

Venezuela: US should mind own business on protests

18 hours, 4 minutes ago

(AP) Venezuela’s top diplomat hit back at the United States on Friday over its suggestion that President Hugo Chavez’s government should allow an international investigation into alleged human rights abuses.Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro said the matter is a domestic affair and Washington has no business meddling."We absolutely reject that the U.S. …

Jailed Puerto Rican nationalist is denied parole

18 hours, 4 minutes ago

(AP) The U.S. Parole Commission said Friday it has denied a request for the early release of a Puerto Rican nationalist who was once offered clemency by President Bill Clinton.Oscar Lopez Rivera’s first bid for parole after serving nearly half of a 70-year sentence for seditious conspiracy, robbery and other charges …

Africa

Report: Polish priest killed in Tunisia

18 hours, 39 minutes ago

(AP) Tunisia’s official TAP news agency says a Catholic priest from Poland has been killed and his body had multiple stab wounds and his throat was slit.The report cites the Tunis archbishopric as saying 34-year-old Marek Marius Rybinski worked at a religious school in the Tunis suburb of Manouba. His body …

Latin America

Vatican: Chilean priest guilty of abusing minors

19 hours, 37 minutes ago

(AP) A prominent Chilean priest whose sex abuse case was closed by a judge has been found guilty by the Vatican.The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says Fernando Karadima is guilty of abusing minors and "must retire to a life of prayer and penitence." Friday’s statement from the …

Middle East

Correction: Yemen story

20 hours, 4 minutes ago

(AP) In a story Feb. 17 about protests in Yemen, The Associated Press reported erroneously that Philip Luther is the regional deputy director for Human Rights Watch. Luther is the deputy program director for the Middle East and North Africa for Amnesty International.

Africa

French ask volunteers in Mali, Niger to leave

20 hours, 42 minutes ago

(AP) The French government is asking citizens who are volunteering for charity organizations in Mali or Niger to leave immediately due to the growing threat of kidnappings by an offshoot of al-Qaida.A copy of the letter signed by France’s foreign minister and dated Feb. 7 was shown to The Associated Press …

Tunisian government discusses ex-leader’s health

21 hours, 12 minutes ago

(AP) Members of Tunisia’s transitional government say the health of their deposed president is not a concern for the interim leadership.At a meeting Friday, the Cabinet briefly discussed reports that ex-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali is in a coma. The government neither confirmed nor denied the reports.Taieb Baccouche, spokesman of …

Europe and Russia

UN rights chief condemns Libya, Bahrain crackdowns

21 hours, 39 minutes ago

(AP) The U.N.’s top human rights official has condemned the violence used by security forces in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen against anti-government protesters.U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay says security forces responded in an "illegal and excessively heavy-handed" manner against peaceful demonstrators.In a statement issued by her office Friday, …

Kosovo rebels told UN of organ harvests

22 hours, 41 minutes ago

(AP) Ethnic Albanian rebels in Kosovo gave detailed testimony in 2003 on an alleged program to kill Serb captives, sell their organs, and bury hundreds of victims to hide evidence of civilian killings, according to a U.N. document obtained by The Associated Press.The 30-page compilation of statements by at least eight …

  • Sudanese inmate sentenced to 14 years at Gitmo

    AFP via Yahoo! News – Fri Feb 18, 6:13 pm ETA US military tribunal on Friday sentenced a Sudanese prisoner at Guantanamo to 14 years in prison for helping Al-Qaeda and providing material support to terrorism.

  • Sudanese Guantanamo prisoner gets 14-year sentence

    Reuters via Yahoo! News – Fri Feb 18, 5:02 pm ETThe Guantanamo U.S. war crimes tribunal sentenced a Sudanese prisoner on Friday to 14 more years in prison for conspiring with al Qaeda and providing material support for terrorism.

  • North, South Sudan trade accusations

    UPI – Fri Feb 18, 11:28 am ETJUBA, Sudan, Feb. 18 (UPI) — The military in northern Sudan denied it was backing militants in the south who are accused of killed at least 200 people, a government minister said.

  • Sudanese war criminal at Guantánamo turns government witness

    McClatchy Washington Bureau – Fri Feb 18, 9:47 pm ETA Sudanese former terror camp instructor traded a promise to turn government witness for release from prison by 2014 in a plea bargain made public Friday — moments after a military jury sentenced the man to a symbolic 14 more years at Guantánamo.

  • Help needed for Sudan’s displaced following referendum

    Aliran Online – Sat Feb 19, 6:14 am ETWith the historic referendum on South Sudan”s independence now complete, help is needed to support the return of southerners back to the South from other parts of Sudan, according to the United Nations refugee agency, which is seeking US$53.4 million for this effort. According to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), some 200,000 southerners [...]

  • Envoys call for urgency in Darfur peace talks

    Zawya – Sat Feb 19, 5:06 am ETNYALA, Feb 19, 2011 (AFP) – International envoys to Sudan on Friday stressed the “utmost urgency” of reaching a comprehensive Darfur peace deal, as a local governor said negotiations in Doha had so far achieved nothing.

  • Sudan’s referendum is over, but the country still needs attention

    The Christian Science Monitor – Fri Feb 18, 12:30 pm ETGuest blogger Laura Heaton outlines the issues still facing Sudan after the south’s independence referendum and urges the media and international community to not lose interest.

  • Sudanese Gitmo prisoner gets 14-year sentence

    MSNBC – Fri Feb 18, 5:38 pm ETThe Guantanamo U.S. war crimes tribunal sentenced a Sudanese prisoner on Friday to 14 more years in prison for conspiring with al Qaida and supporting terrorism.

  • Basketball Grows With Peace in South Sudan

    New York Times – 2 hours 34 minutes agoEver since Manute Bol became an N.B.A. star, southern Sudan has produced a number of players who had solid college careers in the United States.

  • Sudan: Darfur Peacekeepers Have New Approach to Protect Civilians – Gambari

    AllAfrica.com – Thu Feb 17, 10:00 am ETThe of head of the first joint UN-African Union force and the largest peacekeeping mission announced a new approach on movement and access has been adopt to better protect civilians in the restive region of Darfur.

  • Sudan Now group lays out ‘road map’ for peace in Darfur

    The Christian Science Monitor – Wed Feb 16, 3:30 pm ETWhile the world focuses on South Sudan’s moves toward independence, the Sudan Now advocacy group is pushing a new plan for peace in Darfur.

  • Darfur: UN- African peacekeepers protect civilians

    Scoop.co.nz – Thu Feb 17, 5:07 pm ET16 February 2011 – The United Nations-African Union peacekeeping mission in Darfur (UNAMID) has significantly stepped up its patrols in the strife-torn region of Sudan where there was a recent resurgence of violence and is setting up a quick reaction force to help protect civilians.

  • South Sudan’s post-referendum calm ended by clashes with renegade militia

    The Christian Science Monitor – Thu Feb 17, 11:52 am ETSouth Sudan was racked with violence last week as a renegade militia group – supported by northern Sudan, some say – clashed with the South Sudanese army, leaving more than 200 dead.

  • Third int’l meeting on Darfur peace supports Qatar talks

    People’s Daily – Fri Feb 18, 11:07 pm ETThe third international conference on peace in Darfur on Friday reiterated its support for the Qatari-hosted Darfur peace talks, and reaffirmed its call for the Darfur militants to join the ongoing efforts to settle the conflict in the region.

Top Briefing

By Tad Farrell and Andrew Pascoe | Defense and Military

Somali pirates have been holding the crew of the North Korean ship Chilsanbong Cheonnyeonho since last March, and  the possibility that its crew may now be facing abandonment is becoming ever more likely. Given South Korea’s rescue of one of its own vessels captured by pirates in January, the Chilsanbong now offers the Koreas an opportunity for military cooperation at a time of increasing tension.

more »

By Nikolas Gvosdev | Economics and Business

Most prognostications on the Middle East’s suddenly uncertain future assume that revolutions that depose status quo governments automatically reverse the policies of their predecessors. But the assertion that U.S. support for undemocratic regimes ensures that democratic successors will be enemies of the U.S. has been called into question by events in Asia over the past 30 years.

more »

more »

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