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Daily Archives: November 1, 2010

Australia, Malaysia to Push Forward Free Trade Agreement

Malaysian deputy premier Muhyiuddin Yassin (R) shows a view of the administrative capital Putrajaya to Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard from the prime minister's office on November 1, 2010. Gillard arrived here on a two-day official visit to hold talks with the Malaysian high officials on bilateral and international issues. AFP PHOTO / Saeed Khan (Photo by SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / VOA) — Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard said on a visit to Malaysia that the two countries hope to reach a free trade deal next year.

Ms. Gillard met Monday with Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, standing in for Prime Minister Najib Razak, who is ill with chickenpox.

Muhyiddin told reporters that he hoped the trade agreement would move forward next year and be signed as soon as possible.

Ms. Gillard also called for a center to be set up in East Timor to process refugees and asylum seekers, mostly from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, who use Malaysia as a transit point to Australia.

Muhyiddin said Malaysia needs more information before coming up with an official position on the processing centers.

Ms. Gillard is on her first regional tour since becoming Australia’s first female prime minister earlier this year. She began her tour by attending the 16-nation East Asia Summit in Vietnam Saturday and was to travel on to Indonesia later Monday.

Some information in this story was provided by AP and AFP.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in World News

 

Medical council meets to decide on surgery for Gen. Shamanov, Commander of the Russian Airborne Forces

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, left, greets Lt. Gen. Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of the Russian Airborne Forces in the military hospital in Moscow, Russia, late Saturday, Oct. 30, 2010. Shamanov was involved in a serious car accident on Saturday. (AP Photo/RIA Novosti, Alexei Druzhinin, Pool)

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November 01, 2010 MOSCOW, November 1 (KATAKAMI / Itar-Tass) — A medical council has met at Burdenko Central Military hospital on Monday to decide on further tactics of treatment of Russian Airborne troops’ commander Leut.-Gen. Vladimir Shamanov and of Acting chief of the 106th paratrooper division deployed in Tula Col. Aleksei Naumets, spokesman for the Russian Airborne troops Alexander Cherednik told Itar-Tass Monday, speaking from the Burdenko hospital. The medical council is being presided by Chief of the military-medical department of the Russian Defense Ministry Maj.-Gen. Alexander Belevitin, the spokesman said.

On October 31 Deputy Chief of the Burdenko hospital Col. Konstantin Panyushin told Itar- Tass that Gen. Shamanov’s condition improved and showed “certain positive dynamics.” The purposes of the concilium is to decide, whether urgent surgery intervention on Gen. Shamanov’s arm and leg was needed, Panyuyshin said..

According to the spokesman the condition of Acting commander of the 106th paratrooper division Col. Alexei Naumets is grave corresponding to the character of injuries he received in the accident as result of which he had his ribs, hip and legs broken broken, suffered a chest and brain injury. Col. Naumets was in a state of shock immediately after the accident, but he came to after intensive therapy at an intensive care ward at the Tula branch of the Burdenko hospital. Col. Naumets is conscious at present, and he endured transportation from Tula to Moscow normally, the Burdenko hospital deputy head doctor said.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in World News

 

Ahmadinejad congratulates Brazil's new president Dilma Rousseff

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

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November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / YNET) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad congratulated Dilma Rousseff on her election as Brazil’s new president.

In a missive he sent to Rousseff, Ahmadinejad wrote that the last few years have seen major progress in relations between Tehran and Brasilia, and that he hopes that the cooperation between the two countries would continue throughout her term as president.

 
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Qatari emir to pay official visit to Moscow

Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani

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November 01, 2010 (KATAKami / RIA NOVOSTI) — Qatari Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani will pay an official visit to Russia on November 2-4 at the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s invitation, the Kremlin said.

Russian-Qatari high level talks are scheduled on November 3, the statement said.

Russia and Qatar are planning joint projects to develop gas deposits on the Yamal Peninsula in the Russian Arctic, the countries said in April.

Russia’s largest independent gas producer, Novatek, has expressed an interest in involving Qatari partners in the Yamal LNG project, which will draw resources from the South Tambeiskoye gas condensate field with estimated gas reserves of 1.3 trillion cubic meters.

Qatar has invited Russia’s Gazprom to take part in projects to extract and produce liquefied natural gas (LNG) after a moratorium is lifted on developing its North Field deposits.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said in March that Russia and Qatar, two of the world’s largest hydrocarbon producers, should coordinate their activity on global gas and oil markets.

The two countries already have active energy contacts, including through OPEC and the Gas Exporting Countries Forum (GECF). The GECF headquarters is situated in Qatar’s capital Doha. In December 2009, GECF elected Russian Leonid Bokhanovsky as its secretary general.

Qatar has the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world, behind Russia and Iran, with proven reserves of approximately 25.8 trillion cubic meters, or almost 15% of the global total. Qatar’s proven oil reserves stand at 15.2 billion barrels.

MOSCOW, November 1 (RIA Novosti)

 
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Photostream : Again, Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano erupts on Monday morning

Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Sidorejo village in Klaten, near Yogyakarta November 1, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted again on Saturday morning, spewing ash into the sky, and prompting authorities to extend the danger radius by two kilometres (1.2 miles). Photo : Getty Images / REUTERS/Beawiharta

Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Sidorejo village in Klaten, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, November 1, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted again on Saturday morning, spewing ash into the sky, and prompting authorities to extend the danger radius by two kilometres (1.24 miles). Photo by REUTERS/Beawiharta

Mount Merapi releases volcanic material as seen from Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Indonesia's most volatile volcano unleashed its most powerful eruption in a deadly week Monday, spewing searing clouds of gas and debris thousands of feet (meters) into the air. There were no immediate reports of new casualties (Photo : AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Mount Merapi releases pyroclastic flow as seen from Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Indonesia's most volatile volcano unleashed its most powerful eruption in a deadly week Monday, spewing searing clouds of gas and debris thousands of feet (meters) into the air. There were no immediate reports of new casualties. (AP Photo/Trisnadi)

Picture taken from Glagaharjo village in Klaten shows Merapi volcano spews smoke on November 1, 2010. Indonesia's most active volcano which has claimed at least 36 lives last week spewed more searing clouds of gas and ash on October 31, triggering fresh panic among locals. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Local residents leave a danger zone as Merapi volcano releases ash clouds in Balerante village, Klaten on November 1, 2010. Indonesia's most active volcano which has claimed at least 36 lives last week spewed more searing clouds of gas and ash on October 31, triggering fresh panic among locals. AFP PHOTO / ADEK BERRY (Photo by ADEK BERRY/AFP/Getty Images)

Residents flee on a truck following another eruption of Mount Merapi in Cangkringan, Yogyakarta, Indonesia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Indonesia's most volatile volcano unleashed its most powerful eruption in a deadly week Monday, spewing searing clouds of gas and debris thousands of feet (meters) into the air. There were no immediate reports of new casualties. (AP Photo/Slamet Riyadi)

A villager covers his face as Mount Merapi volcano spews smoke as seen from Sidorejo village in Klaten, near the ancient city of Yogyakarta, November 1, 2010. Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted again on Saturday morning, spewing ash into the sky, and prompting authorities to extend the danger radius by two kilometres (1.24 miles). REUTERS/Beawiharta

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in World News

 

Turkish PM vows to punish perpetrators of Istanbul blast

Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan (L) is greeted by Turkey's President Abdullah Gul (c) and his wife Hayrunnisa Gul (L) during the Republic Day reception at the Presidential Palace of Cankaya in Ankara October 29, 2010 AFP PHOTO/ADEM ALTAN (Photo by ADEM ALTAN/AFP/Getty Images)

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Photostream : Bomb Attack in Istanbul: http://wp.me/pYE9h-2Zu


November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Rantburg.com/ KUNA) — Turkish Prime minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged to punish severely the perpetrators of the suicide kaboom which injured 32 people including 15 coppers at Taksim Square, central Istanbul, Sunday morning.

“We’ll never tolerate those who threaten Turkey’s peace, security and development,” Erdogan, now on a visit to Mardin – a mainly Kurdish town southeast Turkey, said in a televised speech.

“Such terrorist acts will never hinder Turkey’s quest for of peace, development and fraternity among all members of society,” he underscored.

President Abdullah Gul said the attack targeted a group of coppers who have been mobilized for the national holidays such as the Republic’s Day celebrated on Friday.

“The attackers will fail to obstruct the nation’s march towards friendship, peace, fraternity and development,” Gul said.

A woman wearing an boom belt struck close to a number of police buses which were parking near the statue of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk – the founder of modern Turkey, at Taksim Square.

Though no group grabbed credit for the attack against Turkey’s business center, Turkish officials believe the attack bears the hallmarks of the separatist Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or Al-Qaeda since the two organizations targeted the city several times in the past.

The attack took place two months ahead of expiry of the unilateral ceasefire announced previously by the PKK .

(MS)

 
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Suicide bomber wounds 32 in Istanbul's main square

People help victims at the scene of an suspected suicide bombing near the police vehicles in central Istanbul's Taksim Square October 31, 2010. The suicide bomber wounded 32 people in an attack targeting Turkish police in the city's main square on Sunday, an area teaming with tourists and shoppers. Credit: Reuters/Osman Orsal

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Photostream : Bomb Attack in Istanbul: http://wp.me/pYE9h-2Zu

 

November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / Reuters) – A suicide bomber wounded 32 people in an attack targeting Turkish police in Istanbul’s main square on Sunday, an area teaming with tourists and shoppers.

No organisation has claimed responsibility, officials said, though the city has been targeted in the past by Kurdish separatist militants and al Qaeda, as well as militants from Turkey’s far-left.

Istanbul police chief Huseyin Capkin said a man had approached police stationed at the square before blowing himself up. Television footage immediately after the explosion appeared to show police firing warning shots and people fleeing in panic.

Fifteen policemen and 17 civilians were wounded in the attack at 10.40 a.m. in Taksim Square, but only nine, mostly police, were kept in hospital, Istanbul Governor Huseyin Avni Mutlu told reporters.

Taksim Square is a tourist and transport hub surrounded by restaurants, shops and hotels, at the heart of modern Istanbul.

The bomber struck near police buses parked close to a monument commemorating Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey, and victory in the war of independence in 1923.

The police presence in Taksim is raised around national holidays like Republic Day, which was celebrated on Friday.

Mobile phone footage taken just after the explosion showed a woman lying close to the monument bleeding heavily from her leg, and a policeman also lying with blood streaming from his head.

A taxi driver told CNN Turk news channel he saw a 30 to 33-year-old man approach the police to ask directions, at which point the bomb detonated. Another witness said he saw two men.

According to the governor, police seized plastic explosives found with a detonator at the scene, though it was unclear whether they had been part of a second bomb.

PAST ATTACKS

Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was visiting Mardin, in the mainly Kurdish southeast, when the blast struck his hometown.

“Those who threaten Turkey’s peace, security and development will not be tolerated,” he said in a televised speech.

“These kinds of attacks will not stop Turkey reaching its goals of peace, brotherhood and development. We are together, we are brothers.”

Istanbul is the business and financial centre of Turkey, an overwhelmingly Muslim nation of 75 million people that is hoping to become a member of the European Union.

The city has been targeted before by Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) rebels, but the separatist group extended a unilateral ceasefire last month, and on Saturday said it would announce in the coming days whether it would extend it further.

PKK suicide bombers have attacked security forces in the past, but not for many years.

Al Qaeda suicide bombers carried out a series of attacks in Istanbul in November 2003 that killed 62 people and wounded hundreds.

In recent weeks Turkish police have made several arrests of people suspected of providing support to al Qaeda militants fighting in Afghanistan.

On Sunday, Anatolia newsagency reported police in Istanbul and other cities had detained 16 members of a leftist militant organisation, the Revolutionary People’s Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C). The report made no connection with the Istanbul attack, but in 2001 a DHKP/C suicide bomber killed two people in Taksim Square.

 
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Photostream : U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Cambodia

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is welcomed by Cambodia's King Norodom Sihamoni during her visit to Phnom Penh November 1, 2010. Clinton's visit to Cambodia is the first by a U.S. Secretary of State since 2003. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea )

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, left, meets with Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni at the Royal Palace on Monday, Nov. 1, 2010, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Clinton on Monday urged Cambodia to confront its tortured past by ensuring the Khmer Rouge are brought to justice for crimes against humanity in the 1970s and improve its current human rights record. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) listens to Youk Chhang, the director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia, as she stands in front of photos of victims during her visit to Khmer Rouge notorious security prison Tuol Sleng (S-21) in Phnom Penh November 1, 2010. From 1975-1979 an estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned, tortured and killed in S-21, once a high school turned into an interrogation centre, during the Khmer Rouge regime. Clinton's visit to Cambodia is the first by a U.S. Secretary of State since 2003. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea )

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, right, talks with a group in a center during a visit to a shelter for victims of sexual exploitation in Siem Reap province, about 230 kilometers, 142 miles, northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. Hillary is in northern Cambodia, about as far away as one can get from the intense political battle going on back home. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) listens to Van Sina, 25, a human trafficking victim, beside another victim, Somana, 20, at the Siem Reap AFESIP rehabilitation and vocational training center October 31, 2010. Clinton's visit to Cambodia is the first by a U.S. Secretary of State since 2003. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea )

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) visits the Angkor Wat in Siem Reap October 31, 2010. Clinton's visit to Cambodia is the first by a U.S. Secretary of State since 2003. (Getty Images / REUTERS/Chor Sokunthea )

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, rear center, poses for photo together with Cambodian children during her visit to a shelter for victims of sexual exploitation in Siem Reap, about 230 kilometers (140 miles) northwest of Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Sunday, Oct. 31, 2010. Clinton was in the midst of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

 
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Clinton urges rights progress in Cambodia

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, foreground, walks through a barbed wire gate of Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, formerly the Khmer Rouge regime's notorious S-21 prison in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Monday, Nov. 1, 2010. Clinton urged Cambodia to improve its human rights record and ensure the Khmer Rouge are brought to justice for crimes against humanity in the 1970s. (Getty Images / AP Photo/Heng Sinith)

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November 01, 2010 PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (KATAKAMI / AJC.COM) — U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Monday urged Cambodia to confront its tortured past by ensuring the Khmer Rouge are brought to justice for crimes against humanity in the 1970s and improve its current human rights record.

In the capital of Phnom Penh, she visited a former school that served as the main Khmer Rouge prison and torture center and appealed for the Cambodian people and government to overcome a legacy of impunity for abuses. The government has refused to allow a U.N.-backed court trying top Khmer Rouge leaders to prosecute lower-ranking members.

Clinton toured the infamous S-21 prison where as many as 16,000 people were tortured before being executed for alleged coutnterrevolutionary behavior. The ultra-leftist Khmer Rouge regime is blamed for the deaths of some 1.7 million people from starvation, disease, overwork and execution during its 1975-79 reign.

“It’s a very disturbing experience and the pictures — both the pictures of the young Cambodians who were killed and the young Cambodians who were doing the killing — were so painful,” she told students after the tour. “But I also came away very impressed because a country that is able to confront its past is a country that can overcome it.”

“Countries that are held prisoner to their past can never break those chains and build the kind of future that their children deserve,” Clinton said. “Although I am well aware the work of the tribunal is painful, it is necessary to ensure a lasting peace.”

The Khmer Rouge tribunal closed its first case in July when it convicted the regime’s chief jailer and head of S-21, Kaing Guek Eav, also known as Duch. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity. A second trial is expected to start next year for the four top surviving Khmer Rouge leaders.

But Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has said the trials will stop there, despite U.N. wishes to bring lower-ranking officers to justice for murder, torture and other crimes. The U.N. says progress has been blocked by political interference from Cambodian officials who oppose more prosecutions.

Critics accuse the Cambodian leader of trying to limit the tribunal’s scope to prevent his political allies from being indicted. Hun Sen once served as a Khmer Rouge officer and many of his main allies are also former members of the group.

In talks with Hun Sen later Monday after meeting the students, Clinton is expected to say that the U.S. wants to see the next trial proceed quickly and judiciously, according to U.S. officials.

Clinton also plans to tell Hun Sen that his government, which has been harshly criticized for cracking down on opposition groups, must do more to protect human rights. She will meet with opposition leaders before departing for Malaysia on the next leg of a two-week, seven-nation tour of the Asia-Pacific.

Last week, Hun Sen told visiting U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon that he must close down the U.N. human rights office in Cambodia, which he accuses of interfering in the country’s internal affairs.

Cambodian officials are expected to keep up their push for forgiveness from the U.S. of about $445 million in Vietnam War-era debt. Washington has balked, arguing the country has the means to repay the low-interest loans.

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in World News

 

Ehud Barak: The Bad News is That Bin Laden is Still Alive

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak

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November 01, 2010 (KATAKAMI / IsraelNationalNews.Com) — Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak participated on Sunday in the Israel Homeland Security International Conference which opened with a gala event in Tel Aviv.

During his remarks, Barak said: “Nine years after the terrorist attacks in the U.S., the good news is that there hasn’t been another such terror attack, but the bad news is that Bin Laden is still alive. Global terrorism is trying to take over the world. The struggle against global terror is a marathon which will continue for half a generation or even more.”

 
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Posted by on November 1, 2010 in World News