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China Cautions US to Rethink Relations with Taiwan

China says the United States is putting bilateral ties at risk with its recent overtures to Taiwan. A spokesman for the Chinese Defense Ministry told reporters Thursday that Washington should "speak and act cautiously" following the $6.4 billion arms deal between the U.S. and Taiwan.   Beijing has threatened to suspend all military exchanges with the U.S., and impose sanctions on U.S.

Dubai Names 15 More Suspects in Hamas Murder

Dubai Police have announced at least 15 new names wanted for the assassination of former Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Mabhouh, who was killed in the United Arab Emirates last month. Officials say the new suspects entered the United Arab Emirates with British, Irish, French and Australian passports and provided "logistical support" in carrying out al-Mabhouh's murder. The 10 men and five women bring the total number of people wanted in connection with the killing to 26, but police say that number could rise. Al-Mabhouh was found dead in one of Dubai's luxury hotels on January 19th.  He had

Greece Paralyzed During Protests Against Austerity Budget

Greek riot police have clashed with demonstrators in Athens on the fringes of major protest marches against government austerity measures.  Tens of thousands of civil servants, private sector workers and laborers staged a 24-hour strike to show their displeasure with the government's plans. For the second time in two weeks, Greece's powerful trade unions and strikers paralyzed the country. Public transport links were almost completely shut down, flights in and out Athens canceled, offices closed and even famous archeological sites such as the Acropolis closed to tourists. Reporter Ant

Turkish Court Charges 7 Military Officers in Coup Plot

A Turkish court has charged and ordered jailed seven senior Turkish military officers for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Islamic-rooted government.  The charges are part of unprecedented investigation into the Turkish army, which has forced four government from office since 1960. Four admirals, an army general and two colonels, some of whom are retired, were ordered jailed while they await trial. They are among nearly 50 senior officers arrested on Monday in connection with an alleged 2003 military plot called "sledgehammer".  Turkish media say the plot included plans to destabilize

Controversy Surrounds Planned Ukrainian Presidential Inauguration

Eleven heads of state and other foreign dignitaries are expected to attend Thursday's inauguration of Viktor Yanukovych as the fourth president of independent Ukraine.  But his defeated opponent, Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, refuses to recognize Mr.

Darfur Truce Follows Chad-Sudan Rapprochement

The most powerful Darfur rebel group, the Justice and Equality Movement, is scheduled to sign a truce with Sudanese President Omar Hassan al-Bashir Tuesday in Doha, Qatar. The deal, negotiated in the Chadian capital N'Djamena, was spurred along by the recent pledge from Sudan and Chad to quit fueling the proxy war on their border. The cease-fire is supposed to lay the groundwork for a formal peace deal to be completed by March 15, though a Justice and Equality Movement spokesman told Reuters that such a deadline was unrealistic.

China Tightens Internet Restrictions

China has tightened its controls on Internet use, requiring anyone who wants to set up a Web site to meet directly with government regulators. The new rules, published by the Technology Ministry this week, also require Web site owners to submit their identity cards and personal photos. A ministry statement says the measures will help the country deal with online pornography.  But human rights defenders say the regulations are just a new form of government censorship. China has about 380 million Internet users, the world's biggest online population.  The government carefully censors th

Tymoshenko: Ukraine Threatened by Dictatorship

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko is refusing to recognize Viktor Yanukovych as the next president of Ukraine, claiming that he is seeking to establish an anti-Ukrainian dictatorship.  In a televised address to the nation on Monday, Ms. Tymoshenko issued a call for a coalition of patriotic and democratic forces to oppose the man who defeated her in the February 7th presidential election.

Thai Political Uncertainty Causes Investor Concern

Thailand's finance minister says the political uncertainty gripping the country could damage economic growth and investor confidence.  Some investors are concerned a Thai Supreme Court verdict against former Thai Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, due later this week could lead to protests that could destabilize the fragile economy. Thai Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij warned Monday that political uncertainties in the country could adversely affect economic growth. Korn's comments come just ahead of a Friday Supreme Court verdict on whether former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is

Kenya's Two Leaders Fail to Meet to End Impasse

Kenya's two warring leaders failed to meet Sunday, despite an earlier pronouncement that they would, as the nation's political impasse drags on. Prime Minister Raila Odinga returned to Kenya on Sunday.  His office had earlier announced he would meet with President Mwai Kibaki to discuss a resolution to the country's weeklong political spat, but Mr. Kibaki's aides later denied the meeting had been set. Instead, Mr.

Ukraine Prime Minister Withdraws Election Complaint

Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, a losing candidate in the recent presidential election, has withdrawn her legal challenge from the court where she went to claim that voting results were rigged.  The decision clears the way for opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych to become the president of Ukraine. According to the original claim by Ukraine's Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko, more than one million votes in the February 7th poll were falsified or miscounted. Ms. Tymoshenko lost the election to opposition leader Viktor Yanukovych by 3.5 percentage points. Until recently, Ms.

Soldiers Name New Leader in Niger, International Community Opposes Coup

Soldiers in Niger have named a new military leader following Thursday's coup against  President Mamadou Tandja. Squadron chief Salou Djibo leads Niger's new Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy. He commands a heavy artillery unit that played a key role in Thursday's attack on the presidential palace. President Tandja was detained while holding a cabinet meeting.

UN Envoy Denied Meeting with Burma's Suu Kyi

The United Nations' special envoy on human rights in Burma says he deeply regrets that Burma's military government denied him a meeting with opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, who is currently under house arrest. U.N. envoy Tomas Ojea Quintana told reporters Friday he was particularly disappointed to be denied a meeting because this year Burma is expected to hold its first national elections in 20 years.  He said no reason was given for the denial. Quintana met Friday with a number of government officials to discuss the elections and other issues.

Ukrainian Court Reviews Election Fraud Claim

Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko urged a court Friday to examine carefully all the evidence regarding Ukraine's run-off presidential election, which she says was rigged. A court in Kyiv began hearing the prime minister's appeal to block the inauguration later this month of her rival, Viktor Yanukovych. Ms. Tymoshenko said she would accept the court's decision if all the evidence regarding the February 7 vote is studied thoroughly. Yanukovych is due to be sworn in February 25 after beating Prime Minister Tymoshenko by more than 3.5 percentage points.

Attempted Coup Underway in Niger's Capital

Witnesses reported heavy gunfire started about midday local time. State radio played traditional music, and made no mention of the coup attempt.  Soldiers and armored vehicles were seen near the palace and nearby streets were deserted.    Official sources in the capital Niamey tell VOA's Hausa Service that people have been taken to the hospital. Government ministers were scheduled to gather at the palace for a meeting about that time.