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SOF World Report

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.

'Merchant of Death' Faces New Extradition Hearing in Thailand

The alleged arms dealer to the world, Viktor Bout, could face another extradition hearing in Thailand after new charges were filed against him in New York. The possibility comes after a Thai court ruled it could not extradite Bout to face charges in the United States of supporting terrorism. Thailand's attorney general's office on Thursday said it could file another extradition case against suspected Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout. U.S.

Analysts Say Iran's Revolutionary Guard Accumulating Broad Powers

Iran is reacting sharply to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's remarks that the Persian state is becoming a military dictatorship. Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, accuses Clinton of spreading "lies" and the United States of turning the region into a so-called "arms depot." But several Washington-based analysts on Iran back Clinton's assertions. Iran's Revolutionary Guard was formed in 1979 to protect the Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini's Islamic Revolution from the Shah's army. Now U.S.

Ukrainian Court Suspends Presidential Election Results

A Ukrainian court has temporarily suspended the results of this month's presidential election pending review of an appeal filed by the losing candidate. The Supreme Administrative Court released a statement Wednesday saying the Central Election Commission ruling that declared Viktor Yanukovych the winner had been put on hold. Defeated Ukrainian presidential candidate Yulia Tymoshenko has filed a lawsuit seeking to overturn the results of the February 7 vote. Ms.

Russia Delays Arms Delivery to Iran

Russia is delaying delivery of its S-300 air-defense system to Iran and is also calling for Tehran to adhere to International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) guidelines for enrichment of nuclear fuel.  The moves follow Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's two-day visit to Moscow. The Interfax News Agency quotes the deputy director of Russia's Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation, Alexander Fomin, as saying delivery of the S-300 air defense system to Iran has been delayed by technical problems.

Burma Sentences 4 Activists to Hard Labor as UN Human Rights Envoy Visits

The Burmese opposition says military authorities sentenced four activists to prison terms with hard labor on the same day that a U.N. human rights expert began a mission to Burma. Opposition members say a Burmese court sentenced the four women to two years in prison Monday as U.N.

Charleston Airmen serve as liaison in Haitian repatriation effort

A small team of officers at Joint Base Charleston was recently called upon to bridge the gap between South Carolina repatriation efforts and Air Force flights transporting Haiti evacuees to Charleston International Airport in South Carolina. For weeks, Air Force space-available airlift had transported evacuees to other areas of the United States, but after an announcement the week of Feb. 7 that flights into Charleston's airport were planned, the need for Airmen to act as an intermediary became apparent. Col.