quarta-feira, 21 de julho de 2010
Riyadh, Beijing pledge to take relations higher
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia and China on Wednesday celebrated the 20th anniversary of their diplomatic ties. Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah sent a cable of greetings to Chinese President Hu Jintao on the occasion, commending the strategic relations.
"I take this opportunity to praise the remarkable progress achieved by the strategic friendly relations and cooperation between the two countries in all fields," King Abdullah said in his message.
He said Saudi Arabia wanted to advance bilateral relations to an even higher level to benefit the people of the two countries. King Abdullah and Crown Prince Sultan, deputy premier and minister of defense and aviation, extended their hearty greetings to President Hu and the Chinese people on the occasion.
The Chinese president said in a statement that Sino-Saudi relations had seen comprehensive development. "The Chinese government and its people have always viewed the bilateral links from a strategic perspective," he said.
"As the international community is undergoing complex and profound transformations, it is in the fundamental interests of both Chinese and Saudi people ... to strengthen and consolidate Sino-Saudi relations, properly deal with issues in hot spots, and meet various common challenges," Hu said, adding that it would contribute to world peace and stability.
US authorities have charged a man with providing material support to Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabab.
Zachary Adam Chesser, 20, was detained on 10 July as he tried to board a flight to Uganda.
He allegedly told federal agents he had twice tried to go to Somalia to join al-Shabab, which the State Department designated a terrorist group in 2008.
Al-Shabab has taken control of large parts of Somalia and claims to have links with al-Qaeda.
"This case exposes the disturbing reality that extreme radicalisation can happen anywhere, including Northern Virginia," said US Attorney Neil MacBride.
"This young man is accused of seeking to join the Shabab, a brutal terrorist organisation with ties to al-Qaeda. These allegations underscore the need for continued vigilance against homegrown terror threats".
Mr Chesser was also named in court papers as Abu Talhah al-Amrikee.
He allegedly told investigating agents that he maintained several online profiles dedicated to extremist jihad propaganda.
US investigators alleged that Mr Chesser was a follower of radical US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical American Muslim cleric of Yemeni descent who is believed to be in Yemen with al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.
Mr al-Awlaki is suspected of helping plan the attempted bombing of an airliner over Detroit last Christmas.
Police in southern Kyrgyzstan detained late on Wednesday Ahmad Bakiyev, the brother of the ousted president Kurmanbek Bakiyev, an interim government spokesperson told RIA Novosti.
"Police arrested Ahmad Bakiyev late on Wednesday in Jalalabad. He was under arrest warrant on suspicion of instigating the recent interethnic clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and minority Uzbeks in the south of Kyrgyzstan," the official said.
Violent clashes between ethnic Kyrgyz and Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan broke out in the city of Osh on June 11 and then spread to the neighboring Jalalabad region. Unofficial estimates put the death toll at about 2,000 people, while half a million may have been made homeless by the violent pogroms, which saw thousands of homes burned.
Authorities on Wednesday positively identified the partially decomposed body found on the desolate outskirts of Moreno Valley as that of Norma Lopez, the 17-year-old high school student who police suspected was abducted after summer school.
The Riverside County coroner’s office made the determination after a morning autopsy.
The body was found Tuesday afternoon by a local resident doing yard work in a remote section of town surrounded by wheat fields, just off Interstate 60.
Exposed to the elements during the recent heat wave, the remains were so decomposed that authorities could not immediately determine the sex of the deceased, let alone tell if it was Lopez's body, said Riverside County Sheriff’s Department spokesman Sgt. Joe Borja.
Borja said investigators still have no suspects in the case, although a newer model green SUV was seen speeding away from the area where Lopez disappeared.
Lopez was reported missing about 12:30 p.m. Thursday by her older sister, Sonja, after she failed to return home from a summer biology class at Valley Vista High School. She was out of class by 10 a.m. and had plans to meet her older sister and a friend, authorities said.
Investigators said they found some of Norma's belongings, and signs of a struggle, in a vacant field along Cottonwood Avenue, a popular shortcut among students just a few blocks from the school. They are also looking for the driver and passengers of the SUV seen near the field at the time of her disappearance.
Norma was last seen wearing a white, horizontal-striped sleeveless shirt with a floral pattern and black jeans.
Los Angeles Times
By Manfred Ertel
The meeting point is in a rundown apartment building on an arterial road in southeast Havana, a place where tourists don't go. The plaster is peeling from the walls, the windowpanes are cloudy and the wooden window frames are crumbling. There are no signs on the doors and no mailboxes. Even the rusty sign that reads "Ernesto Che Guevara" has seen better days and is missing a corner.
The door opens into the host's "apartment," a tiny, 80-square-foot room with a kitchenette, filled with two massive refrigerators from the 1950s, an old table, two chairs and a tattered armchair and couch.
The room next door is just as cramped. Juan Carlos Gonzalev Leiva, 45, sits on the bed to allow his visitor to sit on a chair in the room. Leiva is blind. An illness left him with impaired vision at birth, and he lost his sight completely in the early 1990s.
Leiva, a lawyer, is one of Cuba's best-known dissidents. He is the general secretary of a human rights group, a sort of umbrella organization that represents about 70 opposition groups in the country, totaling more than 2,000 members, and about 50 political prisoners.
Leiva organized a nationwide meeting of dissidents. He criticized Fidel Castro publicly and in private letters. In one letter, he even described Castro as a "mass murderer." In early 2002, the head of state and party leader had had enough and ordered Leiva locked up in a prison run by the secret police. He was sentenced to a four-year prison sentence, of which he served two-and-a-half years in prison and the rest under house arrest.
"They tortured me, beat me and humiliated me," he says, "I didn't think I was going to get out of there alive." He still has the scars on his legs to prove it.
A laptop, fax machine and printer -- not the most up-to-date models but better than nothing -- are on a small table next to the visitor's chair. Leiva still manages part of the Cuban opposition from this small room.
Former general secretary of the Chilean Communist Party Luis Corvalan died on Wednesday at the age of 94, the Chilean media reported.
Luis Alberto Corvalan Lepe was born in 1916. In 1932, shortly after the fall of Carlos Ibanez del Campo repressive dictatorship he joined the Communist Party of Chile.
From 1948 to 1958 the Communist party was considered illegal in Chile. During that time, Corvalan was jailed in the concentration camps of Pitrufquen and later in Pisagua. Since 1958 he served as the party's Secretary General.
Corvalan was arrested in 1973 in General Augusto Pinochet's military coup as he opposed Pinochet's regime. During his imprisonment Corvalan was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize. Three years later the Soviet Union launched a campaign for a release of Corvalan. In exchange Moscow released dissident Vladimir Bukovsky, who was in prison for "anti-Soviet propaganda".
Corvalan lead the party even being in exile. After the end of Pinochet's dictatorship, he stepped down as the Communist party leader at the age of 73 and returned back to Chile in 1989.
He spent the remaining years of his life in the Chilean capital, Santiago, writing memoirs.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin discussed the Russian-Bulgarian energy cooperation with his Bulgarian counterpart Boiko Borisov in a telephone conversation on Wednesday, the Russian government's press service said.
Russia and Bulgaria signed in January 2008 an agreement on the South Stream project designed to transport Russian gas to western Europe bypassing Ukraine.
However, Gazprom announced in June the possibility of re-routing South Stream through Romania, instead of Bulgaria, after Borisov said that his country would not proceed with previous agreements to build the joint gas pipeline with Russia and Greece.
The issue was settled on July 16, when the counties signed a road map for the technical and economic assessment of Bulgaria's section of the pipeline.
The South Stream pipeline, which is considered a rival to the EU-backed Nabucco pipeline, is scheduled to be launched in December 2015.