terça-feira, 17 de agosto de 2010
(AP) Bomb attacks killed three U.S. service members and two Afghan civilians in Afghanistan on Tuesday, officials said.
The deaths - in eastern and western Afghanistan - were a reminder that the Afghan war continues to be violent far from the southern Taliban strongholds currently targeted by a surge of U.S. troops. Recent months have been particularly deadly for both NATO forces and Afghan civilians countrywide.
Two of the Americans were killed in a bombing in the east, while the third was killed in the west, NATO said. It did not provide details on where or how they were attacked. Including these deaths, 15 U.S. service members have been killed so far this month.
Meanwhile, a bomb hidden on a motorbike killed two Afghan street cleaners early Tuesday in eastern Ghazni province.
The bomb, which was remote-detonated, appeared to be targeting a police truck that was driving down the street in Ghazni city, said Ismail Jahangir, a provincial government spokesman. CBS News
BEIJING - China may overtake Japan as the world's second-largest economy this year, but it remains a developing economy despite its fast pace of growth, economists said.
Japan's nominal gross domestic product (GDP), which is not adjusted for price and seasonal variations, was worth $1.286 trillion in the April-to-June quarter compared with $1.335 trillion for China, according to data released by the Japanese government on Monday. The figures are converted into dollars based on an average exchange rate for the quarter.
Japan's GDP grew at an annualized rate of just 0.4 percent, the government said, far below the annualized 4.4 percent expansion in the first quarter and adding to evidence the global recovery is facing strong head wind.
China has surpassed Japan in quarterly GDP figures before, but this time it is unlikely to relinquish the lead, AP reported.
China's economy will almost certainly be bigger than Japan's at the end of 2010 because of the huge difference in each country's growth rates. China is growing at about 10 percent a year, while Japan's economy is forecast to grow between 2 to 3 percent this year.
The gap between the size of the two economies at the end of last year was already narrow. Chinese economists estimated China's leading advantage would maintain through the rest of 2010, reinforced by its usually more vibrant economy in the fourth quarter and possible yuan appreciation.
Japan has held the No 2 spot behind the United States since 1968, when it overtook West Germany. From the ashes of World War II, the country rose to become a global manufacturing and financial powerhouse. But its "economic miracle" turned into a massive real estate bubble in the 1980s before imploding in 1991. China Daily
BAGHDAD: A suicide bomber sat for hours Tuesday among hundreds of army recruits before detonating nail-packed explosives strapped to his body, killing 61 people and casting new doubt on the ability of Iraqi forces as US troops head home.
Bodies of bloodied young men, some still clutching job applications in their hands, were scattered on the ground outside the military headquarters in central Baghdad. Some of the estimated 1,000 men who had gathered there before dawn for a good spot in line were so desperate for work they returned hours after being treated at hospitals for injuries in the attack.
Though Iraq's military and police recruiting centers have been attacked repeatedly, there was virtually no security provided for the hundreds of men seeking to hand in applications on the last day they were being accepted at the headquarters for the Iraqi army's 11th Division.
The bomber, it appears, simply walked up and joined the applicants. Witnesses said he approached an officer collecting I.D. cards and set off a blast that split his own body in two.
"Severed hands and legs were falling over me. I was soaked with blood from the body parts and wounded and dead people falling over and beside me," said Yasir Ali, who had been waiting outside the military headquarters since 4 a.m.
It was one of the bloodiest bombings in months in the Iraqi capital and was an embarrassment for Iraq's military as it tries to reassure the nation it can fill the gap left by America's departing military. At the end of this month, US troops will number just 50,000 and will be involved only in limited combat operations. Arab News
Nigeria's police force was put under the spotlight by international watchdog Human Rights Watch on Tuesday. In a new report, the group said widespread corruption is systematic.
Everyone's in on the Game, that's the title of the Human Rights Watch report about Nigeria's police force.
Speaking from Lagos, lead researcher Eric Guttschuss says it's no exaggeration.
"The abuses by the police are very serious and the corruption is also widespread," he said.
Police officers in Nigeria work in difficult and often dangerous circumstances, says the report, and many do so with full merit.
But it says corruption can be found at every level.
It says innocent people are regularly detained and a fee demanded for their release. Bribery, it says, has become institutionalized.
It says rank-and-file police officers are often forced to pay their senior officers a share of the money they extort from the public.
"People who are assigned to lucrative posts such as roadblocks or working traffic are given monetary targets that they must meet and then give back to their superiors," added Guttschuss.
Officers who were interviewed by Human Rights Watch said if officers did not meet those monetary targets they would be punished with a transfer to a less lucrative post.
Human Rights Watch interviewed 145 people for the report.
A market trader described being beaten by police and a woman said she had been raped. VOA News
CAPE TOWN (Reuters) - East Africa needs to raise up to $25 billion, or nearly two-thirds of Kenya's annual output, over the next decade to upgrade its railways to boost trade, a senior regional official said on Tuesday.
"We are talking about the railway master plan which is expected to consume between $20 and $25 billion," said Alloys Mutabingwa, the East African Community's (EAC) deputy secretary general for infrastructure and planning.
The EAC launched a common market in July, opening the borders of Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi with a combined GDP of $75 billion, although poor roads and railways remain an impediment to greater trade.
For a Factbox on the EAC click on:
Mutabingwa said the EAC's rail investment plan should be ready by the end of the year, after which governments would start mapping out a framework for public-private deals.
Work to upgrade existing railway lines or build new ones was likely to start in 2013, he added. New rail links would be built between inland countries and the ports of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania and Kenya's Mombasa.
The African Development Bank was the lead financial advisor in the railway project and the EAC was exploring all options to raise the necessary capital, Mutabingwa said. Reuters Africa
PARIS, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- A European "water satellite" is giving researchers a different way to look at the recent devastating monsoon floods in Pakistan, officials say.
The European Space Agency's orbiting Smos spacecraft can sense the moisture level in soils, and the unique instrument has been trained on the areas in Pakistan where some 20 million people in 62,000 square miles -- almost a fifth of the country -- have been affected by the floods, the BBC reported.
Data gathered by the satellite has been processed to make a series of maps covering the spreading reach of the flooding.
The satellite carries instruments that sense the natural emission of microwaves coming off the earth's surface, a signal that changes with levels of moisture in the soil.
Scientists hope once the Smos observation technique has become sufficiently mature it will be able to play a leading role in disaster mitigation. UPI
SANTIAGO, Chile, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Struggling to recover from a devastating health crisis, the once-booming salmon farming industry in Chile faces an uncertain future, experts say.
Once second in the world only to Norway, the country's industry saw production cut in half by the infectious salmon anemia virus that spread through the fish farms in the southern Chilean regions of Los Lagos, Aysen and Magallanes, Inter Press Service reported Sunday.
Experts blame the collapse on the speed of the industry's growth and the lack of government control or oversight.
"Salmon farming expanded quickly, without a regulatory framework or adequate controls to prevent and anticipate environmental problems or the development of transmittable fish diseases," Carlos Chavez, an expert in environmental economy and natural resources at the University of Concepcion, said.
The virus forced producers to harvest fish early and shut down operations in order to clear the waters, and the fish farms hit bottom in January 2009. UPI
Nicolas Anelka has been banned for 18 matches by the French Football Federation (FFF) over his conduct at this summer's World Cup.
Anelka, 31, was sent home from South Africa after a row with coach Raymond Domenech and, in protest, the France squad boycotted a training session.
Patrice Evra was captain of the team and has been banned for five matches for his part in the revolt.
Franck Ribery has been suspended for three and Jeremy Toulalan for one.
Eric Abidal made up the five players who were summoned to the FFF disciplinary hearing on Tuesday and he escaped punishment.
The quintet were highlighted as the key players in the embarrassing controversy which surrounded the French team at the World Cup following Anelka's outburst at Domenech during the loss to Mexico saw him banished. BBC Sport
US officials have confirmed the existence of videotapes of the 2002 interrogation of an alleged 9/11 plotter, reportedly at a secret prison.
The tapes, which the Associated Press said were found under a CIA desk, are said to show Ramzi Binalshibh at a Moroccan-run jail once used by the CIA.
But a US official downplayed their significance, saying they "show a guy sitting at a desk answering questions".
They are said to be the only recordings from a defunct CIA secret jail network.
The US government has said the CIA destroyed 92 videotapes of interrogations of terror suspects, but the Associated Press reported two videotapes and an audiotape were discovered under a desk in 2007 at an agency office.
A CIA spokesman declined to answer questions about the tapes, but said the agency's "past detention programme has been subject to multiple reviews by multiple government organisations under two administrations". BBC News
Police in Tanzania say they have arrested a Kenyan national who was attempting to sell an albino man.
The arrest was made in a sting operation as police pretended to be businessmen buying albino body parts.
Police say they struck a deal equivalent to more than $250,000 (£159,000) for the 20-year-old man.
Albino body parts are prized in parts of Africa, with witchdoctors claiming they have special powers. The Tanzanian government has promised to take action.
According to the Tanzanian police a 28-year-old Kenyan man, Nathan Mutei, was arrested just outside the town of Mwanza as he attempted to sell an albino man.
The regional police commander, Simon Siro, told the BBC that Mr Mutei had tricked a fellow Kenyan into believing he would secure a job in Tanzania as a truck driver's assistant. BBC News
A DNA test has determined that the late chess champion Bobby Fischer is not the father of a nine-year-old Filipino girl, her lawyer has said.
The Supreme Court in Reykjavik had ordered Mr Fischer's body exhumed to prove whether Jinky Young was Mr Fischer's daughter.
However, lawyer Thordur Bogason said the report "excluded Bobby Fisher".
The US-born chess player died in Iceland in 2008 but left no will. His estate is estimated at $2m (£1.4m).
"The DNA report excluded Bobby Fisher from being the father of Jinky Young, and therefore the case has come to a close," said Mr Bogason.
The other claimants to Mr Fischer's estate are Japanese woman Myoko Watai, who claims to be Mr Fischer's widow, and the chess master's two nephews.
The US government is also claiming unpaid taxes from the estate. BBC News
Tehran has called on the Vienna Group to agree on the date and venue of technical discussions on a nuclear fuel swap deal between Iran, Brazil and Turkey, a spokesman for the Iranian Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday.
"...We are fully ready to deal with details of fuel swap, and talks on the issue can be held without pause as soon as the group declares its readiness," Ramin Mehmanparast was quoted by Iranian information agency ISNA as saying.
Tehran submitted in July a letter to IAEA Director General Yukio Amano, which expressed Iran's readiness to hold technical discussions on the supply of 20%-enriched fuel to Iran for use in its Tehran scientific research reactor.
Turkey and Brazil are to be included in the negotiation process.
Russia welcomed Tehran's proposals, but the Western members of the so-called Iran Six group, which also includes Britain, China, France, Germany, and the United States, have yet to provide a clear response.
Turkey, Brazil and Iran signed an agreement on May 17, dubbed the Tehran Declaration, in which Iran committed itself to giving 1,200 kg of its 3.5%-enriched uranium to Turkey in exchange for 20%-enriched uranium it would receive from Western countries to be used as fuel in the nuclear research reactor near Tehran. RIA Novosti
At least 30 people were injured after a car exploded in the centre of the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk on Tuesday, a local emergencies department source said.
"Three of the wounded are in a critical condition," the source said.
An explosive device was detonated in a Lada car parked near a cafe at 16:15 Moscow time (12:15 GMT).
A criminal case has been launched on charges of terrorism, said a spokesman for the Russian investigations committee said.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to do everything possible to get to the bottom of the incident. RIA Novosti
In a tit-for-tat move, Romania declared a top Russian diplomat in Bucharest persona non grata on Tuesday and ordered him to leave the country in 48 hours.
On Monday, Russia's Federal Security Service (FSB) announced that Gabriel Grecu, first secretary of the political department of the Romanian Embassy in Moscow, had been detained in Moscow while trying to obtain military secrets from a Russian national.
Grecu was quickly declared persona non grata and ordered to leave the country within 48 hours.
Romania's Foreign Ministry said the Russian diplomat had "equivalent ranking" to Grecu - i.e., first secretary, but did not release any names. RIA Novosti
The EU has set aside over 80,000 euros ($104,000) to help Russians affected by wildfires, the Delegation of the EU to Russia said on Tuesday.
It said the EU had put aside a total of 81,589 euros to immediately assist 1,700 families that have lost their homes and livelihoods due to fires in the Voronezh, Belgorod, Kirov, Nizhny Novgorod, and Moscow regions.
The aid, in the form of foodstuffs, bedding, clothing, detergents, and other vital supplies, will be distributed through the International Foundation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
A scorching heat wave has gripped much of European Russia since mid-June, which, coupled with the worst drought since the 1970s, has made the countryside particularly susceptible to wildfires. RIA Novosti
At least 22 people were injured in an explosion in the centre of the southern Russian city of Pyatigorsk, a spokeswoman for the local emergencies department said.
"All the injured have been hospitalized in Pyatigorsk hospital," she said.
A doctor working at the scene said earlier that 16 people were injured.
A car, parked near a cafe, exploded at 16:30 Moscow time (12:30 GMT). Police are still uncertain whether the blast was caused by a bomb in the car or an exploding gas cylinder.
President Dmitry Medvedev ordered the head of the Russian Federal Security Service (FSB) to do everything possible to get to the bottom of the incident. RIA Novosti
Russia is interested in supplying Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan and is setting no constraints on a possible deal, a Kremlin aide said on Tuesday.
"The Russian side is definitely interested in this [deal]; there are no impediments on our side," Sergei Prikhodko said.
He said Russia was ready both to supply helicopters under a possible NATO contract and to be part of a U.S.-run tender for supplying helicopters to the Afghan military.
Prikhodko said the issue would be discussed during a meeting between Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and his Afghan counterpart Hamid Karzai in Sochi on Wednesday.
NATO Military Committee Chairman Giampaolo di Paola said in late July that Russia and NATO were discussing a possible deal on the supply of 27 Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan.
Russia's state-run arms exporter Rosoboronexport said in July it was preparing to compete in a U.S. tender to deliver Mi-17 helicopters to Afghanistan. RIA Novosti
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin thanked on Tuesday the foreign governments and pilots who have contributed to efforts to extinguish wildfires in Russia.
Pilots from Ukraine, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Italy, France and Turkey took part in smothering the wildfires, while many other countries contributed rescue workers.
"It is particularly pleasant to know that when we are in trouble, we do not have to ask for help or support. Practically all of our partners responded, showing their solidarity with Russia," the premier said.
Putin himself took part in putting out forest fires in Ryazan Province on board an amphibious firefighting plane.
The premier spent half an hour as co-pilot on a Be-200 plane, scooping up water from the nearby Oka River and dumping it on fires some 200 kilometers southeast of Moscow. RIA Novosti
The Russian Energy Ministry expects a deal to be struck soon with Exxon Neftegas on a budget for the Sakhalin-1 oil and gas project, Energy Minister Sergei Shmatko said on Tuesday.
"Our aim is to put an end to the dispute within the next two to three weeks," Shmatko said.
The Sakhalin-1 project is being operated within a production sharing agreement (PSA). Exxon Neftegas has suggested a $3.5 billion 2010 budget, but the government considers this too high and had approved just $1 billion at the end of 2009.
The governor of Sakhalin island in Russia's Far East, where the offshore project is located, has threatened to replace the operator if the budget was not cut.
The Sakhalin-1 project includes the Chaivo, Odoptu and Arkutun-Dagi deposits, with reserves estimated at about 307 million tons of oil (2.3 billion barrels) and 485 billion cubic metres of gas (17 trillion cubic feet). RIA Novosti
Afghanistan settlement, the fight against terrorism and drug trafficking will be the main topics on the agenda of a quadrilateral summit in the southern Russian city of Sochi on Wednesday, a Kremlin aide said.
This is the second meeting of the presidents of Russia, Tajikistan, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The first quadrilateral summit was held in Tajik capital Dushanbe on July 30, 2009.
"Special attention is to be given to the problems of Afghanistan settlement, the fight against the threats of terrorism and drugs, and economic recovery and development in Afghanistan and its surrounding region," Sergei Prikhodko said.
The four leaders will also discuss the strengthening of regional cooperation to help stabilize the situation in Afghanistan and on the Afghan-Pakistani border, he said.
Further topics will include trade and economic cooperation and joint energy projects. RIA Novosti