Kyrgyzstan Opposition Says Rule Will Last 6 Months
By CLIFFORD J. LEVY
Published: April 8, 2010
MOSCOW – After a day of bloody protests against the repressive rule of the president of Kyrgyzstan, which forced him to flee the capital of Bishkek, an opposition leader said on Thursday that a transitional government had taken over and would remain in power for six months.The unrest which erupted on Wednesday seemed to pose a potential threat to a critical American air base supporting the NATO campaign in nearby Afghanistan. But Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister who has emerged as head of a coalition of opposition groups, was quoted on Thursday as saying the supply line would not be immediately affected.
North pole marathon due to begin: racers to run 26 miles on ice at -30C
Two blind former servicemen, an aerospace engineer and a BBC reporter are among the 26 snow junkies and fitness freaks who were due to begin competing in the world’s coldest race, the north pole marathon.
The start of this year’s race was delayed by over nine hours due to bad weather. Braving temperatures of below
30C, contestants plan to run on ice for the entirety of the 26.2mile course – 10 laps around the geographic north pole.
For Jamie Cuthbertson, a 49-year-old former Royal Engineers captain, it is the challenge of a lifetime.
U.S. looks to nonnuclear weapons to use as deterrent
By Craig Whitlock
Washington Post staff writer
Thursday, April 8, 2010
As the White House pushes for cuts in the U.S. nuclear arsenal, the Pentagon is developing a weapon to help fill the gap: missiles armed with conventional warheads that could strike anywhere in the world in less than an hour.
U.S. military officials say the intercontinental ballistic missiles, known as Prompt Global Strike weapons, are a necessary new form of deterrence against terrorist networks and other adversaries.
Egg-farm video is latest salvo in Humane Society’s animal-rights campaign
The footage showing chickens in cramped cages and being slammed into bins is part of an escalating war with the food sector.
By P.J. Huffstutter
April 7, 2010 | 8:48 p.m.
The Humane Society of the United States has released undercover video footage shot at two of the nation’s largest egg farms showing workers slamming chickens into metal bins and dead birds littering cages — the latest salvo in an escalating war between the food sector and the country’s leading animal-rights organizations.
At stake, both sides said, is regulating how livestock are treated and how Americans’ food is produced.
Don’t blame us for Stalin’s slaughter, says Putin
Russian PM appeals to Poland on 70th anniversary of Katyn massacre
By Lidia Kelly in Katyn, Poland Thursday, 8 April 2010
RussiaN and Polish leaders have paid tribute to Russian and Polish victims of Soviet dictator Josef Stalin and vowed to overcome painful historic memories which still hamper bilateral relations.
At a sombre ceremony in Katyn forest, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin urged Poles not to blame the Russian people for the murder of 22,000 Polish officers by Stalin’s secret police in 1940 and to look to the future, not just the past.
Plastic gondola plan provokes anger in Venice
Venice’s gondoliers have expressed their outrage at plans by a shipyard in southern Italy to sell fibreglass gondolas for use on the city’s famous canals.
Published: 7:00AM BST 08 Apr 2010
The shipyard claims that the new boats are low-cost, weather resistant and easy to maintain, but Venetian authorities have baulked at the idea of replacing the traditional wooden gondola.
Aldo Reato, head of the Venice Ente Gondola association said the idea was “outrageous”. “We gondoliers will oppose this in every way possible. The idea of a ‘plastic’ gondola is unthinkable and I’m sure the whole world would agree,” he said.
“Aside from tradition and city regulations the idea of a fibreglass gondola is impractical because this is not some amusement park, this is Venice,” he told the Nuova Venezia daily.
Iran is still holding 35 journalists after crackdown, human rights group says
From The Times
April 8, 2010
At least 35 journalists remain imprisoned in Iran, with some facing the death penalty, after the Government’s media crackdown since the disputed presidential election last year.
The latest figures from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), a New York-based human rights group, show that Tehran is continuing to stamp out perceived opposition in the local media.
The campaign against journalists has now run almost a year, since President Ahmadinejad’s election victory last June, which the Opposition claims was achieved through vote-rigging.
Those in prison include editors, reporters, photographers, bloggers and even a writer for a children’s magazine.
Move over American Idol: Hissa Hilal in finals of Arab reality TV poetry contest
Saudi poet Hissa Hilal competes, beneath a veil, for the $1.3 million prize Wednesday night in the finals of Million’s Poet, a hit Arab reality TV poetry contest.
By Kristen Chick, Correspondent / April 7, 2010
When Hissa Hilal takes the stage Wednesday night in the final episode of Million’s Poet, a hit reality TV poetry contest, she won’t just be competing for the $1.3 million grand prize. She’s also marking the culmination of an extraordinary journey to use her poetry to combat the extremism that she says is suffocating the Arab world.
The Saudi Arabian woman has garnered praise and incited anger with her poems, which have unflinchingly and eloquently criticized religious extremism, in particular the fatwas issued by the Islamic religious establishment.
The Big Question: Who are the Naxalites and will they topple the Indian government?
By Andrew Buncombe, Asia Correspondent Thursday, 8 April 2010
Why are we asking this now?
Earlier this week, at least 76 Indian paramilitaries on a four-day patrol were killed in a co-ordinated ambush by hundreds of insurgents in dense jungle in the central state of Chhattisgarh. It was the deadliest single strike against government forces in a bloody insurgency that has stretched for more than four decades and in which at least 6,000 people have lost their lives. The authorities appeared deeply shocked by the ambush, in which the rebels used a combination of automatic weapons and landmines.
US seeks thaw in ties with Myanmar
By Larry Jagan
BANGKOK – A senior American diplomat is expected to visit Myanmar in the near future to try to kick-start Washington’s lagging engagement policy with the junta.
United States Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs Kurt Campbell is scheduled to arrive in Myanmar very soon, according to government officials in the capital, Naypyidaw. This is likely to be after the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Hanoi and the visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, both later this week.
But senior US officials dismiss the planned trip as a “rumor”.
Egyptian pro-democracy demonstrators beaten, arrested in Cairo
By Janine Zacharia
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
CAIRO — Egyptian police on Tuesday beat and detained pro-democracy demonstrators in central Cairo who were calling for constitutional reforms and the repeal of a decades-old emergency law that restricts an array of personal rights.
At least 90 people were detained, according to rally organizers from the 6th of April movement, a mostly youth-led organization that was formed two years ago and is pushing for more political freedom.
Rio floods: Why did more than 100 people die?
Brazilians are asking why authorities were not better prepared for the Rio floods, when an estimated 11 inches of rain crashed down in just 24 hours, killing more than 100 people.
By Tom Phillips, Contributor / April 7, 2010
Rio de Janeiro
As the torrential rains began to cede over Rio de Janeiro today, following the state’s worst floods since 1966, one question was stamped onto every newspaper front-page in Brazil: Why?
Why was Rio de Janeiro – Brazil’s second largest city and one with a history of tropical rainstorms and flooding – not better prepared for the catastrophe that struck on late Monday and Tuesday this week, when an estimated 11 inches of rain crashed down onto the iconic city and and its neighboring towns in just 24 hours?