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UN suspends talks with Burundi rebels

The United Nations has suspended mediation talks with a rebel group in the central African state of Burundi after it claimed responsibility for the massacre of 159 civilians in a refugee camp, the UN said on Monday. The FLN, the rebel force of Burundi's Hutu ethnic group, claimed responsibility for last Friday's slaughter in a camp at Gatumba in Burundi containing mainly Congolese Tutsis, a rival ethnic group.

Moore to release Fahrenheit 9/11 DVD before election

President George Bush will face a home-video barrage four weeks before the election: Fahrenheit 9/11, Michael Moore's assault on Bush's handling of the September 11 attacks, debuts on DVD and videotape on October 5. The announcement on Tuesday confirmed Moore's initial intention to have the film out shortly before election day.

Jackson arrives in court for ‘face-off’ with his old enemy

Michael Jackson on Tuesday came face to face with the prosecutor who has pursued him on child molestation charges for more than 10 years. The singer made a rare courtroom appearance to watch a pre-trial hearing in Santa Maria, California, during which district attorney Tom Sneddon was in the witness stand.

Bombay or Mumbai? Even UN can get it wrong

The United Nations is to intervene to avoid international confusion over the names of countries, cities, hills and rivers which have been changing so frequently that postal services, search and rescue workers, tourists and public transport companies are struggling to cope.

Massacred refugees buried

More than 160 Tutsi Congolese refugees massacred at a border camp were buried on Monday, as the African Union said it was sending a team to Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo to investigate the deaths. Nigeria's president, Olusegun Obasanjo, chairperson of the 53-member AU, on Monday denounced the attack, which took place on Friday, by extremist Hutus.
  • UN suspends talks with Burundi rebels
  • And now for something a little less ordinary

    "Starting off with some interesting reading: to get a good overview of the frightening future that is opening up before all of us, do your mind a favour and take the time to read <i>The Ghost of Orwell is upon Us</i>. Or if you don't want to face up to reality, you could always go watch a short film clip of a cute little dog with sleeping sickness." Ian Fraser has more where this came from this week.

    The science of development

    All economies today are reliant on science and technology to various degrees to sustain economic growth and meet their development needs. Today many countries continue to remain poor because they have not addressed the technological gap. But the Third World is capable of tackling the technology gap without looking North, reckons Saliem Fakir.

    The road to Harsud

    "Villages die by night. Quietly. Towns die by day, shrieking as they go. Since independence Big Dams have displaced more than 35-million people in India alone. What is it about our understanding of nationhood that allows governments and "national interest", that allows -- applauds -- the violation of peoples' rights on a scale so vast that it takes on the texture of everyday life and is rendered virtually invisible," asks Arundhati Roy.

    Blood is big business in Cameroon

    The term "blood money" has come to have new meaning in Cameroon, where certain patients and their families complain that a brisk trade in trafficked blood has led to shortages in hospitals. "Getting hold of a pouch of blood for a patient who has urgent need of it can be an experience akin to Calvary," said Martin Djomo, the husband of someone who is dependent on blood transfusions.

    England beat Windies in third Test

    Robert Key and Andrew Flintoff hit unbeaten half centuries as England recovered against the West Indies on the fifth and final day on Monday to win by seven wickets. Key anchored the 231-run second-innings chase with an unbeaten 93 as the home team reached their target with 27,2 overs left in the final session.

    Man United can bounce back, says defender

    Manchester United, who are now thought unlikely to buy a new striker despite their injury problems, can bounce back after their opening Premiership defeat at Chelsea on Sunday, their French defender Mikael Silvestre predicted. Silvestre said United deserved a draw rather than the 1-0 loss to pre-season big spenders Chelsea.

    SA swimmers through to semis

    South Africa's gold-medal swimming duo Ryk Neethling and Roland Schoeman are through to Tuesday's semifinal of the men's 100m freestyle, but not without some anxious moments for the supporters. ''I'm ... now looking forward to the semifinals tonight,'' said Neethling before quickly moving through the media zone.

    Greek athletes leave hospital on busy day

    Greek sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou left hospital on Tuesday, four days after a motorcycle crash that followed a missed drug test -- again taking the focus from the competition arenas at the Athens Olympics. Eleven medal events were scheduled on the fourth day of Olympic competition.
  • Special Report: Olympics 2004
  • First gold for Olympic hosts

    Host nation Greece won their first gold medal of the Athens Olympics when Nikolaos Siranidis and Thomas Bimis triumphed in the men's synchronised diving 3m springboard event on Monday. ''We hope that this will open the way for more medals for Greece,'' said Bimis. Chinese favourites Peng Bo and Wang Kenan finished last.
  • Special Report: Olympics 2004
  • Freitag injury fear dampens SA spirits

    A sober mood settled over the South African camp after the jubilant party of a world-record Olympic gold medal as the team awaited news of a scan of the troublesome ankle of world high-jump champion Jacques Freitag in Athens on Monday. South Africa also didn't fare well in two boxing events at the Games.
  • Special Report: Olympics 2004
  • Cricket star’s shoulder operation a success

    An injury to the bowling shoulder of Sri Lanka's record-breaking off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan wasn't as bad as first feared and an operation to fix it was a success, his surgeon told Australia's national broadcaster on Tuesday. Muralitharan will likely be sidelined for five months, but he should regain full use of his shoulder.

    Baghdad tries new Najaf peace bid

    A delegation from Iraq's first national conference will on Tuesday travel to the holy city of Najaf in a bold attempt to broker a peace deal with the radical Shia cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. The group of Iraqi politicians will set off from Baghdad in a fleet of minibuses, pursuing an initiative first suggested by a distant relative of the cleric, Sayed Hussain al-Sadr.

    Cut-price tickets? You’ve got to be kidding

    Tumbleweed blowing across the car parks, under-worked staff in the box offices and empty seats in the stands. Welcome to Athens 2004. ''We will not be giving tickets away, and we will not be offering discounts. To do so would be unfair to those who have paid full price,'' an Olympic games spokesperson, Michael Zacharatos, said on Monday, denying there were plans to, in a phrase used most commonly by failed theatre impresarios, ''paper the house''.

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