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/ 25 May 2008

Mugabe threatens US ambassador

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Sunday accused the United States of political interference and threatened to expel its ambassador, as his party began its campaign for next month’s election run-off. He told supporters in Harare that the Western allies wanted to control Zimbabwe’s resources.

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/ 2 May 2008

Zim announces election run-off

Zimbabwe’s opposition leader defeated President Robert Mugabe in the presidential election but faces a run-off vote after he failed to win an outright majority, the electoral body said on Friday. Movement for Democratic Change leader Morgan Tsvangirai won 47,9% of the vote on March 29 and Mugabe took 43,2%, said the chief elections officer.

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/ 2 May 2008

MDC rejects presidential vote tally

Zimbabwe’s opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) said on Friday it would reject results of a presidential election that would force a run-off against veteran ruler Robert Mugabe. Official data showed the MDC’s Morgan Tsvangirai won 47,9% of the vote, beating Mugabe with 43,2%, but not enough to escape a second round contest with Mugabe.

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/ 2 May 2008

US urges Mugabe to ‘call off his dogs’

The United States on Thursday urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to "call off his dogs" who are allegedly attacking opposition supporters and to release the presidential election results. State Department deputy spokesperson Tom Casey questioned how credible the results of the March 29 election could be when they have yet to be released.

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/ 22 April 2008

Zim arms ship ‘not in SA waters’

A Chinese ship carrying a shipment of arms and ammunition destined for Zimbabwe was not in South African territorial waters, a Defence Ministry spokesperson said on Monday in reaction to a claim that the An Yue Jiang was ”passing through South Africa’s territorial waters” in violation of a court order.

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/ 4 April 2008

Zanu-PF: ‘We cannot just hand it to Morgan’

A leadership meeting of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party will decide on Friday to contest a runoff election against opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, a senior official said. Referring to a meeting of the Zanu-PF politburo, a senior party member told Reuters: ”I have no doubt the resolution will be in favour of a run-off, I have no doubt about that.

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/ 1 April 2008

Edgy Zimbabwe awaits more vote results

Zimbabwe sat on a knife-edge on Tuesday as it awaited a new leader amid mounting pressure to swiftly release full results of an election already claimed by the opposition. For a second night running, security was stepped up in and around the capital, Harare, in readiness to quell any post-electoral unrest.

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/ 29 March 2008

Foreign diplomats want unfettered access in Tibet

Foreign diplomats demanded unfettered access in Lhasa Saturday after authorities allowed them to visit the riot-torn city amid debate in Europe on a possible boycott of the Beijing Olympics opening ceremony. Diplomats from 15 embassies, including those of the United States, Britain, France and Japan, arrived in the Tibetan capital for a hastily arranged one-day tour.

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/ 23 March 2008

Inside the court of the Tibetan god-king

When the Dalai Lama sat down on Saturday with Richard Gere and Robert Thurman, father of actor Uma and a United States professor of Buddhism, it was supposed to be for a few hours contemplating sacred art and silent meditation. But like almost everything the 72-year-old does, who he meets and what he says are picked over and pulled apart.

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/ 22 March 2008

Richardson backs Obama in blow to Clinton

Senator Barack Obama won a coveted endorsement from fellow Democrat Bill Richardson on Friday as the State Department apologized for snooping into his passport files and those of his two main White House rivals. The decision by the Hispanic governor of New Mexico is a victory for Obama and could improve the Illinois Democrat’s chances of winning over Latino voters.

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/ 4 March 2008

Report: US plotted to overthrow Hamas

The Bush administration, caught out by the rise of Hamas, embarked on a secret project for the armed overthrow of the Islamist government in Gaza, it emerged on Monday. Vanity Fair reports in its April edition that President George Bush signed off on a plan for the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, to remove the Hamas authorities in Gaza.

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/ 20 February 2008

US ready to shoot down wayward spy satellite

The United States Defence Department said on Wednesday that the window of opportunity is now open for it to try to shoot down a failing spy satellite. The navy is planning to hit the satellite with a heat-seeking missile as early as Wednesday night. ”We’re now into the window,” a senior defence official said.

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/ 18 February 2008

Main EU states recognise Kosovo

Europe’s biggest states recognised the independence of Kosovo on Monday, ending hours of suspense after Prime Minister Hashim Thaci assured his new republic that Western recognition would come ”any minute”. France was first to announce its move after a European Union foreign ministers’ meeting in Brussels.

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/ 15 February 2008

Rice to visit Kenya on February 18 in peace drive

President George Bush, ahead of a trip to Africa, said on Thursday he asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to go to Kenya with a message that there must be a full return to democracy. Kenya’s feuding political parties adjourned talks for the weekend, dashing chief mediator Kofi Annan’s hopes to have a final political settlement this week.

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/ 2 February 2008

Rebels overrun capital of Chad

Rebels penetrated the capital of Chad on Saturday, clashing with government troops and moving toward the presidential palace after a three-day advance through the Central African nation, a French military spokesperson and witnesses said. Witnesses reported looting and gunfire near government buildings.

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/ 24 January 2008

US raises concerns over Tsvangirai arrest

The United States said on Thursday it has raised its concerns with Zimbabwe over a political opponent’s arrest which it called a bid to intimidate and muzzle democratic opposition. The US ambassador to Harare, James McGee, spoke on Wednesday to opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai after he was released after several hours in custody.

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/ 27 December 2007

Benazir Bhutto killed in suicide attack

Pakistani opposition leader Benazir Bhutto was assassinated on Thursday as she left an election rally in the city of Rawalpindi, putting January 8 polls in doubt and sparking anger in her native Sindh province. State media and her party confirmed Bhutto’s death from a gun and bomb attack. ”She has been martyred,” said party official Rehman Malik.

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/ 8 December 2007

How intelligence expert rewrote book on Iran

The intelligence came from an exotic variety of sources: there was the so-called Laptop of Death; there was the Iranian commander who mysteriously disappeared in Turkey. But pivotal to the United States investigation into Iran’s suspect nuclear-weapons programme was the work of a little-known intelligence specialist, Thomas Fingar.

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/ 1 December 2007

Turk army enters Northern Iraq to hit Kurd rebels

Turkey’s army said it entered northern Iraq on Saturday to tackle up a group of up to 60 Kurdish rebels, a day after Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan’s Cabinet authorised a cross-border operation against the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK). It was not clear whether the incursion was a major operation by Nato member Turkey aimed at destroying bases of the PKK.

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/ 30 November 2007

Rice to visit Ethiopia in rare Africa trip

United States Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Ethiopia next week for meetings on the conflicts in the volatile African Great Lakes region and Sudan and Somalia, said the State Department on Thursday. Rice, a rare visitor to the African continent, will make her third trip to sub-Saharan Africa since becoming Secretary of State in 2005.

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/ 27 November 2007

Bush nudges Israel, Palestinians toward peace

President George Bush launched a United States drive to create a Palestinian state on Monday, with Israelis and Palestinians nearing an agreement to address the toughest issues of their decades-old conflict. His legacy dominated by war in Iraq, Bush began three days of Middle East diplomacy in separate Oval Office meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.