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/ 26 May 2008

Are the Afrikaners not free enough?

Some people simply lack a sense of occasion. It gets worse when these are public representatives. There was Freedom Front Plus leader Pieter Mulder smiling to the cameras this week. Feeling good about himself that he had got ”his people” the attention of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation whom he hoped would extend recognition to the Afrikaners.

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/ 22 May 2008

UN chief presses case in Burma for more aid

United Nations chief Ban Ki-moon flew to Burma on Thursday to press the ruling generals to allow a full-blown international aid effort for 2,4-million people left destitute by Cyclone Nargis. The government’s official toll is 77 738 people killed and 55 917 missing, and it also estimates the damage to the economy at -billion.

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/ 15 May 2008

IMF chief says worst of financial crisis is over

The worst of the financial-sector crisis is over, although the impact on the broader economy will likely drag on in coming months, International Monetary Fund (IMF) managing director Dominique Strauss-Kahn said on Thursday. "There are good reasons to believe that the largest part of disclosure in financial institutions has been done," he said.

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/ 28 April 2008

North Korea fetes torch with rally and songs

North Koreans waved flags, plastic flowers and danced in the streets of Pyongyang to welcome the Olympic torch on Monday after the destitute state had promised its main benefactor China an ”astonishing” show. The global torch relay ahead of the Beijing Games in August has prompted protests against China’s rights record in Tibet.

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/ 27 April 2008

EU puts Galileo test satellite into orbit

The European Union launched the second and final test satellite for its ,3-billion rival to the United States Global Positioning System on Sunday, brushing off industry doubts over its viability. The Galileo project, Europe’s biggest single space programme, has been plagued by delays and squabbling over funding.

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/ 17 April 2008

Iraq suicide bomber slaughters dozens

A suicide bomber blew himself up in a crowd of mourners in northern Iraq on Thursday, killing at least 50 people, a police officer said. The man detonated an explosives vest in the crowd in the Sunni Arab village of Bu Mohammed, 120km south of the oil city of Kirkuk, at about 11am local time, Captain Abdullah Jassim said.

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/ 29 March 2008

Merkel won’t attend opening of Beijing Olympics

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, on Friday became the first world leader to decide not to attend the Olympics in Beijing. As pressure built for concerted Western protests to China over the crackdown in Tibet, European Union leaders prepared to discuss the crisis for the first time on Saturday, amid a rift over whether to boycott the Olympics.

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/ 26 March 2008

Tibet crackdown leaves 135 dead, says exiled leader

China’s crackdown on protests in Tibet has left at least 135 people dead, 1 000 injured and 400 arrested, the head of the Tibetan Parliament-in-exile said in Brussels on Wednesday. ”Information from Tibet is very difficult to get, but we have sources who are very reliable, who phone us at the risk of their lives,” parliamentary speaker Karma Chophel said.

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/ 22 February 2008

The Olympic prisoners

POINT: The Olympic Games have their anthem, their rings, their heroes and their sponsors. And now, with the Beijing 2008 Games, they have their prisoners. The Chinese government is not just building fine stadiums, it is also arresting those who dare to condemn the countless human rights violations taking place in China.

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/ 2 February 2008

China arrests leading rights activist

Chinese state security forces have arrested one of the country’s most prominent civil rights activists in an apparent crackdown on dissent ahead of the Olympics. Hu Jia — who used blogs, webcasts and video to expose human rights abuses — is expected to face charges of inciting subversion of state power, his lawyers said on Saturday.

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/ 23 January 2008

EU adopts blueprint for climate fight

The European Union’s executive adopted landmark proposals on Wednesday that will make the 27-nation bloc a world leader in the fight against climate change, but trade-offs will include higher energy bills. The European Commission approved detailed plans to cut planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions by one-fifth and set each EU state individual targets.

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/ 22 January 2008

Are IP addresses personal information?

Internet protocol (IP) addresses, a string of numbers that identifies a computer, should generally be regarded as personal information, the head of the European Union’s group of data privacy regulators said on Monday. Google insists an IP address merely identifies the location of a computer, not who the individual user is.

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/ 17 January 2008

Kenya police, protesters face off

Kenyan police clashed with opposition members on Thursday in a second day of unrest over President Mwai Kibaki’s disputed re-election, and the opposition said police had killed seven. In opposition strongholds in the capital, Nairobi, and the western town of Kisumu, police fired tear gas and live bullets and struck at least two people.