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/ 27 February 2008

Talks fail: Army is Kenya’s best hope

Britain on Tuesday said that the Kenyan army is now ”by far the best option” to stop a sectarian bloodbath as peace talks in Nairobi between the government and opposition were suspended. Former United Nations secretary general Kofi Annan suspended talks between the government and the opposition negotiating teams after it became clear they were going nowhere.

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/ 12 February 2008

CBS staff kidnapped in Iraq

Two employees of United States broadcaster CBS News, one reportedly a British journalist, have been kidnapped in Iraq. The United Kingdom journalist was seized by gunmen in Basra with his interpreter on Sunday, according to the Iraqi news agency Aswat al-Iraq (Voice of Iraq).

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/ 10 February 2008

Burma’s junta sets timetable for polls

Burma’s military junta unveiled a timetable for the country’s first elections in two decades, but it was unclear on Sunday if detained opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi would be allowed to stand. The surprise weekend announcement of a constitutional referendum in May to set the stage for elections in 2010 appeared to catch her party off guard.

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/ 17 January 2008

Russian envoy: ‘Now we really have a crisis’

The diplomatic stand-off with Russia entered a dangerous new phase on Wednesday as British officials denounced ”a pattern of intimidation” by Russia’s security services against British Council staff. The Foreign Office complained of unacceptable behaviour, after Russians working at British Council offices were called in for questioning by the FSB.

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/ 5 November 2007

Musharraf to be given ultimatum

The United States and Britain are on Monday expected to demand that Pakistan’s President, Pervez Musharraf, honour pledges to hold elections in the next two months and step down as the army chief, or face a cut in Western support. The diplomatic showdown will come in the form of a meeting in Islamabad between the Pakistani leader and a group of ambassadors.

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/ 22 September 2007

Iraq’s hired hands under fire

They needed to be hired fast after the 2003 invasion of Iraq. With too few United States soldiers on the ground, demand for private security guards was at a level not seen since the mercenary heyday of Congo in the 1960s. But the Iraq boom for private security firms is coming to an end, even without the Blackwater shooting row.

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/ 6 September 2007

China denies cyber-spying charges

From the German chancellery to the Pentagon, government computer networks have been targeted by cyber spies that media reports say were directed by China’s military. The reported Pentagon attack was the ”most flagrant and brazen to date”, said Alex Neill, an expert on the Chinese military at London’s Royal United Services Institute.