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/ 23 March 2008

UN says road deaths kill as many as Aids

The United Nations is to hold its first debate on road safety amid warnings that the problem is a ”public health crisis” on the scale of Aids, malaria and tuberculosis. Next week’s meeting will follow research by the World Health Organisation forecasting that between 2000 and 2015, road accidents will cause 20-million deaths.

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/ 21 March 2008

Cyprus leaders agree to relaunch reunification talks

Leaders of Cyprus’s Greek and Turkish communities agreed on Friday to relaunch reunification talks and to open a barricaded street in Nicosia that symbolises the island’s division. It was the first meeting between Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat since Christofias was elected to the Cypriot presidency last month.

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/ 17 March 2008

Serbs clash with UN and Nato in north Kosovo

Hundreds of Serbs in north Kosovo clashed with United Nations police and Nato peacekeepers on Monday in the worst violence since the Albanian majority declared independence last month. Riots erupted in the town of Mitrovica after several hundred UN special police backed by French Nato peacekeepers stormed a UN court in the town and arrested dozens of Serbs.

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/ 16 March 2008

Bringing down the new Berlin Walls

The highest and oldest wall is that which separates ”us” from ”them”. This is described today as a great divide of religions or ”a clash of civilisations”, which are false concepts, propagated to provide ”the other” — a target for fear and hatred that justifies invasion and plunder, writes John Pilger.

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/ 22 February 2008

Turkey army launches land offensive into Iraq

Turkish troops have crossed into northern Iraq in their hunt for Kurdish PKK guerrillas, the military said on Friday, but the United States and the European Union urged Ankara to keep the campaign limited. The White House said the US had been informed in advance of the incursion and urged Turkey to limit the operation to ”precise targeting” of the PKK rebels.

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/ 20 February 2008

Nato closes roads between Serbia and Kosovo

Nato peacekeepers closed off roads between Serbia and northern Kosovo and armed United Nations police officers guarded smouldering border checkpoints on Wednesday as thousands of Serbs protested against Kosovo’s independence. For three days, Kosovo’s Serbs have shown their anger over Sunday’s declaration of independence.

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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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/ 18 February 2008

SA mulls Kosovo independence

The South African government is still deciding whether to recognise Kosovo as an independent country, Foreign Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said on Monday. It is expected that the decision would have to be taken soon as it would again be discussed by the United Nations Security Council on Tuesday afternoon.

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/ 18 February 2008

Kosovo awaits recognition, and Serb challenge

Kosovo looked forward on Monday to recognition by the Western powers who went to war to save its Albanian majority, but Russia served notice the new state will never be forced on its Serb allies in the territory. Fireworks brought to a close a day of celebration in the Kosovo capital Pristina, where Parliament adopted a declaration of independence from Serbia.

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/ 17 February 2008

Picnic-site blast kills over 80 Afghans

A suicide bomber killed more than 80 people at a picnic spot in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar on Sunday in the most deadly attack since the Taliban were ousted in 2001, the government said. The attack will add urgency to a debate about how the United States and Afghanistan’s other allies can help stem militant violence and promote stability.

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/ 16 February 2008

‘Are we a society of values, or of blood?’

Just before dawn on one of Kosovo’s last mornings as a Serbian province, young military cadets are being put through their paces on a concrete drill field. The 38 young men and women in matching tracksuits represent Kosovo’s hopes for the future, at least for its Albanian majority. As dense clouds of jackdaws swoop and wheel above them, they run in perfect formation, chanting their determination to defend the new nation.

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/ 8 February 2008

Report: al-Qaeda plotting attacks on Germany

German authorities have learnt that al-Qaeda is preparing to carry out attacks in Germany, a senior official said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper on Friday. The Secretary of State in the Interior Ministry, August Hanning, said al-Qaeda leaders based in the border area between Pakistan and Afghanistan have ”decided to carry out attacks in Germany”.

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/ 2 February 2008

‘Undertaker’ close to power in Serbia

A former cemeteries manager known as the ”Undertaker” stands his best chance of becoming head of state when Serbia votes on Sunday in a fateful presidential election. To his many critics, the extreme nationalist Tomislav Nikolic will be digging Serbia’s grave if he repeats his first-round victory.

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/ 21 January 2008

Musharraf pledges free elections

Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf pledged on Monday to hold free elections as he began a four-country European trip aimed at winning international support. Musharraf’s popularity has slumped over recent months in Pakistan, which has been racked by militant attacks, and faces a parliamentary election on February 18.

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/ 6 January 2008

Georgian opposition call protest over polls

Georgia’s opposition called for its supporters to take to the streets on Sunday after a disputed exit poll showed incumbent Mikheil Saakashvili winning in the first round of a snap presidential vote. Saakashvili predicted victory, saying in a statement that independent exit polls "show that we are winning in the first round".