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/ 10 May 2008

Burma holds referendum amid cyclone chaos

The military rulers of Burma went ahead with a constitutional referendum on Saturday despite calls from the outside world to postpone it after the devastation of Cyclone Nargis.The plebiscite was postponed by two weeks in the hardest-hit Irrawaddy Delta and the city of Rangoon, but voting went ahead in other parts of the country.

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/ 16 April 2008

Zim to haunt Mbeki at UN summit

South African President Thabo Mbeki had intended to lead a summit on Wednesday at the United Nations in New York that would focus on the increasing peacekeeping chores of African Union troops. But on Tuesday, it became clear that Mbeki would not be able to dodge the ongoing election crisis in Zimbabwe.

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/ 12 April 2008

Zim police ban rallies as summit draws close

Police have banned political rallies and the opposition has accused the authorities of waging a violent crackdown as Zimbabwe’s political crisis deepens nearly two weeks after a presidential election that produced no official winner. Zimbabwe’s neighbours hope to find a resolution on Saturday at an emergency summit in Zambia.

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/ 29 March 2008

Zimbabweans queue to make their mark

Eager to vote, Zimbabweans began lining up before dawn on Saturday for elections that present President Robert Mugabe with the toughest political challenge of his 28 years in power. The house of a ruling Zanu-PF parliamentary candidate in Bulawayo was reportedly bombed earlier in the day, shattering its windows.

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/ 21 March 2008

Obama’s passport records improperly accessed

Contract workers for the United States State Department improperly viewed Democratic presidential candidate Senator Barack Obama’s passport records three times this year in what his campaign called ”an outrageous breach” of his privacy. The incidents, which occurred on January 9, February 21 and March 14, were quickly reported to lower-level State Department officials.

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/ 15 March 2008

Iran counts votes as US decries results

Iran began counting votes on Saturday that are likely to keep conservatives in control of Parliament after many opponents of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad were blocked from standing in the election. The United States, at loggerheads with Iran over its nuclear programme, said any result was ”cooked”.

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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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/ 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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/ 5 February 2008

UN Security Council slams rebel assault in Chad

The United Nations Security Council on Monday unanimously condemned the rebel attacks in Chad and urged world support for the embattled government as the insurgents threatened a new assault on the capital. A statement drafted by France, Chad’s former colonial ruler, "strongly condemns these attacks and all attempts at destabilisation by force".

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/ 29 January 2008

Kenyan forces struggle to contain violence

Kenyan security forces struggled on Tuesday to contain escalating violence as the post-election unrest claimed its first victim among the country’s politicians. Heavily armed Kenyan army soldiers patrolled the volatile Rift Valley capital, Nakuru, on Tuesday while paramilitary police guarded the town of Naivasha, the new epicentre of tribal fighting.

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/ 18 January 2008

Kenya opposition says it’s time to move on

Opposition street protests over the disputed re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki will end after demonstrations planned for Friday, a spokesperson said. At least eight people have been shot dead by police during two days of protests called by Raila Odinga, leader of the opposition Orange Democratic Movement.

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/ 4 January 2008

Kenya police deploy to block rally

Huge numbers of Kenyan police deployed on Friday to block an opposition rally in Nairobi as Washington sent its top Africa diplomat to help resolve a post-election crisis that has claimed more then 350 lives. On Thursday, police had used water cannon and tear gas to disperse opposition supporters marching on the city centre for a "million-man" rally.

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/ 4 January 2008

World frets over Sri Lanka

Nordic ceasefire monitors began wrapping up their six-year mission to Sri Lanka on Friday after the government scrapped a truce with the Tamil Tigers, and their mandate, amid a chorus of international concern. The government formally notified mediator Norway late on Thursday it was giving a stipulated 14-day notice period to end the truce.

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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

Musharraf prepares to shed army uniform

Pakistan’s General Pervez Musharraf said farewell to military colleagues on Tuesday as he prepared to become a civilian president ahead of January’s general election. Musharraf visited Joint Staff headquarters in Rawalpindi a day before he steps down as army chief to fulfil one of the long-held demands of his political rivals and Western allies.

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/ 16 November 2007

Pakistan frees Bhutto from house arrest

Pakistan freed opposition leader Benazir Bhutto from house arrest early on Friday, hours after a caretaker prime minister was appointed in a first step towards a national election. Jail officials left the residence in the eastern city of Lahore where Bhutto has been held to prevent her from leading a pro-democracy rally.

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/ 3 November 2007

Iraq conference looks at tensions on Turkey border

Turkey stepped up pressure on the United States to help curb attacks by Kurdish rebels from northern Iraq as a conference on Saturday of Iraq’s neighbours and major powers sought to lower cross-border tensions. The ”neighbours’ conference”, hosted by Turkey, was meant to focus on security inside Iraq but instead it is overshadowed by tensions between Turkey and Iraq.