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World Briefs (11/12/09)

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« on: November 13, 2009, 12:41:48 pm »

World Briefs (11/12/09)
Thursday, November 12, 2009
From wire reports

Hezbollah lashes out at Obama

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Hezbollah's leader yesterday accused President Barack Obama of absolute bias in favor of Israel and disregard for the dignity of Arabs and Muslims.

Sheik Hassan Nasrallah said Mr. Obama has gone even farther in his military support for the Jewish state than his predecessor, George W. Bush -- who was reviled in much of the Arab world for his support of Israel and war on Iraq.

The remarks were Mr. Nasrallah's strongest criticism yet of the American president since Mr. Obama took office almost a year ago.

Mr. Nasrallah said Mr. Obama's earlier statements calling on Israel to freeze settlement building and then going back on that demand was a "tactic" agreed on by both Israel and the U.S.
Iran open to nuke fuel bank

TEHRAN, Iran -- Iran says it could cooperate in a global nuclear fuel bank, a U.S.-backed idea for a safe repository for uranium aimed at preventing proliferation of nuclear weapons.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said yesterday Tehran places importance on international nuclear cooperation including "Iran's presence in the global fuel bank."

Iran has been wrangling with Western powers over their proposal for it to ship most of its uranium out for enrichment abroad. The aim is to reduce Iran's stockpile of fuel that can be used for nuclear energy or nuclear weapons. Iran is resisting the idea and instead proposing the U.N. supervise uranium enrichment inside the country.
Britain to trim DNA database

LONDON -- Britain said yesterday it plans to get rid of DNA profiles of most innocent people after six years in response to a European Court ruling that said keeping the information indefinitely was a violation of human rights.

The DNA of terror suspects could still be held indefinitely, even if they are not charged with terrorist offenses.

Britain has one of the largest DNA databases in the world, with profiles of over 5 million people, or 8 percent of the population.
Ruling slams anti-Muslim bias

DRESDEN, Germany -- A Russian-born German man was found guilty yesterday of murder and sentenced to life in prison for fatally stabbing a pregnant Egyptian woman in court, an attack that triggered outrage in the Muslim world.

The Dresden state court said in its ruling that because of the particularly brutal nature of the crime defendant Alexander Wiens, 28, would not be eligible for early release.

During the trial, Mr. Wiens admitted stabbing Marwa al-Sherbini to death at a July 1 court hearing in Dresden. Mr. Wiens had argued, however, that his actions were not premeditated and that he had no xenophobic motivation.

Maria Boehmer, the German government official responsible for immigrant affairs, said the verdict was "an important signal for the people of Egypt and other parts of the Arab world."

"The message is: There is no place for xenophobia in our country," she said.
Fast against hunger planned

ROME -- The head of a U.N. food agency yesterday called on people around the world to join him in a day of fasting to highlight the plight of undernourished people, whose ranks have surged past 1 billion in the global economic crisis.

Jacques Diouf, director-general of the Food and Agriculture Organization, said he hoped the move would encourage action by world leaders who will take part in a three-day food summit at the agency's headquarters starting Monday.

Presenting the summit goals to reporters, Mr. Diouf called for "a global day of hunger strike" on the eve of the summit to show solidarity with the world's hungry.

Mr. Diouf said he would begin a 24-hour fast on Saturday morning. The agency also launched an online petition against world hunger.
Also in the world...

The Rev. Michael Sinnott, a 79-year-old Irish Catholic priest abducted in the Philippines a month ago has been freed unharmed and neither country paid any of the kidnappers' $2 million ransom demand, Irish and Filipino authorities announced...Eight American scientists, including Nobel laureate in chemistry Peter Agre, are in Havana to engage in "science diplomacy."

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The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity, but the one that removes awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. --Allan Bloom

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