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World News Thread & Breaking News!!

This is a discussion on World News Thread & Breaking News!! within the Members' Club Room forums, part of the China Defense & Military category; Well...I felt the need to create a news thread where news from all over the world can be talked about ...

  1. #1
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    World News Thread & Breaking News!!

    Well...I felt the need to create a news thread where news from all over the world can be talked about and discussed.

    Lets start off the thread with something very important

    World Wide Web marks 20th birthday

    The World Wide Web on Friday marked its 20th anniversary and its founders admitted there were bits of the phenomenon they do not like: advertising and "snooping".

    The creation of the web by British computer software genius Tim Berners-Lee and other scientists at the European particle physics laboratory (CERN) paved the way for the internet explosion which has changed our daily lives.

    Berners-Lee and former colleagues such as Robert Cailliau, who originally set up the system to allow thousands of scientists around the world to swap, view and comment on their research, regardless of the distance or computer system, took part in commemorations on Friday at the laboratory.

    "Back then there were 26 web servers. Now there are 10 to the power of 11 pages, that's a many as the neurones in your brain," said Berners-Lee, who still has an active hand in the web's development.

    In March 1989, the young Berners-Lee handed his supervisor in Geneva a document entitled Information Management: A Proposal.

    The supervisor described it as "vague, but exciting" and gave it the go ahead, although it took a good year or two to get off the ground and serve nuclear physicists in Europe initially.

    Former CERN systems engineer Cailliau, who teamed up with Berners-Lee, said: "It was really in the air, something that had to happen sooner or later."

    They drew up the global hypertext language - which is behind the "http" on website addresses and the links between pages - and came up with the first web browser in October 1990, which looks remarkably similar to the ones used today.

    "Everything that people talk about today, blogs and so on, that's what we were doing in 1990, there's no difference. That's how we started," Cailliau told Swiss radio RSR.

    The WWW technology was first made available for wider use on the internet from 1991 after CERN was unable to ensure its development, and the organisation made a landmark decision two years later not to levy royalties.

    "Without that, it would have died," Berners-Lee said.

    Cailliau still marvels at developments such as wikipedia that allow knowledge to be exchanged openly around the web, but never imagined that search engines would take on the importance they have assumed today.

    But the commercial development of the web irritates some of the founders, who prize its open and universal nature.

    "There are some things I don't like at all, such as the fact that people have to live off advertising," said Caillau, who preferred the idea of direct "micro payments" to information providers.

    "And there's the big problem of identity, of course, the trust between the person who is consulting and the person who provides the page, as well as the protection of children."

    Berners-Lee, now a researcher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States and a computer science professor at Southampton University in Britain, still heads the World Wide Web Consortium (3WC) that coordinates development of the web.

    He expressed fears about the growing tendency to profile web users and detail their habits by collecting online data, often automatically.

    "That sort of snooping is really important to avoid," he told the commemorative event here, heralding a future built on linked open data networks and mobile web use.

    Lynn St Amour, chief executive of the Internet Society, complained that the web is often wrongly confused with the wider internet, a "network of networks".

    "The web is one - albeit, the most influential and well known - of many different applications which run over the internet."

    "The great achievement of Tim Berners-Lee was to recognise the power and potential in the internet," she said.
    Last edited by bd popeye; 08-13-2011 at 08:36 AM.

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    G-20 leaders lay out plan to restore growth - CNN.com

    HORSHAM, England (CNN) -- Financial experts from 20 nations urged more regulation and oversight of fiscal institutions to help prevent another monetary crisis, as they laid the groundwork Saturday for next month's G-20 Summit of world leaders.

    Their proposals for restoring growth and confidence included helping developing countries, providing more support to international banks and improving accounting standards.

    "This is a global crisis, and it requires a coordinated, global response," U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said at a news conference. "We have a broad base of consensus to act aggressively to restore growth."

    "You are seeing the world move together at a speed and on a scale without precedent in modern times. All the major economies are putting in place substantial fiscal packages," he said. "The stronger the response, the quicker recovery will come."

    The G-20 financiers recommended substantial increases in support for the International Monetary Fund and Asian Development Bank. In a communiqué, they said an expansion of the IMF's membership should be considered.
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    The IMF monitors global financial developments, loans money to developing countries, provides technical assistance and does economic research. The institution also plays a key role in the fight against money-laundering and terrorism.

    Geithner said the United States will soon release a framework for regulatory reforms that is guided by several principles, including stronger oversight of financial institutions and stricter standards for stability and disclosure.

    Action must be taken, the financiers said, to ensure that all major "financial institutions, markets and instruments are subject to an appropriate degree of regulation and oversight, and that hedge funds or their managers are registered and disclose appropriate information to assess the risks they pose.

    The recommendations also will be considered at next week's session of the European Council.

    "Regulators in one country must cooperate more closely in another country to create a global network of supervision," British Prime Minister Gordon Brown said at a news conference.

    "We have to address the fact that a bad bank in one country can undermine good banks in every country, and that multibillion-dollar markets still exist outside the supervisory net," Brown said.
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    "We call on all countries to adopt international standards and sign bilateral agreements to exchange tax information with other countries."

    The G-20 summit next month was initially going to focus on financial markets and regulation, but the deepening crisis around the world necessitated the need for a broader economic package that includes everything from stimulus packages to uneven interest rates, said Mark Malloch-Brown, the British prime minister's envoy to the summit.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Nice, a weapon of mosquito destruction

    'Star Wars' scientists create laser gun to kill mosquitoes - CNN.com

    'Star Wars' scientists create laser gun to kill mosquitoes

    Scientists in the U.S. are developing a laser gun that could kill millions of mosquitoes in minutes. ...
    It's amazing how small and accurate all those things have become. If they're really cheap and easy to produce also, they can have a definite impact. I wonder what else can come from such a development.
    ================================================== =================

    And since we don't have a dedicated world economy thread, I'll put the following here

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/19/bu.../19fed.html?hp

    Fed to Buy $1 Trillion in Securities to Aid Economy

    WASHINGTON — Saying that the recession continues to deepen, the Federal Reserve announced Wednesday that it would pump an extra $1 trillion into the mortgage market and longer-term Treasury securities in order to revive the economy.
    A LOT of new money in the market there ...
    Last edited by Scratch; 03-18-2009 at 03:00 PM.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    And since we don't have a dedicated world economy thread, I'll put the following here
    I was gonna put a world business thread but I thought no one was paying attention to this thread, now I know there are.

    I'll create a world business thread, which you can put your economics news into.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Natasha Richardson dies after skiing head injury

    Natasha Richardson, a gifted and precocious heiress to acting royalty whose career highlights included the film Patty Hearst and a Tony-winning performance in a stage revival of Cabaret, died on Wednesday at age 45 after suffering a head injury during a beginners’ ski lesson.

    Alan Nierob, the Los Angeles-based publicist for Richardson’s husband, Liam Neeson, confirmed her death in a written statement.

    “Liam Neeson, his sons [Michael, 13, and 12-year-old Daniel], and the entire family are shocked and devastated by the tragic death of their beloved Natasha,” the statement said. “They are profoundly grateful for the support, love and prayers of everyone, and ask for privacy during this very difficult time.”

    The statement did not give details on the cause of death for Richardson, who suffered a head injury and fell on a beginner’s trail during a private ski lesson at the luxury Mont Tremblant ski resort in Quebec.

    Seemingly fine after the fall on Tuesday, about an hour later Richardson was hospitalized in Montreal and later flown to New York, where she was taken to the Lenox Hill Hospital on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

    It was a sudden and horrifying loss for her family and friends, for the acting community and for her fans.

    Descended from at least three generations of actors, Richardson was a proper Londoner who came to love the noise of New York, an elegant woman with large, lively eyes, a bright smile and a hearty laugh.

    If she never quite attained the acting heights of her Academy Award-winning mother, she still had enjoyed a long and worthy career.

    As an actress, Richardson was equally adept at passion and restraint, able to portray besieged women both confessional (as Tennessee Williams’ Blanche DuBois) and confined (as the concubine in the futuristic horror of The Handmaid’s Tale).

    Like other family members, she divided her time between stage and screen. On Broadway, she won a Tony for her performance as Sally Bowles in a 1998 revival of Cabaret.

    She also appeared in New York in a production of Patrick Marber’s Closer in 1999 and a revival of Tennessee Williams’ A Streetcar Named Desire in 2005, in which she played Blanche opposite John Reilly’s Stanley Kowalski.

    She met Neeson when they made their Broadway debuts in 1993, co-starring in Anna Christie, Eugene O’Neill’s drama about a former prostitute and the sailor who falls in love with her.

    “The astonishing Natasha Richardson ... gives what may prove to be the performance of the season as Anna, turning a heroine who has long been portrayed [and reviled] as a whore with a heart of gold into a tough, ruthlessly unsentimental apostle of O’Neill’s tragic understanding of life,’’ New York Times critic Frank Rich wrote.

    Richardson played the title character in Paul Schrader’s Patty Hearst, a 1988 biopic about the kidnapped heiress for which the actress became so immersed that even between scenes she wore a blindfold, the better to identify with her real-life counterpart.

    Richardson later co-starred with Neeson in Nell and Mia Farrow in Widow’s Peak.

    Richardson was born in London in 1963, the performing gene inherited not just from her parents — Redgrave and director Tony Richardson — but from her maternal grandparents — Michael Redgrave and Rachel Kempson.

    Her screen debut came at age four, when she appeared as a flower girl in The Charge of the Light Brigade, directed by her father, whose movies included The Entertainer.

    Richardson sometimes remarked on the differences between her and her husband, Neeson — she from a theatrical dynasty and he from a working-class background in Northern Ireland.

    “He’s more laid back, happy to see what happens, whereas I’m a doer and I plan ahead,” she told the Independent on Sunday in 2003.

    She once said that Neeson’s serious injury in a 2000 motorcycle accident when he suffered a crushed pelvis after colliding with a deer, had made her really appreciate life.

    “I wake up every morning feeling lucky, which is driven by fear, no doubt, since I know it could all go away,” she told the Daily Telegraph in 2003.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Yeah that is so sad. She's one of my favorite actresses. Her current husband, Liam Neeson is among my favorite actors.
    "Lets do a thermal sweep."

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    Re: World News Thread

    I remember her from the Parent Trap, saw that movie alot of times when I was a kid. Liam Neeson was great in Taken which was just mind blowing action.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by kliu0 View Post
    I remember her from the Parent Trap, saw that movie alot of times when I was a kid. Liam Neeson was great in Taken which was just mind blowing action.
    Parent Trap? Thats John Wayne Maureen O Hara and Haley Mills. What part did Richardson play?

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    Re: World News Thread

    It was the Disney remake....in 1998

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    Re: World News Thread

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...033000098.html

    Gunmen Attack Police Academy in Pakistan

    LAHORE, Pakistan, March 30 -- Gunmen armed with grenades and assault weapons invaded a police training compound near this Pakistani city Monday, battling security forces and holding dozens of police trainees hostage for more than seven hours before being overpowered.

    There were conflicting reports about how many people were killed in the attack, although military and police commanders said at least eight police cadets and four assailants had died, and dozens were injured. After army and police commandos stormed the rural compound about 4 p.m., the surviving attackers surrendered on a rooftop. No group has claimed responsibility for the assault.

    It was the second major terror attack this month in Lahore, a bustling provincial capital known for its cultural and political prominence. On March 3, a squad of gunmen assaulted a bus full of cricket players visiting from Sri Lanka, leaving six people dead and effectively ending Pakistan's ability to host international sporting events.

    ...

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    At least 150 killed in Italian earthquake, officials say

    L'AQUILA, Italy (CNN) -- Rescuers worked into the early morning hours Tuesday in hopes of finding survivors of a powerful earthquake that ripped through Italy's mountainous Abruzzo region, killing scores of people and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

    Tearful survivors, many of them clad in pajamas and blankets, watched as bodies were pulled from the rubble in the medieval city of L'Aquila, about 120 km (75 miles) northeast of Rome. The quake killed more than 150 people, L'Aquila's fire department said late Monday.

    Nearly 24 hours after the quake hit, authorities were still unsure how many people remained trapped in the wreckage.

    "We think maybe 70 to 100," said Francesco Rocca, a spokesman for the Italian Red Cross. "We still don't know the exact number. This is why we are still working very, very hard at the moment."

    Another body was found in the rubble of a student dormitory early Tuesday morning, and at least five other students were believed inside. But aftershocks hindered rescuers early Tuesday, and they have asked for additional equipment and expertise from Rome, authorities at the scene told CNN.

    Italy's Civil Protection agency reported at least 1,500 injured and 50,000 without shelter.

    "I can say there's hardly a building which was left without some sign of what has happened in the historical center of L'Aquila," Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said during a visit to the stricken region. "All the public buildings have been affected."

    Berlusconi said 4,000 people were working on the rescue effort. Civil defense officials said they are prepared to house up to 30,000 people, but many of those displaced have gone to hotels.

    Of the 150 dead, about 100 bodies have been identified, the officials said.

    Monday's earthquake was about 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) deep, the USGS said.

    About 10:20 p.m. (8:20 p.m. GMT) Sunday, a 4.6-magnitude earthquake hit northern Italy, about 55 km (35 miles) southeast of Bologna, the agency said. That earthquake's depth was 6.4 km (4 miles).

    The quake is the deadliest to strike Italy in decades, and the first major temblor to strike the country in almost seven years. Joshua Brothers, an American missionary, told CNN that the quake "sounded as if a 747 (jet) was actually coming in to land."

    "That was the first thing that was on my mind," he said.

    The quake left stone buildings in heaps, with rubble spilling over parked cars and into alleyways. Frightened residents rushed into the streets, many of them bringing luggage with them, Brothers said. Photo See images of the destruction »

    "If you look along the way, there are many palazzi that are cracked, walls have fallen in on some of them," he said. Video Watch Brothers describe devastation »

    L'Aquila's hospital was damaged as well, forcing doctors to evacuate the most seriously hurt. Agostino Miozzo, the director-general of Italy's Civil Protection agency, called it "a disaster on a huge scale." iReport.com: 'The house shook for such a long time'

    The magnitude 6.3 earthquake struck at 3:32 a.m. (1:32 p.m. GMT Sunday), Italy's . Berlusconi declared a state of emergency and canceled a trip to Russia to oversee the rescue efforts. Three significant aftershocks -- ranging from magnitude 4.3 to 4.8 -- shook the area within six hours of the quake, unnerving residents further.

    The earthquake followed less than six hours after another quake hit the northern part of the country, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. Seismic activity is not uncommon in Italy, which is sandwiched between the European and African tectonic plates, and USGS geophysicist Amy Vaughan called the region geographically "complex." Learn more about how earthquakes are measured »

    In 1997, an earthquake killed 10 people in the Umbria region, left tens of thousands homeless and seriously damaged monuments and artwork, including the town of Assisi's famed Basilica of St. Francis.
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    About 17 years before the Umbria quake, a 6.5-magnitude temblor in southern Italy killed 3,000 people, according to the USGS.

    Pope Benedict XVI was praying for the "victims, especially the children," killed in Monday's quake, the Vatican said, according to Italian news agency ANSA

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    Re: World News Thread

    Thailand can't return to stability. It's getting back and forth with these protests.
    __________________________________________________ _______________

    Thailand Cancels Asean After Thai Protesters Storm Summit Venue - Bloomberg.com

    Thailand Cancels Asean After Thai Protesters Storm Summit Venue

    April 11 (Bloomberg) -- Thailand canceled a regional leaders’ summit for a second time in five months after thousands of Thai anti-government protesters stormed the meeting venue in the resort town of Pattaya.

    Leaders from the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations were scheduled to meet with heads of states from China, Japan, South Korea, India, Australia and Japan today and tomorrow. Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva declared a state of emergency in the city to ensure the leaders could depart safely. They were evacuated by helicopter, Agence France-Presse reported.

    The summit’s collapse deals a heavy blow to Abhisit, who touted his ability to host the meeting as a sign he had restored normalcy to the country after protesters closed Bangkok’s airports last year. The summit had been previously delayed from December because of political turmoil in Thailand, which holds Asean’s rotating chairmanship.

    “The government is completely humiliated,” said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, director of the Institute for Strategic and International Studies at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok. “It’s a debilitating setback for Thailand because a lot of people gave us the benefit of the doubt that last year was just a one-off. This will leave a lasting impression on the international community.”

    Meant to Follow G20

    This meeting was also scheduled to be the first for the Asia Pacific regional leaders since the G-20 summit in London earlier this month. Among planned attendees in the Thai city were International Monetary Fund Managing Director Dominique Strauss-Kahn, World Bank President Robert Zoellick and United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

    More than 1,000 so-called Red Shirts, who want Abhisit to resign, converged on Pattaya “to show the world that we don’t want this government,” Arismun Pongruenrong, a former pop singer who led a protest group, said yesterday.

    The demonstrators today shattered glass doors at the meeting’s conference center and stormed the venue with clappers and whistles while shouting slogans for Abhisit to step down.

    Abhisit took power in December after protesters who supported him shut down the country’s airports for eight days and a court dissolved the ruling party for vote buying. He wooed a faction of lawmakers that previously backed former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra to join his coalition, and consolidated his parliamentary majority in a March 21 confidence vote.

    Arismun, the protester, said they breached an army barricade at the summit venue after a one of them was shot dead and some were injured by gunfire. Arismun said they were attacked by pro-government demonstrators, who Arismun claimed were backed by the government. His claim wasn’t independently verified.

    ‘Abhisit Must Resign’

    “This is our first step to get rid of our prime minister and reform our democracy,” Arismun said. “Abhisit must resign” after the three-day Thai New Year holiday starting April 13.

    Leaders were scheduled to discuss ways to battle the region’s worst slowdown in more than a decade. Asia’s export- dependent nations are reeling from the global recession, which has slashed demand for the region’s computer chips, cars and commodities.

    “The summit will be postponed to a later date,” Thai Foreign Ministry spokesman Tharit Charungvat said in phone interview after the protesters stormed the building. “All the leaders expressed their total understanding.”

    A separate meeting between the leaders of Japan, China and South Korea may go forward at a separate venue in Pattaya, where they are expected to discuss North Korea’s April 5 missile test, according to Japanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kazuo Kodama.

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    Re: World News Thread

    A possibly real dangerous situation developing here. Radical fighters / Taliban expanding their influence and even controll beyond the tribal areas in Pakistan. As long as they don't feel strong resistance, they'll carry on, since they got the feeling of superiority. The point where they have to be confronted harshly is close already. Unfortunately, Pakistan is still more worried about rival India then the clear and present threat from the inside.

    ================================================== ========

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...042403462.html

    Petraeus Sees Rising Threat From Radicals In Pakistan

    By Ann Scott Tyson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, April 25, 2009


    Gen. David H. Petraeus warned yesterday that al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists in Pakistan are posing "an ever more serious threat to Pakistan's very existence," and he said that Pakistan's leaders must act to counter the challenge with a well-trained military counterinsurgency force.

    Petraeus requested congressional support for the Pakistani Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund, a new, more-flexible spending stream that would permit more rapid and targeted U.S. training and provide more equipment to Pakistani forces that combat insurgents inside the country's lawless tribal regions.

    "The Pakistani military has stepped up operations in parts of the tribal areas. Everyone recognizes, however, that much further work is required, and the events of recent days underscore that point," Petraeus testified before a panel of the House Appropriations Committee.
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    Specifically, Petraeus said, Pakistan must reconfigure its military forces to deal with counterinsurgency operations rather than to continue its conventional focus on traditional rival India.

    The fund Petraeus seeks, with a budget of $400 million for the rest of fiscal 2009, would be channeled directly through U.S. Central Command, which he oversees. This arrangement would give Central Command greater control over how the money is spent, and the military could withhold equipment from Pakistani forces until they complete required training, according to an outline of the program.

    The fund would be similar to those used to train and equip Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and police, Petraeus said, and would be tailored to Pakistani forces engaged in counterinsurgency.

    Such U.S. military training is underway for small numbers of Pakistani forces that operate in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and North-West Frontier Province, he said. About 300 to 350 Frontier Corps forces moved into the district of Buner after the Taliban expanded into the area from the Swat Valley.

    The Taliban "supposedly have now withdrawn with the arrival of the Frontier Corps forces" in Buner, Petraeus said. "So this capability will help us enormously."

    Congress is likely to support the new fund for the Pakistani military at least in the current supplemental spending bill that covers military contingencies for 2009. However, there may be a debate over the program for 2010, with some lawmakers seeking to channel the counterinsurgency funds through the State Department rather than the U.S. military, according to congressional staff members.

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    Re: World News Thread

    Quote Originally Posted by Scratch View Post
    A possibly real dangerous situation developing here. Radical fighters / Taliban expanding their influence and even controll beyond the tribal areas in Pakistan. As long as they don't feel strong resistance, they'll carry on, since they got the feeling of superiority. The point where they have to be confronted harshly is close already. Unfortunately, Pakistan is still more worried about rival India then the clear and present threat from the inside.

    ================================================== ========

    washingtonpost.com

    Petraeus Sees Rising Threat From Radicals In Pakistan

    By Ann Scott Tyson
    Washington Post Staff Writer
    Saturday, April 25, 2009


    Gen. David H. Petraeus warned yesterday that al-Qaeda and Taliban extremists in Pakistan are posing "an ever more serious threat to Pakistan's very existence," and he said that Pakistan's leaders must act to counter the challenge with a well-trained military counterinsurgency force.

    Petraeus requested congressional support for the Pakistani Counterinsurgency Capabilities Fund, a new, more-flexible spending stream that would permit more rapid and targeted U.S. training and provide more equipment to Pakistani forces that combat insurgents inside the country's lawless tribal regions.

    "The Pakistani military has stepped up operations in parts of the tribal areas. Everyone recognizes, however, that much further work is required, and the events of recent days underscore that point," Petraeus testified before a panel of the House Appropriations Committee.
    ad_icon

    Specifically, Petraeus said, Pakistan must reconfigure its military forces to deal with counterinsurgency operations rather than to continue its conventional focus on traditional rival India.

    The fund Petraeus seeks, with a budget of $400 million for the rest of fiscal 2009, would be channeled directly through U.S. Central Command, which he oversees. This arrangement would give Central Command greater control over how the money is spent, and the military could withhold equipment from Pakistani forces until they complete required training, according to an outline of the program.

    The fund would be similar to those used to train and equip Iraqi and Afghan soldiers and police, Petraeus said, and would be tailored to Pakistani forces engaged in counterinsurgency.

    Such U.S. military training is underway for small numbers of Pakistani forces that operate in the Federally Administered Tribal Areas and North-West Frontier Province, he said. About 300 to 350 Frontier Corps forces moved into the district of Buner after the Taliban expanded into the area from the Swat Valley.

    The Taliban "supposedly have now withdrawn with the arrival of the Frontier Corps forces" in Buner, Petraeus said. "So this capability will help us enormously."

    Congress is likely to support the new fund for the Pakistani military at least in the current supplemental spending bill that covers military contingencies for 2009. However, there may be a debate over the program for 2010, with some lawmakers seeking to channel the counterinsurgency funds through the State Department rather than the U.S. military, according to congressional staff members.
    obama should be laughin at this one. he's been trying to get pakistan to play a more active role for a while. but if the current adminsitration in pakistan does not handle this well, musharaf can make a pretty slick come back in the future. they also must be aware of the possibility of American special operation forces crossing borders into pakistan "in pursuit of fleeing insurgents"

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    Re: World News Thread

    WHO on high alert as swine flu spreads

    Concerns are growing in Mexico and the United States after officials in both countries took emergency steps to contain a new multi-strain swine flu that has killed up to 60 in Mexico and infected eight in the United States.
    Mexico flu 'a potential pandemic'

    A new flu virus suspected of killing up to 60 people in Mexico has the potential to become a pandemic, the World Health Organization's chief says.

    Margaret Chan said the outbreak was a "serious situation" which needed to be followed closely. Ms Chan cut short a visit to the US and returned to Geneva for urgent talks.

    Health experts say tests so far seem to link the illnesses in Mexico with a new swine flu virus that sickened eight people in the southern US.

    The WHO's new emergency committee is now meeting - though health officials say it may be premature to advise against travel to Mexico. The committee will be discussing whether to declare a public health emergency, and whether to raise the global pandemic alert level.

    The WHO says it does not know the full risk yet. It is advising all member states to be vigilant for seasonally unusual flu or pneumonia-like symptoms among their populations - particularly among young healthy adults, who seem to be the most affected in Mexico.
    This is going to be very, very bad news unless everyone gets organised fast.

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