Iran: Verdict against five union leaders of Haft Tapeh expected in next few days

The court hearing against the five union leaders of Haft Tapeh in the southern city of Shush concluded yesterday at 2.30pm local time. The Revolutionary Court said that the verdict will be issued in a few days. All five men are trailed for 'propaganda against the government'. During the hearing, the union's lawyer argued against this allegation citing that it is too vague and the court has not followed the proper legal procedure.

Afghanistan: Civilian deaths up 40 percent

KANDAHAR, 25 February 2009 (IRIN) - Last year was the worst for Afghan civilians since the end of major hostilities in 2001 as more than 2,100 non-combatants lost their lives in conflict, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Bearded Woman Pharoh statue discovered in Egypt

Egyptian archaeologists on uncovered a statue of pharaoh and a bust of the famous woman pharaoh Hatshepsut in the southern city of Luxor, the state MENA news agency reported.

New Shaolin Temple to rival Disneyland?

After the article about the Shaolin Temple planning to build a branch in Hong Kong was published on February 23, it drew attention from readers nationwide. Over 50 websites in China quoted the full text.

N Korea prepares to launch satellite

Pyongyang announced on Thursday that it is preparing to fire a communication satellite into orbit, its clearest reference yet to an impending launch that the US has described as 'provocative action.'

Pakistan extends Swat Valley truce

Islamist guerillas indefinitely extended a ceasefire in Pakistan's Swat Valley on Tuesday after the army suspended operations in the region.

Guadeloupe workers sustain wage protest

Workers in Guadeloupe rebuilt roadblocks on Monday and vowed to maintain their 35-day-old general strike after Paris went back on a pledge to boost the lowest-paid wages

BBC World Service journalists walk out over outsourcing

Furious BBC World Service workers will strike for 24 hours on Thursday over the outsourcing of production.


Sudan: Darfur negotiations bring hope The rebel Justice and Equality Movement last week agreed with Sudanese government representatives to begin peace talks aimed at ending conflict in Darfur. The agreement reached in Doha, Qatar, had been mediated jointly by the UN and African Union. The talks, the first in two years, led to bilateral commitments to protect refugees, allow humanitarian aid, and exchange prisoners, Afrol News said.

UN: Economic crisis will fuel xenophobia

The UN refugee chief warned on Monday that the global economic crisis will generate more refugees and fuel xenophobia.

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