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2007 February


Feb 28 2007 Americans at Risk of Financial Crime

U.S. Senate declares March ‘Go Direct Month’ to shed light on safety and security benefits of direct deposit for Social Security payments
WASHINGTON — Financial crime is a widespread concern among Americans, with four in 10 saying in a new Treasury Department-commissioned survey that they have been victims of identity theft or know someone who has. […]


Feb 28 2007 Al Sharpton’s Family History Rooted In Slavery

WASHINGTON - A new genealogical study shows that a prominent African-American civil rights activist is descended from a slave owned in the mid-nineteenth century by the family of a onetime segregationist U.S. senator.
Former U.S. presidential candidate Al Sharpton said Sunday the discovery was the most shocking moment in his life, triggering a surge of emotions.  […]


Feb 28 2007 Stocks In Asia Tumble Lower

HONG KONG - Share prices in the Asia-Pacific region closed sharply lower following heavy selling in China and the United States. Government officials tried to calm the market, saying their economies remain strong.
Japan’s Nikkei 225 index closed nearly three percent lower Wednesday at 17,604. Shares in Hong Kong fell 2.5 percent, with the Hang Seng […]


Feb 28 2007 Al-Qaida Growing Stronger In Pakistan

WASHINGTON - The top U.S. intelligence officer says Pakistan could make more energetic anti-terrorist efforts along the Afghan border.  But, he adds, Pakistan’s military ruler has political concerns in an election year.  The comments came just after Vice-President Dick Cheney made a surprise visit to Islamabad for talks with President Pervez Musharraf. 
Director of National Intelligence […]


Feb 27 2007 Gospel Music Radio Hits Japan

By Ken Joseph Jr.
Special to ASSIST News ServiceTOKYO, JAPAN (ANS) – Japanese DJ Ikarashi Yoshitaka says, “We see what we are doing is introducing Gospel Music to Japan as well as helping new Japanese Artists as an extension of the long history of Christianity in Japan.”
Japanese DJ Ikarashi Yoshitaka says, “We see what we are doing […]


Feb 27 2007 Russia Pledges Support For Hamas Militant Group

MOSCOW - Russia says it supports the lifting of political and economic sanctions imposed on the Islamic militant group Hamas over its refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist. The offer of support came during a final day of talks in Moscow with the exiled political leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshaal.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov […]


Feb 27 2007 VP Cheney Safe Following Suicide Bomber Attack

ISLAMABAD - U.S. officials say Vice President Dick Cheney is safe and unhurt, following a suicide bomb attack outside the main U.S. military base in Afghanistan. At least three people were killed in the explosion. The vice president went on to meet Afghan President Hamid Karzai in Kabul to review his country’s deteriorating security situation.
The […]


Feb 26 2007 Iran Launches First Rocket Into Space

TEHRAN (RFE/RL) — State television reports that Iran has successfully launched its first space rocket. Fars news agency quotes the deputy head of Iran’s aerospace research center, Ali Akbar Golrou, as saying the rocket reached an altitude of 150 kilometres, but did not stay in orbit.
Golrou said the rocket returned to earth by parachute. It […]


Feb 26 2007 Islamic Groups Gain Momentum

WASHINGTON - Despite decades of state repression and political exclusion, Islamist movements worldwide, and especially in the Middle East, are gaining momentum and adapting to take advantage of new political realities. 
Islamist groups are a diverse mix of mainstream adherents, peaceful moderates, fundamentalists who rigidly interpret Islamic Law, and militant jihadists who use violence to […]


Feb 26 2007 Israeli Troops Place Nablus Under Curfew

JERUSALEM - Israeli forces have raided the biggest Palestinian town in the West Bank. Palestinians are accusing Israel of torpedoing efforts to get the stalled peace process back on track.
Israeli troops in dozens of jeeps and armored vehicles stormed into the West Bank town of Nablus, placing about 50,000 Palestinians under curfew. Soldiers conducted house-to-house […]


Feb 25 2007 Jordan’s King Abdullah to Address US Congress

AMMAN, Jordan — His Majesty King Abdullah is scheduled to address a joint meeting of the U.S. Congress on March 7, 2007, to urge more American engagement in the Middle East peace process.
According to an informed source at the Royal Hashemite Court, the address to Congress is a unique opportunity to articulate the Arab states’ […]


Feb 25 2007 US Officials Charge Two Men in Cuba Travel Scam

MIAMI - U.S. officials have charged two men with helping thousands of people travel to Cuba with fraudulent religious visas. Authorities say the suspects used bogus church names and other information to avoid travel restrictions to the Communist island.
U.S. officials announced the indictment following a months-long probe that involved local police, immigration officials and the […]


Feb 24 2007 Treasury Special Agent Pleads Guilty to Bank Fraud

WASHINGTON — A Special Agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) pleaded guilty today to a charge of conspiring to defraud three Jacksonville, Fla., banks of $106,000, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division announced today.
A seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jacksonville […]


Feb 24 2007 VP Cheney: Iran Must Not Become Nuclear Power

WASHINGTON – U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney today said that the United States and its allies must not allow Iran to become a nuclear power.
Cheney made his remarks in Sydney, Australia, where he had talks with Prime Minister John Howard.
Cheney said it would be a serious mistake if Iran were allowed to become a nuclear power.
Cheney […]


Feb 24 2007 Saudi Arabia Concerned Of Iranian Influence

WASHINGTON - Before the U.S. toppled Saddam Hussein, Iraq had been something of a counterweight to Iranian power in the Middle East. Now with Saddam gone, Iranian political influence has been expanding, not just in Iraq, but in the region. Saudi Arabia is not happy about the shift in what had been a delicate balance […]


Feb 23 2007 Iran Nuclear Crisis Heats Up

NEW YORK (RFE/RL) — The United Nations’ International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) issued a report today saying that Iran has failed to halt uranium-enrichment activities, as demanded by the UN Security Council.
The report — by IAEA chief Muhammad el-Baradei — confirmed an open secret: that Iran has expanded its uranium-enrichment program instead of halting it. […]


Feb 23 2007 US Missile Defense Shield Protects Against Threats

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — The United States says that it wants to build a European missile shield to protect against threats from countries it considers rogue states, including North Korea and Iran.
At a briefing in Washington, D.C., on February 22, General Trey Obering, the director of the U.S. Missile Defense Agency, called the shield necessary to […]


Feb 23 2007 VP Dick Cheney Praises Australia

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — U.S. Vice President Dick Cheney is using a visit to Australia to praise it for “never wavering in the war on terror.”
The emphasis on staying committed comes as Britain this week announced major withdrawals of troops from Iraq and some other countries also reassessed their positions.
“[Australian] Prime Minister [John] Howard and the nation […]


Feb 23 2007 Legal Immigrants Protest Proposed Filing Fee Increase

HOUSTON - A proposal by the Department of Homeland Security’s Citizenship and Immigration Services would increase filing fees for more than two dozen forms that are part of the US naturalized citizenship process. Legal immigrants seeking citizenship and many immigration attorneys say the fee hike is an unfair burden on people who are following the […]


Feb 22 2007 Census of American Indians Requires Early Participation

WASHINGTON — The U.S. Census Bureau today began mailing advance informational booklets to all federally recognized tribal governments asking for assistance in providing updated addresses for their reservations and off-reservation trust lands. This early, concerted effort is part of the Census Bureau’s plan to make the 2010 Census as accurate as possible.
A complete address list […]


Feb 22 2007 Pentagon Pledges To Fix Problems At Walter Reed

PENTAGON - Senior U.S. defense officials pledged Wednesday to address problems in the living conditions and bureaucracy at one of the military’s premier medical facilities, the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington.
After the Washington Post reported a variety of problems at Walter Reed in long articles on Sunday and Monday, senior Pentagon officials drove […]


Feb 21 2007 India, Pakistan Sign Nuclear Weapons Security Pact

NEW DELHI - India and Pakistan have signed a pact on nuclear weapons security and pledged their renewed commitment to a peace process. As Anjana Pasricha reports from New Delhi, the foreign ministers of the two countries met in the Indian capital days after a deadly attack on a cross border train between the neighbors.  
The […]


Feb 21 2007 US Consults on New UN Iran Nuclear Resolution

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration said Tuesday it has begun consultations on a new U.N. Security Council resolution that would further penalize Iran for failing to heed demands to halt uranium enrichment. An initial Security Council deadline for Iran to comply expires Wednesday.
The Security Council is awaiting a formal report from International Atomic Energy Agency […]


Feb 21 2007 Tehran Refuses to Halt Uranium Enrichment

WASHINGTON (RFE/RL) — Iran has given no indication it intends to halt uranium enrichment by today’s United Nations Security Council deadline, as Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadinejad vowed today that Tehran will press ahead with its nuclear program.
Ahmadinejad said that obtaining nuclear technology is very important for Iran’s “development and honor.”
His comments come ahead of a […]


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