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2008 May


May 31 2008 US Presses Israel to Grant Visas for Palestinian Students

STATE DEPARTMENT - The State Department said Friday it is pressing Israel to allow seven Palestinian students in Gaza to travel to the United States on prestigious Fulbright fellowships. The scholarships had earlier been withdrawn because the Gaza residents had not been given permission by Israel to leave the Hamas-run area.
Officials here say they recognize […]


May 31 2008 Democratic Party Nomination Race in Final Days

WASHINGTON - The long running battle between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination may be in its final days. Both contenders are campaigning for delegates in the final three primaries between now and Tuesday. And both campaigns will be watching a meeting of the Democratic Party’s rules committee on Saturday […]


May 30 2008 Moqtada al-Sadr Protests US-Iraqi Security Agreement

BAGHDAD - Thousands of supporters of Iraqi Shi’ite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr have rallied in the streets of Baghdad to protest plans for a long-term U.S.-Iraq security agreement.The protesters took to the streets after Friday Muslim prayers Friday in the capital’s Sadr City neighborhood and other cities across Iraq.
Sadr called Tuesday for demonstrations to protest a […]


May 30 2008 Gunman Kills Worshippers in Yemen Mosque

WASHINGTON - Officials in Yemen say a gunman who opened fire on worshippers at a mosque Friday killed at least eight people and wounded dozens of others.
Police say the gunman has been arrested. He opened fire during Friday prayers in a village in Amran province, about 60 kilometers north of the capital, Sanaa.
Reports indicate the […]


May 30 2008 CIA: al-Qaida Losing Influence in Middle East

WASHINGTON - The chief of the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says al-Qaida is losing influence in the Middle East and is on the defensive in other parts of the world.Michael Hayden told The Washington Post newspaper that al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden is losing the ability to exploit the war in Iraq to recruit more […]


May 30 2008 France Resumes Diplomatic Relations with Syria

PARIS - France says President Nicolas Sarkozy telephoned his Syrian counterpart Thursday to discuss recent political developments in Lebanon and peace negotiations with Israel.A statement from Mr. Sarkozy’s office says the French leader called Syrian President Bashar al-Assad as part of a French pledge to reopen high-level contact with Damascus. It says the two had […]


May 30 2008 UN Marks 60th Anniversary of Peacekeeping

UNITED NATIONS - A wreath was layed at U.N. headquarters Thursday to mark the 60th anniversary of its peacekeeping operations. The world body has more than 100,000 troops from more than 120 countries working to keep the peace in 20 conflict zones.
U.N. peacekeeping operations began in 1948 with the deployment of unarmed U.N. military observers […]


May 30 2008 US Olympic Baseball Seeks Gold Medal

WASHINGTON - The U.S. national baseball team will be seeking its second gold medal - and redemption - at the Beijing Olympics in August. The United States won the gold medal in 2000, but failed to qualify for the 2004 Athens Games. Baseball is making what could be its final appearance as an Olympic sport […]


May 29 2008 Turkey Diyanet Declaration Sparks Controversy

ISTANBUL - Turkey’s Directorate of Religious Affairs, the Diyanet, has sparked a controversy in a declaration on how women should behave in public life. The Diyanet, which controls the Muslim faith in Turkey, has been sharply criticized by women’s groups and supporters of the secular state.
In a website declaration, Turkey’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet, […]


May 29 2008 US Economic Growth Better Than Expected

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy grew a bit faster than first estimated in the first three months of this year, but still expanded at a slow pace.Thursday’s report from the Commerce Department puts the first quarter’s economic growth at nine-tenths of one percent.
That is three-tenths of a percent better than economists first thought, and a […]


May 28 2008 King Gyanendra of Nepal Deposed From Throne

KATHMANDU - Nepal’s newly-elected Constituent Assembly has declared the former Himalayan kingdom a republic. The vote eventually ended 239 years of monarchy, but last minute political disputes delayed the decision and sparked clashes between republican supporters and riot police. 
Nepal’s king, revered by some as a living Hindu god, will have 15 days to leave the […]


May 28 2008 New York City Hosts World Science Festival

NEW YORK - New York is playing host to the World Science Festival, May 28 to June 1. The large scale celebration is an effort to highlight the role of science in everyday life.
Science is a subject some adults have avoided since their school days, when they thought of the subject as dull or intimidating. […]


May 28 2008 Chinese Parents Angry Over Collapsed Schools

JUYUAN - Education officials say more than 6,500 teachers and students were killed when schools collapsed in the massive earthquake that hit China this month. Parents are angry - they blame shoddy construction for the loss of their children. More than 13,000 schools were badly damaged in the quake.
Parents who lost children in schools that […]


May 28 2008 President Bush: Economic Stimulus Plan Will Help

WHITE HOUSE - U.S. President George Bush says tax rebates and business incentives will help revive an American economy hurt by higher energy costs and falling home values.
President Bush told workers at a cable television company in the southwest state of Arizona that business incentives and tax refunds to more than 130 million households should […]


May 27 2008 Turkey Unveils Plan to Revitalize Kurdish Region

ISTANBUL - Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has unveiled the details of an ambitious $12 billion plan to re-vitalize the country’s predominantly Kurdish southeast. The region has been hit hard by more than 20 years of war between the Turkish state and Kurdish insurgents of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The economic plan is […]


May 27 2008 US Sharply Criticizes Burmese Government

STATE DEPARTMENT - The United States Tuesday sharply criticized the Burmese government’s decision to extend the detention of democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi. But President Bush said U.S. cyclone relief for Burma will continue. 
U.S. reaction was led by President Bush, who said he is “deeply troubled” by the extension of Aung San Suu Kyi’s […]


May 27 2008 Tigris River Bridge al-Sarafiyah Reopens in Baghdad

IRBIL - A major bridge in Baghdad that spans the Tigris River reopened Tuesday with much fanfare, 13 months after terrorists bombed the landmark and killed more than 10 people.  Iraqi officials say they are celebrating more than a bridge reopening; they are celebrating successes over terrorist forces.
Standing beneath the al-Sarafiyah Bridge, schoolchildren waved their […]


May 27 2008 France Calls for EU to Suspend Gas Taxes

PARIS - The French government has called for the European Union to suspend certain gas taxes and for OPEC to increase production as part of a series of measures to ease the high cost of oil - which has topped $130 a barrel. European fishermen and British truckers are protesting soaring diesel prices.
During an early […]


May 27 2008 China Prepares to Dynamite Quake Lake Debris

BEIJING - Chinese state media say international teams assisting with earthquake relief efforts are shifting their focus to providing shelter and fighting disease.
Tuesday’s report in the China Daily newspaper comes as Chinese soldiers are preparing to dynamite debris blocking a river in Sichuan province, forming an expanding “quake lake.”
Heavy storms Monday cleared up long enough […]


May 26 2008 President Bush Pays Tribute to America’s Fallen Soldiers

WASHINGTON - President Bush has paid tribute to America’s fallen soldiers, marking the U.S. Memorial Day, when Americans remember servicemen who gave their lives to defend the United States. 
President Bush traveled to Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington and placed a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Shortly thereafter, under clear blue skies, the president said […]


May 25 2008 Americans Observe Memorial Day Holiday

WHITE HOUSE - Americans are marking the Memorial Day holiday weekend - a time set aside to honor the nation’s war dead. This is also a time for the roar of motorcycle engines - as one group of veterans remembers not just the dead, but the missing.
They call it rolling thunder - the din created […]


May 25 2008 Michel Suleiman Elected President of Lebanon

BEIRUT - Former Lebanese army chief Michel Suleiman was sworn in as the country’s new President Sunday, following a long-delayed vote in parliament. His election brings an end to the political crisis that has paralyzed Lebanon’s government for the last 18 months, and recently set off the worst internal violence since the end of the […]


May 25 2008 Lebanon Prepares to Elect New President

BEIRUT - The Lebanese parliament is scheduled to elect a president on Sunday, ending an extended period of political turmoil that erupted earlier this month into violent clashes between Lebanon’s U.S.-backed government and the Hezbollah-led opposition. A political settlement reached in Qatar earlier this week paved the way for the election, six months after the […]


May 24 2008 New York Celebrates 125 Years of Brooklyn Bridge

NEW YORK - One of the engineering feats of the 19th century, the Brooklyn Bridge, turns 125 this month. The New York landmark connects the boroughs of Brooklyn and Manhattan. Its Gothic stone towers and network of steel cables have long been a symbol of the city. New Yorkers are honoring the anniversary of the […]


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