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发表于 2008-10-27 05:42:39 AM |显示全部楼层
Woman died 'trying to escape armed man'

Posted 1 hour 40 minutes ago
Updated 1 hour 13 minutes ago

Police canvassed the neighbourhood after the fatal fall. (ABC: file photo)

Police say it is likely a woman who was killed in a balcony fall in Sydney's inner-south yesterday was trying to get away from an intruder armed with a knife.
Police and ambulance crews responded to reports of two people falling from a third-floor balcony in Hunter Street at Waterloo yesterday about 1:45pm AEDT.
The found an 18-year-old Chinese woman dead and a 19-year-old Korean man suffering from leg and spinal injuries. Both had been studying in Australia.
Investigators say the victims may have fallen while climbing over the balcony in a bid to escape a man armed with a knife, who had forced entry to their apartment.
The intruder has been described as male, aged about 30, with a dark complexion.
The injured 19-year-old man was taken by ambulance to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital with serious injuries. He remains in a stable condition.
The pair's flatmate, a 20-year-old Chinese woman, was uninjured.
Police are asking anyone with information to call CrimeStoppers on 1800 333 000.

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发表于 2008-10-27 05:44:31 AM |显示全部楼层

Thurston uncle's attackers due to face court
Posted 8 hours 3 minutes ago

Two teenagers are expected to appear in court today charged over the fatal bashing of a 38-year old man at Logan, south of Brisbane.

The uncle of rugby league star Jonathon Thurston was bashed to death while drinking with two friends in a park in the early hours of Saturday morning.

Police have charged two 17-year-olds with grievous bodily harm and assault, but so far no one has been charged with murder.

Acting Detective Superintendent David Hutchinson says more arrests are likely, and says police are appealing for more information.

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发表于 2008-10-28 03:52:49 AM |显示全部楼层

China's economic growth to be hit: WBank economist

Monday October 27, 2008, 5:18 pm

BEIJING (AFP) - China's economic growth next year will remain below double-digits as the global downturn hits developing nations, the World Bank's chief economist said in comments reported here on Monday.

"(China's growth in 2009) is expected to have a two to three percentage points' correction compared with the double-digit growth seen in the past," the Beijing News quoted Justin Lin Yifu as saying.

China's economy grew by 11.9 percent last year.

Official figures showed that growth slowed to 9.0 percent in the third quarter of 2008, the lowest level in more than five years, due mainly to a slowdown in exports.

Lin said developing nations would inevitably suffer from the global crisis, which has so far hit the United States and other developed nations the hardest.

"Impacted by the economic recession in the developed countries, developing countries will see exports shrink sharply and face a shortage of investment funds," he said, according to the report.

Lin said one remedy for coping with the global financial crisis for China was to boost domestic consumption by increasing spending in infrastructure and social welfare, especially in rural areas.

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发表于 2008-10-28 03:55:31 AM |显示全部楼层

Chinese govt boosts railway spending

Monday October 27, 2008, 4:52 pm

China's leaders have approved two trillion yuan ($A474.7 billion) in spending on railway construction, stepping up planned investments to help fend off an economic slowdown, the official Xinhua News Agency says.

The early approval last week by the State Council, or Cabinet, for the spending is meant to help support faltering economic growth, Xinhua cited a Railway Ministry official, Wang Yong, as saying.

The railways development plan calls for two trillion yuan in construction spending by 2020 but the ministry official said total spending is likely to exceed that amount.

China is in a railway-building boom, adding hundreds of kilometres a year in an expansion that rivals the construction of railroads in the 19th century American West.

It is hoping to ease congestion, promote economic growth in isolated areas and bind restive regions such as Tibet and the Muslim northwest more closely to the rest of China.

Plans call for the railway system to expand to 120,000 kilometres by 2020 from the current 78,000 kilometres.

Ramping up construction can help create jobs at a time when the country's economic boom appears to be stalling, with growth in the third quarter reported to be the slowest in five years, although still a robust 9 per cent.

Expanding the rail system would also help alleviate severe bottlenecks, especially for transport of the coal that is used to generate three-quarters of China's electricity supply.

The freight lines now are heavily overloaded, with volume expanding by nearly 9 per cent a year, while freight transport capacity grows by only 3.4 per cent a year, Xinhua said.

Meanwhile, China's economic growth next year will remain below double-digits as the global downturn hits developing nations, the World Bank's chief economist says.

"(China's growth in 2009) is expected to have a two to three percentage points' correction compared with the double-digit growth seen in the past," the Beijing News quoted Justin Lin Yifu as saying.

China's economy grew by 11.9 per cent last year.

Official figures showed that growth slowed to 9 per cent in the third quarter of 2008, the lowest level in more than five years, due mainly to a slowdown in exports.

Lin said developing nations would inevitably suffer from the global crisis, which has so far hit the United States and other developed nations the hardest.

"Impacted by the economic recession in the developed countries, developing countries will see exports shrink sharply and face a shortage of investment funds," he said, according to the report.

Lin said one remedy for coping with the global financial crisis for China was to boost domestic consumption by increasing spending in infrastructure and social welfare, especially in rural areas.

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发表于 2008-10-28 03:57:36 AM |显示全部楼层

World leaders urge financial reforms

Saturday October 25, 2008, 9:51 pm

World leaders called for an urgent overhaul of international financial systems and China demanded stricter regulations in the face of dramatic losses on the markets and a sliding world economy.

"Leaders pledged to undertake effective and comprehensive reform of the international monetary and financial systems," the 40-member Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) in Beijing said in a statement released late on Sunday.

"They agreed to take quickly appropriate initiatives in this respect, in consultation with all stakeholders and the relevant international financial institutions," the statement said.

China's Premier Wen Jiabao called for more regulation of the world's financial system.

"We need to draw lessons from this crisis," Wen told journalists after the summit wrapped up.

"We need to handle correctly the relationship between financial innovation and regulation. We need financial innovation to serve the economy better, however we need even more financial regulation to ensure financial safety."

He also pledged China would take an active role in a crucial international summit in the United States next month aimed at tackling the global financial meltdown.

"We will take an active part in the upcoming international financial summit to be held in Washington," he said, although he did not say which Chinese leader would attend the November 15 meeting of leaders from 20 industrialised and emerging powers.

As the Asian and European leaders promised wide-ranging and effective reforms, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon called for quick and meaningful change.

"The market and regulatory failures that have led to this (financial) crisis must be addressed as a matter of urgency," a joint statement from the UN summit said.

"We reaffirm the need for meaningful, comprehensive and well-coordinated reform of the international financial system and pledge our support to this end."

Stock markets provided a grim backdrop to the ASEM meeting, plummeting on Friday after a raft of pessimistic corporate and economic news pushed markets into further losses, with Tokyo's dizzying 9.6 per cent slump spilling over to Europe, where London's FTSE plunged 5.0 per cent.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average slumped 312.30 points (3.59 per cent) to close at 8,378.95, capping a week when the US blue-chip index dropped more than five per cent.

The Saudi stock market, the largest in the Arab world, opened trading with a sharp drop of more than nine per cent to its lowest point in four years.

Iceland's government said it had asked for 1.58 billion euros ($A3.05 billion) from the International Monetary Fund, the first Western country to do so since 1976, after the collapse of its banking sector.

The IMF said it had tentatively agreed to the loan and announced it had set aside more cash to rescue stricken nations.

French auto giants PSA Peugeot-Citroen and Renault ordered huge production cuts, while Japan's electronics giant Sony and Europe's biggest airline Air France-KLM issued profits warnings.

In Britain, official figures confirmed the country was about to enter a recession while Turkey's central bank took action to strengthen bank liquidity and prop up its slumping currency.

Chrysler LLC, the number three US automaker, said it would cut up to 5,000 white-collar jobs by the end of the year as prospects in the sector grow dimmer.

New figures showed industrial confidence in both France and Italy had fallen to the lowest level since 1993. In Spain, the unemployment rate jumped to 11.33 per cent - the highest in more than four years.

Britain's economy shrank by 0.5 per cent in the three months to September compared with the previous quarter, official figures showed, marking the first contraction since 1992.

German Finance Minister Peer Steinbrueck predicted the financial crisis would last until late 2009 in an interview to be published on Sunday.

"The risk of collapse is far from over. It would be wrong to lift the alarm," he told the Bild am Sonntag weekly.

He said the 480 billion euros ($A927 billion) rescue package for banks approved last week would "certainly be needed" through next year and that it would take until between 2010 and 2013 for Germany to determine the real costs of the plan.

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发表于 2008-10-28 03:59:20 AM |显示全部楼层

China slowdown fuels Budget deficit talk

Friday October 24, 2008, 10:51 am

Access Economics' latest business outlook predicts that China's economy has now joined the list of nations hit by the global financial crisis, and that Australia will feel the effects.

China says that its growth will slow slightly to nine per cent next year but Access Economics director Chris Richardson expects it will be a shade above 7 per cent.

He says that could push Australia's Budget into deficit.

Mr Richardson told the ABC that while he thinks Australia will avoid a recession, it will feel like the country is in one.

"It's a problem for Australia as markets fall, share markets, property values fall in China. And as construction weakens off, that's weakening the demand for steel and Australia's risk is we sell the inputs that become Chinese steel - coking coal and the iron ore," he said.

He says spot steel prices have fallen from $US1,200 a tonne in July to $US255 a tonne yesterday.

"That suggests a notable fall is coming in coking coal and iron ore prices for Australia next time those are renegotiated," he said, adding that those prices will fall a lot come next April.

But the commodities collapse will not hurt Australia's growth rate as much as it will hurt the country's incomes, he said.

"As China sped up and as commodity prices rose, it ... pushed up the Australian dollar, it helped speed the rate at which Australia was growing; and it led to very strong profit growth and growth in the revenues of the Federal Government that they turned into personal income tax cuts," he said.

And falling commodities prices means that at least some of that is about to unwind, as evidenced by the weaker Australian dollar.

"I suspect that the next step is that as commodity prices fall, profits in Australia will fall - not just for the miners but across a number of sectors; that eventually ... engineering construction demand will weaken off and this will hurt the Federal Budget," he said.

The extent of the damage to the Budget is still unclear, because there is much contention about just how dependent Australia is on commodity prices propping up the system.

"Remember that the Government's package is a one-off shot for the economy. The short term shock from the Government package will have gone by the time commodity prices are dragging the Budget down," said Mr Richardson.

"The other thing too is, we shouldn't be scared of a deficit. We've had very strong run on surpluses. It may be that temporarily we do need to dip into deficit to support growth in Australia's economy."

Access Economics' best guess at the moment is that Australia will manage to avoid a recession, partly aided by the Government's $10 billion stimulus package and partly aided by the fact that it will take time for some of the negatives for business spending to come through.

How close to recession could Australia get?

"Hopefully not that close," he said.

"And the reason why I say that is because if we do have recession, history suggests that is when unemployment jumps markedly and it takes years to grind it back down again.

"We don't expect it; we don't forecast it; and we certainly don't see unemployment at 9 per cent." Based on an interview by Alexandra Kirk for AM

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:02:52 AM |显示全部楼层

Syria condemns American 'terrorist aggression'

By Europe correspondent Emma Alberici

Posted 49 minutes ago
Updated 29 minutes ago

Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem has described a US military raid inside Syria as an act of criminal and terrorist aggression and vowed that Syria will retaliate if its borders are violated again.

An anonymous US official has reportedly confirmed that the American military launched the raid which Syria says killed eight civilians, including a father and his three children.

"We consider this criminal, and terrorist aggression. We put the responsibility on the American Government and they need to investigate and return back to us with a result and explanation why they did it," Mr Muallem said during a visit to London to meet his British counterpart David Milliband.

Syria says four American helicopters attacked Al-Sukkiraya, around 550 kilometres north-east of the capital Damascus and 8km from the Iraqi border.

It says two of them landed and soldiers shot dead eight people including a father and his three children, a guard at a building site and his wife as well as a local fisherman.

Mr Muallem said the members of his Government were not "employees" of the Bush Administration in their attempts to safeguard the Syrian border with Iraq.

The minister called on the United States and Iraq to investigate the helicopter-borne raid.

The US military has made no official statement, but reports from Washington have quoted anonymous American military sources as saying US special forces carried out the attack targeting foreign fighters linked to Al Qaeda.

But Mr Muallem said Syria was doing its best to tighten its border to prevent insurgents from entering Iraq.

"They know full well we stand against Al Qaeda. We condemn their activities against Iraqi people and they know full well that we are doing our best to tighten the control of our border with Iraq. So the question why they did this aggression? We need to know."

He said Syria would defend its territory if it happened again.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:05:09 AM |显示全部楼层

Security tightened ahead of Bali bombers' execution
Posted 5 hours 46 minutes ago

Indonesia has stepped up security at major installations across the country to guard against possible attacks ahead of the execution next month of three Bali bombers, police said.

"National police issued an order for all regional police across Indonesia to boost security in vital installations to anticipate possible sabotage or terror attacks," national police detective chief Susnoduaji said.

Officials have said the three Islamists convicted for the 2002 Bali bombings would be executed in early November.

Extremists Amrozi, Mukhlas and Imam Samudra face a firing squad over the attacks on packed nightspots on the resort island which killed 202 people, including 88 Australians.

They were sentenced to death in 2003 but their execution has been repeatedly delayed by a string of failed appeals and religious considerations.

Susnoduaji said the vital installations under increased security included major contributors to economy such as power plants and fuel depots of state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina.

An official at major power plants in Cilacap in central Java, close to a prison island where the convicted bombers were being held, confirmed that security in the area had been tightened with more paramilitary police deployed.

Elite anti-terror police have also reportedly stepped up security near Amrozi and Mukhlas' village in East Java province in anticipation of their execution.

Executions in Indonesia are by firing squad, usually carried out at night in undisclosed locations after the prisoner receives at least 72 hours' notice.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:07:37 AM |显示全部楼层

Moon mission launches India's modern-day power status
Posted Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:00pm AEDT
Updated Wed Oct 22, 2008 4:06pm AEDT

India has joined the space race with the successful launch of its first rocket mission to the moon.

The unmanned satellite will orbit the moon for two years studying its mineral composition and searching for ice and a new energy source called helium-3.

Professor Robin Jeffrey is an India analyst at the Australian National University and he says the launch is an important way for India to show that it is a modern-day power.

"I think it's really important for the way India, the Indian elite, views itself and the way it wants to be viewed by the rest of the world," he said.

"The message is India is a great modern power and has to be reckoned with in every sphere, including space travel and space exploration."

Professor Jeffrey says it is not just a big message that India is sending to the outside world, but it is also a way of strengthening national pride.

"It's also a message for Indians of all classes as India prepares for a whole lot of elections," he said.

"There's six state elections coming up in the next six or seven weeks and then there's a big national election that all Indian politicians are gearing up for next year.

"So it also can be construed as a statement by a Government seeking re-election nationally, that it's taking India to the forefront of global activities."

But the Indian Government is not the first government to use the space race alongside with an election campaign.

"Indian governments have done it in the past, nuclear tests have often been timed to be useful in domestic politics and that's part of the political process," he said.

"You like what appear to be good news stories going out when you most need them. Australians are not estranged to that."

But with poverty a major problem in the densely populated nation, the question arises as to whether the money spent on the space launch could have been put to better use.

Professor Jeffrey says both issues are important to India's Government.

"The Government of India puts a great deal of energy and money into trying to feed the poor," he said.

"There's a huge national rural income guarantee scheme which is being financed at the moment.

"The kind of funds here would probably have found it difficult to disperse in a way that would do the poor a great deal more good than the current expenditure.

"It's not so much money, it's a question of getting the money and the goods into the hands of the people who need them.

"So I think a government of India can defend this as something that goes with being a great modern state, just as trying to feed your people well goes with trying to be a great modern state."

This particular mission is to find a new energy source, helium-3 isotopes, the discovery of which could come as a major benefit not just to India, but also to the rest of the world.

Professor Jeffrey agrees that what it may come down to is India's need for energy - just like the rest of the world.

"India is energy hungry and energy poor at the moment and, to make that great modern India that the leaders are aspiring to, energy is going to be one of the key things," he said.

"So if they find something in space I'm sure it will be very welcome."

Based on a report by Karen Barlow for AM, October 22.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:10:59 AM |显示全部楼层

Data shows UK economy on the brink of recession
By Europe correspondent Emma Alberici

Posted Sat Oct 25, 2008 11:35am AEDT

The British economy has recorded its first quarter of negative growth in 16 years.

If, as expected, growth in the next quarter shrinks as well, the United Kingdom will be the first major economy to slip into recession.

For the first time throughout this crisis both the governor of the Bank of England and the Prime Minister have mentioned the 'R' word.

Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, almost lost his job last month for suggesting that the UK economy was headed for the worst downturn in 60 years.

Now that it almost certainly is, he says it with impunity.

"Well I think if you look at what's happened over the last year or so, with a credit crunch that's the worst since the 1930s and the huge surge in energy and food prices, it's not surprising that these global shocks are likely to cause recessions in many countries, including our own," he said.

From July to September, Gross Domestic Product in Britain shrank by half a percentage point - the first contraction in growth since 1992.

Lloyds TSB chief economist Patrick Foley says the contraction still came as a surprise to analysts.

"There was surprise for analysts," he said.

"I think the consensus had been that we'd have seen a fall in GDP, but it would be quite small of the order of 0.2 per cent.

"So a 0.5 per cent decline came as a surprise to just about everybody in the market I think."

High Street lows

European stock markets suffered heavy falls in reaction to the news and the pound fell to its lowest level against the greenback in five years.

The effects of the financial crisis have now flowed quite obviously to the real economy.

The GDP figures show the construction industry is the hardest hit so far.

Meanwhile, Sunderland builder Brian Holmes says his pipeline of jobs will only keep him in business for the next month.

"I've got three apprentices who's actually training to learn bricklaying and joinery... and unfortunately they're going to have to be laid off," he said.

Retailers on the high streets of England are feeling the pinch too, not just the kind of shopping considered discretionary but now even food sales are down.

For the first time since records began in 1986, people are putting less in their trolleys and are switching to cheaper brands.

Food is normally the only resilient industry in times of crisis.

But, in the past month shop keepers have even started attaching security tags to expensive meats in preparation for a rapid rise in food theft.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:13:42 AM |显示全部楼层

Wall Street opens lower amid global selloff
Posted 6 hours 8 minutes ago
Updated 5 hours 52 minutes ago

US stocks have opened weaker Monday (local time) amid more brutal declines in global markets and rising fears of a major worldwide recession.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 84.43 points, or 1.01 per cent, to 8,294.52 while the Nasdaq slumped 19.31 points (1.24 per cent) to 1,532.72 in the first 10 minutes of trade.

The broad-market Standard & Poor's 500 index lost 10.94 points (1.25 per cent) to 865.83.

Wall Street opened after Tokyo shares plunged to a 26-year low, Hong Kong fell 12 per cent and Europe faced heavy losses amid fears that emergency steps by world governments will be too late to prevent a worldwide recession.

"It is fear that is driving the market and the prevailing fear now is that 2009 earnings estimates will need to be marked down considerably as global economies retrench," said Patrick O'Hare at Briefing.com.

"Another fear the market can't shake is the fear of forced selling by troubled hedge funds."

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:15:12 AM |显示全部楼层

Woman wins slavery case against Niger
Posted 7 hours 46 minutes ago

A West African regional court of justice has convicted the state of Niger for failing to protect a girl who said she was sold into slavery.

The case was brought with the help of British-based anti-slavery organisations as a test case to press African governments to stamp out slavery, which campaigners say is rife in some African countries despite legal prohibitions.

The regional ECOWAS Court of Justice ruled that Niger had failed in its obligations to protect Hadijatou Mani, who says she was sold into slavery for around $800 at the age of 12 and regularly beaten and sexually abused.

"I am very happy with this decision," Ms Mani told reporters in the court.

Her comments, in the Hausa language spoken widely in Africa's Sahel region on the southern fringe of the Sahara, were translated by an interpreter.

The court sentenced the state to pay 10 million CFA francs ($30,700) in damages and accumulated interest.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:16:17 AM |显示全部楼层

Prince Charles, Camilla begin Japan visit
Posted 8 hours 11 minutes ago

Prince Charles and his wife Camilla have arrived on a visit to Japan, the first in nearly two decades by the heir to the British throne.

During the five-day visit, the prince and duchess are scheduled to travel around the country, meeting Prime Minister Taro Aso and having dinner with Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko.

Prince Charles and Camilla will also travel to Nara, an ancient city in the west of the country with some of Japan's most famous Buddhist temples, as well as to the central mountain town of Nagano, according to the Japanese foreign ministry.

The visit was timed to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty of Amity and Commerce, the ministry said.

Charles has not visited Japan since 1990, when he came for Akihito's enthronement. Charles's mother Queen Elizabeth last came to Japan in 1972, a ministry official said.

Members of Japan's imperial household have frequently gone to Britain. Akihito, then crown prince, represented Japan at Elizabeth's coronation in 1953.

In 1998, the imperial couple were jeered by World War II veterans as they rode through London in a ceremonial carriage, upsetting many in Japan.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:17:34 AM |显示全部楼层

Rice scoops pool at swimming awards
Posted 8 hours 30 minutes ago

Triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice has been named Australia's Swimmer of the Year at an awards ceremony in Sydney.

Rice, 20, was Australia's outstanding swimmer at the Beijing Olympics last August, winning the 200-400m medley double and the 4x200m freestyle relay - all in world record time.

The Queenslander became the sixth female winner of the Australian award and joined Hayley Lewis, Susie O'Neill, Jodie Henry, Leisel Jones and Libby Trickett in being recognised as the country's premier swimmer.

Rice edged out 2006 winner Jones and 2007 winner Trickett to take the award.

"It's been quite an amazing year for me and to win those two individual gold medals and then share that incredible moment with the girls in the relay was beyond my wildest dreams," Rice said.

Her coach, Michael Bohl, was named the Coach of the Year.

Rice and team-mates Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer and Linda MacKenzie also received Swimming Australia's Golden Moment of the Year for their world record-breaking gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay to end the United States' unbeaten sequence of three Olympic titles in the event since Atlanta in 1996.

The Swimmers' Swimmer of the Year award went to Grant Hackett, who also used the event to announce his retirement from the sport.

Trickett won the People's Choice Award, while Cate Campbell was named the Discovery Swimmer of the Year.

Other winners included Felicity Galvez (Short Course Swimmer of the Year), Ky Hurst (Open Water Swimmer of the Year) and Matthew Cowdrey (Swimmer of the Year with a Disability).

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:18:47 AM |显示全部楼层

Enemy fire downs US chopper in Afghanistan
Posted 9 hours 49 minutes ago

A helicopter of the US-led coalition fighting Islamist extremists in Afghanistan was forced down by "enemy fire" but the 10-crew members were all evacuated safely, the force says.

The chopper was forced down in the province of Wardak, just south-west of the capital, US Forces Afghanistan spokesman Lieutenant Commander Walter Matthews said.

"A coalition helicopter was forced to land as a result of damage resulting from enemy small-arms fire in Wardak province today," he said.

"The helicopter crew was exchanging fire with the enemy prior to sustaining damage. All 10 personnel on board the downed aircraft have been evacuated," he said.

The helicopter was being recovered.

A spokesman for the provincial government, Adam Khan Sirat, said an Afghan security team that had arrived in the area afterwards found the bodies of two attackers, whom he said were Taliban.

Afghanistan's fight against insurgents from the Taliban - a conservative Islamic group that was in government between 1996 and 2001 - has grown more intense in recent years with attacks increasing.

There are roughly 60,000 to 70,000 international soldiers in the country helping Afghan forces fight the rebels.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:20:08 AM |显示全部楼层

US military says no information about Syria raid
Posted 10 hours 53 minutes ago

The US military said it had no information about a deadly raid reportedly carried out yesterday by American helicopters inside Syria which left eight people dead.

"The Multinational Forces - Iraq, as a whole, does not have any information regarding the Syria incident," the American military said in a statement.

Syrian official media reported that US helicopter-borne troops from Iraq launched an assault on a building site on Sunday in the village of Al-Sukkiraya, eight kilometres from the border with Iraq.

The incident, if confirmed, would be the first of its kind into Syrian territory.

Damascus has summoned the official US and Iraqi representatives in protest, the official SANA news agency said, describing the dead as a father and his four children, a couple and another man.

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发表于 2008-10-28 04:22:29 AM |显示全部楼层

Poll shows Obama leading in 5 key US states
Posted Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:00pm AEDT
Updated 11 hours 40 minutes ago

Barack Obama leads John McCain in five of eight crucial battleground states one week before the US presidential election, with Senator McCain ahead in two states and Florida dead even, according to a series of Reuters/Zogby polls released today.

Senator Obama held steady with a five-point lead over Senator McCain among likely US voters in a separate Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby national tracking poll, the same advantage he held on Sunday. The national telephone poll has a margin of error of 2.9 percentage points.

Republican Senator McCain is struggling to defend about a dozen states won by President George W Bush in 2004, including all eight of the states surveyed over the last three days.

Breakthroughs by Senator Obama in any of those states could move him close to or above the 270 electoral votes he needs to win the White House on November 4.

Senator Obama, a Democratic senator from Illinois, held narrow leads over Senator McCain in Virginia, North Carolina, Missouri, Ohio and Nevada, most within the margin of error of 4.1 percentage points. Senator McCain had a solid 10-point lead in West Virginia and a 6-point edge in Indiana.

The two candidates were tied at 47 per cent in Florida, the largest of the battlegrounds with 27 electoral votes and the state that decided the disputed 2000 election.

Most polls show Senator Obama comfortably ahead in all of the states won by Democrat John Kerry in 2004, but the Reuters/Zogby polls show Senator McCain in serious danger in several states won by Mr Bush.

"If Obama holds the Kerry states, he is in line now to get enough electoral votes to win the White House," Zogby said, noting Senator McCain faces a difficult fight in a handful of states where Republicans have a long history of success.

"These polls are a measure of what an uphill battle Senator McCain faces to win," Zogby said. "These are all Republican states and McCain has a very tough challenge, but they are all close."

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发表于 2008-10-29 04:28:33 AM |显示全部楼层

Sri Lanka rebels bomb power station, army camp

October 29, 2008,6:55 am

COLOMBO (AFP) - Tamil Tiger rebels on Tuesday used aircraft to bomb a power plant in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo and an army camp in the north, their first air strikes in six weeks, the defence ministry said.

The air attacks by the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) came as security forces are battling to capture the rebel political capital Kilinochchi in the north of the island.

Rebels first staged a raid on the army facility in northwestern Mannar district, about 300 kilometres (185 miles) north of Colombo, military spokesman Brigadier Udaya Nanayakkara told AFP.

"Two bombs were dropped by LTTE aircraft over a military camp in Kalladi," Nanayakkara said, adding that there were no immediate details about damages or casualties.

One Mannar resident told AFP by telephone: "There was a loud noise coming from near the army camp. The military was also firing anti-aircraft guns."

Shortly after that attack, a rebel aircraft dropped a bomb on a major power station in Colombo, triggering a fire, the military said.

"The blasts have caused minor damages to the premises," a military official said, without giving further details.

Officials from the state-run Ceylon Electricity Board said a cooler connected to the gas turbine power plant was burning, and the Colombo fire brigade was already at the site.

Authorities in Colombo had detected a suspicious aircraft flying over the capital before the strike, prompting the military to switch off power across the capital and activate anti-aircraft defences, officials said.

The Tamil Tigers last carried out an air and ground attack on a military camp in the northern town of Vavuniya in September, killing 11 soldiers. Ten Tiger suicide commandos also died in the attack.

The rebels are believed to operate five Czech-built Zlin-143 aircraft smuggled onto the island in pieces and re-assembled. Satellite images have shown that they have more than one air strip inside areas they control.

The Tiger air strike came as government forces stepped up their own air strikes against the guerrillas inside their de facto mini-state in the north.

The military has claimed the upper hand in the latest ground battles. Defence ministry maps show troops are about 10 to 15 kilometres (six to 10 miles) southwest of Kilinochchi.

Tens of thousands of people have died since the LTTE launched a separatist campaign in 1972 to carve out a homeland for minority Tamils in the majority Sinhalese island's north and east.

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发表于 2008-10-29 04:30:39 AM |显示全部楼层

UN use gunships to halt rebel offensive
October 29, 2008, 7:07 am

UN peacekeepers used helicopter gunships to halt a rebel offensive in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN mission in the DRC said.

The gunships fired on forces loyal to renegade Tutsi general Laurent Nkunda advancing towards the strategic town of Goma in Nord-Kivu province, on Tuesday, MONUC spokeswoman Sylvie Van Wildenberg said.

"The use of our combat helicopters against the National Congress for the Defence of the People (NCDP) in the Kibumba area allowed us to disperse the rebels and block their progress," she said.

Nkunda's forces attacked Kibumba on Monday, pushing back government troops and causing thousands of civilians to flee to camps north of Goma.

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发表于 2008-10-29 04:32:30 AM |显示全部楼层

Britain urges China, Gulf states to help global bailout fund

Wednesday October 29, 2008, 3:45 am

LONDON (AFP) - Britain pressed countries including China and oil-rich Gulf states Tuesday to contribute to a proposed new IMF fund to help poorer governments threatened by "contagion" from the global financial crisis.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who travels to the Gulf at the weekend, said the International Monetary Fund's current 250-billion-dollar bail-out fund was not enough and called for it to be extended rapidly to help countries in need.

Proposing a new IMF funding arrangement, he said it "would draw on the resources of those countries with substantial reserves, in order to bolster the resources available to those countries in need of (IMF) support."

Brown is due to leave for the Gulf on Saturday and is expected to raise his proposals with leaders there.

"It's the countries that have got substantial reserves, the oil-rich countries and others who are going to be the biggest contributors to this fund," he said, adding: "China also has very substantial reserves."

"There's a number of countries that actually can do quite a lot in the immediate future to make sure that the international community has sufficient reserves" to help crisis-hit countries, he said.

"What I'm clear is, that the (IMF) fund we have is not enough. We've got to extend it."

But Brown's call risked getting a cool reception in the Gulf. OPEC Secretary General Abdalla Salem El-Badri said Tuesday that the oil-producing cartel could not be expected to bail out the world.

"What is surprising me is everybody looking at OPEC to bail out this crisis. In OPEC, we are most of us very poor countries, we cannot bail out this crisis," he told an industry conference in London.

"This crisis created in the States must be solved within the States, they are capable of doing it," he added at the Oil and Money conference.

Brown said he had discussed his proposals in the last few days with IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn, as well as French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

"We have seen in recent days the financial crisis spreading to other countries -- middle-income countries, Eastern European countries. Capital flight has made a number of countries potential victims of this crisis," he said.

"So in the last few days I have discussed the risk of contagion and the need to stabilise economies right across Eastern Europe."

He added: "It is clear that the whole of the international community must have an interest in stopping this contagion, to prevent the worsening of the global economic downturn."

Brown was travelling later Monday to Paris for talks with France's President Sarkozy, who currently holds the rotating presidency of the 27-country European Union.

Asked if Britain would contribute to the enhanced IMF fund, Brown said: "We don't rule out anything in this, because everybody has got to play their part in helping.

"But I think that, as happened in the '70s, the big surplus countries -- those that have got big reserves -- are in a position to help most and we will be urging them to do so."

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