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by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 03:14:45 PM EST
Gunman opens fire at Oakland college, fatalities reported | Reuters

A gunman opened fire at a private Christian college in Oakland, California, on Monday, killing at least two people and wounding at least four, authorities said.

Oakland police said in a brief written statement that a possible suspect was in custody after the shootings at Oikos University.

"No imminent public safety threat appears to exist in immediate area," police said.

Local television reports had shown police evacuating Oikos students and loading them into a SWAT vehicle as other armed officers took up positions around the school.

Oakland police spokeswoman Johnna Watson told reporters there were fatalities but she did not give a specific number. A spokeswoman for Highland Memorial Hospital in Oakland said the facility was treating four shooting victims.

Oikos describes itself on its website as having been started to provide the "highest standard education with Christian value and inspiration."

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:29:33 PM EST
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BBC News - Fatalities in California university shooting

A number of people have been killed and several injured in a shooting at a university in California, police say.

TV footage showed wounded people emerging from buildings at Oikos University in the city of Oakland.

Police and armed response teams have surrounded the buildings, and a suspect has been detained. A nearby hospital said it was treating four victims.

Oikos University is a private religious institution offering courses in theology, music and nursing.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:29:54 PM EST
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Syria Agrees to Cease-Fire on April 10, Annan Says - NYTimes.com
Syria's government has promised that its armed forces would stop shooting and withdraw from population centers by April 10, the special emissary attempting to end the violent year-old uprising in Syria told the United Nations Security Council on Monday.

The special emissary, Kofi Annan, also told the Security Council that his team had held constructive talks with anti-government forces in the Syria conflict as part of an attempt to gain their adherence to his cease-fire plan. It is widely expected that rebels would wait for the Syria government's forces to stop shooting before they would agree to reciprocate.

It was unclear whether the latest diplomatic scrambling represented a meaningful breakthrough in efforts to halt the Syria conflict, which has left more than 9,000 people dead since President Bashar al-Assad moved to crush political opposition inspired by the Arab Spring movement in March 2011.

The Syrian government's commitment came a day after a large gathering of nations, including many Arab nations and the United States, moved closer to a direct intervention in the conflict by agreeing to provide equipment and money to the array of rebel forces seeking to end President Assad's grip on power.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:31:40 PM EST
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.:Middle East Online::Violence tears Syria despite peace moves :.

President Bashar al-Assad's regime pressed its deadly bid to crush dissent Monday, reportedly targeting rebels near Turkey as it brushed off an Istanbul meeting of the "Friends of Syria" as a failure.

Violence across the Middle East country killed at least 18 people Monday, as peacebroker Kofi Annan was set to brief the UN Security Council after Western and Arab nations sought a deadline for Damascus to implement his peace plan.

But Russia rejected the idea, with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov saying "ultimatums and artificial deadlines rarely help matters," as Moscow sent a navy destroyer to the Syrian port of Tartus.

The rebel Free Syrian Army accused the global community of failing to protect Syria's people, saying it was ignoring the Assad regime's "massacres" by refusing to arm the insurgents to fight the bloody clampdown.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:32:24 PM EST
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Syrian refugees: In their own words | World news | The Guardian

Abu Ali had to leave his home in Azmareen, a small town of about 5,000 inhabitants just across the border, eight months ago. He owns several acres of olive groves and a farm that he can see from the hills on the Turkish side, but that he cannot reach. "If I return, they'll kill me," he says. Abu Ali used to work as a singer at village weddings, but a year ago he started to use his talent to sing anti-Assad songs at rallies in Hama. Both of his children had been in university when they had to leave, now he lives with them and his wife in a Turkish refugee camp. "I have sold my car to get by, and I have only $100 left." He sighs. "I will have to start selling my land."

Abu Ali is in constant phone contact with his fellow Azmareen residents. "The Syrian regime has interrupted the mobile phone coverage," he says. "But we all use Turkish SIM cards - Turkcell covers up to 10km across the border. Bless them."

He explains that at night the river crossing is used to smuggle food and medical supplies into Syria, and that people come to Turkey this way too. "I help as much as I can," he says. "These are all my countrymen."

To get to the river, you have to wade through knee-deep mud. The military police station of Hacipasa is close by, but only a pack of dogs take notice of people approaching the border, marked solely by the river. Some people have lit fires on the Syrian side of the river. Despite it being a mild spring day, the water is still very cold, and several young men take turns diving, while others try to warm up again. When they notice Abu Ali, they swim to the Turkish side to greet him. Squatting in the mud, clad in nothing but white briefs, they describe the death of their friend.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:32:53 PM EST
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EUobserver.com / Justice & Home Affairs / Allegations of Syrian intelligence activity in EU capital cause alarm

The Belgian foreign ministry is to investigate allegations that Syrian intelligence services are terrorising Syrian opposition expats in the EU capital.

Foreign minister Didier Reynders told Belgian Liberal MEP Louis Michel on Friday (30 March) that he will personally look into claims that Syrian diplomats in Brussels have threatened people who take part in anti-regime rallies that their families in Syria will be harmed unless they stop.

"We don't have any evidence at this stage. But the minister and I believe this really is happening. He believes there could be problems in other EU capitals as well, so he will ask his colleagues in the EU Council to investigate ... He promised me to be very engaged on this," Michel, a former Belgian foreign minister and EU commissioner, told this website.

Michel spoke to Reynders after meeting privately with Syrian activists who made the accusations.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:33:18 PM EST
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Suu Kyi upbeat about post-poll Myanmar - Asia-Pacific - Al Jazeera English

Pro-democracy icon Aung San Suu Kyi has struck an optimistic note about Myanmar's future, saying this week's by-elections, which her party claimed to have won overwhelmingly, could be the harbinger of a "new era".

Her National League for Democracy (NLD) says it won all 44 parliamentary seats it contested, including the one Suu Kyi was standing for.

The veteran activist's election to political office, if confirmed, would mark the latest change in the country after decades of outright military rule ended last year. It would also be the Nobel laureate's first foray into parliament.

"This is not so much our triumph as a triumph for people who have decided that they must be involved in the political process in this country," Suu Kyi said in a victory speech at her party headquarters in Yangon on Monday.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:34:02 PM EST
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Mali rebels attack Timbuktu - News - Mail & Guardian Online
Residents and rebels say separatist insurgents are besieging the ancient town of Timbuktu as they take their fight for a homeland for the nomadic Tuareg people to one of the last government holdouts in northern Mali.

Residents reported gunfire on Sunday and army soldiers abandoning their bases, as rebels pressed ahead with their lightning campaign to carve out a desert homeland.

The alliance of Tuareg and Islamist rebels already claimed control of the garrison town of Gao on Saturday, a day after seizing another regional centre, Kidal. The ancient trading town of Timbuktu is the third and last major centre in their sights.

"It's our turn now. There is gunfire everywhere," local Mohamed Ould Ali said by telephone.

A second resident said the gunfire started around 5am, adding however it was local militia shooting in the air rather than the start of fighting. The location of rebels who have been gathering near the town for days was not clear.

Other local sources said the regular army had fled its main positions there.

"The [military camp] is empty. Most of the soldiers from the south [of Mali] have fled. It is only the Arabs who are defending the town," a Malian source in contact with local residents and the military said of Arab-origin Malians both in the regular army and who have formed a local militia.
by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:35:07 PM EST
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allAfrica.com: Mali: Under Pressure, Coup Leaders Reinstate Constitution

Capt. Amadou Haya Sanogo, who led other low ranking military officers that ousted Mali's democratically elected President Amadou Toumani Toure last month and scrapped the nation's constitution made a public reversal yesterday, declaring amid enormous international pressure that he was reinstating the 1992 constitution and planning to hold elections.

Sanogo promised to organise a national convention to reach an agreement on a transitional government which would arrange free and fair elections. He did not say when the convention or elections would take place.

In his declaration, Sanogo said: "We take a solemn promise to re-establish from this day on the constitution of the Republic of Mali of February 25, 1992, as well as the institutions of the republic."

"Taking into account the multidimensional crisis that our country is facing," he added, "we have decided that ... we will engage in consultations with all the actors of society in the context of a national convention in order to put in place a transitional body with the aim of organising calm, free, transparent and democratic elections in which we will not participate."

When he was asked by reporters, if he considered himself the president, the coup leader quickly left the scene of his press briefing.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:36:22 PM EST
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The Muslim Brotherhood resolved months of speculation this weekend by announcing its intention of nominating Deputy Supreme Guide Khairet al-Shater for Egypt's presidential election. It may not seem so surprising for a country's largest political force and the largest parliamentary faction to field a Presidential candidate. But it was. The announcement sent an earthquake through Cairo's already wildly careening political scene. I'm happy to admit that I was taken by surprise. 

What was the Brotherhood thinking? The nomination of Shater seems to have been a response to threats and opportunities a rapidly changing political arena, rather than the hatching of a long-term plan. But many Egyptians would disagree, seeing it instead as the culmination of a long-hatching conspiracy with the SCAF. I think it will reveal itself to be a strategic blunder which has placed the Brotherhood in a no-win situation. But clearly they had their reasons for making such an uncharacteristically bold move. How will it affect the endlessly turbulent and contentious Egyptian political transition? And could Khairat al-Shater really replace Hosni Mubarak as the president of Egypt?

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:38:28 PM EST
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The Angry Arab News Service/وكالة أنباء العربي الغاضب
Muslim Brotherhood sources reveal that Ash-Shatir (the Ikhwan presidential candidate) had discussed his candidacy with John McCain.
by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:39:54 PM EST
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Insight: The man who would beat Hugo Chavez | Reuters

Tired and hungry after hours of working crowds under a blistering Caribbean sun, Venezuelan opposition leader Henrique Capriles needs a rest and some food back in his campaign bus.

Yet the sports-loving folk of Baralt, a hard up and dusty district in Venezuela's western oil belt, seldom see VIPs and urge him to join a local basketball game.

Capriles needs little persuading. Tearing up and down the court, scoring several times and picking himself up after being knocked off his feet, the man who wants to be Venezuela's next president is cheered after his side wins the hour-long game.

"Man, he can really play! That wasn't your usual politician's photo opportunity," says one admiring local, 24-year-old Johan Arismendi, watching from the sidelines.

In an uphill battle to end President Hugo Chavez's 13-year grip on the South American nation at an election in October, Capriles has an ace card - youth - and he knows how to play it.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:40:48 PM EST
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Chavez back to Cuba for cancer treatment - Americas - Al Jazeera English

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has said he is travelling back to Cuba for another round of cancer treatment.

"I leave this afternoon for Havana... to continue with my radiation treatment," Chavez said in a televised speech on Saturday before leaving the Miraflores Palace.

"There are five sessions of radiotherapy ... for five consecutive days, then two days of rest ... With this I have faith that [the cancer] inside my body will not return."

The 57-year-old leftist president, in office since 1999, has vowed to overcome cancer to win another six-year term in elections on October 7.

Chavez completed the first round in Havana, where he had surgery last month to remove a malignant tumor in the same area where another tumor was excised in June 2011.

Officials in Caracas have never specified the type of cancer the president has, but insist it has not spread to other organs.

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:42:28 PM EST
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Oil, national pride at stake in the Falklands | World | DW.DE | 01.04.2012

Interests in oil and other natural resources have led to renewed tensions over the Falkland Islands. The confrontation between Argentina and Great Britain is about strategic interests - and wounded pride.

It's become a kind of ritual: with each major anniversary of the 1982 Falklands War comes renewed saber rattling. The months ahead of the 30th anniversary of Argentina's occupation of the disputed archipelago on April 2 have been no exception.

Argentina and Great Britain trade off in charging one another with colonialism or imperialism, both insisting on their right to the small group of islands that are shared by around 3,000 residents, 1,200 British military troops and half a million sheep. London recently sent its HMS Dauntless destroyer and, according to media reports, a nuclear submarine to the South Atlantic.

Argentina's President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner responded by issuing a protest to the United Nations that the British deployment represents "a major risk to international security."

by Nomad on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 04:44:44 PM EST
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As I've said before, it is entirely probable that the Falklands' future is tied to that of S America, but it is entirely impossible to imagine discussions with Argentina until they have won the trust of the people who live on the islands.

Yet Argentina's constant provocations and sabre rattling is doing the exact opposite of what is needed to create trust, they sow anxiety and attempt economic damage and then seem surprised that the Falklanders want nothing to do with them.

In fact, their current behaviour is so obviously counter-productive that it raises fears of another invasion simply becuase it suggests there are domestic problems within Argentina that such beligerence is intended to cover.

Try a generation of open freindship and economic co-operation, make the Falklands economy practically a part of that of Argentina and then concepts of ownership and sovereignty will be less fractious.

But now they have to be joking...

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 03:12:16 AM EST
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Yesterday John Carlin wrote a provocative piece in El Pais arguing that Argentina should be grateful to Thatcher for precipitating the fall of the Argentinean dictatorship. It has caused quite a stir.

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman
by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 06:23:31 AM EST
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Colombia Reports: All ten of the FARC-held hostages will be released in the first recovery operation, Gloria Cuartas, spokesperson for hostage mediators Colombians for Peace, told local media Monday.

Colombia Reports: Google shut down the Youtube account of a key witness in the trial against Colombia's former chief prosecutor who is accused of having ties to paramilitary groups.

Honduras Culture and Politics: More than half of the 13 dead accounted for in San Pedro Sula's prison fire, 7 people, had not been convicted of a crime.  Contrary to English-language press reports, they did not all die from the effects of the fire set during the uprising.
Original report HERE.

JOINT TASK FORCE-VULCANO, Colombia--The top U.S. military officer is pushing to expand the Pentagon's advisory role in Colombia's fight against insurgents and narcotics traffickers, but made clear he is wary of rushing to supply the country with drones and other hardware Bogota says it wants to accelerate the campaign..
Related ITEM.

Tim's El Salvador Blog: In 2010, the Salvadoran government contracted the services of the Spanish consulting firm the Tau Group, to perform a "Strategic Environmental Evaluation" of the issues surrounding the metallic mining industry in El Salvador.   The report was to provide a basis for the Funes government to develop its own policy. (...) A copy of the evaluation report has now been made public by the Roundtable Against Mining (the "Mesa").   The Mesa delivered the report to El Salvador's National Assembly, arguing that the legislature no longer had an excuse not to take up legislation which would ban all mining in the country.  

LAHT -SANTIAGO - Twenty-two people were hurt and 228 arrested in this capital and other Chilean cities amid disturbances associated with the annual Day of the Young Combatant, authorities said Friday.

Mexico: The Movement for Peace with Justice and Dignity will lead another caravan in August and September of this year, Javier Sicilia announced at yesterday's anniversary event in Cuernavaca. "We will do this because it is important that Central Americans, immigrants and Mexicans radicalized in the United States understand that American arms are strengthening the ability of Mexican organized crime to kill," Sicilia said. "Only through working together can we put an end to this and construct a unity based on our humanity that extends beyond our borders, political ideologies and differences."

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 05:37:57 PM EST
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Hot off the presses!
Colombia Reports: Colombia's largest rebel group FARC has releases the last of its security force hostages, a group of ten men who have been held for more than 12 years, the Red Cross announced Monday.  The four soldiers and six police were surrendered into the care of hostage mediators and the International Red Cross at an undisclosed location near the central Colombian town of Mapiripan, Meta department.

"Beware of the man who does not talk, and the dog that does not bark." Cheyenne
by maracatu on Mon Apr 2nd, 2012 at 06:08:24 PM EST
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at an undisclosed location

Was Dick Cheney there?

There are three stories about the euro crisis: the Republican story, the German story, and the truth. -- Paul Krugman

by Migeru (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 01:29:49 AM EST
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Was anyone shot in the face ?

keep to the Fen Causeway
by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Tue Apr 3rd, 2012 at 03:13:47 AM EST
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