Middle Orient

No 2nd stage of disengagement; roadmap talks next — Sharon

OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — Egyptian intelligence chief, Omar Suleiman, yesterday met with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to discuss ways of shoring up the ceasefire and border controls between Gaza and Egypt. The visit came at the same time as EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana met Israeli officials to discuss how …

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Lebanese brace for results of investigation into Hariri’s murder

BEIRUT — After months of bombings, assassinations and political upheaval, many Lebanese fear the worst is yet to come as the United Nations wraps up its investigation into the killing of former prime minister Rafiq Hariri. Some prominent politicians and journalists have reportedly fled the country. Others stay cooped up …

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Mubarak’s vote triumph seen certain, but many look beyond incumbent

CAIRO — From deep in Egypt’s south to the nation’s Mediterranean shores hundreds of kilometres to the north, everyone knows that it’s all but a formality for Hosni Mubarak to win next month’s presidential election. Such apathy is routine given Egypt’s long record of electoral fraud. Yet surprisingly, many in …

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Sunnis mobilise to defeat charter

FALLUJAH — As the Sunni tribal chiefs file into the bullet-scarred headquarters of the US-led coalition in the centre of Fallujah, it is immediately clear what they came to talk about. “The constitution is weak and it casts the Sunnis aside,” says one. “We have to keep Iraq united from …

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Reuters demands release of wounded journalist

BAGHDAD (Reuters) — Reuters demanded the immediate release on Monday of an Iraqi cameraman who was still being held by US forces in Baghdad more than a day after being wounded in an incident in which his soundman was killed. Iraqi police said the news team was shot by US …

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Iraqi Sunnis urge charter change

BAGHDAD (AP) — Thousands of Sunni demonstrators rallied in Saddam Hussein’s hometown of Tikrit on Monday to denounce Iraq’s new constitution a day after negotiators finished the new charter without the endorsement of Sunni Arabs. Sunni leaders have urged their community to defeat the charter in a nationwide referendum on …

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Suicide bomber strikes in Beersheva

Abbas condemns attack, describes it `terrorist operation’ OCCUPIED JERUSALEM — A suicide bomber blew himself up yesterday wounding some 40 Israelis, two of them seriously, in the southern Israeli town of Beersheva. The bombing came four days after Israeli troops killed five Palestinians, three of them teenagers, in the northern …

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Palestinians’ long wait at Gaza border for Israelis to go

RAFAH — Although Egypt lies a mere 800 metres away, Naim Mohammed may wait hours or even days to get there. For Palestinians in this impoverished border town, very little has changed since Israel’s historic evacuation of Jewish settlers from Gaza. Throughout August, around a thousand Palestinians arrive daily at …

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Only heat has candidate Mubarak sweating

CAIRO — Dabbing sweat from his brow with a neatly folded white handkerchief, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak plods on with his election campaign speech, promising building land for the young and more investment in agriculture. He starts with the ritual homage to the history of the town he is visiting …

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