Monday, June 22, 2009

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 22, 2009 - West 'Seeks Iran Disintegration' And Week Of Turmoil Unrest Ahead

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 22, 2009 - West 'Seeks Iran Disintegration' And Week Of Turmoil Unrest Ahead *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media / BBC (NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - June 22, 2009: Western powers are seeking to undermine Iran by spreading "anarchy and vandalism", the foreign ministry says. A spokesman said foreign media were "mouthpieces" of enemy governments seeking Iran's disintegration. TV station shows a burning bus during a demonstration in Tehran on June 20, 2009. Thousands of Iranians clashed with police as they defied an ultimatum from supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei for an end to protests over last week's disputed presidential election. He spoke as Tehran remained tense but quiet amid heavy security aimed at preventing new protests against the result of Iran's presidential election. Iran's Guardian Council says it found irregularities in 50 constituencies, but denied that affected the result. Challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi says the vote was rigged in favour of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and must be re-run. Mr Mousavi has told his supporters, who have taken to the streets in their tens of thousands for more than a week, to continue their protests but not to put their lives in danger. At least 10 people were reported to have been killed in clashes between protesters and police and militia forces on Saturday. That violence followed a warning on Friday from Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, that further demonstrations against the election result would not be tolerated. Iranian state media said 457 people were detained over Saturday's violence. International campaign group Reporters Without Borders says 23 local journalists and bloggers have been arrested over the past week. Opposition supporters passing messages online said they planned to carry candles at a rally in Tehran on Monday evening in memory of those killed. However, heavy security on the streets meant it was not clear whether they would be able to gather freely. The protests began after incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was named as the winner of the presidential election of 12 June. Results showed Mr Ahmadinejad won the election by a landslide, taking 63% of the vote, almost double that of Mr Mousavi, his nearest rival. Following complaints, the powerful Guardian Council, which oversees the electoral process, now says it has found evidence that more votes were cast in some constituencies than there were registered voters. But the number "has no effect on the result of the elections", a council spokesman said. The BBC's Middle East editor, Jeremy Bowen, who is in Tehran, says this crisis has highlighted divisions within Iran's ruling elite. Mr Mousavi saying the Islamic Republic needs root and branch reform, and it is hard to imagine Iran being the same place at the end of this crisis, our correspondent says.
'Contacting the enemy' Speaking at a news conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Hassan Qashqavi accused Western governments of explicitly backing violent protests aimed at undermining the stability of Iran's Islamic Republic. "Spreading anarchy and vandalism by Western powers and also Western media... these are not at all accepted," he said. ANALYSIS Jeremy BowenBBC Middle East editor, Tehran Mr Mousavi needs to find a way of channelling his popular support and to exploit the backing he also has amongst some of Iran's senior clerics and politicians. At the same time though, the supreme leader and the president are determined to hold to their position.The question for the opposition is how to get that energy coming off the streets to make inroads with the elders at the top level. This is a very tight-knit group of people who have been together for 30 years or more. What makes this different and unique is that in the past, although there has been unrest, there has never been a break in the elite. He said the West was acting in an "anti-democratic" manner, instead praising Iran's commitment to democracy and stressing once again that the results of the presidential election were unimpeachable. Iran has strongly criticised the US and UK governments in recent days, and Mr Qashqavi reserved special scorn for the BBC and for the Voice of America network, which he called "government channels". The BBC and other foreign media have been reporting from Iran under severe restrictions for the past week. The BBC's permanent correspondent in Iran, Jon Leyne, was asked to leave the country on Sunday. "They [the BBC and the VOA] are the mouthpiece of their government's public diplomacy," Mr Qashqavi said. "They have two guidelines regarding Iran. One is to intensify ethnical and racial rifts within Iran and secondly to disintegrate the Iranian territories." "Any contact with these channels, under any pretext or in any form, means contacting the enemy of the Iranian nation. "How can they say they are unbiased when their TV channel is like a war headquarters and in fact they are blatantly commanding riots. Therefore their claims are absolutely wrong. Their governments have ratified decisions so that they can act in this way."
Witnesses said there were no rallies in the capital on Sunday, a day after 10 people were reported killed in clashes between police and protesters. Meanwhile, Mr Mousavi, whose supporters make up most of the protesting crowds, urged them to continue their rallies. "Protesting against lies and fraud is your right. In your protests continue to show restraint," a statement on his website said. On Sunday, thousands of security officers were out on the streets but protesters stayed away.

DTN News: Pakistan Army Killed At least 34 Militants in Bajaur, Upper Dir

DTN News: Pakistan Army Killed At least 34 Militants in Bajaur, Upper Dir *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - June 22, 2009: Military jets and artillery pounded suspected militant hide-outs in two towns in Pakistan's northwest, killing 27 fighters, officials said. Elsewhere in the region, a citizens' militia killed seven suspected militants. An army helicopter overflies Pakistani soldiers in Ghar-I-Hira camp, in the upper Swat Valley, Pakistan, Saturday, June 20, 2009. 2009. The military took a small media group to view the camp built into a remote hillside at the northern end of the valley, citing its design, purpose and the cache of weapons seized as examples of the equipment, facilities and tactics insurgents are using in Pakistan. Acces to battlegrounds in the northwest is strictly controlled, and no independent confirmation of details given by the military was available. The military has stepped up strikes in the past week on suspected militant bases in Bajaur, where violence has spiked again almost five months after the military declared victory after a months-long offensive. Two local government officials, Iqbal Khan and Nawaz Khan, said bombs dropped from planes on targets in Salarzai town killed 13 militants. In nearby Charmang, shelling killed 14 militants, the officials said. Military planes bombed Dara and Banda in Salarzai, some 33 kilometres from Khar. Officials said the area was a Taliban stronghold and had a training camp, arms depot and bunkers. An arms depot and four bunkers were destroyed by the bombing, they said. Fourteen militants, including a key commander, were killed in the attacks. The commander, officials said, was an Afghan national and an explosives expert. Several militants were killed when security forces pounded their hideouts in Babra, Charmang, Hashim and Cheenar areas of Nawagai sub-division. Sources said Taliban commander Qari Zaiur Rehman complained of indifferent attitude of TTP vice-chief Maulvi Faqir Mohammad and accused him of not helping them. They said Maulvi Faqir hesitated in sending reinforcements because he was trying to enter into a peace deal with the government with the help of tribal elders. Troops, meanwhile, advanced to Charmang and took control of Tangi and Kotki areas and set up check posts. An ISPR press release said five soldiers were injured on Saturday and Sunday in Malakand. It said that 15 small machineguns, one sniper rifle, one 8-MM rifle, communication equipment and grenades were recovered. Troops secured areas around Peochar, Kharkai, Kharkarai and Biha. A heavy exchange of fire took place between security forces and terrorists in Biha valley south of Chuprial. Troops seized 20 small machineguns, a G-3 rifle, two launchers with seven rockets, rifles, two grenades and 6,000 rounds of SMG and two MM rifles. Some foreign currency has also been found in terrorists’ hideouts in Biha. Security forces secured areas around Barko Sar, Roringar, Nalkot, Wainai towards Biha, Bartana and Pushtunat. Troops are now trying to clear Tirang, Thana, Allahdand and Batkhela. Separately, in nearby Upper Dir, a citizens' militia engaged in a two-hour clash with militants that killed seven and wounded one more, police said. Ejaz Ahmed, police chief in the Upper Dir region, said the fighting occurred late Saturday night near the village of Patrak, about four miles east of Dir Khas, the region's main town and district headquarters. Locals said 10 militants were arrested earlier by Chitral police had been handed over to the lashkar. Two of those killed were identified as Fatehzar and his son Dilaram. One militant was injured and another ran away. The shootout triggered a controversy and police denied having received 10 militants. DPO Ijaz Ahmad said the militants were killed in a clash between Taliban militants and armed villagers. He denied reports that the militants were those arrested in Chitral. ‘The 10 militants arrested in Chitral were not handed over to us so there is no question of killing them,’ he said. After the incident, 20 militants came out in Bar Doog area and set on fire 130 logs owned by local people. They torched a house and kidnapped a man identified as Faqir Gul Mulla. Several civilian militias, known as lashkars, have emerged in Upper Dir since a suicide bombing on a mosque two weeks ago blamed on the Taliban killed at least 33 people. The militias carry out patrols and have been pursuing remnants of Taliban who had tried to expand their influence into the area. Ahmed said scores of militants have been trapped and killed by the militias in several villages, with police cutting off escape routes. The Taliban who were killed Saturday had been trying to flee when they came across the militiamen and opened fire, he said. ‘Due to heavy losses, militants have been attempting to escape the area under cover of dark, and last night's incident was one such attempt,’ Ahmed said. He said no civilians were killed in the fighting. The report could not immediately be confirmed due to military restrictions on media access to the area. In the most striking example of growing anti-Taliban sentiment, up to 1,600 tribesmen in Upper Dir cleared three villages of Taliban fighters two weeks ago, killing at least six militants.

DTN News: Israel's Defense Minister Says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Will Agree To Palestinian Statehood

DTN News: Israel's Defense Minister Says Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Will Agree To Palestinian Statehood
*Source: By Amy Teibel Associated Press
(NSI News Source Info) JERUSALEM, Israel - June 22, 2009: Israel's defense minister said in an interview published Tuesday that he expects Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to agree to the principle of Palestinian statehood — something the Israeli leader has balked at doing since taking office a month ago. In this handout photo released by the Israeli Government Press Office (GPO), Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Druze leaders in his office on June 21, 2009 in Jerusalem, Israel. Druze leaders and the government are locked in a dispute about state funding for Druze communities in Israel. Netanyahu is coming under increasing pressure from Washington to resume peacemaking with the Palestinians, a process designed ultimately to create a Palestinian state that would live alongside Israel peacefully within fixed borders. In what could be seen as a mild slap from the U.S., Israel's ceremonial president, Shimon Peres, will meet President Barack Obama next week, before Netanyahu travels to Washington in mid-May. A statement from Peres' office said he would attend next week's conference of AIPAC, the pro-Israel lobby, and meet Obama. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, is a world-renowned Mideast peacemaker, while Netanyahu has a hawkish reputation. Netanyahu took office March 31 amid predictions of a clash with the Obama administration over peacemaking. Netanyahu has stepped back from his original plan to hold off on political negotiations while working with the Palestinians to improve their economy. But Netanyahu has stopped short of endorsing a separate Palestinian state, a key element of U.S. policy. In an interview with the Haaretz daily, Defense Minister Ehud Barak suggested that Netanyahu could relent. "I believe that during Netanyahu's visit to Washington, Israel must formulate how it intends to move forward, and that formula will not propose three states for eight peoples," Barak said. The prime minister's office would not comment. But an aide to the prime minister said a policy review was under way and should be completed around the time Netanyahu goes to Washington. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he wasn't authorized to publicly discuss emerging policy. The Palestinians hope to set up a state in the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, territories Israel captured in the 1967 war. Israel has annexed east Jerusalem, and some 230,000 Israeli settlers live in the West Bank. Israel withdrew its troops and settlers from Gaza in 2005. But the coastal territory is now controlled by the Islamic militant group Hamas, complicating potential peace efforts. Israel considers Hamas, which rejects Israel's right to exist, a terrorist group. In a reflection of the sensitivity of the situation, a Palestinian military court convicted a man of treason and sentenced him to death for selling West Bank land to an Israeli company. Abbas routinely withholds the required approval of such sentences, however. Barak's centrist Labor Party, which supports Palestinian statehood, is the lone moderate voice in Netanyahu's government. But during his two years as defense minister in the preceding government of Ehud Olmert, Barak rebuffed Palestinian demands to halt settlement expansion or remove a significant number of Israeli roadblocks that encumber Palestinian movement in the West Bank. In a separate interview published Tuesday, Netanyahu's other top policy-making partner, Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, denied that Jewish settlements in the West Bank were an obstacle to peacemaking, as Palestinians and the international community claim. Lieberman also said Israel can't negotiate peace with the Palestinians until they dismantle militant groups and set up a proper justice system. The Palestinians committed to do so under the U.S.-backed "road map" peace plan of June 2002 — which obliged Israel to halt all settlement construction. "To jump straight to the last paragraph and to concede on all of the Palestinian commitments to fight terror — it's a very strange approach," Lieberman told The Jerusalem Post daily.

DTN News: Japan Eyes Bigger Military As Tension Rises: Report

DTN News: Japan Eyes Bigger Military As Tension Rises: Report
*Sources: DTN News / Reuters By Kiyoshi Takenaka
(NSI News Source Info) TOKYO, Japan - June 22, 2009: A draft of Japan's new mid-term defense policy guidelines is calling for the reinforcement of military personnel and equipment in the face of growing regional tensions, Kyodo news agency said. The draft, obtained by Kyodo, says Japan needs to reverse its policy of reducing its defense budgets in light of North Korea's missile launches and nuclear tests, as well as China's rise to a major military power, the news agency said. The document urges the government to raise the number of Ground Self-Defense Forces troops by 5,000 to 160,000, Kyodo said. The new National Defense Program Guidelines, covering five years to March 2015, are scheduled to be adopted by the government by the end of the year. The draft also says there is a need to "secure options responsive to changing situations" of international security, indicating Tokyo's intention of considering if it should be capable of striking enemy bases, Kyodo said. Japan's pacifist constitution has been interpreted as allowing a military only for self-defense and some experts say a pre-emptive strike doctrine would stretch that too far.

DTN News: AgustaWestland Bags 10-Helicopter INAER Order

DTN News: AgustaWestland Bags 10-Helicopter INAER Order
*Sources: DTN News / Agusta Westland ~ issued June 17, 2009
(NSI News Source Info) ROME, Italy - June 22, 2009: AgustaWestland, a Finmeccanica company, is pleased to announce that INAER of Spain will add ten new AgustaWestland helicopters to its fleet in 2009, valued at approximately 62 million euro.
The AgustaWestland AW119 Koala (Agusta A119 Koala prior to the Agusta-Westland merger) is an eight-seat utility helicopter powered by a single turboshaft engine and produced for the civil market. It is intended to appeal to operators for whom the lower running costs of a single-engine aircraft outweigh the redundancy of a twin.
These latest aircraft include units from the entire AgustaWestland commercial product range and will be delivered to customer this year. Moreover, INAER will further expand its AgustaWestland products fleet in 2010 adding more units further confirming its reliance on AgustaWestland.
The AW119 Ke is the AgustaWestland’s answer to worldwide current customer demand for a high performance, modern, multi-role single-engine helicopter.
As the best-selling light twin helicopter setting new standard in its category, the AW109 Power is perfectly suited for various roles including EMS and law enforcement purposes, offering excellent performance, reliability, capacity and productivity.
A new intermediate size helicopter with light twin economics developed to meet a variety of market requirements, the Grand provides levels of cabin space and payload that until now could only be met by larger, more expensive helicopters. With its large cabin, the wide sliding door and high payload, the Grand set a new standard in the EMS market. The EMS version of the Grand is based on a modular principle with fixed provisions and various quick change role equipment. One of the INAER’s EMS-configured Grands provided with a comprehensive equipment fit, is currently being showcased within the AgustaWestland static display at Paris Air Show.
The AW139 is a new generation medium twin helicopter setting new standards against which all new medium twins are measured. The internal dimensions of the large and unobstructed AW139 cabin make it an ideal choice for EMS, search and rescue, passenger transport and scheduled services applications. The flat floor and ceiling provide maximum cabin flexibility for easy reconfiguration. Litter layout ranges from two to six in medevac configuration. In addition, high speed, outstanding performance in hot-and-high conditions and Cat. “A” capabilities make the AW139 the leading helicopter in its class.
Grupo INAER is a leading European on-shore helicopter service provider and the AgustaWestland helicopters will be used to perform various missions including public passenger transportation, Search and Rescue, EMS and fire-fighting. INAER acts as an AgustaWestland Service Centre in various European countries also including Spain, Italy and France to offer on-site support services. Grupo INAER operates all over Europe and also on the international market through all its subsidiaries.

DTN News: New York City Couple Makes History This Weekend Becoming the First Bride and Groom Married in Zero Gravity

DTN News: New York City Couple Makes History This Weekend Becoming the First Bride and Groom Married in Zero Gravity
*Source: Zero Gravity Corporation
*Zero Gravity Corporation Hosted First-Ever Weightless Wedding
(NSI News Source Info) NEW YORK - June 22, 2009: Zero Gravity Corporation, the first and only FAA-approved provider of commercial weightless flights, hosted the world's first-ever weightless wedding on Saturday, June 20. Noah Fulmor and Erin Finnegan said their "I Dos" while flipping and floating mid-air among their closest family and friends.
New York City Couple Makes History This Weekend Becoming the First Bride and Groom Married in Zero Gravity ~ Noah Fulmor and Erin Finnegan flip in float as they say their 'I Do's' in weightlessness with ZERO-G
While flying high above the clouds in Florida, the New-York-City-based couple exchanged vows while making history -- as they became the first bride and groom to be married in zero gravity! Richard Garriott, the sixth private explorer in history to go to space and the first second-generation U.S. astronaut, officiated the weightless ceremony. G-FORCE ONE, ZERO-G's specially modified Boeing 727-200 aircraft, departed from the Titusville Airport near Orlando, FL for the milestone occasion. "I am honored to be taking part in Erin and Noah's wedding. I know firsthand the added thrill microgravity will play in their already joyous event," said Garriott. "The excitement from these 'first ever microgravity nuptials' will not soon fade in the minds of all the members of the wedding party." During the weightless ceremony, Fulmor and Finnegan along with their entire wedding party flew like Superman and flipped like an Olympic gymnast as Garriott united the two as man and wife. Each ZERO-G mission is designed for maximum fun and these nuptials were no exception. Over the span of nearly eight minutes, the vows and rings were exchanged in a microgravity environment. Fulmor and Finnegan have been together since 2002, but even before they met, they shared a dream of space travel. As children, both wanted to be astronauts: Erin attended space camp in Michigan, while Noah volunteered at his local planetarium. Although they are currently living relatively earth-bound lives, the idea of space came up again following their engagement in 2008. "When we started talking about marriage, Noah joked that we should have our wedding 'in space,'" Erin said. "Although most girls would take this to mean Noah didn't want to get married, I knew he was sincere, and that this was a serious request." And so, the couple turned to ZERO-G for the next best thing: the experience offered by ZERO-G is the only commercial opportunity on Earth for individuals to experience true "weightlessness" without going to space. The aircraft's interior is a zero-gravity playroom, complete with padded floors and walls and video cameras to record the unforgettable moments. When experiencing zero gravity, Fulmor, Finnegan and their guests enjoyed 10-times more hang-time than the world's best basketball player. It's not simulated; ZERO-G replicates the same levels of weightlessness enjoyed on Mars (1/3-gravity), the moon (1/6-gravity), and zero gravity. It's an experience unlike any other. About ZERO-G Zero Gravity Corporation is a privately held space entertainment and tourism company whose mission is to make the excitement and adventure of weightlessness accessible to the public. ZERO-G is the first and only FAA-approved provider of weightless flight to the general public, as well as the entertainment and film industries; corporate and incentive market; non-profit research and education sectors; and government.

DTN News: Al Qaeda Says Would Use Pakistan's Nukes

DTN News: Al Qaeda Says Would Use Pakistan's Nukes *Source: Reuters (NSI News Source Info) DUBAI - June 22, 2009: If it were in a position to do so, al Qaeda would use Pakistan's nuclear weapons in its fight against the United States, a top leader of the group said. A video grab from an undated footage from the Internet shows Al Qaeda leader in Afghanistan Mustafa abu al-Yazid making statements from an unknown location. Pakistan has been battling al Qaeda's Taliban allies in the Swat Valley since April after their thrust into a district 100 km northwest of the capital raised fears the nuclear-armed country could slowly slip into militant hands. "God willing, the nuclear weapons will not fall into the hands of the Americans and the mujahideen would take them and use them against the Americans," Mustafa Abu al-Yazid, the leader of al Qaeda in Afghanistan, said in an interview with Al Jazeera television. Abu al-Yazid was responding to a question about US safeguards to seize control over Pakistan's nuclear weapons in case Islamist fighters came close to doing so. "We expect that the Pakistani army would be defeated (in Swat) ... and that would be its end everywhere, God willing." Asked about the group's plans, the Egyptian militant leader said: "The strategy of the (al Qaeda) organisation in the coming period is the same as in the previous period: to hit the head of the snake, the head of tyranny - the United States. "That can be achieved through continued work on the open fronts and also by opening new fronts in a manner that achieves the interests of Islam and Muslims and by increasing military operations that drain the enemy financially." The militant leader suggested that naming a new leader for the group's unit in the Arabian Peninsula, Abu Basir al-Wahayshi, could revive its campaign in Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter. "Our goals have been the Americans ... and the oil targets which they are stealing to gain power to strike the mujahideen and Muslims." "There was a setback in work there for reasons that there is no room to state now, but as of late, efforts have been united and there is unity around a single leader." Abu al-Yazid, also known as Abu Saeed al-Masri, said al Qaeda will continue "with large scale operations against the enemy" - by which he meant the United States. "We have demanded and we demand that all branches of al Qaeda carry out such operations," he said, referring to attacks against US-led forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. The militant leader said al Qaeda would be willing to accept a truce of about 10 years' duration with the United States if Washington agreed to withdraw its troops from Muslim countries and stopped backing Israel and the pro-Western governments of Muslim nations. Asked about the whereabouts of al Qaeda's top leaders, he said: "Praise God, sheikh Osama (bin Laden) and sheikh Ayman al-Zawahri are safe from the reach of the enemies, but we would not say where they are; moreover, we do not know where they are, but we're in continuous contact with them."

DTN News: Russian Strategic Bombers Complete Arctic Patrol Mission

DTN News: Russian Strategic Bombers Complete Arctic Patrol Mission
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) MOSCOW - June 22, 2009: Two Russian Tu-95 Bear strategic bombers have carried out a routine patrol flight over the Arctic, an Air Force spokesman said on Wednesday. A Russian TU-95 bomber, or Bear, lands at a military airbase in Engels, some 900 km (559 miles) south of Moscow recently. The Russian defence ministry invited journalists on a tour of the base that is home to a part of the country's bomber fleet.
Lt. Col. Vladimir Drik said the bombers had spent over 12 hours in flight and were shadowed by two British Tornado and two Norwegian F-16 fighters. Russia resumed strategic bomber patrol flights over the Pacific, Atlantic, and Arctic oceans in August 2007, following an order from then-president Vladimir Putin. All flights by Russian aircraft are performed in strict compliance with international law on the use of airspace over neutral waters, without violating the borders of other states, Drik said.

DTN News: Somalia's al Shaabab Islamists Vow To Fight Any Foreign Troops In The Country

DTN News: Somalia's al Shaabab Islamists Vow To Fight Any Foreign Troops In The Country *Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media (NSI News Source Info) MOGADISHU, Somalia - June 22, 2009: Somalia's hardline al Shaabab Islamists will fight any foreign troops that come to the aid of the Horn of African government, a spokesman for the insurgent group said on Sunday. A Islamic fighter is seen through a hole caused by shrapnel in a wall, in Mogadishu, Somalia, Thursday, June 18, 2009, as he man a checkpoint. A suicide bombing outside a hotel in western Somalia killed at least 20 people Thursday, including the national security minister. The Somali president accused al-Qaida of being behind the attack. Somali parliament speaker Sheikh Aden Mohamed Madobe on Saturday called upon neighboring countries such as Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia to send military help to ward off a raging rebellion. The African Union already has 4,300 peacekeepers in Somalia, but they are under constant attack by the Islamists that want to dislodge the government and impose a strict form of sharia, Islamic law. "We tell our enemy that we do not fear any invasion from outside. We forced Ethiopia to withdraw from Somalia early this year and we shall do the same again," al Shabaab's Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage told a press conference. "We, the Somali young mujahideen, shall fight against any troops deployed here to help the government until our last holy fighter passes away. This is a clear signal that the so called government established by the enemy had totally failed." Ethiopia, which had troops in Somalia for two years but withdrew them in January, said on Saturday it would only send in help under a mandate from the international community. But residents close to the border with Ethiopia say their neighbor already has troops in their country. Kenya said on Friday it would not sit by and allow the situation in its neighbor to deteriorate further because it would destabilize the region. Somali government soldiers ride on the back of an armed pickup truck next to the frontline where government troops are still fighting with hardline Islamist insurgents for the capital Mogadishu on June 21, 2009. Somalia's radical Islamist Shebab armed group warned on June 21 against any foreign military intervention after the government pleaded for help. Somalia's Parliament Speaker Sheikh Aden Mohamed Nur on June 20 urged neighboring countries to send troops to his country within 24 hours to prop up the government. Countries in the region as well as Western nations fear that if the chaos continues in Somalia, groups with links to al Qaeda will become entrenched and threaten the stability of neighboring countries. The U.S. has al Shaabab on its list of terror organizations. "God will help us to overcome all enemies and we believe we shall defeat them. We are not worried about their quantity and whatever weapons they have," Rage said. His group has intensified attacks against the government since May and killed two legislators this week, including the security minister. Some 300 people have been killed since May 7, in fighting residents say is the worst for years. The Horn of Africa country has experienced violence for close to two decades.

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 22, 2009 - Iranian Opposition Leader Mirhossein Mousavi Urges More Protests, Gunfire Heard, 10 People Killed And Week Of ...

DTN News: Iran TODAY June 22, 2009 - Iranian Opposition Leader Mirhossein Mousavi Urges More Protests, Gunfire Heard, 10 People Killed And Week Of Turmoil Unrest Ahead
*Sources: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) TEHRAN, Iran - June 22, 2009: Iranian opposition leader Mirhossein Mousavi urged supporters on Sunday to continue protests over a disputed presidential election, in a direct challenge to the leadership of the Islamic Republic. EDITORS' NOTE: Reuters and other foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pictures in Tehran. An injured protester stands on a street in Tehran June 20, 2009. Iranian authorities on June 21, 2009 blamed 'terrorists' and rioters for clashes in which at least 10 people were killed and state media suggested only the West stood to gain from a week of unrest sparked by a disputed election. Mousavi also issued an oblique appeal to the security forces to show restraint in handling demonstrations -- a move likely to be viewed with deep suspicion by a conservative leadership that has vowed to use force wherever necessary to quell opposition. Helicopters buzzed through the evening sky over Tehran and gunfire was heard in the north of the city, a bastion of support for the reformist former prime minister. "Protesting against lies and fraud (in the election) is your right," Mousavi said in a statement on his website. "In your protests, continue to show restraint. I am expecting armed forces to avoid irreversible damage," he added. Iran state television said 10 people were killed and more than 100 others injured in protests in Tehran on Saturday held in defiance of a warning from Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. A separate report put the number of deaths at 13. Mousavi said the mass arrest of his supporters, "will create a rift between society and the country's armed forces." A product of the Islamic establishment himself, Mousavi said on Saturday he was not questioning the fundaments of the Islamic Republic but sought to renew it and purge it of what he called deceit and lies. The dispute over the June 12 election which returned to power hardline anti-Western President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has sparked the most violent unrest since the Islamic Revolution which ousted the U.S.-backed shah in 1979. The authorities in Iran, a major gas and oil producer, have dismissed the protesters as "terrorists" and rioters, an indication of their determination to crack down hard on demonstrations. Tehran's police commander Azizullah Rajabzadeh said police would "confront all gatherings and unrest with all its strength," the official IRNA news agency reported. GUNFIRE AND CHANTS In pro-Mousavi districts of northern Tehran, supporters took to the rooftops after dusk to chant their defiance, an echo of tactics used in the 1979 Islamic revolution. Iranian security personnel ride past burning debris on the streets in Tehran June 20, 2009. Iranian authorities on June 21, 2009 blamed 'terrorists' and rioters for clashes in which at least 10 people were killed and state media suggested only the West stood to gain from a week of unrest sparked by a disputed election. "I heard repeated shootings while people were chanting Allahu Akbar (God is greatest) in Niavaran area," said a witness, who asked not to be named. Another witness heard shooting in Zaferaniyeh district in the north of the capital. There were no immediate reports of casualties and the shooting appeared an attempt by the authorities to break up unsanctioned protests. Government restrictions prevent correspondents working for foreign media from attending protests to report. As authorities fulminated against protesters backing Mousavi, moderate former President Mohammad Khatami signaled increased opposition among pro-reform clerics to Iran's conservative leadership. "Preventing people from expressing their demands through civil ways will have dangerous consequences," Khatami, a Mousavi ally, said in a statement quoted by the semi-official Mehr news agency. His comment, implying criticism of Khamenei who has backed a ban on protests and defended the outcome of the election, found an echo with Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, the most senior dissident cleric. "Resisting people's demand is religiously prohibited," said Montazeri, an architect of the Islamic revolution who fell out with the present leadership and was under house arrest for some years. ELECTION "RIGGED" Mousavi, who came second to Ahmadinejad in the poll and whose followers have spearheaded protests, says the election was rigged and must be annulled. An analysis of official statistics from Iran's Interior Ministry by Britain's Chatham House think-tank suggested that in the conservative Mazandaran and Yazd provinces, turnout was more than 100 percent. It said that in a third of all provinces, official results would have required Ahmadinejad to take all former conservative, centrist and all new voters, and up to 44 percent of reformist voters, "despite a decade of conflict between these two groups." The authorities reject charges of election fraud. But the highest legislative body has said it is ready to recount a random 10 percent of votes cast. Iranians demonstrate in Paris, Sunday June 21, 2009, protesting the outcome of the presidential election in Iran. The demonstrators are expressing solidarity with Iranian opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi's supporters, who have protested in Iran for several days to demand a new presidential election. Khatami was skeptical. "Referring the dispute to a body which has not been impartial regarding the vote, is not a solution," he said in a statement, Mehr reported. In London, the BBC confirmed that Iran had ordered the broadcaster's correspondent, Jon Leyne, out of the country. Newsweek journalist Maziar Bahari has temporarily been detained in Iran, a source close to the journalist said. OBAMA AND TOP AIDES DISCUSS IRAN Ahmadinejad meanwhile accused the United States and Britain of interfering in Iran's affairs. "I advise you (the United States and Britain) to correct your interfering stances," Ahmadinejad was quoted by ISNA news agency as saying at a meeting with clerics and scholars. U.S. President Barack Obama, in the forefront of diplomatic efforts to halt an Iranian nuclear program the West fears could yield atomic weapons, discussed the situation with foreign policy advisers, the White House said in a statement. British Foreign Secretary David Miliband rejected Ahmadinejad's charge and German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged Iran to allow peaceful protests and conduct a recount. Riot police were deployed in force on Saturday, firing teargas and using batons and water cannon to disperse groups of several hundred Iranians who had gathered across the city.
Iranian security personnel gather during a march on a street in Tehran in this picture uploaded on Twitter on June 20, 2009. Defeated Iranian presidential candidate Mirhossein Mousavisaid on Saturday he was "ready for martyrdom" in leading protests that have shaken the Islamic Republic and brought warnings of bloodshed from Iran's Supreme Leader.
Authorities on Saturday detained the daughter of former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Faezeh, for "alleged involvement in post-election incidents," Iran's English-language Press TV said. She has "been asked to commit herself in writing not to stir the situation," it said. In Paris, European Central Bank President Jean-Claude Trichet told Europe 1 radio that tensions in Iran had added to risks facing the world economy and underlined the need for strengthening the global financial system.