News from around the World

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on February 15, 2011

INDIA – India, Pakistan agree to resume peace talks

New Delhi | India and Pakistan announced Thursday the resumption of peace talks suspended more than two years ago after Islamist gunmen killed 166 people in Mumbai.

In simultaneous statements issued in New Delhi and Islamabad, the nuclear-armed neighbors and longtime rivals said they had “agreed to resume dialogue on all issues.”

They also announced that Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi would visit India by July to “review progress” in the dialogue process.


AUSTRALIA – Prime minister introduces disaster tax

Canberra | Australia’s prime minister has introduced tax legislation to Parliament that would raise $1.8 billion to help pay for record storm and flood damage across the country’s east.

In presenting the legislation Thursday, Prime Minister Julia Gillard said the government’s bill for weeks of flooding in northeast Queensland state was at least $5.6 billion.

The legislation will be scrutinized by a parliamentary committee before lawmakers vote on it in a few weeks.

Opposition lawmakers oppose the tax and argue that the government should instead cut foreign aid to Indonesia.


CHINA – Hackers hit oil companies

Beijing | Hackers operating from China stole sensitive information from Western oil companies, a U.S. security firm reported Thursday, adding to complaints about pervasive Internet crime traced to the country.

The report by McAfee Inc. did not identify the companies but said the “coordinated, covert and targeted” attacks began in November 2009 and targeted computers of oil and gas companies in the United States, Taiwan, Greece and Kazakhstan. It said the attackers stole information on operations, bidding for oil fields and financing.

The report did not offer evidence that the attacks were anything other than the standard flavor of corporate espionage that plagues businesses around the world…


IVORY COAST: Gbagbo loyalists order U.N. radio off the air

Abidjan | United Nations radio was ordered off the air in Ivory Coast by a regulatory board loyal to incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, though the station refused to comply Thursday.

The National Council for Audio-Visual Communication revoked the U.N. radio’s permit to broadcast in a decree Wednesday, saying the decision would take effect immediately.

However, work continued as normal at the station’s headquarters Thursday, said U.N. radio director Sylvain Semilinko, adding that preparations were being made in case their signal was jammed.

Ivory Coast has been gripped by political crisis since a Nov. 28 presidential election run-off, which the electoral commission said was won by Gbagbo’s opponent, Alassane Ouattara.


RUSSIA: Girls in skirts help group demand snow removal

St. Petersburg | Too much snow and not enough beaus – so says a squad of mini-skirted, high-heeled young women wielding snow shovels in Russia’s second city.

Seven women dressed [in attractive outfits] came to the frigid square in front of St. Petersburg’s Kazan Cathedral on Thursday to chip away at snow and ice and demand better city snow removal. They’re affiliated with XZ, a group that uses beautiful women to draw attention to social problems.

Spokeswoman Eva Tornado claimed that tourism experts say foreign visitors avoid St. Petersburg in the winter because of the city’s problems in dealing with its snow…


(The news briefs above are from wire reports and staff reports posted at: and on Feb. 10th and 11th.)