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Archive for December 2011

PARIS, ANKARA -- Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused France of committing genocide in Algeria.
A view of Paris
In the meantime Turkish ambassador in Paris was recalled to Ankara for consultations.
"France massacred an estimated 15 percent of the Algerian population starting from 1945. This is genocide," Erdogan said.

The ruling Republican People's Party has launched a proposal in the Turkish parliament, urging MPs to adopt a resolution based on which all those who denied France’s genocide in Algeria and Rwanda would be sanctioned.

The relations between France and Turkey reached the boiling point after the French parliament had adopted a law that envisages sanctions for denial of genocide against Armenians in 1915.

Turkish Ambassador to France Tahsin Burcuoglu left Paris this morning after the Turkish government had recalled him “for consultations”.

“We are very sad. The Franco-Turkish relations did not deserve this but the damage has already been done,” he said just before he left for Ankara.

The French law has “struck a nerve” since Turkey denies committing the genocide and claims that mass killings in 1915 were a result of WWI.

The French parliament adopted the law that envisaged fines up to EUR 45,000 and up to a year in prison for all those who deny that the genocide was committed against the Armenians.

In Paris, Foreign Minister Alain Juppe termed Turkey’s decision regrettable, and urged the country not to “overreact.”

He said that France had not considered recalling its ambassador from Turkey.

“What I wish is that our Turkish friends will not overreact to this decision by the French National Assembly,” Juppe stressed.

France recognized the 1915 killings as genocide in 2001.

Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian thanked France, which had "once again proved its commitment to universal human values".

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MOSCOW -- Russian investigative bodies have sent President Dmitry Medvedev their preliminary report on election irregularities during the recent campaign and voting.
Dmitry Medvedev (file)

They compiled a total of 2,091 instances of violations of election regulations, a majority in Moscow - 462.
Most complaints regarding election irregularities were submitted by the Just Russia and the Communist Party of Russia.

It has also been announced in Moscow that 53 criminal complaints were filed, and that investigators are looking into nine cases of election results forgery, five cases of ballot box stuffing, and five voter bribery reports.

The United Russia party won the elections held earlier this month taking 49 percent of the votes, but opposition parties accused the authorities of election fraud.

Opposition observers said that they saw many instances of breaches of election procedures, and posted videos on the internet.

Medvedev and Central Election Committee President Vladimir Churov, however, expressed their doubt about the authenticity of the video material made public in this way.

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North Korean televesion showed the dead body of Kim Jong Il just when the highest delegation of north korean goverment  came to visit along with his son and heir Kim Jong Un

Most of his body is cover with red silk and surrounded with red flowers , funeral will be held 28 of this month.

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PYONGYANG -- North Korean leader Kim Jong Il died on Saturday morning at the age of 69, state television reported from Pyongyang on Monday.
Kim Jong Il

The veteran leader died on December 17 at 8:30 local time on a train trip, a weeping announcer said, saying that he had died of fatigue.
The news came in a "special broadcast" by Pyongyang early on Monday. It had previously been expected that the announcement would relate to media reports in South Korea that the North has agreed to suspend its uranium enrichment program.

A few hours after the announcement of Kim Jong Il's death, North Korea's official state news agency KCNA declared his youngest son, Kim Jong un as the "great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche and outstanding leader of our party, army and people."

Juche is Pyongyang's political ideology of self-reliance.

Kim Jong Un had been seen as the leader-in-waiting after being appointed to a senior military post and political post in 2010.

South Korea's military was placed on high alert Monday, but said it had detected no signs of unusual movement by the North's military following news of the death.

South Korean President Lee Myung-bak discussed the situation in a telephone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Barack Obama.

"The president reaffirmed the U.S.' strong commitment to the stability of the Korean peninsula and the security of our close ally, the Republic of Korea," the White House said in a statement.

"The two leaders agreed to stay in close touch as the situation develops and agreed they would direct their national security teams to continue close coordination."

Kim Jong Il is believed to have suffered a stroke in 2008. However, he had appeared relatively healthy in recent photos and video from recent trips to China and Russia.

The man known as the "Dear Leader" in North Korea is thought to have had a taste for cigars, cognac and gourmet cuisine. Some reports claim he had diabetes and heart disease.

He came to power following the sudden death of his father, the "Great Leader," Kim Il Sung in 1994.

KCNA reported that a period of national morning had been declared to run until December 29. Kim Jong Un is to head the committee to organize his father's funeral, which is to be held on December 28.

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MOSCOW -- Nationwide protests against election results are taking place in Russia today, with demonstrators angry at Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his United Russia. 

Thirty thousand people are expected to gather in Moscow’s Bolotnaya Square to show their indignation for a ballot many consider to have been fraudulent.
Officials have given permission for this rally across the Moscow River from the Kremlin, but security is high with at least 50,000 police on duty.

In the eastern city of Vladivostok, eight time zones ahead of Moscow, hundreds of people gathered in one of the protests planned for many cities across the country. Many of them support the Communist Party and a local opposition group called Tiger.

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Whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange may be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sex crimes, a British court ruled Wednesday. 

Swedish authorities want to question the 40-year-old on accusations by two female WikiLeaks volunteers that he broke Sweden's laws governing sexual consent during a week-long visit to Stockholm in August 2010.
One woman accuses Assange of sexually molesting her by ignoring her request for him to use a condom during sex. The second woman says he had sex with her while she was asleep, and that he was not wearing a condom - an allegation which falls into the least severe of three rape categories in Sweden.

Assange, who has spent much of the year under house arrest at a supporter's villa in England, denies any wrongdoing and says he would not receive a fair trial in Sweden. He claims the allegations are political, relating to WikiLeaks' publication of more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables and other secret documents.

Assange was arrested in Britain in December 2010 after Sweden issued a European arrest warrant. Wednesday's ruling upholds a previous court decision in February that found his extradition to Sweden to be legal.

The extradition could take place within two weeks if he does not lodge a further appeal against the decision.

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