International news, 25 June – 1 July 2007

Friday /

  • Police in London, England, closed off a large area in the centre of the city, in Haymarket, near Piccadilly, when they found a bomb. The explosive device was found in a Mercedes that held several gas cannisters. Police defused it but London Transport has closed the Piccadilly Circus Tube station for the morning as a precaution,  The Times, UK
  • A key immigration bill supported by the US president has died a final death in Congress in the US. International Herald Tribune
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is in Moscow, Russia, shopping for military equipment and is expected to place orders for submarines. Al Jazeera
  • The White House in the US is using "executive privilege" to refuse to comply with Congressional subpoenas relating to the firing of a group of federal prosecutors, putting President George W Bush on a collision course with Congress, led by the opposition Democratic Party. Reuters

Thursday /

  • Twenty beheaded bodies were found on the banks of the Tigris in Baghdad Thursday, and a bomb went off at a city bus station, killing 20 people. San Francisco Examiner/AP
  • A deadly "game" has gained popularity among children in France and elsewhere, where they use a scarf to slowly strangle themselves in front of others. Belfast Telegraph
  • Spice Girls are getting together again, if Channel 4 in the UK is right. The pop group split in 2001.
  • Israeli President Moshe Katsav is resigning but he will avoid rape charges and any jail time in plea bargaining. International Herald Tribune
  • Fashion designer Liz Clairborne died, aged 78, in New York, after having cancer for several years. CNN
  • UK researchers working with "epiblast stem cells" say the rodent cells are the first to behave in a way similar to human ones and offer new hope for using stem cells to find solutions to diseases. BBC on publication Nature today.

Wednesday /

  • More than 200 homes have burned in a fire near Lake Tahoe in the western US since Sunday (NPR) and high temperatures in Greece have killed five people (Seattle Star, USA).
  • In England, Queen Elizabeth has invited Gordon Brown to be Britain’s new prime minister (Reuters), while in New York the United Nations announced that Tony Blair, retiring British leader, has been named mediator for the Palestinian peace process (Times, UK and  romandie/AFP)
  • Petrol stations were torched and traffic snarled after Iranians were given two hours notice that petrol is being rationed. Private drivers, reports the BBC, will be allowed 100 litres a month. The country imports about 40% of its petrol because it is unable to refine enough of its own oil to meet demand.
  • Nine people were killed when Israeli tanks and troops attacked parts of the Gaza Strip Tuesday. AFP
  • The details of a CIA plot to poison Cuban President in 1960 with the help of the American mafia have surfaced as part of the 700 pages of reports declassified and open to the public. The Times, UK

Tuesday /

  • Weather, weather, everywhere. In Britain, floods (Le Monde, Fre, with photos), in Pakistan cyclones and floods (New York Times), in Spain low winds for the America’s Cup may or may not pick up before the 15:00 race (America’s Cup), on Lake Geneva wild winds and lake in the morning.
  • Middle East negotiators are discussing the possibility of Tony Blair, about to step down as British prime minister, serving as mediator in the Middle East peace process. Reuters

Monday /

  • African nations worry about the secrecy surrounding Doha Round trade talks in Geneva, Switzerland.
  • The lobby of a busy hotel in Baghdad that is used by foreigners was the target of a bomb that killed 12, injured 18 people. Reuters
  • A bomb killed five Spanish United Nations peacekeepers and injured five others in southern Lebanon. Xinhua
  • Talks take place Monday in Paris on the ongoing military and humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, with China, Egypt, France and the United States participating, but not the Sudanese government or the militia groups involved in the fighting. Condoleeza Rice said before the talks opened that the international community has failed Darfur. BBC
  • Two boys in the care of state services in New Zealand who ran away from a remote bush camp where they were being taught survival skills have been arrrested for attempted murder after an early hours shootout with police. New Zealand Herald
  • Americans broke their charitable donations record in 2006, giving nearly $300 billion to charity, a 1% increase when adjusted for inflation. The rise in donations is often viewed as a sign of the health of the economy, reports CNN, with a rise in giving generally about one-third the rise in the stock market – the case last year.
  • The International Herald Tribune in Paris reports that French President Nicolas Sarkozy has emerged as a tough fighter for France’s role as a European Union leader, in negotiations that should have ended Friday but ran until 04:30 Saturday.
  • BBC reporter Alan Johnston, taken hostage in Gaza 14 weeks ago, has been shown in a new video, wearing an explosives vest.  BBC