The Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that “Sri Lanka on Wednesday freed nearly 600 Hindu and Catholic priests who were held in internment camps with ethnic Tamils displaced by fighting between troops and separatist rebels, officials said. The clergy were allowed to leave the camps in the northern district of Vavuniya, where 300,000 inmates are detained under tight security to be screened for remaining Tamil Tiger rebels.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu began a four-day European tour in London on August 25, meeting with Britain's Prime Minister, Gordon Brown. The two leaders reportedly discussed Jewish settlements (including those in East Jerusalem) and Iran's nuclear program.
With about 10 percent of the votes in Afghanistan's presidential election having been counted on August 25, incumbent President Hamid Karzai and his leading challenger Abdullah Abdullah each had approximately 40 percent of the nationwide vote, with 40.6 percent (212,927 votes) for Karzai and 38.7 percent (202,889 votes) for Abdullah.
Speaking on CNN's "State of the Union" program on August 23, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, said the situation in Afghanistan "is serious and it is deteriorating." Mullen added: "I've said that over the last couple of years, that the Taliban insurgency has gotten better, more sophisticated. Their tactics just in my recent visits out there and talking with our troops certainly indicate that."
Citizens of Afghanistan — and the rest of the world — awaited the results of the nation's presidential election the day after the August 20 voting. Early voting results were initially expected on August 22, but Daoud Ali Najafi, the chief electoral officer, said that results won't be made public until the 25th.
Commentary from Myanmar's military junta appearing in three official newspapers on August 20 proposed that western nations end their economic sanctions of the Southeast Asian nation. The sanctions were levied in response to the many reported human rights violations committed by the regime in the nation also known as Burma.
“All warfare is based on deception.” — The Art of War, by Sun Tzu, Chinese General, military strategist (sixth century B.C.). It was late in the evening of February 12, 2008 when the bearded, pudgy, middle-aged man left a meeting at an Iranian school in the quiet Kfar Suseh neighborhood of Damascus, Syria, and walked to his car, which was parked on the street. No sooner had he climbed into his Mitsubishi Pajero than the vehicle erupted in a mighty blast, killing him instantly.
The candidates in Afghanistan's August 20 presidential election were making their final appeals to voters on Monday, the 17th, the last legal day of campaigning before voting starts. In the election, the incumbent, President Hamid Karzai, is facing more than 30 challengers, including two of his former ministers.
More people die every single day in India from tuberculosis and diarrhea-related diseases than the total number who have perished worldwide from the H1N1 (swine flu) virus since its initial outbreak. Yet the Indian media’s constant focus on H1N1-related deaths, currently in the low 20s for all of India, has people rushing to purchase face masks in a panic that experts say is unjustified.
With Afghanistan's presidential election to be held on August 20, candidates held campaign rallies across the country. Afghan and foreign troops deployed in areas under Taliban control to provide security against threatened violent interruptions of voting. The al Jazeera network reported that the Afghan government claims to have struck a number of deals with Taliban commanders to ensure voter safety.