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THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
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Iraqi PM signs new security law
Baghdad, July 7
Insurgents battled US troops and Iraqi security forces in central Baghdad today as the interim government signed into effect a new security law giving itself wider powers to combat militants. Machinegun fire and grenade explosions echoed through Haifa Street on the west bank of the Tigris river during the clashes.

USA airlifts uranium from Iraq
Washington, July 7
Ahead of the June 28 handover of sovereignty, the USA had secretly airlifted nearly two tons of low-enriched uranium and about 1,000 radioactive samples from Iraq to prevent its use by the terrorists to make “dirty” bombs or to support any nuclear weapons programme, a senior American official has revealed.

Vitamin pill can check AIDS
New York, July 7
A simple multi-vitamin pill may slow the advance of HIV as it appears to cut the levels of the virus and boost the number of immune cells, according to a recent study.

Four-year-old HIV-positive Thai boy Maek plays at a hallway at the Human Development Foundation in Bangkok

Four-year-old HIV-positive Thai boy Maek plays at a hallway at the Human Development Foundation in Bangkok on Wednesday. The foundation which began in 1974 cares for more than 15 HIV-positive children. — Reuters photo

5 die in Lanka bombing
Colombo, July 7
Four policemen were killed and 12 others wounded today when a woman, being escorted to a police station for questioning, detonated explosives strapped to her body in the high-security area near the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s official residence here.

IAF to participate in 10-nation exercise
Washington, July 7
The Indian Air Force will participate for the first time in a multilateral exercise involving 10 countries, including the USA, the UK and Germany, from July 15-30 at Alaska.


Hollywood actress Ashley Judd greets with a namaste during a visit to Phnom Penh on Wednesday
Hollywood actress Ashley Judd greets with a namaste during a visit to Phnom Penh on Wednesday. The star spent the day visiting an AIDS hospice and a museum commemorating the genocide of the Khmer Rouge. — Reuters

EARLIER STORIES

 

British adventurer Tim Nicholson points to Egypt on a map as his partner Joanne Bowlt looks on in Cairo

Demonstrators protest against the detention without trial of terror suspects being held in the UK, outside the High Court in London

British adventurer Tim Nicholson points to Egypt on a map as his partner Joanne Bowlt looks on in Cairo on Wednesday. Both adventurers, celebrating the 15th anniversary of the Morris Oxford 1954 car, are driving from Oxford, United Kingdom, to Oxford, New Zealand.

Demonstrators protest against the detention without trial of terror suspects being held in the UK, outside the High Court in London on Wednesday. Ten terror suspects began appealing against their detention on Wednesday. — Reuters photos


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Iraqi PM signs new security law

Baghdad, July 7
Insurgents battled US troops and Iraqi security forces in central Baghdad today as the interim government signed into effect a new security law giving itself wider powers to combat militants.

Machinegun fire and grenade explosions echoed through Haifa Street on the west bank of the Tigris river during the clashes.

The normally busy commercial thoroughfare was deserted and US soldiers sealed off roads leading to the area as a US helicopter circled overhead.

Interim Prime Minister Iyad Allawi signed the new security law that gives his government wider powers to combat insurgents and foreign Islamist militants, a source in his office said.

Before the street clashes began, several mortar rounds hit Baghdad, wounding eight persons, the police and hospital staff said.

Several persons were hurt when two rounds struck a medical centre near the office of Allawi’s Iraqi National Accord party in the western district of Mansour. Another round landed in a residential street in the southern Dora district.

The US military had no immediate comment on the blasts, but said guerrillas had killed four US marines in the Sunni Muslim heartlands west of the Iraqi capital yesterday.

Foreign Minister Hoshiyar Zebari has said the new security law empowers the government to impose curfews, set up checkpoints and search and detain suspects. The measures will be temporary and will apply only in parts of Iraq.

The widely anticipated law had been delayed several times as the government, which formally took over sovereignty from the US-led occupation on June 28, ironed out the details and consulted with US officials, political sources said.

Allawi’s government has also planned to restore the death penalty, suspended during the US-led occupation, and offer a temporary amnesty for rebels who fought the Americans.

Iraq’s vital oil exports returned to normal levels after repairs to a pipeline damaged by weekend sabotage that had helped send world oil prices to one-month highs.

Unidentified militants have kidnapped an Egyptian driver who was delivering petrol from Saudi Arabia to the US military in Iraq, Al Jazeera television reported.

The Egyptian embassy in Baghdad and US military said they had no information about the reported abduction.

A number of foreigners have been kidnapped in Iraq since April. At least four have been killed, including an American and a South Korean beheaded by the Jama’at al-Tawhid and Jihad group led by Al Qaida ally Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. — Reuters
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USA airlifts uranium from Iraq

Washington, July 7
Ahead of the June 28 handover of sovereignty, the USA had secretly airlifted nearly two tons of low-enriched uranium and about 1,000 radioactive samples from Iraq to prevent its use by the terrorists to make “dirty” bombs or to support any nuclear weapons programme, a senior American official has revealed.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced the radioactive materials were removed from the Tuwaitha Nuclear Centre and the airlift was completed on June 23 “to keep potentially dangerous nuclear materials out of the hands of the terrorists.”

Less sensitive radiological materials-used for medical, agricultural or industrial purposes-have been left in Iraq, Abraham said in a statement yesterday.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), which in the pre-war period had kept the Tuwaitha uranium under seal, was told in advance of the U.S. removal, as were Iraqi officials, Abraham said.

The UN inspectors removed highly enriched uranium that could be used for weapons and shipped it for storage in Russia. The low enriched uranium was placed under seal in storage at Tuwaith under the control of the IAEA. — PTI
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Vitamin pill can check AIDS

New York, July 7
A simple multi-vitamin pill may slow the advance of HIV as it appears to cut the levels of the virus and boost the number of immune cells, according to a recent study.

In a clinical trial involving nearly 1,080 pregnant women with HIV in Tanzania, it was found those who swallowed a daily dose of vitamins B, C and E for upto five years were around 50 per cent less likely to progress to full-blown AIDS than those in a comparison group, researchers reported in the ‘New England Journal of Medicine’.

The multi-vitamins should be given to developing-world HIV patients in the early stages of the disease. This would be a relatively cheap way to improve their quality of life, lead author Wafaie Fawzi of Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, was quoted by ‘Nature’ magazine as saying.

The supplements could also postpone the point at which the disease worsens and patients need to be placed on antiretroviral therapy, which is more potent but costs around 300 to 400 dollars for each patient annually. Patients are not usually placed on antiretroviral drugs until the disease worsens because of their side-effects, the study said.

Fawzi’s supplements contained about six times the US recommended daily allowance of the vitamins. Supplements are likely to have the biggest impact on HIV in the developing world, where poor nutrition is widespread.

It is too early to say whether they will also benefit patients in the developed world, who probably already have

Good diets or whether they will have the same impact on men as women, the ‘Nature’ reported. — PTI



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5 die in Lanka bombing

Colombo, July 7
Four policemen were killed and 12 others wounded today when a woman, being escorted to a police station for questioning, detonated explosives strapped to her body in the high-security area near the Sri Lankan Prime Minister’s official residence here.

The woman was being escorted to a police station right opposite the US and British diplomatic missions in the capital when she detonated explosives strapped to her body, the police said.

“She had gone to the nearby ministry of Tamil Minister Douglas Devananda but was not allowed to go in,” a police officer said adding, “The security guards alerted the police who went there and brought her to the station for questioning. She refused to be searched and set off the attack.”

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse was in his adjoining “Temple Trees” official residence when the attack took place, officials said. — PTI
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IAF to participate in 10-nation exercise

Washington, July 7
The Indian Air Force will participate for the first time in a multilateral exercise involving 10 countries, including the USA, the UK and Germany, from July 15-30 at Alaska.

The ‘’Cooperative Cope Thunder’’ is an annual exercise where friendly nations train together in a near realistic scenario.

It is for the first time that IAF fighter aircraft will be participating in an international exercise outside the Indian subcontinent, the Indian Embassy said.

The other countries participating in the exercise are Canada, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, Mongolia and Sri Lanka.

The IAF’s earlier participation in Cope Thunder exercise was limited to sending observers in 2001 and 2002 and thereafter one IL-76 aircraft participated in 2003.

Participation with the fighter aircraft in the exercise would help India validate its concepts and operational philosophy.

The IAF contingent comprises 200 air warriors, six Jaguar fighters, two IL-76 and two IL-78 Flight Refueling Aircraft. — UNI
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BRIEFLY

2 Australians get UN awards
UNITED NATIONS:
Two Australians received UN Population Awards, one for pioneering work in demography, including the impact of the AIDS epidemic in Africa and the other for helping Ethiopian women cope with debilitating injuries from prolonged pregnancy. UN Deputy Secretary-General Louise Frechette presented the individual awards.— AP

Boy of Indian origin killed
DURBAN:
The high crime rate in the Durban area of South Africa has claimed the life of a 15-year-old school boy of Indian origin who was stabbed to death after being robbed. Justin Pillay, who attends a school near his home in the suburb of Newlands West in Durban, and his 18-year-old brother, Jody, were walking home from a nearby shopping centre to their home on Tuesday night when they were attacked by two bandits, reports said. Justin was stabbed in his back and was rushed to a nearby hospital but was declared dead on arrival. — PTI

Milk to check cancer
WASHINGTON:
Drink at least a glass of milk a day may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, say researchers who pooled some of the world’s largest studies on the long-believed link. Calcium, from milk or other sources, studies show reduces the occurrence of polyps that can turn cancerous. — AP

Indian films in Pak cinemas
LAHORE:
Cinema halls in Pakistan could soon be showing Indian films. The permission to screen the Indian films, which are very popular across the country, was likely to be given in three months, Federal Additional Secretary for Culture Zafar Ahmed said here on Tuesday. He said the Culture Ministry had prepared a favourable summary and sent it for comments to the Information, Foreign Affairs and Interior Ministries. — UNI
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