FBI called in to help probe US campus shooting

By Parveen Chopra, IANS

New York : The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is assisting authorities investigate the shooting at Northern Illinois University (NIU) in which a gunman opened fire on a class of 150, killing six and injuring 15 before committing suicide.

Though the shooter has been identified as Steven Phillip Kazmierczak, a 27-year-old former student of NIU at DeKalb, about 100 km from Chicago, no motive has been established.

NSC strongly condemns Eritrea''s lack of cooperation with UNMEE


United Nations : The Security Council late Friday "strongly condemned" Eritrea's lack of cooperation with the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE), and demanded that it end all its restrictions on the mission as it relocates to Ethiopia and vowed to consider "further appropriate" steps for the safety and protection of its personnel.


Canadian Sikhs liken helmet battle to Komagata Maru

By Gurmukh Singh, IANS

Toronto : The case of Baljinder Badesha, a local Sikh who is fighting a court battle to overturn a law barring Sikhs from driving motorcycles without helmet, has been likened to the famous Komagata Maru case of 1914.

Komagata Maru, a Japanese ship, was hired by a rich Sikh, Gurdit Singh, to bring Indians to Canada to challenge the then law that allowed entry only to those who came without breaking journey from India.


UN Security Council Concerned of Humanitarian Crisis in Somalia


United Nations : The United Nations Security Council yesterday addressed its concerns on the humanitarian crisis in the region and agreed to delay an open debate on Somalia until U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon releases a report on the situation in early March, Security Council President Ricardo Alberto Arias told S.P.A. on Friday.

Somalia “is becoming one of the most serious if not the most serious humanitarian crises we have around the world,” Arias said.


Eurosceptic Czech President Klaus wins re-election


Prague : Eurosceptic Czech President Vaclav Klaus has won re-election as a majority of 141 from 279 present lawmakers backed him in the key third ballot of the second presidential election.

Klaus - one of the most prominent global-warming sceptics - said that he would not be a president of surprises during his second and last five-year term in office, which will also include the Czech Republic's presidency of the European Union in early 2009.


Deutsche Post boss resigns as major tax scandal rocks Germany


Berlin : The German government accepted the resignation of the chairman of Deutsche Post Klaus Zumwinkel who stepped down from his post less than a day after police raided his home and office in the western cities of Cologne and Bonn on tax evasion charges.

Speaking at a routine weekly press briefing, government spokesman Ulrich Wilhelm "welcomed" the resignation of the 64-year-old Zumwinkel who headed Deutsche Post for 18 years.

The German government has a 30 percent stake in the company and has a representative on the board of directors of Deutsche Post.


Avalanche kill three snowmobilers

By Xinhua

Los Angeles : An avalanche swept up and killed three snowmobilers in Alaska on Friday, authorities said.

The three were snowmobiling near Turnagain Pass, about 70 miles(112 kilometers) south of Anchorage, when the avalanche occurred, Alaska State Troopers said.

The snowmobilers were burried in the snow for nearly an hour before they died, Troopers spokeswoman Beth Ipsen said.

Attempts to resuscitate the three were unsuccessful, she said.

The avalanche occurred after 11 inches of snow fell in the area in the past two days.


Prabhakaran critically injured last year: Sri Lanka air chief

By P.K. Balachandran, IANS

Colombo : Tamil Tiger chief Velupillai Prabhakaran was "critically injured" in an air raid on Nov 26, 2007, said Air Marshal Roshan Goonetilleke, commander of the Sri Lankan Air Force (SLAF).

However, B. Nadesan, head of the political wing of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), said the claim was baseless.

On Friday, Goonetilleke told the state-owned television network ITN that Prabhakaran's presence in the targeted site was evident in the volume of anti-aircraft fire that the raiders faced.

National emergency called in Paraguay over yellow fever


Asuncion (Paraguay) : The government of Paraguay has called a national emergency to help stem the growing number of cases of yellow fever.

Friday's move comes two months before presidential elections.

Six cases of the mosquito-borne illness were reported around the capital city to date, but the outbreak raises considerably the danger it will spread regionally into an epidemic, the officials said.

The government is distributing preventive medications free of charge.

Ban welcomes progress in solving Kenya's political crisis


New York : UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon welcomed the progress made in negotiations to end the post-election political strife in Kenya.

"The understanding reached by the parties to the Kenya National Dialogue and Reconciliation process is an important step towards addressing the most urgent issues that led to the current situation," Ban said in a statement Friday.