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Mugabe Spokesman Tells West to 'Go Hang'


ZIMBABWE - AFRICAN UNION: A spokesman for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe says Western leaders can "go hang" because they have no right to criticize the country's elections. The comment by spokesman George Charamba today comes as leaders at the African Union summit in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh try to forge a common response to the political turmoil that has gripped Zimbabwe. Western leaders and the United Nations have rejected the results of Friday's election, and have called on African leaders to do the same, saying they were neither free nor fair. But Mr. Mugabe received a warm welcome Monday from his peers.

CHINA - TIBET: China has confirmed that its officials are to hold talkstoday with senior envoys of Tibet's exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, but details of the meeting have been largely shrouded in secrecy. China's Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters today the envoys would meet with Chinese officials, but he did not say which officials, or what would specifically be discussed. Liu said the top priority in the talks was getting the Dalai Lama to stop what China alleges is his support of separatist activities, and inciting violence - and to stop trying to disrupt or wreck the Beijing Olympics. The Dalai Lama has repeatedly stated his support for the Beijing Olympics, and says he does not want independence for Tibet - just greater autonomy.

CHINA - US: Two U.S. lawmakers visiting China say President George W. Bush should rethink his decision to attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. Republican congressmen Frank Wolf of Virginia and Chris Smith of New Jersey told reporters in Beijing today that Chinese officials have used the Olympic games as an excuse for what they called a "massive crackdown" on human rights. Wolf and Smith said they presented Beijing with a list of 734 political prisoners, and pushed Chinese officials to work for their release. They also accused China of preventing them from meeting with some of the country's leading dissidents.

BURMA - EXPLOSION: Officials and witnesses say a small bomb has exploded near the office of a pro-government group in Burma's main city of Rangoon. They say the bomb detonated early today in front of an office for the Union Solidarity and Development Association (USDA). Officials say the explosion caused some damage, but that no one was injured. So far, no one has taken responsibility for the bombing. Supporters of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi blame the USDA for a series of attacks on National League for Democracy activists. The last explosions in Rangoon came in April. No one was injured, but the blasts damaged several cars.

CHINA - STABBING ATTACK: Chinese authorities say a man has gone on a stabbing rampage at a police station in Shanghai, killing at least five officers and wounding five others. In a statement today, Shanghai's Public Security Bureau says the man charged into the city's northern Zhabei district police station, then stabbed nine officers and a security guard before he was restrained by officers. The statement says the 28-year-old unemployed man was investigated last year by officers in Shanghai's Zhabei district for allegedly stealing bikes. Public Security Bureau authorities say they believe he was seeking revenge for being investigated last year.

AFRICA - UN - G-8: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has appealed to the world's richest nations to keep their promise and increase aid for Africa. The top U.N. official made the plea today at a news conference in Tokyo, less than a week before the Group of Eight summit in northern Japan. His remarks follow reports that G-8 leaders may be planning to backtrack on a 2005 commitment to increase foreign aid to Africa to 25 billion dollars a year. Mr. Ban said the G-8 nations have the resources to lead the fight against climate change and the food crisis, and he called on their leaders to demonstrate the "political will." African development and climate change are among the items on the agenda of the July seventh summit.

UN - GUANTANAMO: A U.N. official has strongly criticized the U.S government for the conditions under which the trials of six suspected terrorists at Guantanamo Bay (,Cuba) are being held. U.N. Special Envoy Philip Alston said (Monday) the military trials fail to meet basic, due process standards under international humanitarian and human rights law. He cited the legal infractions at Guantanamo, including limited access to counsel, the admission of hearsay evidence, the withholding of evidence from the accused, and the restriction of the defense's ability to obtain witnesses. Alston - who is the U.N.'s special envoy on executions - warned that a death sentence resulting from such trials would be a clear violation of international law.

US - AFGHAN - IRAQ: More U.S. and NATO troops died in Afghanistan in June than in Iraq. According to (icasualties.org) a Web site that tracks the deaths of foreign troops in Iraq, at least 31 international soldiers died in June, including 29 Americans. Reports say at least 45 international troops died in Afghanistan in the same month. There are more than twice as many troops in Iraq than in Afghanistan. The five-year-old war in Iraq has claimed the lives of more than four-thousand American soldiers. Tens of thousands of Iraqi soldiers and civilians have died in the conflict.

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