Fears stir that Congo violence will spread
GOMA, Congo: Congo's warring rivals traded accusations yesterday that Angola, Zimbabwe and Rwanda are mobilizing forces to fight in Congo, and the prime minister flew into this besieged city to assess weeks of fighting that have displaced a quarter-million people. The accusations of foreign involvement, reminiscent of a disastrous 1998-2002 war that drew in eight African nations, stoked fears of a wider conflict in this mineral-rich nation. Prime Minister Adolphe Muzito arrived in Goma just before dusk yesterday with half his Cabinet and met with U.N. envoy Alan Doss and U.N. peacekeeping chief Alain Le Roy as well as local officials. He planned to meet with refugees today to assess the humanitarian crisis. Despite a week-old cease-fire, rebel leader Laurent Nkunda's Rwanda-backed rebels vowed that insurgents would march on the capital, Kinshasa, after the government refused Nkunda's demand for direct talks. Communications Minister Lambert Mende said President Joseph Kabila's administration was "open for dialogue" with all rebel and militia groups in the region - but would not meet Nkunda's group alone.
New U.S. president warned against attacks
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: The next U.S. president must halt missile strikes on insurgent targets in northwestern Pakistan or risk failure of efforts to end militancy in the Muslim country, the prime minister warned yesterday. Yousuf Raza Gilani said in an interview that visiting U.S. Gen. David Petraeus "looked convinced" when he warned him the strikes were inflaming anti-American sentiment but that he got no guarantee the attacks would end. As Gilani spoke, several thousand Pakistanis demonstrated against the strikes in a town in the border region and the southern city of Karachi, burning U.S. flags, witnesses said. Over the past two months, the United States has launched at least 17 strikes against militant targets on Pakistan's lawless side of the Afghan border. The region is home to scores of al-Qaida and Taliban fighters believed involved in attacks on American and NATO forces in Afghanistan.
FCC votes to open TV airwaves for broadband
WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission voted yesterday to open up unused, unlicensed portions of the television airwaves known as "white spaces" to deliver wireless broadband service. The vote is a big victory for public interest groups and technology companies such as Google Inc. and Microsoft Corp. that say white spaces could be used to bring broadband to rural America and other underserved parts of the country. The vote came over the objections of the nation's big TV broadcasters, which argue that using the fallow spectrum to deliver wireless Internet access could disrupt their over-the-air signals. Manufacturers and users of wireless microphones - including sports leagues, church leaders and performers of all stripes - have also raised concerns about interference.
Israeli airstrike on Gaza is first since June
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip : Israel launched an airstrike on Gaza yesterday after its troops clashed with Hamas along the border and militants fired mortars into Israel. Five Palestinians were killed. It was the first armed confrontation between the two sides since a June truce took effect. The Israeli army said the clash in Gaza started after its forces uncovered a tunnel about 300 yards inside the Palestinian territory that militants planned to use to abduct Israeli soldiers. Palestinian officials said four Gazans were killed by the airstrike and one was killed in the gunbattle. The airstrike was the first since the truce, which had mostly quieted violence in volatile Gaza.
Calif. mother gets 15 years in gang killing
LONG BEACH, Calif.: A mother has been sentenced to 15 years to life in prison for driving her son and his friends to a California skate park to kill a 13-year-old gang rival. Judge Arthur Jean sentenced 31-year-old Eva Daley yesterday for the revenge killing of Jose Cano last year in Long Beach. Daley was convicted of second-degree murder in October. She claimed she didn't know what her passengers were planning. Prosecutors say she may have sought revenge for an attack on her son or an incident when the rival gang threw flares at her apartment complex. The teen accused of the fatal stabbing is serving the same sentence as Daley. Daley's son and five other youths admitted to manslaughter and are serving time at juvenile facilities.