Thursday, December 3, 2009

Film director Roman Polanski 'moved from Swiss jail'

Polanski's chalet

Film director Roman Polanski has been moved from a jail near Zurich to an undisclosed location for "security reasons", Swiss officials say.

Polanski, who has been held since September, is to be placed under house arrest at his Alpine chalet on Friday after being granted bail by a court.

He fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with an underage girl.

Switzerland is deciding whether to extradite him to the US.

A justice ministry spokesman said Polanski left the jail in Winterthur on Thursday for "security reasons and personal protection", AP news agency reported.

The spokesman said Polanski was still expected to be taken to his chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad on Friday afternoon.

The 76-year-old film-maker will be fitted with an electronic bracelet that will activate if he attempts to abscond.

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court granted the Oscar-winning director $4.5m (£2.7m) bail, pending proceedings for his possible extradition to the US.

The director of films such as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist was arrested after travelling to Zurich on 26 September to pick up a lifetime achievement award.

Polanski was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a sedative during a modelling shoot in 1977.

He was initially indicted on six counts - including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy - but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Polanski fled the US on the day he was to be sentenced, and has lived in France since then.

Somalia ministers killed by hotel suicide bomb

Health Minister Qamar Aden Ali, pictured moments before she was killed, 3 Dec 2009


The injured from the blast are taken to hospital

A suicide bomber disguised as a woman has killed at least 19 people, including three government ministers, in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Officials say the attack hit a hotel in the city during a crowded graduation ceremony for medical students from a local university.

Witnesses said the attack appeared to have targeted government officials.

Islamists are fighting the UN-backed government, which only controls small pockets of territory in the country.

Mohammed Olad Hassan
Mohammed Olad Hassan
BBC News, Mogadishu

The hall had been brightly decorated, and there was a feeling of excitement - such ceremonies rarely happen in Mogadishu.

Ministers and various dignitaries were sat at the front of the hall, and everyone else was sitting facing them. Journalists were right at the front.

Then all this brightness turned to darkness. All I remember is being covered in dust. Everyone was covered in dust.

I looked across and the young guy sitting next to me was dead. I had to jump over him to get out.

It was a shocking, terrible scene. There was blood splattered everywhere. I was really in disbelief, in shock. It's still impossible to understand how everything turned from colourful celebration to horror so quickly.

Somalia's President Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmad described the attack as a national disaster.

Information Minister Dahir Mohamud Gelle said the male bomber had been dressed in women's clothing, "complete with a veil and a female's shoes".

The BBC's Mohammed Olad Hassan, who was at the scene, said there was a huge explosion in the hotel's meeting hall where hundreds of people were gathered for the graduation.

Five government ministers were reported to have been in the hotel at the time.

Health Minister Qamar Aden Ali, Education Minister Ahmed Abdulahi Waayeel and Higher Education Minister Ibrahim Hassan Addow were reported to have been killed.

A security official told the AFP news agency most of the dead were believed to be students. At least two journalists were also among the dead.

"A lot of my friends were killed," medical student Mohamed Abdulqadir told Reuters.

"I was sitting next to a lecturer who also died. He had been speaking to the gathering just a few minutes before the explosion."

A photographer for the AFP news agency described hearing a huge explosion and the room filling with smoke.

Health Minister Qamar Aden Ali, pictured moments before she was killed, 3 Dec 2009
Health Minister Qamar Aden Ali was one of three ministers reported killed

"I went to get my camera, and that's when I saw the bodies of the three ministers," said Mohamed Dahir.

The country's sports minister was also among dozens of people reported to have been injured.

The students were graduating from Benadir University, which was set up in 2002 to train doctors to replace those who had fled overseas or been killed in the civil war. They were only the second class to complete their training.


The Shamo hotel is often used by the few foreigners - aid workers, journalists and diplomats - who still visit Mogadishu.

It is in one of the small parts of the city controlled by the government, just 1km (0.62 miles) from the K4 junction, where the African Union peacekeeping force in Somalia, Amisom, has a base.

Mogadishu map, showing the Shamo hotel

The BBC's East Africa correspondent, Will Ross, says the latest attack shows that even that area is unsafe.

Security was said to have been light inside the ceremony, with the ministers' bodyguards all waiting outside the meeting hall.

No-one has yet claimed responsibility for the attack, which was condemned as "inhumane and cowardly" by the African Union.

The AU said the blast would "not deter the resolve and determination of the African Union to support the people of Somalia in their quest for peace and reconciliation".

The acting head of Amisom, Wafula Wamunyini, said the blast was "intended to intimidate and blackmail" the UN-backed government.

"We want to ensure everyone we are going to continue with our mission. We are going to continue providing our services," he told AFP.

EU foreign policy chief Baroness Ashton said in a statement: "I condemn in the strongest possible terms this cowardly attack against civilians including students, doctors and journalists."

A statement signed by the United Nations, the US, the EU and the Arab League said the attack would not deter the international community from continuing its support to the Somali government.

Somalia has not had a functioning national government since 1991.

Pro-government troops regularly come under attack from the al-Shabab militant group, which is suspected of having links to al-Qaeda.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


traditional cloth


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Bomb Blast Kills 7 in Pakistani City of Peshawar

14 November 2009

Damaged vehicles at site of a suicide car bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, 14 Nov 2009
Damaged vehicles at site of a suicide car bombing in Peshawar, Pakistan, 14 Nov 2009
Pakistani police say a suicide car bombing has killed at least seven people and wounded more than 20 others, in the latest attack in the northwestern city of Peshawar.

Officials say the bomber set off explosives Saturday at a police checkpoint. They say two police officers are among the dead.

The bombing came a day after a suicide bomber struck the Peshawar office of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence agency, killing 10 people. That blast caused a large portion of the three-story ISI building to collapse.

Authorities say recent militant attacks in Peshawar are in retaliation for the government's offensive against the Taliban in the tribal regions bordering Afghanistan.

Elsewhere Saturday, the Pakistani military says troops killed eight militants in the latest fighting in the northwest Swat Valley.

Obama Arrives in Singapore for APEC Summit

14 November 2009

President Barack Obama waves after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, 14 Nov 2009
President Barack Obama waves after stepping off Air Force One upon arrival at Paya Lebar Air Base in Singapore, 14 Nov 2009
U.S. President Barack Obama arrived late Saturday in Singapore, where he joins leaders of Pacific Rim economies in meetings to discuss recovery from the global financial crisis and promotion of free trade.

Air Force One landed at Singapore's Paya Lebar military airbase on a flight from Japan for the latest stop of a nine-day Asian tour that will also take Mr. Obama to China and South Korea.

Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation forum leaders have stressed that the global recovery is still fragile, and more coordinated efforts are needed to overcome protectionism and maintain stable growth.

Mr. Obama was accused by some APEC leaders Saturday of backtracking on free trade.

Mexican President Filipe Calderon singled out Washington for "going in the opposite sense of free trade." Russian President Dmitri Medvedev made the same point.

Mr. Calderon mentioned increasing "buy American" clauses in U.S. legislation.

Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke Saturday to propose a European Union-style model for cooperation, which he called the Asia-Pacific Community.

U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk said a high standard regional trade agreement under the Trans-Pacific partnership would be good for America.

President Obama said Saturday the United States will engage members of the TPP, which consists of Brunei, Chile, New Zealand and Singapore.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

English part 2

English part 2