Militants seek dialogue with new leadership

By Times Wires
Published February 25, 2008


Taliban-style militants battling government forces in northwest Pakistan said Sunday they wanted dialogue with the winners of parliamentary elections and urged the new leadership to abandon President Pervez Musharraf's war on terror. Maulvi Umar, spokesman for Islamic militant Tehrik-e-Taliban, said his group wants to talk about ways to bring peace to northwestern tribal areas, where U.S. officials believe Osama bin Laden may be hiding.


Communist leader wins presidency

Communist leader Dimitris Christofias won Cyprus' presidential runoff Sunday, pledging to restart moribund talks to reunify the island, and immediately agreed to meet the leader of the breakaway Turkish Cypriots. Jubilant supporters flooded the streets of Nicosia, Europe's last divided capital, waving Cypriot and Che Guevara flags, honking car horns and lighting flares.


Serbs protest independence

Kosovo marked its first week of independence in quiet celebration Sunday, as angry Serbs protested in capitals across Europe. Up to 1,000 Serbs protested peacefully in Kosovo's ethnically divided northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica. The protest was the smallest in seven days of rallies.


North Korea: The New York Philharmonic is scheduled to arrive in the country today for a highly unusual concert hosted by secretive leader Kim Jong Il.

South Korea: Former businessman Lee Myung Bak took the oath of office as president today, vowing to revitalize the economy, strengthen relations with the United States and deal with nuclear-armed North Korea.

Iran: The government said Sunday that it has started using new centrifuges that can churn out enriched uranium at more than double the rate of the machines that now form the backbone of its nuclear program. Iran says the program is intended only to produce energy, but the United States suspects it could lead to the development of weapons.

Paraguay: Health authorities have launched a massive vaccination campaign as a yellow fever outbreak has panicked residents and sparked fierce criticism of the government's handling of the crisis.

Kenya: Rival politicians remain divided over the details of forming a government together to end the postelection crisis, negotiators said Sunday.

Times wires