January 19, 2005

January 19, 2005

January 19, 2005

* 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake: The number of people known to have died in last month's Asian tsunami has reached 226,000, following an announcement by Indonesian officials that more than 166,000 had been confirmed dead in their country alone. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/4189883.stm (BBC)]
* Hajj: Around two million Muslims from around the world are converging on Mount Arafat for the most important day of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4186839.stm (BBC)]
* Israeli-Palestinian Conflict:
** Following negotiations with President Abu Mazen, Zachariya Zubaidi, the leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, has announced that his militant group are to halt attacks inside Israel but said it would continue to strike at Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [http://english.aljazeera.net/NR/exeres/1410E40C-1E37-4747-873C-63F2DFB54D8F.htm (Al Jazeera)]
** Israel has lifted a ban on contacts with new Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4189007.stm (BBC)]
** The top Palestinian security commander, Abdul Razeq Majaydeh, has promised swift action to stop terrorist attacks against Israel and has deployed Security forces along the border between the Gaza Strip and Israel "to prevent violations". [http://newsfromrussia.com/world/2005/01/19/57901.html (Pravda)] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/default.stm (BBC)]
** IDF forces killed two Palestinian terrorists who threw grenades at Israeli soldiers near the Israeli Gaza Strip barrier. [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/529301.html (Haaretz)]
** In Nablus, IDF Shayetet-13 forces arrest 13 suspected Hamas members and demolished two buildings. [http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/529301.html (Haaretz)]
** Hamas has said that its meeting with President Abu Mazen was "positive", but has not indicated if an agreement on a cease-fire, or Hudna, has been made. [http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-01/19/content_2482295.htm (China View)]
* Japan Meteorological Agency issues tsunami warnings near the Izu island chain south of Tokyo after a strong undersea earthquake (6.8 on the Richter scale). [http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000101&sid=a.0Ut6ZRfFx0&refer=japan (Bloomberg)] , [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4186601.stm (BBC)] , [http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-01/19/content_2481339.htm (Xinhua)]
* In Peru, prime minister Carlos Ferrero and defence minister Roberto Chiabra survive a censure motion in parliament connected to earlier nationalist uprising in January. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/4186371.stm (BBC)]
* The Indian Army says that Pakistan has violated ceasefire after a mortar fire over the military line that divides Kashmir. Pakistan denies the charge. [http://www.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=40921 (ExpressIndia)] [http://www.alertnet.org/thenews/newsdesk/SP75863.htm (Reuters Alertnet)] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/4186547.stm (BBC)]
* Indonesian foreign minister Hassan Wirayuda says that he wishes to start formal peace talks with Free Aceh Movement. [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detaillatestnews.asp?fileid=20050119160320&irec=0 (Jakarta Post)] [http://www.reuters.com/newsArticle.jhtml?type=worldNews&storyID=7363507 (Reuters)] [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4186609.stm (BBC)]
* Scott Polar Research Institute in Cambridge has began to restore a hut of Sir Ernest Shackleton on the South Pole. [http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/4185851.stm (BBC)]

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