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Published:November 14th, 2007 15:42 EST
News Update - Today, November 14

News Update - Today, November 14

By Krzys Wasilewski

AFRICA

YAOUNDE, Cameroon. Around 20 Cameroonian soldiers died in clashes with rebels operating in the Bakassi Zone. It's been another clash in the land that Cameroon and Nigeria had been fighting for, for years. In 2002, the International Court of Justice decided that the government in Yaounde would install its representatives in Bakassi.

AMERICAS

CARACAS, Venezuela. Venezuela's controversial president Hugo Chavez said that although he appreciated Spain's investment in the country, Venezuela could do without it. It was his response to a scolding made last weekend by King Juan Carlos of Spain. Chavez, who was interrupting the Spanish prime minister, was told by the monarch to “shut up.” The Associated Press quotes Chavez today as saying: “Spain has many investments, private companies here and we don't want to damage that, but if they are damaged, they are damaged.” Hugo Chavez was elected in 1999 after promising to end widespread corruption and bureaucracy. But the moment he was sworn it, he began to introduce one-party system in the mold of Fidel Castro's Cuba.

ASIA

KABUL, Afghanistan. Dozens of Taliban rebels have been killed in the south of the country today in a NATO-led operation. According to the Associated Press, around 5,800 insurgents have been killed this year, whereas the number of attacks on the occupation forces has dropped by half. Also, on Wednesday the Dutch government said that the Dutch troops would remain in Afghanistan “as long as essential.” Holland has 1,500 soldiers in Afghanistan and the mission is scheduled to expire by August 2008. However, as one Dutch official told Agence France-Presse, the contingent would not be withdrawn “until the Afghan army is capable of independent defense.” The Polish Press Agency reports that six Polish troops were arrested yesterday and charged with manslaughter of several Afghan civilians. The incident took place on August 16, 2007, when a Polish convoy was attacked by armed rebels. During the fight, the six soldiers were to have fired at civilian structures without checking whether they were inhabited. If they are proved guilty, they may spend the rest of their lives in prison.

EUROPE

BRUSSELS, Belgium. Italian Adm. Giampaolo Di Paola was elected the head NATO military committee on Wednesday. Paola's main contenders were generals from Spain and Poland. However, without Washington's support, Spain's candidate had no chances in secret ballot. Although NATO consists of 26 countries, it is the United States that holds all the cards. Spain withdrew its troops from Iraq in 2005, whereas Italy and Poland remain stable allies of Washington. Di Paola will replace Canadian Gen. Ray Henault.

MOSCOW, Russia. If the United States insist on building its anti-missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic, Russia will respond by deploying short-range missiles in Belarus. The Associated Press quotes top Russian military as saying that “any action meets a counteraction, and this is the case with elements of the U.S. missile defense in Poland and the Czech Republic.” Belarus remains the only dictatorship in Europe, with its mercurial president Alexander Lukashenko maintaining close ties with the Kremlin. The plan of building an anti-missile shield in Central Europe was born when Iran announced its nuclear program. With a radar in the Czech Republic and warheads in Poland, Washington could intercept missiles fired from the Middle East before they reached their target. Although the conservative Czech authorities strongly support the idea, the new center-right Polish government is said to represent a less pro-American attitude that its predecessor.

MIDDLE EAST

TEHRAN, Iran. A governmental official, who was responsible for nuclear negotiations, has been arrested today. The unnamed official is accused of passing top secret information to foreigners, including workers of the British Embassy in Tehran.