Iraq: Torture continues, group says

Detainees in Iraq are still being tortured, receiving electric shocks and beatings with plastic cables despite U.S. promises to prevent such abuse after the Abu Ghraib prison scandal, a report by rights group Amnesty International said today. Its report said interviews with former detainees, relatives of current detainees and lawyers involved in detainees’ cases were conducted last year and this year. The U.S. military said in response that all detainees are treated according to international conventions and Iraqi law.

Pakistan: Villagers flee unrest

Hundreds of Pakistanis lugging bags and bundles of clothes fled Miran Shah on Sunday after pro-Taliban tribesmen and foreign militants battled security forces in clashes near the Afghan border that left at least 53 people dead. Fighting started Saturday and had largely died down by Sunday, with fighters retreated from government buildings they had occupied, and soldiers controlled the town again, he said.

Israel: Plans to draw its own border

Israel will draw its own borders and withdraw from isolated West Bank settlements if acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s party wins elections next month, a political ally said Sunday, the clearest indication yet of the Israeli leader’s plans for a new government. Avi Dichter, who has become Olmert’s chief spokesman on internal security issues, said Israel will move settlers from isolated areas to the main West Bank settlement blocs.

Hamas rejects al-Qaida support offer

Hamas officials shrugged off the support offered on Saturday by Ayman al-Zawahri, al-Qaida’s No. 2 leader, saying Sunday the Palestinian militant group has a different ideology than the terror network and won election through a moderate approach to Islam. Hamas is setting up a new Palestinian Cabinet after defeating Fatah, which had ruled Palestinian politics for four decades.

Nigeria: Militants vow oil attacks

Militants threatened more attacks on Nigeria’s oil facilities and vowed Sunday to cut daily oil exports by 1 million barrels, adding to concerns for OPEC as it prepares for a strategy meeting this week. Oil is already more $60 a barrel, and the markets are nervous about potential disruptions to the supply from Nigeria, which is African’s largest producer of crude oil.

Zimbabwe: Hunters bid for animals

Foreign hunters bid a total of $1.5 million to shoot leopards, lions, elephants and buffaloes in Zimbabwe this year, state media reported Sunday. In an annual state trophy hunting permit sale Friday, 64 local agents and foreign hunters, including bidders from Austria, Germany, Russia, Spain and the United States, paid $40 each to kill a lion, the state Sunday Mail newspaper reported. Bidding for permission to hunt an elephant exceeded $20,000 per animal.

From Herald news services

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