Friday, February 27, 2009

Al-Shabaab and AU Peacekeepers Clash in Somalia

-- Wikinews

Thursday, February 26, 2009

In ongoing clashes that started Tuesday in Somalia, Islamist rebels Al-Shabaab battled troops from the African Union's peacekeeping force, African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM).

According to rights groups and other sources, 81 people have been killed. Among them are 48 civilians, said the Elman Peace and Human Rights Organisation. Another 90 civilians have been injured, the group added.

On Sunday, Al-Shabaab attacked Burundi troops with suicide bombers at an AMISOM base in Mogadishu. 11 troops were killed and 15 wounded.

Xuddur, the capital of Bakool, is reported to have fallen under Al-Shabaab control.
Political map of Somalia as of February 3, 2009.

"Al-Shabaab fighters are now patrolling the town and the other group fled," local elder Hussein Abdi Isak told Reuters in a phone interview.

The United Nations Security Council issued a statement to "condemn in the strongest terms the attacks on the African Union mission in Somalia." The statement was passed unanimously and urges all Somalis "to reject violence and extremism."

"This is a kind of setback, no doubt about it, but this is not the time to despair," the President of the United Nations Security Council, Japan's Ambassador Yukio Takasu, told reporters. "On the contrary, I think all of us have much stronger determination to continue to provide and accelerate the logistical support to AMISOM."

The African Union says its peacekeeping force in Somalia — which is supposed to number 8,000, but currently has about 3,500 soldiers from Uganda and Burundi — is in dire need of reinforcement.

However, Nigeria, which was supposed to send 850 officers and soldiers within weeks, says it now has second thoughts.

"At the time the commitment was made to go to Somalia, what was on ground was peacekeeping," Foreign Minister Ojo Maduekwe said. "But the situation in Somalia has deteriorated considerably. We are not in a hurry to start getting the body bags to this country."

"If we are going to risk the lives of our young men and women, if we are going to put our young men and women in harm's way, it has to be a carefully analyzed mission response. It should not be without adequate planning and it should not be without adequate logistical, material support," he added.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sweden's Crown Princess to Wed in 2010

-- WikiNews

On February 24th the Swedish Royal Court announced that the Crown Princess Victoria was to be married in 2010 to her boyfriend and former fitness trainer Daniel Westling. Victoria, 31, and Daniel, 35, have been in an relationship for 7 years. Since the wedding is to be held in the summer of 2010 it gives the court 18 months to prepare, contemplate the wedding dress of Victoria, and complete the guest-list – which will include Europe and the world's most prominent guests.

According to the Swedish constitution, Victoria must ask for the kings approval for the marriage, who then has to call a cabinet council where the government gives its approval. This was done expediently on Tuesday morning, just before the court announced the engagement.

After the wedding, Daniel will be given the title of Prince Daniel, Duke of Vastergotland, but he will not be in line to succeed the Swedish throne. This is because of the fact that Daniel is of neither royal or noble ancestry.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Vikelsandic Royals on Charity Tour of Cuba

-- Vikeslandic Broadcasting Service

Feb. 23, 2009 - On feb. 4th, 2009 the Royals of Vikesland and 15 Vikeslandic nobles and citizens alike went on an aid mission to the back country of Cuba. The convoy delivered items such as aspirins, writing utensils, scribblers, soap, toothpaste and brushes, toys and clothing. Below is a video showing the hi-lites of the mission.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Vikeslandic Navy Supports Molossia in Caribbean

-- Official Sources

On Feb 11th 2009, Prince Christopher lead a naval recon operation to Ernst Thallmann island, also known as Cayo Blanco. This operation was on behalf of the Molossian government who is currently at war with East Germany. Ernst Thallmann island is the last known land base for the East German Gov't and is located off the coast of Cuba.

Video provided by the Government of Vikesland here:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dominion - Barony of Caux Hold Talks

-- Staff Writer
Tuesday 10 February 2009

His Excellency the Governor-General and His Lordship John I of Caux held an impromptu teleconference earlier this evening. This was the first such conference between the two nations, and made use of voice over the Internet protocol (VOIP).

The office of the Governor-General has previously stated that VOIP and Voice and Video of the Internet will be more widely utilized as part of the Government's on going cost containment program.

While the agenda was not released, sources close to Wentworth House indicated that the meeting was primarily a 'get acquainted meeting', and a preliminary to further meetings of members of the League of Small Nations.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bush Fires Rip Through Victoria, Australia

-- Staff Reporter Andrew
8 February 2009

Today, well last night and today, massive fires have ripped through Victoria, Australia, just north and east of Melbourne. To date 640 homes have been destroyed and 90 people have been killed. Both tolls are expected to rise.

Entire towns have been destroyed. I heard on the news tonight that at one point 100 bush fires were burning throughout Victoria. Some have been deliberately lit.

It is quite tragic, to put it mildly. It's the worst bush fires since Ash Wednesday in 1983. Please everyone remember those who are suffering in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Primates' Meeting Starts n a Low Key

-- Anglican Church of Canada

Date: February 1, 2009

By Paul Feheley

Archdeacon Paul Feheley, Principal Secretary to the Primate, is accompanying Archbishop Fred Hiltz to the Primates' Meeting in Alexandria, Egypt, and will be filing reports as he is able. This is the first.

The sun shone brilliantly in the ancient Egyptian city of Alexandria on Sunday as the Primates of the Anglican Communion gathered for the first time since 2007. This meeting, announced at the Lambeth Conference last summer, seems to lack both the tension and the focus that recent gatherings of global primates have had. It also seems to be attracting less attention, at least thus far.

The staff of the Anglican Communion Office here quite outnumbers the accredited press and the lobby groups from both the right and left are nowhere to be seen. Have we reached a point in the life of the Communion where weariness and frustration over sexuality issues has run its course? Have people simply stopped coming because they know that nothing will change and that opinions are locked in no matter or how many more studies are mandated?

The primates' four-day agenda has a few critical issues before it including discussions on Zimbabwe, global warming and a Christian response to the current crisis in the world economy. Other issues such as Gaza and other wars, violence, HIV/AIDS, human rights violations in many of the Communion's provinces -- one Primate was denied a visa to travel here -- have not made it to the agenda.

Archbishop Fred Hiltz, our Primate, is attending his first Primates' Meeting and will make a presentation on mission priorities in Canada on Monday. He intends to speak about the Five Marks of Mission and the Millennium Development Goals as well as about the question of cross-border interventions by some Primates.

In the past few Primates' Meetings, the final communiqué has spoken to issues that have been routinely ignored by some of the Primates who signed onto the document. One hopes that whatever the final words of this meeting are, they will be honored. It is easy, perhaps too easy, to get entangled in the politics and lose the honesty that is needed. All Anglicans in the Communion have the right to look to these leaders for integrity and commitment to the words they affix their names to.

My hope is that the Primates will envision a world in need not of more rhetoric, nor more study, nor more delays but rather of action that the gospel may be proclaimed. My hope is that the Son of God will look down onto this country that once provided him a home as a refugee and say, "Well done good and faithful servants."

Heavy Snow Disrupts UK Transportation and Communications

From Wikinews, Monday, February 2, 2009

The heaviest snow to fall for 6 years has caused transport problems in some parts of the United Kingdom, especially in London, where it was the heaviest snow for 18 years. It was caused by cold air travelling westwards towards the British Isles from Poland and Russia. As showers moved across the North Sea towards the east coast of Britain, it fell as snow. Throughout Monday, weather fronts pushed in from the south east in Belgium and France towards the South East of Britain. The weather fronts pushed their way further north and westwards.

Almost a foot (30cm) of snow has fallen in the south-east of England, halting train and bus services and making driving treacherous. Flights to and from London's Heathrow and City airports and the outer London Gatwick and Stansted airports are suffering delays and cancellations. In some affected areas, the majority of schools have been closed.

The centre of London, which usually sees no snow at all most years, has around 4" (10cm) of laying snow, whilst Kent, Sussex and Surrey have up to 10" (25cm). The snow reduces further north but has still disrupted travel, with England's Highways Agency advising against car journeys unless essential. The agency had 500 gritters clearing main roads during the night and 600 motorway patrols out in the morning. Stretches of motorway and main road have been blocked by jack-knifed lorries or closed as a pre-emptive measure.

The snow caused disruption to British transport websites, with National Rail Enquiries, Transport for London and South West Trains websites all brought down by heavy traffic. The Highways Agency's site was also unavailable and returned with interactive features turned off. People calling and texting during the abortive rush hour jammed the mobile telephone networks. Mobile network '3' said it had seen "a very steep jump in the number of picture message sent across the network" whilst T-Mobile UK reported 73% more calls, 21% more texts and 20% more broadband bandwidth being used than usual.

The Met Office has a severe weather warning in place for England, Wales and parts of Scotland, with further snow expected across the country later in the week.