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Iran hangs Afghan in public

Bam, Iran, August 8 – A young Afghan man was hanged in public on Monday on a highway close to the ancient city of Bam, southern Iran, the government-run news agency Fars reported.

The man, identified as Najib Karzahi, was hanged in public in the presence of the deputy commander of a local Revolutionary Guards garrison, Qassem Rezai; the governor of Bam, Majid Etemadi; and a number of other provincial officials.

Feds to continue BetOnSports prosecution

ST. LOUIS (AFX) – Federal prosecutors said Friday, August 10, they will continue prosecuting BetOnSports PLC even though the online gambling company is shutting down its operations that take bets from U.S. customers.

Australia has lost Iraq wheat trade to US

The Australian, August 7 – AUSTRALIA has lost almost the entire Iraqi wheat market to US farmers as AWB battles against claims it bribed the regime of Saddam Hussein.

Dubai film festival to celebrate Arab culture

Gulg News, August 7 –  Arab filmmakers are being urged to enter their work into a contest that aims to celebrate the region’s cultural heritage.

London shares open lower as BP’s Alaskan shutdown, mining strike news weighs

LONDON (AFX) – Leading shares opened lower this morning, weighed down by weakness across miners and oils, with BP falling back after a shutdown at its Alaskan operation, dealers said.

Mobile Streams buys US mobile content co Nickels Group for up to 690,000 usd

LONDON (AFX) – Mobile Streams PLC has bought The Nickels Group, a California-based mobile content production company, for up to 690,000 usd.

Google and Associated Press announce payment deal for news

AP, August 5 – SAN FRANCISCO_Google Inc. is paying The Associated Press for stories and photographs, settling a dispute with a major provider of the copyright news that the online search engine finds and displays on its popular Web site.

Both Mountain View, California-based Google and New York-based AP disclosed the business relationship Wednesday. But neither would divulge financial terms or other details because of a nondisclosure agreement.

Blair calls for changes in Western fight against extremism

Phil Hazlewood

Tony BlerLOS ANGELES, Aug 1, 2006 (AFP) – British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Tuesday called for a "complete renaissance" of the global approach to tackling extremism, with as much emphasis on "soft" power as military might.

In a keynote policy speech to the World Affairs Council in Los Angeles, Blair pledged to continue to work to halt hostilities in Lebanon — where he was still hopeful of a settlement — and in the wider Middle East.

"But once that has happened, we must commit ourselves to a complete renaissance of our strategy to defeat those that threaten us," he said.

"There is an arc of extremism now stretching across the Middle East and touching with increasing definition countries far outside that region.

Iraq rebuilding hit by lack of planning, Congress told

Stephanie Kirchgaessner
Financial Times, August 5 –  The US government failed to prepare adequate procurement and contracting systems before its 2003 invasion of Iraq, a predicament that has severely hampered the Dollars 20bn (Pounds 11bn) reconstruction effort, according to a report released to Congress yesterday.

Middle East crisis causes economic downfall

Gulf News, August 5 – The Israel-Hezbollah conflict has, so far, had only a minimal impact on the UAE’s economy, but analysts are predicting the impact on the Emirates could worsen if a ceasefire fails to materialize.