Second Republican senator opposes Bush Iraq plan

A second Republican joined Senator Chuck Hagel, a Nebraska Republican, and signed onto a Senate resolution yesterday opposing President Bush’s 21,500-troop buildup in Iraq, setting a marker for a major clash between the White House and Congress over the unpopular war.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, a moderate from Maine, said she would support a nonbinding resolution that would put the Senate on record as saying the U.S. commitment in Iraq can be sustained only with support from the American public and Congress.

Snowe’s decision to join the effort came as the White House and GOP leaders struggled to keep Republicans from endorsing the resolution, and raised questions about how many more defections there might be.

DAKAR, Senegal

Congolese guerrillas kill, eat giant gorilla

Rebels in eastern Congo have killed and eaten two silverback mountain gorillas, conservationists said yesterday, warning they fear more of the endangered animals may have been slaughtered in the lawless region.

Only about 700 mountain gorillas remain in the world, 380 of them spread across a range of volcanic mountains straddling the borders of Congo, Rwanda and Uganda in Central Africa.

The London-based Africa Conservation Fund blamed rebels loyal to a local warlord, Laurent Nkunda, for the latest killing. Nkunda is a renegade soldier who commands thousands of fighters in the vast country’s east who have in recent years assaulted cities and clashed sporadically with government forces.


World ticks two minutes closer to apocalypse

The world has nudged closer to a nuclear apocalypse and environmental disaster, a trans-Atlantic group of prominent scientists warned yesterday, pushing the hand of its symbolic Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight.

It was the fourth time since the end of the Cold War that the clock has ticked forward, this time from 11:53 to 11:55, amid fears over what the scientists are describing as “a second nuclear age” prompted largely by atomic standoffs with Iran and North Korea.

But the organization added that the “dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons.”


Islamic Courts ally deposed from Somali parliament

The Somali parliament stripped the speaker position yesterday from a top lawmaker who was closely associated with the recently ousted Islamic movement, a move the European Union said was disappointing and could hurt reconciliation efforts in the restive country.

Diplomats said the fired speaker, Sharif Hassan Sheik Aden, was capable of pulling together moderate elements in Somalia’s Islamic movement.

Deputy Speaker Osman Ilmi Boqore announced the move against Aden in proceedings on the radio. Lawmakers cited his public criticism of a proposed African peacekeeping mission that parliament had endorsed and his meetings with Islamic movement leaders without authority from parliament.

– Compiled from Daily wire reports

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