Current News

The service also brings news and knowledge of Central Asia closer to the rest of the world, with many millions of people, perhaps for the first time being introduced to a region that had been closed to them for so long.

Below you will find selected news items that are currently happening in the Central Asian region and other parts of the World. The ‘Musical Nomad’ team will also be providing their own perspective on any relevant news developments in the daily episodes


World headlines at noon on 26th August 1997

The former South African president, F.W. de Klerk, who oversaw the transition to democracy in the country, is retiring from politics.

Russian space officials say the cosmonauts aboard the space station, Mir, have resolved the latest problems with the oxygen system, which had threatened the future of the mission.

A special debate is taking place in the Indian parliament to review fifty years of independence, and to consider the challenges that lie ahead.

Environmentalists have warned that a dramatic rise in temperature in the Arctic is threatening the existence of polar bears.

World and regional headlines at noon on 25th August 1997

The last communist leader in East Germany has been sentenced to six and a half years imprisonment for ordering the shooting of people trying to flee across the Berlin Wall.

After a weekend of deepening divisions in the Bosnian Serb republic, a key meeting between the president, Biljana Plavsic, and top army commanders has been postponed.

A bomb has gone off in the Swedish city of Gothenberg, the latest in a series of attacks on sports venues.

The authorities in Peru have discovered hundreds of rare Amazon jungle animals stuffed into boxes, ready to be smuggled into the United States.

For the first time ever the government of Turkmenistan is to hold an international sale of Akhaltekin racehorses.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 23.8.97

Israel has launched new air and artillery attacks on Hezbollah strongholds in southern Lebanon

South Korea is making a new donation of food aid to North Korea, following reports that the Communist state is heading for another disastrous grain harvest

The Shell oil company has begun talks on building an energy pipeline across Iran. It would be one of the most important international projects in the country since the Islamic Revolution.

Border officials in Tajikistan say more than three hundred Tajik refugees have returned home from their camps in northern Afghanistan following the re-opening of the main border post on Friday.

The international and regional headlines at noon on the 22.8.97

Cosmonauts on the Russian space station, Mir, have encountered fresh problems in their latest attempts to repair their damaged science module

After an ultimatum from Moscow, Belarus has released three of the six Russian journalists it?s been holding.

There?s been another shooting near the Kenyan city of Mombasa, just hours before President Moi was due to arrive there.

The British company, BT, has negotiated a big cut in the price for its takeover of the American group, MCI, to form the world?s second biggest telecommunications network.

Tajik President Imomali Rahmonov has called for an international conference on Afghanistan under UN auspices.

Uzbek President Islam Karimov and foreign dignitaries attended the opening ceremony on Friday 22nd August of the Bukhara oil refinery.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 20/8/97

International forces in the Serb part of Bosnia-Hercegovina have taken control of all the police stations in the city of Banja Luka.

Israeli planes have attacked Hezbolllah bases in eastern Lebanon.

Fighting is continuing in northern Cambodia despite a government announcement that it had captured the last power base of the deposed prime minister, Prince Ranariddh.

President Yeltsin has called for greater eforts to stabilise the North Caucasus teritories, including Chechnya, Ossetia and Dagestan.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 18th August 1997

Israel says it will transfer to the Palestinian Authority one third of the tax revenues which were frozen after the suicide bombings in Jerusalem last month.

President Yeltsin is meeting the Chechen leader, Aslan Maskhadov, in Moscow, for the first time since the signing of a peace agreement earlier this year.

Britain has warned the volcano on it’s Caribbean colony, Montserrat is becoming increasingly dangerous.

The High Court in Singapore has begun hearing a defamation case brought by the government against a veteran opposition figure.

Russian news agencies are reporting that Tajik government troops have launched an attack on rebel forces under the command of Colonel Makhmud Khudoyberdyev.

The Russian national football team will tonight play a World Eleven in a match to celebrate the hundredth anniversary of the founding of the first Russian football tournament.

World headlines at noon on 17th August 1997

Renewed violence has broken out in the Kenyan port of Mombassa, where at least twenty-six people have been killed in the past week.

Russian security experts have arrived in Chechnya to help the authorities release hundreds of hostages.

Italian ministers have begun emergency talks on immigration, after a series of clashes and attacks involving immigrants.

The Sri Lankan air force says it is to begin recruiting women pilots, because it can’t sign up enough men.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 16th August 1997

President Suharto of Indonesia has warned that sudden events like the recent currency devaluations in south-east Asia could wipe out the country’s economic achievements.

Three Palestinians have been sentenced to long prison terms for the murder of an Israeli taxi driver, just hours after his body was discovered in the West Bank city of Jericho

Bosnian Muslim refugees are making another attempt to return to their homes, two weeks after being chased away by angry mobs of Bosnian Croats.

Millions of Elvis Presley fans are commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the death of the man they still regard as the King of Rock’n’Roll.

The world and regional headlines at noon on the 15th August 1998.

The Indian Prime Minister has marked the fiftieth anniversary of independence with an appeal to Indians to start a mass movement against corruption

Japan and North Korea are to hold talks for the first time in five years aimed at restoring diplomatic relations

A new law has come into force in the American state of Louisiana, allowing car owners to shoot anyone trying to steal their vehicles

Gergia and the breakaway republic of Abkahzia have agreed to renounce the use of violence to resolve their differences over Abkahzia?s independence bid.

In Bishek the government delegations of Kazakhstan and Kirghizia are planning to find a solution on the problems of using Kirghiz water resources by Kazakhstan and tarrif policy in transit road haulage

World and regional news headlines at noon on 14th August

Celebrations are taking place throughout India and Pakistan today to mark their fifty years of independence.

The Israeli authorities have eased restrictions on two Palestinian controlled areas of the West Bank, imposed after suicide bomb attacks in Jerusalem.

The Russian cosmonauts who have been on the crippled Mir space station for the past six months are on their way back to Earth.

Cambodia’s prime ministers have returned from a visit to Beijing saying that King Norodom Sihanouk has approved their new coalition government.

Talks have taken place in the Georgian capital, Tbilisi, between Georgian president Eduard Shevardnadze and Abkhaz leader Vladislav Ardzinba, to settle the long running dispute between the former Soviet republic and it’s breakaway territory.

Tajik radio has reported that Uzbek president Islam Karimov telephoned his Tajik counterpart Emomali Rahmonov to discuss the recent unrest in Tajikistan.

The world and regional headlines at noon on the 13th August 1997

The lower house of parliament in Pakistan has approved sweeping new powers to tackle sectarian violence, but opposition deputies have walked out in protest.

The government of Tajikistan says a rebel militia leader has agreed to measures to end the fighting south of the capital, Dushanbe.

As diplomatic attempts to restart the Middle East peace process continue,the Israeli
Prime Minister has gone to Jordan to meet King Hussein.

King Sihhanouk of Cambodia says his offer to abdicate has been turned down by the country?s new leadership

Parliament in Chechnya has voted to make Chechen the only official language of the breakaway republic.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 12th August

The American envoy Dennis Ross, continuing his latest mission to the Middle East, has urged Israel to lift some of it’s restrictions on the Palestinians.

Iran’s new President has announced his cabinet, with several key posts given to men seen as moderates.

Air raids have been reported against one of the warring faction leaders in Tajikistan; the Russian-led peace keepers have denied involvement.

And thousands of Nigerians have been paying their last respects to the well loved musician and political activist, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti.

World and regional headlines at noon on 11th August 1997

The US envoy, Dennis Ross says the talks just held by Israel and the Palestinians are a step towards restoring security ties destroyed by last months bombing in Jerusalem.

South-East Asian foreign ministers are meeting to decide their response to the political changes in Cambodia.

The Malaysian currency has again fallen sharply on the day that a big loan is agreed to help Thailand recover from the same speculative pressures.

The Truth Commission in South Africa has begun hearing an amnesty application from killers of an ANC leader, Chris Hani.

The Tajik president, Imomali Rakhimov, has blamed current factional fighting in and around the capital, Dushanbe, on groups linked to organised crime and the drugs trade.

Performers from Kazakhstan and Kyrgystan have arrived in Scotland to take part in the Edinburgh festival.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 9th August 1997

Gunmen on motorcycles have carried out lightning raids on two districts in Pakistan?s Punjab province, killing at least fourteen people.

The special American envoy on Bosnia-Herzegovina is expected to use the threat of sanctions on Federal Yugoslavia to force compliance with the Dayton peace accords.

There?s been a gun battle in the capital of Tajikistan between rival militias, the first serious outbreak of violence since the ending of the civil war.

King Sihanouk of Cambodia has described the newly-appointed first prime minister who replaced his son as a puppet.

A group of Kazakh journalists held a protest outside the Russian embassy in Almaty to demand the release of a Russian television reporter and cameraman who were arrested in Belarus over two weeks ago.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 7th August 1997

The president of Turmenistan, Saparmurat Niyazov has met President Yeltsin in Moscow.Varios oil deals in the Caspian have been discussed.

Baku has expressed regret over Moscow’s decision to cancel a deal with Azerbaijan on the development of an inshore Caspian sea oilfield that is also claimed by Turkmenistan, Interfax news agency reported yesterday, (Wednesday.)

Israeli forces have bombarded Hezbollah guerilla positions in southern Lebanon after coming under rocket and mortar attack in the occupied zone.

The United States special envoy to Bosnia-Hercegovina is meeting the Bosnian Serbs to try and persuade them to honour the Dayton peace accords.

The authorities in Hong Kong have repatriated the first group of Vietnamese boat people since the territory reverted to China.

The world and regional headlines at noon on the 6th August 1997.

Iran says that any oil deals signed by Caspian Sea littoral states with foreign companies would be considered invalid by Teheran if the interests of other Caspian Sea states were not taken into consideration.

The American architect of the Bosnian peace accords, Richard Holbrooke, is beginning a new mission aimed at putting the peace process back on track.

Officials on the Pacific island of Guam say there’s little hope of finding any more survivors from the crashed South Korean airliner.

A special session of the Angolan Parliament to honour the visiting president of the Democratic Republic of Congo, Laurent Kabila, has been called off after opposition protests.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 1st August 1997

The parliament in Tajikistan has approved a bill declaring an amnesty for people who fought in the country’s five year civil war.

The Kyrgyz capitol, Bishkek, is hosting a kick-boxing contest between Asia and Europe.

Israeli forces have tightened security in all public places, after arresting more than fifty suspected Islamic militants in connection with the Jerusalem bombings.

Thousands of Cambodian refugees have fled across the frontier into Thailand to escape a new outbreak of factional fighting.

The Governor of Kenya’s Central Bank says the country’s credibility has been seriously damaged by the IMF’s decision to suspend a big new loan, because not enough is being done to fight corruption.

Relations between Russia and Neighbouring Belarus, under severe strain recently, have taken a turn for the worse.

President Heidar Aliyev of Azerbaijan is due to meet President Clinton, in Washington later today, the first state visit by an Azeri president to the United States.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 31st July 1997

President Islam Kharimov of Uzbekistan has turned down a request from the secretary general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, to open the Uzbek-Afghan border and allow passage of Tajik refugees from Afghanistan.

The government of Tajikistan and Islamic opposition have settled one of their most contentious differences, by agreeing on the location of a new headquarters for returning exiled opposition leaders.

As funerals get under way for the victims of yesterday’s bombing in Jerusalem, Israeli forces have arrested dozens of suspected Islamic militants in the search for those responsible.

The Chinese president, Jiang Zemin, has called for the development of a more powerful national army.

A judge in Cyprus, jailing a man for giving a tourist the AIDS virus, has called for new laws to deal with the risks posed by the disease.

Greek police have found one-hundred and eighty illegal immigrants aboard a crippled cargo ship.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 30th July 1997

President of Uzbekistan, Islam Kharimov has said the Uzbek economy is improving showing high growth and lower than expected inflation.

The international music contest “Voice of Asia” begins today in Almaty (Kazakhstan).

Two bombs have gone off in a crowded market in central Jerusalem causing many dead and injured.

Japan has imposed heavy penalties on two big financial institutions implicated in a widening extortionist pay-off scandal.

President Yeltsin has threatened to reconsider Russia’s treaty of union with Belarus, following the detention there of a Russian television crew.

An Italian commission investigating abuses by Italian peacekeeping troops who served in Somalia is due to start questioning witnesses today.

The world and regional headlines at noon on 29th July 1997

Uzbek writer Nabijan Baqi has written an open letter to president Kharimov complaining that government censors are taking too long to approve publication of his book on the life of, Anvar Pasha the proponant on pan-Turkism.

A panel investigating corruption in the Palestinian authority has called for the dismissal of Yasser Arafat’s entire cabinet and for charges to be filed against some ministers.

The British foreign secretary has been meeting political leaders in Bosnia-Hercegovina to press for swifter implementation of the Dayton peace accords.

A court in Cyprus has found a local man guilty of knowingly infecting a British woman with the HIV virus, which leads to AIDS.

Chancellor Kohl of Germany has been visiting the flood-stricken east of the country, where he promised federal aid and praised the work of civilian and military relief teams.

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