Thursday, April 19, 2007

England's Collapse Heard 'Round The World

Here are the Top Ten stories of the moment, from the RSS feed published by Pakistan's Dawn news service:

Number 10)
Pakistan, China committed to reinforce exemplary friendship
Chengdu, April 19 (PPI): Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Thursday said Pakistan and China were committed to reinforce their exemplary friendship by building strong partnership in economic and trade fields.
Number 9)
Car bomb kills 10, injures 21 in Baghdad
Baghdad, April 19 (Reuters) - A suicide car bomber rammed his car into a fuel tanker, killing 10 people and wounding 21 in the southern Jadriya district of Baghdad, police said. Gunmen wounded seven oil company employees when they attacked their vehicle in Kirkuk, Gunmen also attacked a police patrol, killing one policeman and wounding five others in Baquba. Iraqi army killed 20 insurgents and arrested 84 others during the last 24 hours in operations across Iraq, police said. Four charred dead bodies were found by police inside a car in the town of Shirqat, south of Mosul.
Number 8)
Indian army colonel among 9 personnel charged in fake encounter killings
ISLAMABAD, April 19 (APP): As many as four Indian Army personnel, including a Colonel and five Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel including a Superintendent of Police in occupied Kashmir were Wednesday charge-sheeted in the fake-encounter killing of a Srinagar cloth merchant in a court at Sopore. This comes just six days after an Indian army's Major and three troopers and five Special Operation Group (SOG) personnel were charge-sheeted for killing an Imam, PTV reported. Police’s Special Investigation Team probing the fake encounter killings on Wednesday charged the same nine with abduction and murder of cloth merchant Ghulam Nabi who was abducted from Lalchowk in Srinagar and was kept in illegal detention for 14 days. Later the SOG personnel and Army killed him in a fake encounter at Sumbal and labelled him as a Pakistani militant.
Number 7)
Gates visits former Iraq rebel bastion
FALLUJAH, Iraq, April 19 (AFP) - US Defence Secretary Robert Gates visited US commanders in the former Sunni Arab insurgent bastion of Fallujah on Thursday straight after arriving in Iraq from Israel on an unannounced trip.
Number 6)
Afghan, Pakistani troops clash over border fence
KABUL, April 19 (AFP) - Afghan troops tore down a new anti-Taliban fence erected by Pakistan on the border between the two countries Thursday, sparking a gunbattle which caused no casualties, officials said. The clash was the first since Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf announced plans earlier this year to fence 35 kilometres of his country's northwestern frontier to stop the movement of militants.
Number 5)
Prominent Kashmir separatists spurn New Delhi talks
RINAGAR, occupied Kashmir, April 19 (AFP) – All-Parties Hurrriyet Conference, the l prominent separatist group in occupied Kashmir, said Thursday it was boycotting direct talks with New Delhi, saying such a meeting would be pointless without the participation of Pakistan.
Number 4)
PM hails opening of Pakistan's Consulate General in Chengdu
CHENGDU, China, April 19 (APP) - Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz Thursday said that the opening of a Consulate General in Chengdu, Pakistan's third in China, was a very important event in Sino-Pak relations.
Number 3)
NATO allies urge US to open missile shield plan
BRUSSELS, April 19 (Reuters): NATO allies urged the United States on Thursday to ensure its planned anti-missile shield be broadened to cover the whole of Europe but did not commit themselves to joining the project.
Number 2)
Three US troops killed in Iraq
Three US troops killed in Iraq BAGHDAD, April 19 (AFP) - Three more American soldiers were killed in attacks in Iraq, the US military said on Thursday, taking its losses to 53 this month. Two soldiers were killed on Wednesday when their vehicle was struck by a roadside bomb north of Baghdad after returning from a combat patrol. The third soldier died when a combat security patrol was raked with gunfire in southwest Baghdad.
And the Number One story of the moment:
Cricket: Fletcher quits as England coach
BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, April 19 (AFP) - Duncan Fletcher quit as England coach on Thursday following the team's dismal World Cup campaign, the England and Wales Cricket Board announced.
Ha! You see? Did you think I was kidding about England's explosive collapse? It may be nonsense but it's important nonsense, this cricket! And the after-effects are still rippling their way all around the world.

In fairness to the folks at Dawn, I must point out that these stories are listed in reverse chronological order and thus the sequence does not reflect the editors' estimation of their relative importance. But seeing these headlines in this order did give me a chuckle, and in very trying times such as these, a chuckle is something to savor. Click those links for more details on these and other stories, from the Pakistani "news-feed bloggers" at Dawn.