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Top News Stories 2008-03-26 06:52:56

Front Page: Antarctica Melting, 72-Hour Deadline in Iraq, US Warned in Pakistan

  • An island-sized chunk of ice has started to break away from Antarctica, prompting scientists to say it is further evidence of a warming climate. Though it's been stable for most of the century, it has been retreating since the 1990s, and satellite images suggest that part of the ice shelf will soon crumble away. A professor from the British Antarctic Survey said, "I didn't expect to see things happen this quickly. The ice shelf is hanging by a thread — we'll know in the next few days or weeks what its fate will be." He added, "this is not a sea level rise issue, but is yet another indication of climate change in the Antarctic Peninsula and how it is affecting the environment."

  • Today, Iraq's prime minister gave Shiite militants battling security forces in Basra a 72-hour deadline to surrender their weapons. The death toll after two days of fighting nears 50 and the conflict threatens to undo efforts to stabilize Iraq. The clashes in Basra are between Iraqi and US security forces and fighters sympathetic to the Mehdi Army — the militia of Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. The new fighting comes on the heels of a seven-month, much-praised cease fire called by al-Sadr that, according to the U.S. military, has decreased violence across Iraq.
  • Pakistan's new Prime Minister Yousaf Gillani was sworn in yesterday. Members of the new government met with top State Department officials responsible for the area and gave the US a stern warning. The Pakistani government told the two American diplomats that it was unacceptable that Pakistan had become a “killing field.” The leader of the second biggest party in Parliament said, “if America wants to see itself clean of terrorists, we also want that our villages and towns should not be bombed,” adding that he was unable to give “a commitment” on fighting terrorism.
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