- - Wednesday, September 21, 2011

YEMEN

Yemeni truce breached by shelling; 16 dead

SANAA — Yemeni government forces on Wednesday fired mortars at tens of thousands of mourners at funerals held for protesters killed in clashes and attacked an opposition base, shattering a cease-fire negotiated a day earlier to end the Arab nation’s latest bout of deadly violence.

The two attacks killed 16 people.

The mourners were gathered for funeral prayers for anti-government protesters killed in a deadly, three-day government crackdown in which the death toll topped 80 - a sudden spike in violence explained by protesters’ impatience with longtime President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who they say is dragging his feet instead of signing a deal to step down.

Nine people were killed.

ARGENTINA

Kirchner wants new talks on Falkland Islands

UNITED NATIONS — President Cristina Kirchner warned Britain on Wednesday that Argentina could suspend bilateral working agreements if London fails to sit down for talks over the sovereignty of the Falklands.

“We declare before this assembly that we are going to wait a reasonable amount of time, but [if no talks take place] we will be obligated to revise the provisional agreements that are currently in effect,” the Argentine leader said at the United Nations.

Both countries claim the Falkland Islands, which since the 1830s have been controlled by London, and the territory has been at the heart of renewed diplomatic bickering since the start of oil and gas exploration there last year.

Argentina and Britain fought a brief war in 1982 for control of the Falklands in which Argentina was roundly defeated.

But Britain has long maintained that it will keep control of the islands, whose inhabitants are overwhelmingly of British descent.

TURKEY

Turkey to mark undersea borders

ANKARA — The ethnic Turkish northern half of Cyprus marked its marine borders with Turkey and will issue licenses for offshore oil and gas drilling in response to a similar move by the internationally recognized Greek Cypriot half of the island, state media reported Wednesday.

Cyprus was divided after a 1974 Turkish invasion. The southern government began exploratory drilling for oil and gas this week, prompting strong protests from Turkey, which doesn’t recognize the Greek Cypriot administration and says drilling can derail long-running talks to unify the island.

Cyprus’ government spokesman Stefanos Stefanou said in New York that “Turkey has committed yet another unlawful act, signing an agreement with an illegal entity.”

“With this unlawful act, Turkey is trying to prevent the Cyprus republic from exercising a self-evident right which is recognized by the entire international community,” he said. “The international community is asking Turkey to respect international law. Unfortunately, Turkey continues to be in violation of the law.”

The Greek Cypriots have marked their marine borders with Israel and Egypt, and signed a similar deal with Lebanon. But the Turkish Cypriots had said they were waiting until the reunification of the island.

SWEDEN

Day care centers use GPS to track children

STOCKHOLM — Day care centers in Sweden have started using GPS systems and other electronic tracking devices to keep tabs on children during excursions - a practice that has raised ethical and practical questions.

Some parents are worried day care centers will use the technology to replace staff. Others wonder whether getting children used to being under surveillance could affect their idea of privacy when they grow older.

Monica Blank-Hedqvist, the principal of a day care center in the city of Borlange told the Associated Press on Wednesday her staff has been using such devices during supervised walks in the forest - the kids wear vests with transmitters that staff can track on a screen.

“It is excellent, it has been only positive for us,” Ms. Blank-Hedqvist said.

The devices are used as extra security by three preschool teachers watching around 20 children to quickly discover if one of them strays away from the group, she said.

TUNISIA

Army clashes with militants in desert

TUNIS — The Tunisian army destroyed seven four-wheel drive vehicles in a remote desert battle Wednesday near the border with Algeria, the Defense Ministry said.

The group of nine vehicles was spotted by a routine Tunisian army air patrol. The group then opened fire on the plane, prompting an armed response, said the ministry.

The battle took place in the desert region of Irg, 300 miles southwest of Tunis.

The two remaining vehicles have been stopped and their occupants will be taken into custody, said ministry spokesman Heykel Bouzouita.

It is not yet known if the vehicles belonged to al Qaeda militants or armed smugglers, both of whom roam the trackless desert wastes that span borders of several North African countries.