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Burlington, N.C., Times-News www.TheTimesNews.com

Leaders predict G-20 deal to fight recession The Associated Press LONDON — Doggedly optimistic in the face of doubts, President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister Gordon Brown predicted Thursday’s emergency G-20 economic summit would produce a significant global deal to tackle the deepening worldwide recession. Others weren’t so sure. France warned on Wednesday that neither it nor Germany would agree to “false compromises” that soft-pedal a need for tougher financial regulation to curb abuses that contributed to the spreading chaos. And outside the carefully scripted meetings, protesters smashed bank windows and pelted police with eggs and fruit. Thousands surged into London’s financial district, blockading the Bank of England and breaking into a branch of the Royal Bank of Scotland. Elsewhere, however, inside the meetings, Obama said differences among the presidents and prime ministers of the Group of 20 rich and emerging countries, were “vastly overstated.” “I am absolutely confident that this meeting will reflect enormous consensus about the need to work in concert to deal with these problems,” said Obama, who is under pressure to make a good showing in his first major international appearance. economic chaos With spreading, Brown, the host of the summit, predicted

agreement on a coordinated strategy, including a possible $100 billion fund to finance global trade, tighter financial rules and action to support economic growth and job creation. G-20 leaders are also in general agreement on a plan to double the money available to the International Monetary Fund, to some $500 billion, to help emerging countries. Consensus on further measures is by no means clear. Brown initially trumpeted the gathering as “a new Bretton Woods — a new financial architecture for the years ahead.” But the meeting so far bears little similarity to the 1944 New Hampshire conference where the eventual winners of World War II gathered to set postwar global monetary and financial order. Washington has eased off on its push for other governments to pump more money into economic stimulus programs after heavy opposition from European countries, who contend their bigger social safety nets make more spending unnecessary. Germany and France have instead campaigned for tougher rules to restrain financial market excesses. That disagreement has lowered expectations for the London summit and weakened confidence in the world’s ability to quickly pull out of the downturn. Global trade is plummeting, protectionism is beginning to make inroads and unemployment is rising.

Baghdad mutineers escaped with weapons

Thursday, April 2, 2009

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Suspected U.S. missiles kill 14 militants in the eastern city of Lahore, saying it was retaliation for U.S. missile strikes on militant strongholds along the Afghan border. Mehsud also vowed to launch an attack on Washington or even the White House in interviews. The FBI, however, said he had made similar threats previously and that there was no indication of anything imminent. A local intelligence official said the compound attacked Wednesday in a remote area

The Associated Press ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — A suspected U.S. drone fired two missiles Wednesday at an alleged hide-out connected to a Taliban leader who has threatened to attack Washington, killing 14 people and wounding several others, officials said. The attack came a day after Pakistani Taliban leader Baitullah Mehsud claimed responsibility for a deadly attack on a police academy

of the Orakzai tribal region near the Afghan border belonged to one of Mehsud’s commanders. Up to 30 suspected militants were at the compound when it was hit, and the Taliban have moved the dead and injured to an undisclosed location, he said. The strike is believed to be the first in Orakzai, another sign the U.S. is expanding its attack zone. Since the U.S. escalated its missile campaign starting in

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August, most of the estimated three dozen strikes have landed in the North and South Waziristan tribal regions where Mehsud is strongest. However, those attacks appear to have primarily focused on alQaida hideouts. Mehsud’s deputy Hakimullah Mehsud is in charge of Taliban operations in Orakzai. Late Wednesday, he called a reporter who has spoken to him before and is familiar with his voice, to threaten a revenge attack on Pakistan’s capital.

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BAGHDAD — At least 25 percent of the Sunni paramilitaries who staged an uprising last weekend in central Baghdad after their leader was arrested escaped with their weapons, two Iraqi security officers said Wednesday. The rest of the estimated 250 members of the Awakening Council in the Fadhil area surrendered their guns to Iraqi forces after the two-day uprising, according to the two officers, one from the army and the other from the police. The police officer estimated “up to 30 percent” of the fighters were missing, while the army officer put the figure at 25 percent. The difference is based on confusion over the precise number of paramilitaries who took part in the uprising. Both spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t supposed to give information to media. Awakening Councils, which the U.S. military calls Sons of Iraq, are made up of Sunnis who turned against the insurgents and now help Iraqi security forces provide security in their neighborhoods. Since the uprising ended Sunday, all checkpoints in Fadhil are being manned by Iraqi soldiers and police, according to residents. The U.S. military engineered the rise of the Awakening movement and believe the paramilitaries played a major role in turning the tide in the fight against Sunni insurgents. But the Shiite-led government is suspicious of many Awakening groups, which include former insurgents in their ranks. A number of Awakening Council leaders elsewhere fear the crackdown in Fadhil is part of a government move to sideline them. They point to a string of arrests and assassinations of Awakening Council members over the last six months. The police spokesman in Babil province south of Baghdad, Maj. Muthanna Khalid, said 12 Awakening members had been slain in the province since the beginning of the year. He said most were victims of tribal disputes, but he didn’t elaborate.

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