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Manuel Zelaya

Manuel Zelaya

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June 26International News briefDespite the thousands of U.S.

troops headed to southern Afghanistan this summer, a NATO commander said Thursday they'll fall short of the numbers historically needed to defeat image to enlargeSeven-year-old Matthew Schnappauf of Ponte Vedra, Fla., takes a close look at his creation as he participates in a French Fry sculpture contest Tuesday, June 23, 2009, in Ocean City, N.J.

(AP Photo/Mel Evans) AP Select images available for purchase in theTimes Leader Photo StoreMaj.


Mart de Kruif said the influx of troops will let coalition forces pressure parts of the Taliban-infested region where extremists have not yet been pursued.

That, in part, will spur more violence over the next few months, he said.U.S.


David Petraeus and other military experts say counterinsurgency warfare usually requires a mix of force that is 80 percent political and 20 percent military.TRIESTE, ItalyG-8 ministers tackle IranForeign ministers of Group of Eight countries sought to find a common position on Iran's violent crackdown on protesters as they opened a meeting in this northeastern Italian city on Thursday.Italy, the host of the meeting, said it wanted to send a tough message, but Italian officials speaking in Trieste also stressed the need not to further isolate Iran.

The EU commissioner for external relations condemned the use of excessive force, and called for dialogue among battling parties within Iran.Italy had originally invited Iran to attend the three-day gathering as a special guest, arguing that Tehran could have an important role to play in stabilizing Afghanistan — a key focus of the meeting.WASHINGTONObama backs global billPresident Barack Obama pushed urgently Thursday for passage of legislation to confront global warming, billing it as a job-creating machine rather than the costly "job killer" Republicans denounced and telephoning wavering Democrats on the eve of what could be a historic House vote.Speaking in the Rose Garden at the White House, Obama said Washington must not miss the opportunity to work on cleaning the air, creating new "green" energy jobs and moving the nation away from its reliance on fossil fuels such as oil, coal and natural gas.The White House appeared concerned that momentum for the bill was slipping, though White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said that when it came time for a House showdown, "I'd bet on the president."TEGUCIGALPA, HondurasHondurans to ignore rulingThe Honduran president vowed Thursday to ignore a Supreme Court ruling ordering him to reinstate the military chief he fired, escalating showdown that has threatened the leftist leader's hold on power.President Manuel Zelaya's attempt to hold a referendum on reforming the constitution has pitted him against the country's top courts, the attorney general, military leaders and even his own party.Zelaya fired Gen.

Romeo Vasquez as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for refusing to support Sunday's nonbinding referendum, but the Supreme Court ordered him reinstated Thursday."We will not obey the Supreme Court," Zelaya told more than 2,000 cheering supporters gathered in front of the presidential offices, mostly labor leaders, farmers and leftist groups that make up the bulk of his support.

"The court, which only imparts justice for the powerful, the rich and the bankers, only causes problems for democracy."
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