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Front Page: Taliban, the Economy, and Kenya

  • Forces loyal to the Taliban overtook a key fort in northwestern Pakistan yesterday, killing at least 47 people. The battle was fought in two waves, as 200 fighters loyal to Taliban commander Baitullah Mehsud, stormed the fort and used explosives to break through the walls. The second wave brought 300-400 more troops and escalated into hand-to-hand combat. The Taliban is being blamed for last month's assassination of Benazir Bhutto. Fazal Rahim Marwat, a professor at Peshawar University said, "this is another daring step on the part of the militants, and it seems that they are getting stronger and bolder with the passage of time."
  • Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, said he is willing to support tax cuts or spending to temporarily stimulate the economy, even if they increase the budget deficit. Bernanke is set to testify before the House Budget Committee today. House speaker Nancy Pelosi said, “...there is a sense of urgency, that there is a need for a stimulus package and we should find our common ground as soon as possible.”
  • Clashes continue in Kenya as the opposition party protests the recent election of President Mwai Kibaki, leaving seven dead. Protesters, in the middle of a promised three days of demonstrations, wielded machetes and rocks in a Nairobi slum today. Opposition spokesman Salim Lone said, "calling off rallies would be admitting defeat to those who first stole the presidential election and are now killing innocent protesters on sight."
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