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CHAD-SUDAN: Army chases rebels into neighbouring Sudan

ADRE, 20 December (IRIN) - The plot is thickening in an already conflict-ridden zone as Chad’s military made good on threats to pursue rebels into Sudanese territory following heavy fighting in an eastern border town over the weekend.Full report

AFGHANISTAN: Government approves new counter-narcotics law

KABUL, 20 December (IRIN) - The Afghan government has approved a new counter-narcotics law. The law recommends the establishment of a Drug Regulation Commission (DRC), and lays out significant penalties for corruption and bribery associated with drug trafficking.Full report

PAKISTAN: Shelter the priority as quake zone temperatures plummet

ISLAMABAD, 20 December (IRIN) - Amid forecasts of more very cold weather in quake-stricken parts of northern Pakistan, humanitarian agencies are still struggling to provide over 3 million survivors of the 8 October earthquake with adequate shelter.Full report

SWAZILAND: Nine pro-democracy activists held for petrol bombings

MBABANE, 20 December (IRIN) - Nine members of a pro-democracy Swazi political party have been arrested in connection with a series of petrol bombings aimed at government targets in Africa's last absolute monarchy. Full report

EGYPT: Economists welcomed WTO accord on cotton subsidies

CAIRO, 20 December (IRIN) - Egyptians economists welcomed an agreement by the 149 members of the World Trade Organisation (WTO), to end state export subsidies to cotton farmers in developed countries. Full report

LEBANON: “Freedom campers” protest perceived Syrian presence

BEIRUT, 20 December (IRIN) - In the wake of several high profile assassinations, hundreds of Lebanese young people camped out in downtown Beirut’s Martyrs’ Square on Monday to establish a self-styled “freedom camp.”Full report

ETHIOPIA: Birds test negative for avian flu

ADDIS ABABA, 20 December (IRIN) - Birds that were suspected of having contracted avian flu in Ethiopia have tested negative for the virus, an agriculture official said on Tuesday. Full report

IRIN Special Reports

SAO TOME AND PRINCIPE: Waiting for the oil boom

KENYA: HIV/AIDS a major health issue in western region

SUDAN: Political developments raise concern, analysts say

IRIN Focuses & Interviews

SENEGAL: Bringing condoms out of the closet

ANGOLA: Peace raises fear of increased land conflict

SUDAN: Dealing with gender violence through music



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