Wikinews Shorts: May 20, 2007
A compilation of brief news reports for Sunday, May 20, 2007.
Guantánamo detainee David Hicks back in Australia
After five years in U.S. military custody, David Hicks has returned to Australia. Hicks was taken to the maximum security Yatala Labour Prison, where he will serve the rest of his 9 month sentence.
His lawyer David McLeod told reporters: "David is well and he enjoyed the trip. ... He was very glad to be back on Australian soil."
The flight in a government-charted airplane took 24 hours and is estimated to have cost 500,000 Australian dollars. According to his lawyer, Hicks was grateful to the taxpayers for paying his repatriation.
Hicks pleaded guilty before a special military court to providing material support to the Taliban. He was sentenced on March 30 to seven years in prison, but only needed to complete nine months of his penalty, which expires in December.
- "First Guantánamo Bay prisoner sentenced" — Wikinews, April 1, 2007
- "Hicks spends first night on Aussie soil" — Herald Sun, May 21, 2007
- "David Hicks back in Australia" — Herald Sun, May 20, 2007
- Dan Silkstone. "'Overjoyed' Hicks touches down" — The Age, May 20, 2007
US has paid Pakistan $5.6 billion in 5 years for 'war on terror'
The New York Times reports that the United States are making monthly payments to Pakistan, totalling about $1 billion annually, for their efforts against Al-Qaeda and Taliban militants. The so-called coalition support funds continued unchanged after President Pervez Musharraf decided to cut back on patrols along the border with Afghanistan.
"They send us a bill, and we just pay it. ... Nobody can really explain what we are getting for this money or even where it’s going," the New York Times article quotes a senior military official involved.
- David E. Sanger and David Rohde. "U.S. Pays Pakistan to Fight Terror, but Patrols Ebb" — New York Times, May 20, 2007
- "`US aid to Pak should be tied to performance on war on terror`" — Zee News, May 20, 2007
Olmert threatens to intensify response to rocket attacks
Prime Minister of Israel Ehud Olmert declared that: "If the measured steps we are taking, in the political and military sphere, do not bring about the desired calm, we will be forced to intensify our response."
Olmert held Hamas and the Islamic Jihad militants responsible for the escalation in rocket attacks on Israel over the past week. Israel answered with daily bombardments on Palestine for the past six days. Meanwhile, the ceasefire between Hamas and Fatah seems to be holding, after a week of increased factional violence in Palestine.
- Reuters. "Israel threatens stronger military steps in Gaza" — Stuff.co.nz, May 21, 2007
- Jeffrey Heller (Reuters). "Israel to "intensify" Gaza strikes" — Swissinfo, May 20, 2007
- AP. "Israel Strikes Hamas Militants Anew" — CBS, May 20, 2007
- Sarah El Deeb (AP). "Israel strikes Hamas militants anew" — The Kansas City Star, May 20, 2007