Guardian Unlimited OnLine June 16 2007
Hamas hints at talks as chaos reigns in divided Palestine June 16 2007
Islamists strengthen grip in Gaza but western governments, including US, side with Palestinian president in the West Bank
Rory McCarthy in Jerusalem, Hazem Balousha in Gaza City and Conal Urquhart in Ramallah
Jubilant Hamas militants cemented their domination over Gaza yesterday but appeared to make conciliatory overtures to their Fatah opponents after a week of intense fighting that has effectively broken Palestine in two.
Ismail Haniyeh, the Hamas leader in Gaza, called for new negotiations with the Fatah leader and Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, and urged calm from his own gunmen after they had routed Fatah rivals and embarked on a wave of looting in Fatah offices and homes in the Gaza Strip. Hamas also released 10 senior Fatah officials captured during five days of clashes that killed more than 100 people.
Mr Haniyeh also demanded the release of Alan Johnston, the BBC correspondent kidnapped in Gaza more than three months ago. Last night there were reports that his captors had promised an imminent release, but these could not be independently confirmed.
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Times OnLine June 16 2007
Police will investigate corruption in football June 16 2007
Stewart Tendler, Oliver Kay and Rajeev Syal
Police are to examine the findings of a long-awaited report into allegations of illegal payments, or “bungs”, in football which for the first time identifies deals involving Chelsea, Britain’s highest-spending club.
Suspect deals involving four other clubs — Newcastle, Bolton, Middlesbrough and Portsmouth — will also face further investigation, according to Lord Stevens of Kirkwhelpington, the former Metropolitan Police Commissioner, in his final report to the Premier League.
Payments for 17 players who cost a total of about £100 million, including Didier Drogba, the Chelsea forward and last year’s top scorer in the Premiership, and Petr Cech, the club’s goalkeeper, have not been cleared by the report. Steve McClaren, the England head coach, may also be dragged into any subsequent inquiry after deals involving Middlesbrough, his former club, were said to require further examination.
The report was commissioned by the Premier League 17 months ago amid allegations that football players, agents and managers had received corrupt payments for their involvement in multimillion-pound transfer deals. The report will be passed to the Serious Fraud Office and City of London Police.
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Independent OnLine 'Indy' News June 16 2007
Welcome to 'Palestine' June 16 2007
By Robert Fisk
How troublesome the Muslims of the Middle East are. First, we demand that the Palestinians embrace democracy and then they elect the wrong party - Hamas - and then Hamas wins a mini-civil war and presides over the Gaza Strip. And we Westerners still want to negotiate with the discredited President, Mahmoud Abbas. Today "Palestine" - and let's keep those quotation marks in place - has two prime ministers. Welcome to the Middle East.
Who can we negotiate with? To whom do we talk? Well of course, we should have talked to Hamas months ago. But we didn't like the democratically elected government of the Palestinian people. They were supposed to have voted for Fatah and its corrupt leadership. But they voted for Hamas, which declines to recognise Israel or abide by the totally discredited Oslo agreement.
No one asked - on our side - which particular Israel Hamas was supposed to recognise. The Israel of 1948? The Israel of the post-1967 borders? The Israel which builds - and goes on building - vast settlements for Jews and Jews only on Arab land, gobbling up even more of the 22 per cent of "Palestine" still left to negotiate over ?
And so today, we are supposed to talk to our faithful policeman, Mr Abbas, the "moderate" (as the BBC, CNN and Fox News refer to him) Palestinian leader, a man who wrote a 600-page book about Oslo without once mentioning the word "occupation", who always referred to Israeli "redeployment" rather than "withdrawal", a "leader" we can trust because he wears a tie and goes to the White House and says all the right things. The Palestinians didn't vote for Hamas because they wanted an Islamic republic - which is how Hamas's bloody victory will be represented - but because they were tired of the corruption of Mr Abbas's Fatah and the rotten nature of the "Palestinian Authority".
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BBC OnLine News June 16 2007
Botham and Rushdie lead honours June 16 2007
Ex-cricketer Ian Botham and novelist Salman Rushdie have both been knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Botham's knighthood is a reflection of his achievements on the field - and long-distance fundraising walks.
Cancer sufferer Jane Tomlinson, who along with Dame Edna Everage creator Barry Humphries is made a CBE, joins others recognised for charity efforts.
Singer Joe Cocker, author Barbara Taylor Bradford and footballer Ryan Giggs are among the OBEs on the list.
The Cabinet Office said a key aim of the 2007 Birthday Honours was to reward those in the areas of education, health, law and order and the charity sector.
All the 946 people on the list have been nominated by the public or expert organisations.
BBC OnLine Full Story
BBC OnLine History June 15 2007
June 15 1976: Soweto protest turns violent
At least 12 people are reported to have been killed in a series of violent clashes between black demonstrators and police in several South African townships.
Angry youths threw stones and beer bottles at police, as a protest against the compulsory use of Afrikaans as the main teaching language in black schools turned violent.
The violence spread from one end of the city to the other, with fires in Soweto reaching Alexandra, a township in the northern outskirts close to some of the rich white suburbs.
The Times newspaper called it the worst outbreak of racial violence seen in South Africa since the Sharpeville massacre 16 years ago.
There are known to be at least two black children among the dead and two white men.
BBC OnLine Full Story