news update for 22 july

ZIMBABWE POWER SHARING: Robert Mugabe and Morgan Tsvangirai – have agreed to immediately begin intensive talks aimed at establishing a “new government”. At their first meeting in more than a decade, Zimbabwe’s president and the leader of the MDC yesterday signed a five-page “memorandum of understanding” that envisages a fortnight of secret talks by representatives dealing with an array of issues from political violence against the opposition to constitutional reform. Mugabe has been forced to give ground under myriad pressures including an imploding economy, described the memorandum as a “serious matter”. “We sit here in order for us to chart a new way, a new way of political interaction,” he said. But he added ominously that negotiators must act without influence from the US or Europe. He has repeatedly accused the opposition of being “puppets” of the west when it has demanded that he surrender power.

US POLITICS: Ahhh, old man Mc Cain. The Republican presidential nominee has started a row with The New York Times. This time, the fight is over Iraq. McCain tried to respond to Barack Obama’s guest column last week on his plan to withdraw most US troops within 16 months. But McCain’s piece wasn’t up to scratch with the paper’s editors, who said that it needed to “articulate, in concrete terms, how Senator McCain defines victory in Iraq”. A political blog Drudge then duly reprinted McCain’s column as it was submitted, including his misspelling of US army commander Jeffery Hammond’s name.

TECHNOLOGY, YO!: Nervous investors dumped shares in Apple last night on concerns over weakening profit margins and persistent rumours about the health of the technology company’s founder, Steve Jobs. Apple’s quarterly profits soared 31% to $1.07bn as customers snapped up Mac products. But the company provided cautious guidance to Wall Street on its prospects for the rest of the year and offered little to quell speculation surrounding Jobs, whose gaunt appearance drew comment at a recent industry conference. When asked about Jobs’ health, a spokesperson said: “Steve loves Apple. He serves as CEO at the pleasure of Apple’s board and has no plans to leave Apple. Steve’s health is a private matter.” Jobs, 53, is considered the driving force behind the company’s consistent innovation. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer five years ago but has recovered.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on July 22, 2008.

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