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February 2007

Feb 1  US military killed in Iraq in January: 92. 

Feb 2  Researchers at AngioGenetics in Sweden describe a new mechanism for blood vessel growth that could lead to new treatments for cancer and chronic inflammatory diseases.

Feb 2  In Lebanon, Sunni Muslim clerics publish a fatwa prohibiting Muslims from killing their fellow countrymen and particularly their fellow Muslims.

Feb 7  The move to control Baghdad – part of the so-called surge – has begun. The city has been divided into nine districts. Each district has been assigned 600 US troops and thousands of Iraqi soldiers.

Feb 12  Iran has an interest in Iraq – a friendly rather than hostile neighbor. The Bush administration denies plans to invade Iran but accuses Iran of supplying weapons to those killing US troops, and it says the US will use force against Iranian interference inside Iraq. Iran's President Ahmadinejad says that Iran regrets the death of anyone in Iraq and says that there should be "no foreigners in Iraq."

Feb 12  For three days, violent protests have been taking place in various towns in Guinea, with protesters trying to oust President Lansana Conté from power. Today fifteen people die in the capital city, Conakry. President Cote tells his military to "take all necessary measures" to prevent civil war and to restore public order.

Feb 13  Sweden extends broadband Internet service to areas in its north where there are only three persons per square kilometer. 

Feb 15  Egyptian police arrest 72 men believed associated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. President Mubarak considers political parties with a religious agenda as subversive to Egypt's secularism. The Muslim Brotherhood is his regime's largest organized opponent.

Feb 15  A UN report (UNICEF to be exact) states its conclusion that the Netherlands is the country that provides the best well-being for children. Sweden is second.  

Daniel Petru Corogeanu

Exorcist priest, Daniel Petru Corogeanu

Feb 18  President Assad meets with Iranians and speaks of "the sinister aims of the United States and Zionists."  He adds: "Creating conflict between Shia and Sunni in Iraq and Lebanon is the final card that America and its allies have."

Feb 19  In Romania, Daniel Petru Corogeanu, the priest whose exorcism killed a nun, is sentenced to 14 years in prison. The four nuns who helped him are sentenced to from five to eight years. The Orthodox Church has promised psychological tests for those seeking entry to monasteries.

Feb 19  The European Union extends economic and other sanctions against Zimbabwe for another year.

Feb 22  Russia has set aside 3.5 billion dollars to address poor health and low life-expectancy – age 60 for men and 72 for women, rather than around 80 for some industrialized countries. Drinking, smoking and pollution are said to account for much of the ill-health. Russia's population dropped by 560,000 last year. 

Feb 26  Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan tells a business conference that the economy may fall into recession by the end of 2007. He says the US economy has been growing since 2001 and that the economy cycle is nearing an end. The Wall Street Journal quotes him as saying, "When you get this far away from a recession, invariably forces build up for the next recession, and indeed we are beginning to see that sign, for example in the US, profit margins ... have begun to stabilize, which is an early sign we are in the later stages of a cycle." Greenspan added that the global economy looks to be stable and that both the US and world economies are more resilient than before.

Feb 27  A prosecutor for the International Criminal Court accuses Ali Kushayb of the Janjaweed with ordering killings, rapes, and looting in Darfur. Accused with Kushayb is Sudan's Minister of State for Humanitarian Affairs, Ahmed Haroun.

Feb 27  Prices on China's stock market rose 130 percent in 2006 and another 12 percent into February of this year. That is more than 12 times faster than its economic growth. Concern that China's government will intervene to stop a growing bubble of get-rich enthusiasm sends China's stock prices falling, down 8.8 percent. Stocks prices drop elsewhere in the world, in the US 4.3 percent. Some look for something like a 10 percent drop in stock prices in the US Maybe 8 percent – an expected "correction" after a long period of rise in the price-value of stocks.

Feb 28  President Bush invites British historian Andrew Roberts to the White House, and Roberts dines with Bush, Vice President Cheney and Karl Rove. Bush has read Roberts' A History of the English Speaking Peoples since 1900, a book that celebrates "Shouldering the White Man's Burden."

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