Category:May 14, 2008

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Queen Elizabeth, UK head of state, visits Turkey

Queen Elizabeth II, the UK head of state, recently arrived in Turkey. She said in a speech made on arrival that she was "delighted to be back in Turkey more than 36 years after our last visit of which we have many happy memories."

Her Majesty continued, "here in 1971, I remarked on the tremendous achievement of Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in guiding this country of rich and ancient traditions along a course towards a modern, enlightened and democratic state."

The Queen praised Turkey for its efforts on democracy. "One could hardly have imagined then the further strides that Turkey would take to become today's confident and dynamic democracy. In this new century, we can celebrate the links between our two countries [Turkey and the UK] as being stronger than ever."

Bomb destroys Spanish police barracks and kills policeman in Basque Country

A car bomb car exploded today at 3:00 AM CEST (UTC+2) in the Basque town of Legutiano, near the barracks of the Spanish paramilitary police Guardia Civil. A policeman died and 4 more were injured. The Basque separatist group ETA was blamed for this attack by authorities, but no one has claimed responsibility yet.

The dead man was in a small surveillance building near the barracks, which were both destroyed by the bomb van. Four more people, two men and two women, were injured, one of them seriously. There were more than 40 people in the barracks at the moment of the blast.

Chinese earthquake: Death toll reaches almost 15,000 as 'dangerous' cracks found in dam near city

Officials say the death toll in the recent earthquake in China has reached almost 15,000. The news comes as 2,000 of the nation's troops were dispatched to the Zipingku Dam to repair "extremely dangerous" cracks in the structure, which is upriver from Dujiangyan City, already severely hit by the disaster.

It is feared the toll will rise much further as 60,000 people are missing after the 7.9 magnitude quake in Sichuan let entire towns "razed to the ground" with no buildings standing, according to officials in the area. At one destroyed school 178 children were found dead after the building collapsed while they slept inside it. A second school at Wudu, twenty miles from the epicentre behind the White Cloud Mountain, has 130 dead children and 150 more still buried and feared dead.