After last year’s war between Russia and Georgia, which left at least 250 people dead and parts of Georgia in ruin, both countries were eager to point the finger of blame at one another for starting the conflict. On Wednesday, an independent investigating team issued a highly anticipated report saying that neither country can escape fault.
A small plane crashed outside Muncie, Indiana, as military F-16s trailed it Wednesday after its pilot failed to respond to radio calls, the North American Aerospace Defense Command said. “The conflict is rooted in a profusion of causes comprising different layers in time and actions combined,” said the report from the Independent International Fact-Finding Mission on the Conflict in Georgia.
Australia’s Cadel Evans finally landed one of cycling’s big prizes as he claimed the world road race championship title in Switzerland on Sunday. Evans escaped a whittled down leading group on the final climb of the marathon 262.2 kilometer test to cross the line 27 seconds clear of the chasers.
Thomas Voeckler won the fifth stage of the Tour de France as Lance Armstrong remained in second place in the overall standings behind Switzerland’s Fabian Cancellara. It was a hugely popular victory for one of the heroes of French cycling, who had been part of a six-man breakaway group for much of the 196.5 km stage from Cap d’Agde to Perpignan. The 30-year-old Bouygues Telecom rider achieved cult status when he held the yellow jersey for ten days in the 2004 Tour de France and used his experience to good effect in the closing moments on Wednesday
NATO and Russia have agreed to restart their military relationship, nearly a year after it had been frozen over the war in Georgia, the top NATO official said on Saturday. “The NATO-Russia Council is up and running again also at the political level,” said NATO Secretary- General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, speaking at a meeting of ministers in Corfu, Greece. Russia is not a member of NATO but is a member of the NATO-Russia Council, formed in 2002.
Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili vowed Friday to remain in office until his term ends, defying calls by anti-government protesters that he step down. Up to 60,000 demonstrators took to the streets Thursday, issuing a 24-hour ultimatum to Saakashvili to resign. The protesters blame the president for leading the country into a brief war with Russia last year over the breakaway province of South Ossetia, and plunging it into a political crisis
Local favorite Stijn Devolder retained his Tour of Flanders title under clear blue skies on Sunday, powering away from his rivals for a comfortable victory in the 261.5km spring classic in northern Belgium.