Additional UK troops

LONDON: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he is sending hundreds more British troops to Afghanistan, raising the authorised force level to 9,500. The Ministry

of Defence says there are about

9,000 soldiers in Afghanistan, although the number fluctuates.

The ministry earlier put the number at about 9,150 British troops Brown says the increase is conditional

upon other allies bearing their

share. Britain has the second-largest force in Afghanistan after the

United States. — AP

Interpol on pirates

SINGAPORE: Pirates operating off the coast of Somalia are being controlled by crime syndicates, including foreigners lured by the multi-million-dollar ransoms, Interpol and other officials said on Wednesday. The pirates have also acquired sophisticated weapons and tracking devices allowing them to extend their reach, they added. “It is organised crime,” said Jean-Michel Louboutin, executive director of police services at Interpol, the France-based global police organisation. The presence of an international armada to police the pirate-infested Gulf of Aden, off Somalia, is not enough to solve the problem, Louboutin and other officials said. — AFP

Hillary gets candid

WASHINGTON: US secretary of State Hillary Clinton reiterated on Wednesday that she was not interested in another run for the US presidency. In an interview earlier this week Clinton answered “no” when asked if she would ever run for president again. “I did say that,” Clinton told ABC. “I have absolutely no interest in running for president again.” Clinton said she feels she has had “the most amazing life” in public service. — AFP

Rising hunger

NAIROBI: The world has failed to reduce hunger over the past decades, a survey released on Wednesday said “Twenty-nine countries around the world have alarming or extremely alarming levels of hunger, and 13 countries have actually seen increases in hunger levels since 1990,” according to the Global Hunger Index report. The report showed that Democratic Republic of Congo scored the worst, followed by Burundi, Eritrea, Sierra Leone, Chad and Ethiopia. — AFP