Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iran on Fire

Justin Lynch

Things are getting heated in Iran. It's highly improbable Ahmadinejad won with 62% of the vote, so there are now riots throughout the country.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Senate Passes Bill to Let FDA Regulate Tobacco

A bill just went through the senate that will greatly change the Tobacco Industry. There will be more graphic warnings of the risks of their habit every time they pick up a pack. The law also bans most cigarette flavorings. Some new restrictions are aimed at preventing children from starting to smoke. Cherry and other fruit flavorings that appeal to children will be banned, along with marketing aimed at younger smokers, such as the use of Joe Camel and other cartoon characters. Obama has ensured he will sign it and it is going through the House today.

By Derek Sturn

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

HR Violation in North Korea

Current human rights issue comes from women being sold to men in China after fleeing from North Korea. The women defectors have fled their North Korean homes for China, but are met with different problems after crossing the border. They are not legally allowed to claim citizenship, and are being sold as wives to farmers across China. Often after running away from their 'husbands', these women have been returned to the North Korean government and sentenced to years in labor camps and tortured by police officials. The women involved in this have stated their wish to express their abuse to President Obama. 
By: Caroline Cristman

Shuttle set for next week

The space shuttle Endeavor is planned to launch this weekend from Florida's Kennedy Space center. The flight, going to the international space station, is said to last for sixteen days and is being utilized for construction to bring a last piece of platform to attach to the Japanese Kibo laboratory. The seven member crew and shuttle are set to lunch with an 80 percent assurance rating of the event taking place this weekend. 
By: Caroline Cristman

Chrysler production shift

Chrysler has begun the daunting task of overhauling the company to overcome bankruptcy. The company has recently joined themselves with Fiat and has stated that they will instead work on releasing smaller, fuel efficient vehicles in the future. However, the automaker has been estimated at not releasing the newer line for years to come. The company is estimated to recover from bankruptcy by removing up to 25 percent of their current dealerships. 
By: Caroline Cristman

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

First Trial for Guantanamo Prisoner

Ahmed Ghailani has been transported to New York for his first civil court hearing. Ghailani was imprisoned at Guantanamo under suspicion of being involved in the U.S. Embassy bombing in East Africa. He is facing 286 counts in his trial and has been a prisoner at Gitmo since 2006.  Some of his charges include being a conspirator working for Al-Qaeda and a personal body guard for Osama Bin Laden. 

His case is part of President Obama's effort to start closing down Gitmo- one of Obama's campaign promises.  Experts say this case is an important trial run for Obama's plan to shut down Gitmo.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Young Boy's Death Excites Anger at the Local Government

by Claire Zvolanek

The Bangalore city government is in deep trouble with its citizens after a young boy drowned during a heavy storm after he was swept into an
uncovered storm drain.  The boy, named Abishek, disappeared into the drain earlier last week and as of Friday his body had not been found.  The Bangalore government placed blame on the boy's mother for not keeping a better eye on her son, but that statement has roused anger among the population.  In a city where the living conditions are obviously low, this event could be a rending catalyst in the society.

An elderly man was also swept into an open storm drain during a heavy rain.  He died five days before Abhishek drowned.

Africa's Longest Serving Ruler Dies

By Stephanie Gesselle
On Monday morning Africa’s longest serving ruler died. Gabon’s President Omar Bongo, the country’s prime minister suffered from cardiac arrest at a hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Bongo took office in 1967. This was seven years after the countries independence from France. He was the first to impose a one- party rule and later allowed multi party elections but retained control through his party. Bongo had been receiving treatment for intestinal cancer at the Quiron clinic in Barcelona. Earlier that morning officials refuted claims of Bongo’s death, however reports were passed later to Gabonese officials. A 30 day public mourning period is being honored in the country.

New Orleans Mayor Quarantined in China

By Stephanie Gesselle
On Sunday, The Mayor of New Orleans was quarantined in China. The New Orleans Mayor flew to China for an economic trip. According to reports, the plane was carrying a passenger with the H1N1 virus. Mayor Ray Nagin was traveling with his wife and a member of his security and was seated next to a passenger who was exhibiting symptoms of the virus. After arriving in Shanghai, the three were quarantined although all of them appeared to be symptom free. According to authorities “the mayor is being treated with the utmost courtesy by Chinese officials.” There has been no indication how long the quarantine will last.

Couple Accused of Spying for Cuba- High Profile Case

By Claire Zvolanek

In the news on June 5th ,2009 NPR reported on a couple accused of spying for the Cuban governement for over thirty years.  The article does not discuss any of the proof and/or evidence being brought against the couple except that there was a covert operation to get them to confess by a government official who was undercover. The article mentions only "court documents say..." while offering no insight into what exactly is going on with the case.  Needless to say this will be a high profile case, and I'm sure the nation will be waiting to see how it plays out.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

North Korea arrests 2 US journalists

North Korea has sentenced 2 American journalists to 12 years hard labor for supposedly entering the country illegally. North Korea seems determined to continue to poke at the US to try to bring about a reaction. What kind of reaction it wants is unclear. It would seem though that North Korea wishes to poke at the US, and the world in general, in an attempt to shore up domestic support for the change in leadership that may be imminent. This follows in the wake of the second nuclear test and the further testing of medium and long range missiles. The question still remains; what does North Korea want?

by Andrew Horton

Arnold is ready to terminate welfare and other state programs in CA

by sunny singh

This pretty much fail miserably and I hope no other states will end up like them. After reading though the article I think most of it is great, except for the old people medical cuts and healthcare for children, or anyone considered a minor should be a must. When the bad eggs are mixed with the good ones, most of us will consider them all bad. There are people that truly need government help but the problem is too many people abuse it. What seems interesting is I see no cuts in politicians,

Netanyahu to Outline Talks

by: salma Bawazir

This article is talking about how the Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Finally is going to talk to the Palestinian government is the next two week. This decision was after President Barak Obama put pressure on him about the creation of the Palestinian State. Obama asked Israel to stop expanding in the Palestinian land, and refused the Israel’s reason which says that they are doing this because of the national growth. I think Israel is not happy because of that and specially after the speech that Obama gave in Cairo. However they will have to do what the United States ask them to do, because they are their biggest supporter and Israel needs them right now especially with the threat that they get from Iran and their nuclear weapon.

N. Korea could return to terror list

By: Salma Bawazir
This article is talking about how Obama’s administration might put North Korea back on the terrorist list. This is because of the recent tests that North Korea is doing. These tests including nuclear weapons, and long distance missiles. The decision was also because North Korea is refusing the negotiation with any country about their nuclear weapon. I believe this is would be a first step against North Korea, and more actions will be on the way if North Korea going to keep in going with their tests. North Korea should have better strategies to improve its army skills, because the strategy they are following now will end up and a war with most of the powerful countries

U.S. Weighs Intercepting North Korean Shipments

Posted by Justin Bresolin

In an effort to halt North Korea's nuclear efforts, the United States is, possibly with China's assistance, seeking for ways in which to intercept North Korean Air/Sea shipments suspected of transporting nuclear technology or weapons. Evidently in response to North Korea's recent nuclear test, the US administration is not only seeking to have North Korea returned to the list of terrorist-sponsoring states, but to potentially ally with nations such as China to allow them to interdict shipments travelling to/from ports and airports in these countries. Such an action would require China to undertake such actions themselves under domestic law, something that US administrative officials have been pressing for the country to do.This new approach is indicative of a far more aggressive approach to the North Korea problem than the previous two US presidents have undertaken, and this is made more significant by President Obama's decision to no longer provide incentives toward NK's deproliferation, now convinced that the country's goal is to be recognized as a nuclear state, and that no amount of dealings will change that. Regardless, Obama is still willing to pursue six-party talk measures.
This development raises some interesting issues regarding North Korea's future. Presuming that the interdiction efforts go through, the risk of direct confrontation between the two countries rises. It also raises the issue of what direction US diplomatic action will take with East Asian nations, China in particular, and how the US will establish itself in their eyes.

Five U.S contractors held in slaying of another in Iraq

By: Kelsey Gierzynski
According to CNN a contractor and his son have been arrested in Iraq in connection to the death of another contractor. There was also an arrest of another person who is believed to have information about the killing. While they have not been charged yet these men have been in custody for three days. When they raided the house they found several guns, in the suspects house. This all happened in what is known as the Green zone. The body of Kitterman was found in the district that was called the International Zone. If these men are convicted and tried it will be the first case where U.S citizens to go on trial in Iraq since the government was handed back over to them.

As Elections Loom

In Iran, the presidential elections have reached their final week. President Ahmadinejad has been met with harsh criticisms with the way he has not only attacked some of the other candidates, but also his attacks on people close to them, such as the wife of his biggest rival in the elections, Mr. Mir Hussein Moussavi. President Ahmadinejad has accused Moussavi's wife of not falling proper protocal when entering Grad School, but what this attack really amounted to was him saying woman had no right to try and become intellectuals. Meanwhile, this election is being seen as something new to Iran, because the President has leveled charges against his running mates he has also paved the way for Iranian citizens to question his authority, and as such more and more young men and woman are becoming vocal. Some in the political system of Iran have stated that this Election may make restricted speech more difficult, because if the President isn't being held accountable for the words he speakes, then the citizens do not think it is right for them to be held accountable. This election is going to be very important to watch because not only does it impact Irans future Diplomatic ties with the rest of the world, it also will signal in the attitudes of the Iranian public towards their Supreme Leader.

More for the debate on healthcare

From Brianna Howell

"Unless you're a Warren Buffett or Bill Gates, you're one illness away from financial ruin in this country," --Steffie Woolhandler, M.D., of the Harvard Medical School

A new study reported by Harvard's Medical School reports that an estimated 60% of bankruptcies have come as a result of health care issues, in one form or another. There are three main ways health care funding resulted in bankruptcies. 1) Having more than $5,000 (or over 10% of annual income) in medical bills, 2) Mortgaging of homes in an attempt to pay for medical bills and 3) Loss of income due to time taken off of work because of illness. Interestingly enough, 78% of the people who filed medical-related bankruptcies had health insurance but still had significant amounts to pay for in co pays or "uncovered services". Critics say that this study is misleading because it may have overestimated the number of medical bankruptcies, but at the same time it underestimates the financial burden that health care expenses have placed on families--even if they have not filed for bankruptcy.

Although I am certain the debate over health care will continue for years to come, I think that this study proves that reform of some sort is necessary.

Mexican Army and Gunmen

By: Almas Khan

In the Mexican resort town of Acapulco, the Mexican Ministry of defense said that eighteen people have died in a gun battle. The gun battle was between the Mexican army and organized crime suspects. The soldiers went to Avenida Rancho Grande in Acapulco to get information when the suspects started shooting. In the shooting two soldiers were killed, 16 gunmen were killed and nine soldiers were wounded. The authorities seized 36 large-caliber weapons, 13 small-caliber weapons, two grenade launchers, 13 fragmentation grenades, 3,525 rounds of various caliber ammunition, 180 charges and eight vehicles. Also with all the weapons five men were arrested.

U.S. Thinking of Restoring N. Korea to Terror List

Matt Boguslawski

In past weeks and months N Korea has been acting in a way not acceptable by the rest of the international community. Actions ranging from putting missiles into flight and setting off bombs. Many speculate this is due to the lagging health of Kim Jong-Il, and him allowing the milatary to do as they please as long as his son is able to succeed him. Due to these actions, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton has threatened to put N Korea on the list of terrorists. If this is to happen US and N Korean relations are bound to go nowhere but south. In my opinion it is important to make sure that diplomacy is the course of action when dealing with N Korea, whereas actions such as these can lead once again to war.

For China-U.S. Talks on Climate, Issues Old and New

By Mike Woodard
Global warming is here and its not something new to anyone. Everyone has heard at least theory of it and most believe it to be something that is worth being worried about. China and the United States are the two largest greenhouse gas emitting countries in the world and are trying to come up with a policy to help save the future of our world. Both countries wants the other to agree on making a policy that will greatly reduce the amount of greenhouse gases allowed to be emitted, but at the same time, both countries are having a hard time making it a policy themselves. The United States have started policies, but all of them are far short of what China and other countries expect. Making a limit on the emission of greenhouse gases is a hard thing to do for both China and the United States because both countries are struggling financially and really cannot afford to make cuts. The time is running out with a meeting to replace the Kyoto Protocol. Both countries will need to be able to have strong policies. Together, China and the United States put out 40% of the greenhouse gases. A strong reduction in these numbers could slow the process of global warming tremendously.

Conservatives come up big in EU elections

Justin Lynch

In what might be heartening to conservatives here, in European elections today conservatives are doing well.

Australia and Coal Energy

by Patrick Whelan

When people thinks of the worlds greatest exporter of dirty polluting coal energy, they think of the mountains of West Virgina and Kentucky or some mountain in an eastern European country. However, the worlds leading exporter of Coal is in the sunny and vast continent of Australia. The nation started mining for coal in 1797, less than a decade after the first arrivals on the continent. Today, the nation gets 83 percent of its energy from coal. The Economist online magazine published an article entitled Coal form Newcastle which discusses that there is an ongoing debate throughout the continent about the role coal should play in the future of Australia.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd has recently pushed through legislation to deal with global warming, which will impact the coal industry on the continent. Prime Minister Rudd hopes to push through legislation on global warming before he heads to the Global Climate conference in Copenhagen in December of this year, but it will be difficult. The bill plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 5 percent of 2000 levels by 2020, and maybe even 25 percent depending on the world-wide response to fighting global warming. The prime minister also wants to install a cap and trade system throughout Australia's industry. The bill on global warming has received criticism from both the right and left in Australian politics.

The right call Prime Minister Rudd's bill "employment-termination scheme," while the left believe that the 25 percent cut in emissions by 2020 should be a minimum instead of a maximum cut to fight global warming. Whatever politicians argue, a poll by the Climate Institute found that 77 percent of people polled were worried about climate change. Prime Minister Rudd might risk his administration on this bill due to the commitment he made to fight global warming by calling for early election if does not pass the Senate later this month. It appears that the continent will soon decide whether to stick with the resources it has been using for over 200 hundred years or break away from tradition and attempt to combat global warming and go into a new direction for the continent.

Burning Day Care

By: Michelle Cole

In this article from, it talks parents being desperate to save their children from a childcare center that was on fire in a Mexican city. The article says that one door was locked shut, and the windows were too high for the children to be able to climb out of, so many of the children were not able to escape. When parents rushed to the daycare center and saw it on fire, some of them tried to run their car into the building to create an escape route for any survivors. One truck was able to break down one wall, which may have helped to save a few lives by giving the children another way out of the burning building. The article sites smoke inhalation, not burns, as the cause of death for the 41 victims, but many of the survivors were badly burned. Many of the children being rushed to nearby hospitals had burns on 75-80% of their bodies, and many of the children were 4 or under.

More Bodies Found on Air France Flight

By: Peter Fribert

More sad news about the Air France flight as more and more bodies are now being found along with debris of the plane.

Three more bodies were found Sunday from the crash of an Air France plane off the coast of Brazil nearly a week ago, according to Brazilian officials said. More bodies could be seen and could be recovered within hours, they added. The bodies recovered are being confirmed as passengers on board the Air France flight 447. Bodies and debris from the aircraft will be taken to the coastal city of Recife for formal identification and forensic examination. The total number of bodies now recovered from the Air France crash is now at 5.

The United States Navy is offering high tech devices to help search for the plane's emergency beacon that can help determine the location of more parts of the plane, possibly the blackbox. These devices can pick up beacons at a maximum depth of 20,000 feet.
President Obama’s Speech
BY: Abedaslam Ayesh

President Obama received warm applause when he mentioned in his sweeping speech that the United States would be withdrawing all of its troops from Iraq by the end of 2012 and leave Iraq to Iraqis. “For the first time in my life, I’m watching a president telling the truth, especially an American president,” said another man, Nabil Abdul Hussein, a 32-year-old computer engineer. “I wish Arab leaders were educated and attractive like Obama”.
I believe the US withdrawal from Iraq would be a disaster and would create and lead to civil war and a clash of national and religious movements. The one thing that is unfortunately recognized of Saddam Hussien was that he contained and control the state of Iraq unfortunately his method was inhuman. The various groups Kurds in the north, shite muslims that account for over 60% , and the sunni muslims 20% are going to fight it out till the last man standing.

The US must analysis and access the withdrawal.

Obama's speech draws mixed reviews in Middle East

by: Salma bawazir
Obama’s speech address was with Palestinians and Israeli officials. Whereas Jewish group were upset because Obama spoke against settlement activity, it has found problems with the speech. The Hamas has mixed or negative views. The government of Israel articulated "hope that this important speech in Cairo will indeed lead to a new period of reconciliation between the Arab and Muslim world and Israel.”
Obama’s hope is that the American effort proclaims the beginning of a new time that will carry about an end to the disagreement and direct to Arab acknowledgment of Israel as the homeland of the Jewish people, living in peace and security in the Middle East," it said.
Lebanese Elections
BY: Abedaslam Ayesh

The contested parliamentary election has been described as a showdown between Iranian and American influence in the Middle East. The elections for the 128-seat Lebanese Parliament will decide which of two broad political blocs will win the power to build the next government — either a coalition led by the Shiite militant group Hezbilallah and its allies from a prominent Christian party, aligned with Iran and Syria, or a bloc of primarily Sunni, Druze and Christian parties aligned with the West and Saudi Arabia.
It is expected to be a close race, with political analysts saying that as few as seven seats may decide the outcome of the contest. With the race so close, and the districts so small, political analysts said that the outcome could come down to rampant vote-buying efforts by politicians across the spectrum.
Three groups of election monitors have been deployed, including former Preside Jimmy Carter’s organization. But even before the race began, it was marred by charges of unprecedented vote buying. In the most contested districts there were reports of votes being bought for as much as $2,000, and thousands of expatriate Lebanese received all expense paid trips to Lebanon to vote. The election, however, seemed less about the immediate management of the state than about its future identity, many political analysts said. Because Lebanon remains chronically divided and deeply in debt, political analysts said that they expected that no matter who wins, to preserve stability there will have to be a national unity government where the minority has a blocking veto, just as it does now.
I believe the US has to gain control over Lebanon because of it’s history of conflict and breeding ground of terrorism it must be contained and eventually eradicated (terrorism).

US and China Talk Environmental Issues

Patrick Larson

The two leaders in today’s bilateral society, China and the United States got together to discuss the future on the World environment. I am in no way shape or form an environmentalist, but I believe that when the two largest emitters of greenhouse gases are beginning to discuss a solution to the global warming issue, it is a step in the right direction. The problems our World is going to reach in the next few years in terms of Oil, trash space, and climate change are all things today’s World leaders need to take seriously.

Obama's Islam speech

by sunny singh

I believe Americans have been deeply damaged by the acts of terrorism so as the Muslim who does not agree with terrorism. I personally think is great how president Obama is improving the American’s public image around the world. Obama is addressing all Muslims, by reaching Muslims in power, would go a long way to getting these Muslims to address their own terrorist problems. Which helps everyone, there could be much more done from within the region by those who control the region than us trying to get control over their country. Obama’s speech has certainly increased the world support on the fight against terrors.

North Korea: Terrorists?

Madeline Moton

Reports from BBC news state that the U.S is considering reinstating North Korea in the list of states considered to sponsor terrorism and terrorists. This aciton could have drastic effects on the already tense relationship between North Korea and the international system as a whole. The article stated that North Korea was removed from the list on October of 2008 after it began disarming and disabling a nuclear reactor, but has recently begun carrying out nuclear testing.

The question on everyone's mind is why did North Korea decided to declare to the entire international community that it conducted nuclear testing. Many answers are that it is a method of scare tactics to inform other states, especially the U.S that they are not backing down and are also developing nuclear weapons. The fault in this however it that it has not work to North Korea's advantage.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton however are quite reluctant to put North Korea back into the list, and are being very cautious on their actions. This could be because of the president's new tactic of soft power and emphasis on communication, but it seems to be a singal to Americans and other states that the U.S government does not know what to do with this issue. It could also be that they do not want to jump too quickly to comclusions and say that North Korea has nuclear weapons, when they really do not. The evidence however seems too overwhelming, so we will now all just have to wait and see what decision the Obama administration decides to do.

Some militants respond positively to Obama speech

By Adham Nemeh

This article is talking about President Obama’s speech in Cairo. Obama tried to make the relation ship between the Muslim world and the United States better. It is talking about how he mentioned some stuff from Quran in his speech and how he was very positive which people liked a lot about his speech. I believe such a speech will make the relationship between the Muslims in the Middle East and the United States a lot better, and it is considered at the first step in a better relation ship. Even though some Muslims thinks that United States keep in promising but never did anything, but at least it gave the hope for most of Muslim for better future. I believe Obama in his speech was very professional and both sides will benefits of better relationship.

Al Bashir visits Zimbabwe Defying ICC Warrant

By: Katie Pfefferle

Saturday, June 6, Omar Al Bashir was welcomed to Zimbabwe and visited with the Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe. Al Bashir is the first sitting head of state to be indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The ICC has issued a warrant for his arrest. Bashir has been charged with the genocide of the ethnic African rebels in Darfur which has left approximately 300,000 dead. Bashir is visiting Zimbabwe as a part of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa summit. He was invited by the economic group's departing chair, Kenya. The economic summit is meant to address the deteriorating situation of Zimbabwe.

Bashir’s visit is a yet another defiant act against the warrant which he has denounced as an attempt by Western powers to recolonize Sudan. Bashir has made dozens of visits to African and Arab nations since the warrant was issued. Moreover, Zimbabwe is not one of the 108 nations that ratified the statute creating the ICC. Ratifying nations would be required to arrest Al Bashir. In fact, the warrant has been rejected by many African states and by the Arab League.

In the meantime Zimbabwean Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai is visiting Western nations in an attempt to end Western isolation of Zimbabwe and raise aid for his distraught country. Tsvangirai has claimed he was unaware of Bashir’s visit. Yet the visit may alienate Western states and decrease their willingness to help.

The visit also illustrates a cultural divide over the ICC. Nearly all Middle Eastern states and many African states don’t recognize the authority of the ICC. As demonstrated by this visit, the lack of recognition by some states of the ICC allows international criminals such as Bashir to go unpunished. These non-member states see the ICC as a western dominated organization. The international community needs to somehow illustrate that some crimes are universal and not subject to the criticisms of cultural relativism.

S.Korea makes plans to counter North missile: report

By Adham Nemeh

This article is talking about how South Korea made a plane to counter North Korea missile. This is happened after North Korea kept in doing weapons tests which most of the world do not like. Also this was as a result of what North Korea announced. The socialist North ramped up tensions by war threats, missile launches and a nuclear test. that result in raising the military alarm for United States and South Korea. I think is issue start becoming more serious, and that’s because North Korea are not stopping their test and they keep in doing illegal trails. I believe the best North Korea can do now is negotiate with the United States to fix this problems and make deal between both of them. Because United States is waiting now but they might not wait in the future and the possibility if military respond to North Korea is raising everyday.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

US Vows to Stop Rewarding North Korea

In an address made by President Obama at an event commemorating D-Day, he said that America is going to take a hard look at how it can respond to North Korea's most recent provocative actions but will not continue to "reward" its aggressive actions. The UN Security Council is discussing punishments like increased sanctions and ship searches and wants the involved countries to begin participating as soon as possible. North Korea continued to warn South Korea against taking any action that could be deemed threatening as they would respond with strong force.
By Nathan Rutz

Criminals seeking Al-Quaeda support?

Many times terrorists have been called criminals, but to a lesser extent have they actually performed criminal acts that would fall within most of the worlds idea of a domestic profit incentive crime. Probably the most visible criminal acts of the terrorist groups would be opium production and distribution and money laundering.

The Sahara wing of Al-Quaeda seems to be trying to also cut done on it being called criminal and begin to be a true Jihad fighting group. The Sahara group has been since 2000 kidnapping foreigners and releasing them for ransom, similarly to the Somalian pirates. The possible lack of support from Al-Quaeda perhaps has prone them to execute some of those kidnap. The group has released a statement in which it it claims it has executed a kidnapped Briton. In the last year the group has also launched some attacks in Algeria killing a number of policemen.

It almost seems that a criminal group which most likely is keeping most of the ransom money for itself has lost some of its support from the real Al-Quaeda since the attack in 2008 and this was another proof of their commitment to the cause.


Lebanon Deals Hezbollah Blow as Moderates Hang On

By. Adnan Shaukat

Lebanon has held peaceful elections for major parliamentary elections in which many experts predicted that Hezbollah a Iran - Syria back group will gain majority. No, matter the outcome the military group has promised to "accept the results". Washington D.C. was not far behind from congratulating there western-backed ally often times considered a moderate country, which I find as a joke considering U.S forces (along with Govt. authorization) were shipping weapons to have Lebanon leveled, and then praising it for a sham democracy.

As to how the future of Lebanon will look is uncertain considering their is a trial in the International Court System asking the Hezbollah group to hand its leaders in for murder. What this election could mean is how much the govt. (that has won majority) could push the militant group to hand over leaders, accused of not just being murderers but also terrorists in the global war on terror.

My Grandparents were right! They ARE everywhere!

by megan smith

The communists have in fact infiltrated our high security systems, and wiggled their way into our hearts, and classified files! For over three decades a wonder couple were high level spies for the Cuban Government. Mr. Myers worked for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) and had access to numerous top secret documents which he was able to transfer to his superiors. Agents 202 and 123 first began their escapades in 1977. Not only is this embarrassing for the US government, but these two could face up to 35 years in jail! So make sure to watch your back, because those stories your crazy grandparents always told you are apparently right! The communists are everywhere!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

South Korea Won't Stand For It

By:Brionna Givens

South Korea president Lee Myung-bak stated on Saturday that he will not let North Korea use its recent nuclear and missile test to gain economic aid from other countries, such as the US. His exact words were "I would like to make it clear that there won't be any compromise". Many believe that North Korea is using the nuclear and missile test as a means to strengthen their position to talk to the US. The punishment for South Korea testing missile will be economic sanctions against the country. But many analysts believe that these sanctions will never work unless China also implements them. Also the South Korean military is ready for any possible attack from the North.

Mauritania Rivals Sign Agreement

By Katherine Brady

Military rulers and opposition leaders in Mauritania have signed a deal to end the country's political crisis and have agreed on a unity government. On August 6, 2008, a coup d'etat took place in Mauritania when President Sidi Mohamed Ould Cheikh Abdallahi was ousted from power by a group of high ranking generals that he had dismissed from office.

"The agreement that was sealed involves the resignation of Sidi Ould Sheikh Abdallahi, and the formation of a national unity government and a presidential election on July 18."

Flint's 'Window Dressing' Attack

By Mei Kin Chew

Former Europe Minister Caroline Flint is claiming that Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Gordon Brown is a sexist, practicing a two-tier government that excludes his female counterparts in the administration and only acknowledging certain people as his inner circle.

Ms Flint made the public sexism claim a day after praising Prime Minister Gordon Brown for his exceptional leadership and the pride she has for being a member of the Labour Party.

Extended version of Ms Flint's resignation later and a more thorough news report and article can be found at click here.

D.C. Couple Is Indicted on Charges of Spying for Cuba

By: Micah Bacheller
A couple that worked for the American state department was indicted on charges of spying for the Cuban government for the past 30 years. Walter and Gwendolyn Myers, both in their mid 70's, were arrested yesterday, just one day after Cuba was re-admitted to the OAS, which is trying to amend relations among the countries in the Americas. They were charged with conspiracy to act as illegal agents of the Cuban government. Just in his last year working at the state department, Mr. Myers had seen over 200 highly classified intelligence reports from Cuba. The FBI poised as being Cuban officials and caught the Myers in action.
This is extremely ironic, because it happens a day after Cuba is being re-integrated into the Americas political agenda. To think that there were (probably still are) Cuban agents and spy's lurking around looking for intelligence is pretty scary, even 20 years after the fall of the Soviet block. Hopefully with this new openness of the Cubans throughout America, there will be less spies to worry about.

Ex-State official, wife acused of spying for Cuba

Mark Adams

A 72 and 71 year old couple have recently been arrested for aiding the Cuban government illegally for almost 30 years. The husband was a ex-state official. The couple was charged for revealing secret information and also counts of fraud. The government was on to them after the husband retired but they let it go a little bit just to see how far they actually went with the crime before they took them down. Mr. Meyers was getting payed by the Cuban government and also recieved a large salary with his own govt job.

OAS Votes to Readmit Cuba After 47 Years

By: Micah Bacheller
The OAS (organization of American states) voted last Wednesday in Honduras to revoke the measure that in 1962 suspended communist Cuba from the block. Honduran president Zelaya said that the cold war is finally over in the Americas and this ushers in a new era of fraternity and tolerance.
This doesn't mean Cuba will have any say in the controversies and disputes among the body of the 34 different countries in the organization. Furthermore, Cuban officials keep saying they have no interest to become part again of an organization that they see is the puppet of the United States.
There was a consensus among all countries involved, even the United States to let Cuba be part of the OAS once again. Cuba was isolated from all of the countries in the Americas throughout the cold war. With the end of the cold war and most Latin American countries with leftist leaders, the relations with Cuba got a lot better. Now most of these countries have very good relations with Cuba.

Brazilian air force says debris was not from Air France crash

Aundrea Entrekin

slicks seen on the ocean were not from the plane, either, and that the quantity of oil exceeded the amount the plane would have carried. On Wednesday, searchers recovered two debris fields and had identified the wreckage, including an airplane seat and an orange float as coming from Flight 447. Officials now say that none of the debris recovered is from the missing plane.

This i believe creates a major question what plane ( or what in general) did crash there and when since the oil is still there when did it crash. ANd more importantly i where is this missing plane. I have seen other articles that state that the cause of the crash may have been because of a damaged airspeed indicators. 

UK forces "kill Taliban leader"

by sunny sinhg

One of the most active Taliban leaders in Afghanistan has been killed by the British forces. Mullah Mansur is believed to be directly involved of most suicide bombing which has killed many innocent civilians and our soldiers. Yes he is death but when will this war really ends? Even though Mansur is death but there will be hundreds other Taliban leaders after him and they are all going to follow exactly what he did, if not even worst. This might slow down their process and I hope we can actually put an end to this war. I am glad he’s dead but unfortunately, it does nothing to solve the problem of Islamic extremists. Hell we know there aren’t enough bullets in the world to fix the problem.

'human reality is what it is not, and it is not what it is'

By: Joe Kain
Original Article Here

A report from a U.N. special investigator calls for the resignation of high Kenyan officials such as the attourney general and police comissioner. The report accuses the Kenyan police of forming death squads under orders from senior police officials to elimate suspected crimnals and leaders. The report also called for the President of Nigeria to publically acknowledge committing himself to stopping unlawful killings of police in Nigeria.

Killing in Guinea-Bissau

by Jessica Goerke

Earlier this morning presidential candidate, Baciro Dabo, was shot in his home by unknown gunmen. Dabo had recently split from his party and started to run as an independent in the African country of Guinea-Bissau. The campaign for election was supposed to begin Saturday.

The election comes after the country's former president, Joao Bernardo "Nino" Vieira, was assassinated on March 2nd. It is not known what sparked the killing, but Dabo did serve as Vieira's interior minister.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

4 teens charged as adults in locker room sexual assault case

By Latoyia Kimbrough

According to an article on the CNN webstie four teenage boys are being charged as audlts on 4 counts each of sexual battery after they raped and sodomized a 13-year old boy with sticks. The attacks occurred mulitple times over a two month period and there were many witnesses to the attacks but no one including the victim reported it. The incidents were finally reported when the victim and the boys got into a fight the gym teacher broke it up and then ask why they were fighting. The victim stated he was tired of them getting on him and then the school led an investigation into the fight. The defendants admitted that they had in fact sexually assualted the victim when they were questioned. The victim did not aknowledge the attacks until he was questioned about them. The defense attorney is arguing that these are good boys that have never been in trouble with the law. If convicted on all four counts these boys could face up to 120 year in prision.

Countrywide's Mozilo accused of fraud

Aundrea Entrekin

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday said it had filed securities fraud charges against former Countrywide Chief Executive Angelo Mozilo and two other former executives. The trio are being charged with deliberately misleading investors about the significant credit risk Countrywide took to build and maintain its market share. Mozilo was also charged with insider trading for selling his Countrywide stock for nearly $140 million in profits while knowing that Countrywide's business model was deteriorating. The SEC alleges that Mozilo, along with former COO and President David Sambol and former CFO Eric Sieracki, misled the market by falsely assuring investors that Countrywide was primarily a prime-quality mortgage lender.

My question about this is if a CEO can not sell their stocks based on the companies progress because it would be considered insider trading, why are there not rules saying when CEO's or other workers can sell their stocks or have someone over seeing the sale of these stocks.

Hong Kong holds Tiananmen vigil

By: Dan Dierdorff
With the 20th anniversary here BBC wrote an article about how China is handling the event. After 20 years still nine exiled students from Tianamen are still hoping for democracy in China. So much so 150,000 people in Hong Kong came out to celebrate. The authoritarian state of China barred any reporters from appearing at Tiananmen and are holding tight constraints on the vigils. This is important because this is stirring up many questions about Chinease leadership and what the people really want. It's these ideas that help spark up a change. The people and the exiled want an apology from the government for their actions, which is quite understandable. Overall it is exciting to see the stirring of ideas in China about what the people really want. Hopefully all goes well.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Obama visits Egypt

By Rachel Polster

President Obama is heading to Egypt to make an adress to Muslim world. Obama is the most popular American president in years in Egypt. However this region has had quite a long history of disappointment with the United States. There have been lots of pressures on dictators in the area and the Bush administration had a passion for Arab democracy. Egypt's powerful Islamist network, the Muslim Brotherhood made stunning gains in parliamentary elections in late 2005 and so the democratic push by the United States became less tense.

In another article, Al Qaeda issued an audio statement saying that the President is NOT welcome in Egypt. Ayman al-Zawahiri said that the relations between the United States and the Islamic world cannot be mended as long as the administration maintains its alliance with Israel. He also said that Obama had already made himself an enemy of Muslims by snending more soldiers to Afghanistan. It should be interesting to see how Obama presents himself to the Islamic world, and how they respond...

New Hampshire Governor Signs Gay Marriage Bill

Justin Moriarty

MSNBC has announced that Democrat governor John Lynch of New Hampshire has signed a gay marriage bill that will take full effect in January. New Hampshire is the 6th state to allow gay marriage in the United States. The bill passed by a vote of 198-176 in the state house and was signed by Lynch, who openly opposes gay marriage, on Wednesday. The question now is if other states will continue to follow this path. Massachusetts, Connecticut, Maine, Vermont and Iowa are among the other 5 states to already allow gay marriage. Will there ever be a day in this country or around the world when gay marriage is universally excepted? Only time will tell.

Even toy guns can stop classes

By Nial Maloney

Earlier today, students were asked to stay indoors and in class after reports of a man carrying a gun were submitted to police. But, it turns out that it was just four young children playing with their toy gun. These four young men were brought into custody after the University police called the New Jersey State Police. To me, nobody should even play with toy guns around a school after the past few years with all the school shootings.

The University has been reopened and the investigation still continues with Township police and Borough police. The notification that went out describes a young man with what appeared to be a shotgun near one of the dormitory buildings. The all-clear went out at 11:25 am local time and the school is pretty much back to normal. It's good to see how quickly police sprung to action after the reports after all the school shootings in the past few years and hopefully the man spotted was just one of the young men with a toy gun and not an actual shooter.

"...There's a phone in the White House and it's ringing."

From Brianna HowellThe Economist recently featured an article referring back to the wonderous days of 2008 democratic primaries-- Hillary Clinton's infamous "3 am" ad that aired February of 2007. The transcendent question from this ad asked viewers if there were to be an unexpected national emergency, who would you want to answer the phone call and take care of the situation? After almost half a year in office, has Obama proved that he is capable of handling this dreaded 3 am phone call?
The general consensus at the end of the article is that no one would be ready to answer that phone call with North Korea's recent escapades. Much debate still surrounds the issue of how to deal with North Korea. Some argue that revoking all aid from NKorea would teach it a lesson, while others argue that this would harm everyone except for the political elites who are causing all the trouble.
The article also says that Obama needs to be able to handle both the "mommy" and "daddy" problems of the international community. Mommy issues being appointing supreme court justices and the like. Daddy issues deal with defending the country... What an interesting way of putting it.

Israel Pushes Obama to Rethink Position on West Bank Settlements

Kurt Kamrath

Since he arrived in office, Barack Obama has been critical of Israel's continued expansion into the West Bank which was to be halted as one step to a path to peace outlined in an agreement in 2003. Israel is beginning to push back and are encouraging Obama to rethink his postion as the Israeli Defense Minister met with Obama's National Security Advisor yesterday. They have pointed to a 2004 letter from George Bush where implicit consent was given to continue building. Israel's Prime Ministher, Netanyahu, is unlikely to change the policy as he would likely lose support in his ruling coalition.

The attempt to preserve this policy appears to be driven by an attempt to strengthen relations with the US before Obama begins a trip to the Middle East. As Israel is trying to gain support for this more aggressive policy, they are backing away from some of the hostile rhetoric they've been using with regards to Iran. Netanyahu has said several times that Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, and he has been open to the possibility of force if necessary. Today while on a visit to Russia, the Israeli foreign minister said that Israel has no plans to bomb Iran, but he does maintain that the entire world is threatened by the prospect of a nuclear Iran.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Pat Tillman's Mother claims more lies from Lt. Gen. McChrystal

By Peter Fribert

The sad story of Pat Tillman still can't get resolved. Another story explains how the story of Pat Tillman's death continues to get worse and worse and gets even more painful to take as more information comes to light.

The mother of former NFL star Pat Tillman, who quit the NFL after 9/11 to serve in the US Army Rangers unit and died from friendly fire in 2004, gives the latest explanation for why Pat Tillman's Silver Star citation failed to mention that he was killed by friendly fire is another lie by the U.S. military. Lt. Gen. Stanley McChrystal told the Senate Armed Services Committee that he helped expedite the Silver Star award for Tillman before confirming that the Army corporal was killed by friendly fire in 2004. McChrystal acknowledged the problem Tuesday, calling it a mistake. He said the Silver Star citation was "not well-written" but denied any intent to mislead.

Such a remarkable story about the sacrifice Pat Tillman gave up to serve his country is now being remembered as one of the most tragic events in American history. I say tell the truth about the events and information on the death of Pat Tillman and recognize how he can be seen as an icon to many people across the country. In the NFL community, he is seen as a hero. Let's remember this hero in the respectful manner that his family dearly deserves.

Iraqi Gets Life for Killing Aid Worker in 2004

By Peter Fribert

On, A court found an Iraqi man guilty of kidnapping and killing a humanitarian worker in 2004 and sentenced him to life in prison Tuesday, Iraqi court officials said. Ali Lutfi Jassar al-Rawi was found guilty at Baghdad Central Criminal Court for the killing of Margaret Hassan, who was in charge of the operations in Iraq for Care International. The suspect, arrested in May 2008, was also found guilty of, get this, attempting to blackmail Hassan's family. Al-Rawi is the second person found guilty in connection with the Hassan death case. The other suspect was sentenced to life in prison in 2006, however the sentence was reduced on appeal, court officials said. Also noted, Hassan was seen in several hostage videos where she begged for her life and strongly urged British troops to withdraw from Iraq. Some suspect that she was threatened, point blank, with rifles aiming at her while she was speaking in the hostage videos.

Hassan was born in Ireland and had lived in Iraq for roughly 30 years before she was killed.

Tainted Truimph

The 26 year war between Sri Lanka and the Tamil Tigers is said to be in its "final phase" now. Sri Lanka's public is up in arms because of supposed double standards of war crimes, refusing to assist the suffering of the general society, and "vague assurances that it will tackle the grievances that have stoked the conflict." According to the author, if lasting peace is the goal all three of these complaints need to be fully taken care of. About 8,000 civilians were killed last year, according to the UN. War crimes like these need to somehow be addressed also. One of the first things that the government needs to do is assist the refugees with food, shelter, and medical care if necessary. This war may be in its "final phase," but it is still very much alive and has not ended yet. In the mean time, Sri Lanka's president has already made his vicotry speech.
By: Jill Prendeville

Suicide is not possible

by megan smith

Muhammad Ahmad Abdallah Salih is said to have "killed himself" recently at Guantanamo, Cuba. Quite honestly, this has got to be lies. There is no way I can believe a person would be able to kill them self under such tight supervision. I recently read a book titled "My Guantanamo Diary" which is a compilation of true accounts from a young lawyer who acted as a translator for the many other lawyers working of Gitmo detainee cases. She outlines several encounters, and one of the topics she talks about is suicide attempts. Within her experience, she has a client who attempts suicide 4 times, all of them unsuccessful due to the extreme measures taken at surveillance. So basically, I don't buy it that this man 'killed himself', in addition, I would suggest giving this book a read.

WHO considers move to pandemic phase 6 for H1N1 virus

By Stephanie Gesselle

The World Health Organization is still considering increasing the alert level of the H1N1 or swine flu. The flu is currently labeled as a Phase 5 but now with the rise in cases, the global community is considering increasing the alert level to a Phase 6. According to WHO’s Assistant Director General, Dr Keiji Fukuda "As this continues to spread internationally, some countries are moving from isolated to sustained community spread." Phase 6 is the highest level on the WHO pandemic alert system and would mean the virus is a global pandemic. However, Dr. Fukuda suggests that the severity of the disease itself is less severe than a Phase 6 label would suggest. The level of fatal cases is limited and although H1N1 is wide spread, we cannot measure precisely how many have been affected by the disease. The last reported statistics concluded that over 19,000 cases had been reported in 64 countries. Of these there have been nearly 117 deaths.

Maybe Pinky and the Brain could have suceeded if they were living today

by Sarah Richardson

So this isn't breaking news about N. Korea shooting off another missile, but important none the less. I was looking for something good to blog about when i clicked on this story just because I thought it might be funny. However, it sparked some thought about the discussion we'd had in class last week about the internet and the growing power of the individual.

How do you feel about chasing down your lunch? Talk about fast food on the run. This taco truck came up with a new product (a mix of Mexican and Korean dishes), they found a market, and they market themselves on twitter. They don't have to pay for a building space, people to clean up, advertising, nothing. Their hours are inconsistent and so is their location, frequent updates are made on twitter and their is always a line waiting when the truck arrives. There have even been you tubers who follow the truck as a game and rappers who have included it in their songs. The business started in November and now they are already considering expanding to new York. The risks that were once associated with starting a new business are diminishing day by day as the possibilities of the Internet expand.

They aren't the only ones. Souja Boy has become a platinum recording artist via the internet. He produces, writes, and distributes all his music on the internet without a middle man and he started when he was only 16. Facebook was started as a college project and now the prime minister of France's private life is followed by thousands of french youth on the social network. The internet is a powerful resource and the powers of the individual are growing exponentially.

UK's Search and Destroy on Taliban

by James Hoffman

A band of British soldiers successfully took out Mullah Mansur, one of Taliban's most dangerous leaders. Mansur was leader of a Taliban group in Helmund, which is precisely where British Apache helicopters gunned him down Monday. Supposedly, Mansur was said to be responsible for three significant attacks one was back in March, the other two were May 7th and 11th. In the process of these three attacks alone it is estimated that nearly one hundred people were killed and another fifty injured. Victims included Afghan police and civilians. Needless to say UK's precise srike attach was successful in eliminating a dangerous Taliban threat.

S Asia hunger 'at 40-year high'

Posted by Alli Lewis

A UN report says hunger in South Asia has reached its highest level in 40 years because of food and fuel price rises and the global economic downturn. Unicef is urging the government to increase social spending. The report given threw out facts like 1.2 billion people live on less than $2 a day and that women and children are most affected. The article also goes into what factors are contributing to this problem.
Another horrible problem made worse by the economic recessions around the world.

Obama wants Peace!

By: Liz Hasseld

President Barack Obama in an interview with bbc expressed that he believes the US can get serious Middle East peace negotiations back on track. He wants to see progress with Iran by the end of the year."But he said, rather than imposing its values on other countries, the US should act as a role model." He expressed concern for Israel and Palestine, he explained that it would be in everyone's interest to get peace negotiations through. On Iran so called 'nuclear weapon development' Obama stated, that it would be in the worlds interest for Iran to set that project aside.

Obama is Traveling to Saudi Arabia on Wednesday, This will be his first stop in a tour of the Middle East and Europe. He has a planned speech in Egypt, which is being critizied heavily becuase of Egypt's shady past with political freedom. Obama responded with, "while there were "obviously" human rights issues to address in some Middle Eastern countries, the job of the US was not to lecture but to encourage"

I think the president really does belive strongly in diplomacy and if he does all that he says he plans to do the world is really going to benifit! I really appreciate how he reconized that the US cannot impose our cultures on other. I think he really has a handle on things.

Monday, June 1, 2009

As Summer Comes Round, the Flip-Flops Emerge

by Bri Roozen
Today, former Vice-President Cheney came out and voiced his opinion that Saddam Hussien has absolutely nothing to do with 9/11. Seriously. So then, whats the reason behind going to war with Iraq? According to him, its because in the past Hussien has sponsered terrorists and allowed them to plan their...terrors, in Iraq. This was obviously a huge threat to America, because Al Queda might have been hiding in Iraq along with all of those weapons of mass destruction.

So what gives Cheney? Why come out and spill the proverbial beans now, when this is seemingly done and over with? Well, part of his speech was used to illustrate how all the things done in Guantanimo were really A Ok. And everything done during the war was to keep America safe.

Has the show LOST come to life?

By: Erica McCauley

An Air France passenger jet disappeared in flight over the Atlantic Ocean on Sunday Night. Speculations say that it lost control during an electrical storm. President Nicolas Sarkozy has publicly stated that the search with be hard, but the French Government has commenced a search to find this passenger jet. Flying from Rio de Janeiro to Paris, the flight was holding nearly 228 passengers. About three and half hours into their flight, a radio call was transmitted to the Air-France base in Paris claiming that the airliner had suffered electrical system malfunctions, as well as, cabin pressure loss. The plane was lost in an area that measures three times the size of Europe. The Brazilian Air Force, Navy Force, French Air Force, and a Spanish plane set out in search of the lost plane. Will these people be found and saved? Or are they stuck on a time-traveling island?

U.S. Within Reach

By: Blayne Sim

According to a report, North Korea may be ready to test a missile believed to have the capability of reaching Alaska. This is just another step in the wrong direction for North Korea and international nuclear policy. It seems that for some reason, North Korea is hung up on making the world notice their nuclear capabilities. If they were to ever attempt an attack, they would be defeated very quickly by other countries. But they still pose a threat for the rest of the world. By having missiles capable of reaching U.S. soil, it makes them a direct player in the whole situation. Hopefully, this type of situation can be resolved democratically and doesn't lead to a more violent situation.

Watch out terrorists, Canada is gunna sue you

The Canadian federal government will soon introduce legislation that will allow victims of terrrorist attacks to sue the perpetrators in Canadian court. What makes this even more eye brow raising is the fact the the Prime Minister described that it will allow "victims of terrorism to seek justice against individuals, organizations and foreign states that support terrorism." More details will be revealed later this week. 

Anti-corruption in Russia- not likely according to Russians

By Claire Zvolanek

Russia's new president Dmitri Medvedev is making anti-corruption policy his new pet project.  While he says that he believes that corruption could cripple the state, other Russians believe it's all just a show.  Corruption is the back bone of Russian politics, and life, according to many of the people who were interviewed in this article.  Some of them have even been imprisoned for corrupt reasons, the police need to put on a show or they delved too deep into something they weren't supposed to.  The long and short of it is that many Russians are pessimistic about corruption ever being eradicated from their society- reason being: most of the officials who would need to help change the policy are corrupt themselves and would have to punish eachother before the policy would affect the public at large.

Zimbabwe; Mugabe still imposing rights abuses

Sherri Siegele

Zimbabwe has been under a power-sharing government for over 100 days. At an annual democratic convention Prime Minister Tsvangirai reported that his party, Movement for Democratic Change, has yet to get control over rule of law in the country. According to Tsvangirai, President Mugabe is still using political intimidation and rights abuses to control the people. The fear all along was that Tsvangirai would be allowed in office as a figurehead without possessing any real power. While he’s trying hard not to let this happen, he’s having a difficult time getting a foothold. Sadly, this type of report hurts Zimbabwe as it tries to pull itself up from ruin. International institutions and foreign investors have stated that unless Tsvangirai can prove to be effective, further involvement in the country is not likely to occur.