Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Peru's Ex-President Given 6 Years in Prison

Former President of Peru, Alberto Fujimori, was tried on Wednesday September 30th. The crime? Corruption.The verdict? six years in prison. The prosecutors feel that this is too light of a sentence, while Fujimori feels that it is too harsh. Therefore, both will be appealing. However, even if the ex-President gets locked up for a long time, his politically involved daughter, Keiko, is said to be running for president in 2011. Looks like we will unfortunately not be getting rid of the Fujimori's any time soon then.
By: Natalie Cummins

IAEA: Iran broke law by not revealing nuclear activity

Earlier this month Iran has been suspected of haing a nuclear weapons program, even though it could not be confirmed by the United Nations. Now they are in trouble again because according to the head of the United Nations they failed to disclose earlier that they house a uranium enrichment site. CNN was informed that Iran was suppose to inform the proper intelligence the day that it was decided to use the facility but still have failed to do so. Iran however denies breaking the law. Still however, El Baradei doesn't believe that Iran does have an actual nuclear weapons program going on. According to the Iranian Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) there was no rush to report the use of the facility but did because they wanted to maintain a trust with the global community. A meeting is now scheduled for Thursday between Iran's nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili and firve permanent U.N. security Council members and Germany to discuss the issue and will take place in Switzerland.

By: Ivana Miljic



UN Condemns "War Crimes" in Gaza

In an ongoing conflict that has started over half a century ago, many are used to hearing about terrorist activities, failed peace processes and rezoning when it comes to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Out of all the recent headlines, the one that resulted in the most deaths, is the one in Gaza that took place in December of 2007. After a six month investigation, the UN declared that Israel committed war crimes during the Gaza conflict. The report claimed that there were numerous deliberate attacks on civilians and that the firing of of certain shells were against humanitarian laws. The conflict resulted in a total of 1400 Palestinian deaths and 13 Israeli deaths. The investigators advised that the UN security council should allow both Israel and Palestine to launch their own "credible investigations" in three months or that the council should refer the case to the ICC.
By: Aminat T. Odunewu

Nigerians upset over "District 9" Depictions

After going to see the movie District 9 many Nigerian officials and natives left the theater upset. The movie, which was directed by South African director Niel Bloomkamp, is set in South Africa and is about an alien space ship that breaks down in Johannesburg which cause the aliens to be stranded in a huge battle between humans. In the movie, Nigerians are excited about the aliens arival and begin to exploit them. The movie depicts Nigerians as criminals, cannibals and prostitutes who sleep with extra-terrestrials. In the movie, Nigerians are seen attempting to eat the alien's flesh in order to cure illnesses and gain superhuman powers. One of the characters in the movie is called Obesandjo, a play on former Nigerian president Obasanjo. The movie is currently not being played in Nigeria.
By: Aminat T. Odunewu

Why is Israel Now Quiet Over Iran Sanctions?

This week Israel has dialed down it's rhetoric against Iran and its nuclear program. This is a surprising moving considereing that Israel last week called for crippling sanctions against Iran by the International community. Israel is probably doing this because it is taking a back seat to the talks that will happen between Iran, the UN Security Council, and Germany. What Israel does from here will be basically determined by what Russia and China does. Based upon what these two countries do Israel only has two options open to it. The first is miitary action and the second is to continue is preventative approach. If China or Russia vetos the sonctions against Iran, Israel could make a premetive strike against Iran's nuclear faclitites. There is a good chance that this could happen for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that with one of thew biggest air forces in the world, Isreal has the potential to pull it off. The second reason is that Israel has set a precedence for doing this in the past, when they bombed a facility in Iraq in 1981. The third reason is that Israel will do anything to make sure that Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons. Even though the military option is quite possible, it is not the most likly approach that Israel will take just quite yet. Israel will most likely continue with is policy of a preventatve approach, where it applies to its allies to help it stop Iran. This is more likly to happen because it shows that Israel is willing to talk the problem out, but it also allows them to keep the offesive option on the table without getting scrutinizied by the international community for attacking another country. Israel's stance has changed on Iran for now, but it will soon change again once the mmeting with Iran is over. However, if this change will be for the better is yet to be seen.

By: William Miller
Source: The Christian Science Monitor

A Realists Take on Real Realism.

Stephen Walt is a professor at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government and widely recognized as a prominent realist in the field of International Relations. In this article he, and three other prominent academics, critique another controversial article written by former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz on realism and US foreign policy. Paul Wolfowitz was a forceful advocate for the U.S. invasion of Iraq during his time in the Bush administration. Walt's piece should help deconstruct the concept of realism and how it relates to the issue of foreign policymaking.

by William Muck

Kenyan corruption chief resigns just weeks after his reappointment

Aaron Ringera who was appointed for the second time by the president of Africa, was stepping down as a chief due to the best interests of the country and its anti-corruption commission as he states. The president had appointed him as the chief of commission without the consent of the parliament, and although the MP's refused to accept his appointment it was already done. The MP's claim that Ringera was ineffective and that the president acted illegally. Immediately after the president, Mwai Kibaki appointed Ringera anti-corruption campaigners began. Previously, Ringera refused prosecute the convicted claiming he doesn't have the power to do so. Supposedly the commission investigated and recommended that eight government officials, four MPs, 11 permanent secretaries, and 65 directors should have been prosecuted.

By: Vesna Tanasic
Source: BBC NEWS (

Georgia says war report pins blame on Russia

The EU recently reviewed Georgia's war report. Georgia was pointing the finger at Russia claiming they were preparing for war all along. The report included intel that stated Russia was preparing separatists with equipment and training. Georgia also claims that they were acting in self defense when they attacked South Ossetia and that Russia had violated international law. Georgia says Russia is still violating internatinoal law because Russia is occupying parts of Georgia.

by, Jesse Kugler

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Ontario files $50 billion suit versus tobacco companies

Ontario is filing a $50 billion lawsuit against the tobacco companies for healthcare costs. Opponents of the lawsuit such as Eric Ganon, spokesperson for Imperial Tobbaco Canada Ltd. said, "It's a little bit hypocritical to sue the legal tobacco manufacturers when the governments have been a partner of the industry for many decades now." Supporters of the lawsuit on the other hand argue that the mere existence of the tobacco industry is not moral and therefore should be punished for the crimes to society's general health. Rob Cunningham, senior policy analyst at the Canadian Cancer Society said, "We're very pleased by this announcement -- it is very significant. The tobacco industry has been engaged in decades of wrongful behavior in Ontario and Canada, and they need to be held to account(able)" Ontario is the third providence of Canada to file this type of suit, but being the most populated there is chance it's decision will set presidence for future cases.

By Carla Lutz

Guniea massacre toll put at 157

On Monday 50,000 people showed up to protest rumors that Junta head captain Moussa Dadis Camara would be running for president in the January election. Soldiers moved in to disperse the rally by firing tear gas and even live ammunition. A questionable total of 157 people were reported dead and another 1,200 wounded. These numbers cannot be varified because a report has been made of soldiers taking away and hiding bodies so that the numbers would not be as great. There were also reports that women were being raped in broad daylight, in the middle of the streets. There have been reports made by live witnesses that they saw women being taken away after being stripped of their clothes.

Head Guniea officials and aids to Capt. Camara are also being accused of corruption and links to drug trade. If Camara were to stand as president come next January it would go against everything the military has vowed to do to sweap away.

By: Joe Longawa

Monday, September 28, 2009

Lawyer: Polanski will fight extradition to U.S.

Roman Polanski, the 76-year-old director of films such as The Pianist and Rosemary's Baby, now finds himself in the midst of an international "tug-of war" as he faces extradition from Switzerland to the United States to face justice for an act of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl that took place in 1977.

On the day of sentencing in 1978 Polanski became aware that the judge was planning to sentence him to more prison time than was originally agreed upon and so fled to France who has refused to extradite him for 30 years. However, on Saturday he was arrested on an international warrant when he arrived in Zurich to attend a film festival where he would be accepting a lifetime achievement award. Now France and Poland have urged Swiss officials to release the director on bail and pressed United States officials as high up as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The arrest has sparked an outcry from filmmakers and actors across Europe. One petition circulating through France states, "It seems inadmissible...that an international cultural evening, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary filmmakers, is used by police to apprehend him."

Polanski has told Swiss officials that he plans to contest the U.S. request for extradition. Attorney Herve Temime said the director's legal team would try to prove that the United States' request was illegal and that Polanski should be released from Swiss custody.

By Anna Mandrell

United States and Cuba trying to "Work Things Out"

According to Reuters, Barack Obama has declared his intentions to reopen talks with the Cuban government and it's new leader Raul Castro. The talks began with the simple issue of mail. The two nations met to discuss reopening the mail system between Cuba and the US. Mail usually takes about two months to arrive from one country to another. Even though the step seems miniscule, this is a huge leap forward in foreign policy for both nations. These talks represent a complete change in US foreign policy considering former President George W. Bush completely cut ties from the communist state. Both sides emerged happily from the first meeting and are eager to continue their mutual efforts into the future.

By: Travis James

U.S. must win Afghan hearts and minds, commander says

Although the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan is requesting more troops and a new strategy, he says what is more important is winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people. He goes on to explain that if the U.S. is continually seen as a occupiers then we cannot win and casualties will go up dramatically. Former Secretary of State William Cohen agress and says that current U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is causing more ill feelings toward the U.S. and creating more insurgents then before. And that we must use General McChrystal's strategy if we want to be successful. If not, he says, we will be using our current counterterrorist strategy which means " you're going to start killing people, and thereby risk killing innocent civilians, and thereby creating more insurgents."

By Kyle Reilly

Filipinos Document Their 'Katrina' Online

Tropical Storm Ketsana devastated the Philippines over the weekend. The storm dropped nearly 17 inches of rain, compared to the 10 from Hurricane Katrina, has killed at least 140 people and displaced about 150,000. In the midst of the destruction and chaos many fingers are being pointed. Once images and videos began to surface of stranded Filipinos government critiques soon followed. In its defensive, the government responded by saying that its relief efforts are not as bad as those of the American government during Katrina. President Gloria Arroyo believes that the government responded quickly compared to Katrina given the fact that they had more rain than Katrina. A report on Sunday interviewed Mr. Prisco Nilo, who runs the national weather agency. Mr. Nilo said of the citizens who did not heed his agency's warnings about the storm: "Instead of watching soap operas on TV, they should also watch the news."
While the government defends its position, there are still many critics. In one outraged blog post a statement was made saying, "the government poured money into the country's military instead of buying scientific equipment. The national weather agency does not even have a Doppler radar."
The government may have fallen short to most people's standards, but what reigned supreme? The Internet! Social networks to be exact. Although the storm cut power, telephone and water supplies, the Internet connections were not affected. It was Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube that first broadcasted details of the disaster. Bloggers turned post into resources for people needing help or places to make monetary donations. One individual used her Facebook like a "switchboard operator" connecting families with loved ones who had no cellphone signals. Google maps was even used to show exact pinpoints of individuals who were in need of assistance.
So while the Filipino government was busy one-upping the United States the rest of the world was helping its stranded citizens!

By: Taylar Proctor

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Iran test fires missiles amid flap over nukes

Iran completed a series of short-range missile firing texts to demonstrate a show of power to any other countries considering military threats against it. This show of power came only days after the warning by the U.S. and its allies to Iran about their nuclear program. While the missiles are not the type that could carry a nuclear warhead, the potential is still there. Many consider the timing of the testing to be a show of force in the face of the international committee, and particularly the U.S. After strong recommendations on the subject, Iran has agreed to allow the U.N. to inspect their nuclear facilities this Saturday

by Nick Cramer

Endangered gorillas join Facebook, MySpace

In an attempt to rouse support for endangered gorillas in Uganda, the Ugandan Wildlife Authority has set up Facebook and Myspace profiles for many gorillas living on its wildlife refuges. As an MSNBC article details, Facebook and Myspace users from around the world can choose to add these gorillas to their friends list in exchange for a $1 donation, which goes towards protecting these gorillas from poachers and human encroachment. Once friended, the user can then view a wide variety of information about the particular gorilla, including tidbits about it's family and personality. The Ugandan Wildlife Authority is hoping that, by being able to see pictures, information, and updates on how the gorillas are doing, users will feel more connected to the gorillas and will want to aid in their plight.

By: Kimberly Severns

Venezuela Working With Iran for Uranium

According to, Jesse Chacon Venezuela's science and technology minister is saying that his country is working to detect uranium deposits for the development of "nuclear energy for medicinal purposes, for peaceful purposes." Chacon said that they are working with Russia to find the uranium but the Mining Minister Rodolfo Sanz said Friday that Iran was helping Venezuela find the deposits. The U.S. State Department has voiced it's concerns on the two countries exchanging "nuclear material" but doesn't seem too concerned about the issue. Venezuela's President, Hugo Chavez, has shown interest in nuclear energy since 2005 and has hinted that Venezuela will only work with Iran concerning anything nuclear. Both Iran and Venezuela are anti-U.S. and these two partnering up is unnerving, especially with Venezuela being so close to U.S. soil compared to Iran and other anti-U.S. countries. It looks to early to tell if this partnership will prove dangerous but there is no doubt in my mind that the U.S. government and it's allies will be keeping a close eye on these two.

By Andi Whipkey

Nigerians Angered over China Deaths

The Nigerian government has been asked to investigate illegal inhabitance of Chinese in Nigeria. They are also asked to reject a request by the Chinese to cremate the bodies of thirty Nigerian prisoners in China. There are currently aobut 700 Nigerians in the Chinese prison system on mostly immigration, drug and fraud charges. Trade between China and Nigeria has been growing especially since the Chinese president secured four oil drilling licenses in exchange for $4 billion in oil and infrastructure projects.

Aminat T. Odunewu

Are more sanctions really the answer?

Hilary Clinton responded strongly and critically to the discovery of Iran's newly discovered uranium enrichment site. Demanding tough sanctions, and immediate cooperation, she sets a strong stance towards Iran, or does she?

Clinton and Gates suggest more sanctions, specifically how to broaden and deepen them. They feel the current sanctions are leaky, and that additional ones will intensify Iran's difficulties. Those that oppose the stance of them feel that this will have insignificant effect on a nation that despite such great struggles, is still able to find ways to finance it's uranium enrichment program.

The U.S. Seeks Tougher Sanctions Against Iran

The Obama administration is seeking to create harsher economic sanctions on Iran due to there secret nuclear program. These sanctions could include cutting off investments to the Iran's oil-and-gas industry and restrictions on many more Iranian banks than those that are currently blacklisted. Defense Secretary Robert Gates says there are many potential targets for Iranian sanctions especially in energy equipment and technology, but the administration is looking for a coalition of partners to support these sanctions if China and Russia do not. Even Israel supports Obama's plan to threaten Iran through non violent measures, but China and Russia are heavily reliant on Iranian oil. This will be the biggest hurdle for these sanctions to work long-term.

By Paul Yuccas

Zimbabwe: Long road to recovery

It has been about a year since Zanu-PF agreed to share power with the movement for democratic change and Zimbabwe is finally seeing some change, although relatively small.

The currency that once was worthless, the Zim dollar, has been replaces by foreign bills such as South African rand, U.S dollar and the Euro, teachers have jobs once again and there is food on store shelves, however most still can't afford everyday life. Still those that don't have access to U.S dollars or anyone to send them money from abroad are struggeling; many can't even afford, what would be $24 a year, to send their children to school so instead, parents offer school teachers chickens as payment.

Unfortunately, the problem doesn't stop at education. About one in every fourteen people are malnourished and Zimbabwe doesn't seem to be on the list of priority because it's only receiving 40% of the funds it needs for food. Zimbabwe is going to have to wait because donor countries want to see real change before they release any financial assistance; in the meantime... many continue to struggle.

By: Ivana Miljic

India and Pakistan Fail to Restart Negotiations

India and Pakistan failed to start negotiations again on Sunday because India is unwilling to make a deal with Pakistan, which has not cope effectively with the attack on Mumbai in 2008.
The terrorist group called Lashkar-e- Taiba killed 163 people in Mumbai, but the Pakistani government accused only 8 men and that was not included the suspected leader of that terrorist group, Hafez Saeed. Even though India is eager to have a good relationship with Pakistan, people in India did not get satisfied with the action that Pakistani government took toward that attack.
Pakistan is now seriously looking for more 20 men who participated in that attack.

by Yuri Iwasaki
source:NY times

Iran-Secret Nuclear Site

Taking a realist perspective, why are we questioning Iran's intents with their "pilot-scale enrichment plant". The question is why have they not claimed exactly what they were building. If we look at their intent, then it would appear to be suspicious. If they are truly creating enough uranium to produce a nuclear warhead then they do not have rational intentions. Nuclear warheads are destructive, as their intentions appear. This article also conveys suspicions into their new building because it has not been searched and the exact location is still unidentified. Regardless of their intent we need to prepare ourselves for whatever intentions Iran may have, as they are creating things and buildings quite conspicuously.

Don't exclude God, pope tells Czechs

During a weekend tour of the Czech Republic, Pope Benedict XVI told an estimated 120,000 of attending faithful that societies that exclude God do so at their own peril. He emphasized his point by declaring, "History has demonstrated the absurdities to which man descends when he excludes God from the horizon of his choices and actions".

His visit came as Czechs were making preparations to mark the twenty years since the 1989 Velvet Revolution that did away with a regime that mercilessly persecuted the Roman Catholic Church, and was an attempt to encourage the ex-communist country to get back in touch with its religious roots. However, this could be a difficult battle for the 82-year-old pontiff due to the Czech Republic being one of the most secular countries in Europe, with nearly half the citizens identifying themselves as non-believers. Despite this, many were enthusiastic at the opportunity to hear the pope speak. Daniel Rampacek, a 21-year-old student from the southeastern town of Breclav, said, "The pope's never been here. It's a unique experience to see him".

By Anna Mandrell

Reunion in North Korea

For the first time in nearly two years, South and North Korean families are allowed to meet with each other for a few short days. Since the end of the Korean war in 1953, no telephone, mail, or e-mail exchanges exist between the South and North Koreans, so many Koreans are separated from their families by the political borders. However, in the year 2000, reunions started taking place after an inter-Korean summit and have been off and on ever since. The last reunion happened in 2007, before North Korea halted the reunions (due to political tensions).

In South Korea, those who participate are selected randomly from a pool of about 10,000 applicants, and only 200 slots were available this time. There is no future date scheduled for another reunion, so for many who are elderly, they may never get a chance to meet their families across the border.

Read more here and here.

Posted by: Jessica Bilstein

Foreign Aid from China, Good or Bad?

China’s provisions of foreign assistance to underdeveloped countries raise questions as to their ulterior motives. While providing more easily accessible loans to countries like Africa, Pakistan, and Angola, they also seem to be extremely vague as to the conditions of those loans (loan terms, repayment conditions, etc). Along with this, they also require that the goods and services purchased with the use of these loans, is done so through state-controlled companies elected by Chinese officials. However information pertaining to these project costs is also unclear. While there are definite results stemming from the aid provided, the obscurity surrounding the details of their foreign aid policies remains questionable.


By: Allison Zamora

German Chancellor Wins Another Four-Year Term

German Chancellor Angela Merkel was elected to another four-year term on Sunday, according to exit polls. She defeated her current Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier. Voting in Germany consists of the voters choosing two members of Parliament, who will then decide who will be the head of the government. It was reported that Merkel's party, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), won 33.7 percent of the vote. Steinmeier's party, the Social Democrats, received 23.4 percent of the vote. It did not come as a surprise to many people that Merkel's party would win. The bigger question was what type of coalition would be formed in the government. Merkel had stated that this win would create "a new government with a new coalition". One of the biggest areas of disagreement between the CDU and the Social Democrats is the economy. Germany is deeply in debt. Merkel would like to create tax cuts in order to boost the economy. Steinmeier is strongly against any tax breaks. The results of this election mean that big changes are coming to the German government and the way the country has been run the past four years.

By Kelly Martin

Obama Condones 'Tough Regulations' To Avoid Economic Crisis

The world's leading nations have agreed to much tougher regulations in order to preserve the global economy and to strengthen it. President Obama outlined plans that would enable emerging economies to have a much greater say in the global economy, economies he says are dynamic even though they represent developing countries. These countries would have more sway in supranational corporations like the IMF and the World Bank. The G20 leaders also detailed plans to ultimately address the shortcomings of the global economy. These issues included determining the amount of reserve money for each nation, instating formal economic assessment, and how and when financial bonuses for executives of large corporations should be distributed. There was also discussion of whether the G20 summit would replace the G8 summit, but Canada put up 'such a fuss' about the matter that this decision will be detained until 2010.

By: Grace Heimerl

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Thailand's Gamble with Human Life Yeilds a Positive Result

In a nation that has become infamous for its sex trade, Thailand has conducted the largest scale testing of an HIV/AIDS vaccine, and the initial results are promising. The massive test comprised over 16,000 Thai citizens. Half of those in the study were given a placebo vaccine, with the remaining half given the actual vaccination of ALVAC and AIDSVAX, two vaccines that have proven ineffective alone. The combination appears to have some success, with a 31.2% reduction of HIV/AIDS cases reported in the vaccinated group. While there is no cure for HIV/AIDS, Thailand's vaccine trial shows hope in halting the transmission of the biological menace.

By Caleb B. Ray

Source: BBC News

Cuba's Quest for Liquid Gold

Cuba has been stuck on the idea of drilling for oil for years now. However, due to the embargo placed on the island a half century ago has slowed their process. Cuba's even recently tried to sell some U.S. oil execs on the idea during the Bush Administration. However, former President G.W.B. stopped the meeting that was taking place in a Mexico City hotel on the basis that the hotel was a part of the U.S. based- Starwood chain. The embargo digs even deeper by prohibiting American energy companies, consumers, and even foreign based energy firms using US drilling technology from participating with Cuba. Though there is a potential upside to lifting the embargo, politicians have yet to budge. The proximity of Cuba makes transporting oil to the US inexpensive. The act would even denounce the embargo itself. The embargo is on the basis that Cuba is a minor financial player on the world stage. Striking black gold would destoy that notion completely. Many international drilling and oil companies have taken to the Cuban portion of the Gulf of Mexico just 45 miles away from the shores of Florida. While some worry about the possibilty of oil washing onto the shores of Florida and east coast beaches, others have taken into consideration the idea of playing ball with Cuba. for more on the Cuban Oil, please check out
by: Ricky Brown

Friday, September 25, 2009

Can't power a city, but can make Warhead..

We keep asking what Iran's intent is, whether its wrong to accuse them and how we should go about our diplomacy with them. Well, taking a different perspective, this article goes into just how much uranium it takes to provide power to a city, or create a warhead. By determining this fact, inspectors and intelligence can then factually compare Iran's intent, compared to what they are preaching.

Also, question's arise with Iran's cooperation with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), and why they have been so reluctant to allow the search of their various plants. The issue of cooperation under various international guidelines regarding the reporting of technological development is under debate among Iran and other western nations.

Japan's Healing Ways

September 23, 2009

After the UN's General Assembly meeting, Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama and South Korea's President Lee Myong-bak had a summit. During the summit, Hatoyama spoke of the Japanese Government's desire to strengthen ties with S. Korea. Even though the neighboring state once was under Japanese rule during the 1910's until the 1940's, Hatoyama believes that policies like the Japan-South Korea free trade agreement could possibly build a lasting relationship between these neighbors. Also, unlike previous Prime Ministers, Hatoyama plans not to visit the Yasukuni Shrine honoring Japanese war casualties and 14 convicted class A war criminals, an act that has often caused anomosity from not only South Korea but China as well. In fact, Hatoyama insists on replacing the shrine to close out any doubts of his ideas for change. For more information please check out Ser Myo-Ja's article @

Somali Pirates Attack Ship Off Mogadishu

In what is believed to be the closest Somali pirate action to the capital of the country (Mogadishu), the Syrian captain of a Panama-flagged ship was shot dead after refusing the pirates' demand to turn the ship away from the port. This port is particularly important to the nation, as it is used to bring in food and military supplies to the Somali capital. Normally, police forces are sent out to escort commercial ships into shore, but this time the pirates were already on board the ship and opened fire on the policemen, injuring one. In the absence of an effective government since 1991, Somalia has been a breeding ground for pirate operations that prey on the traffic-heavy Gulf of Aden in the Arabian Sea. Though international navies have been deployed to protect ships, this sort of pirate activity is not at all uncommon. And though African Union peacekeepers help protect the UN-backed government in Mogadishu, in actuality, the government only controls parts of the city and the rest of south and central Somalia are mostly controlled by Islamic extremists. After 18 years of anarchy, an estimated 3 million Somali citizens, about half the population, desperately need food aid. Their prospects for receiving food look even grimmer in the face of pirates preventing commercial ships from coming to port.

By: Megan Shoemate

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Travel Ban for Kenya

The U.S. has threatened to ban travel for Kenya, due to many of the Kenyan officials not backing reform and opposing violence. These officials will not be allowed to go, until they start to support reform and ending the violence. After the 2007 elections in Kenya, a of rioting occurred, where as many as 1,300 were killed. Kenya Has failed to investigate as to who was responsible for this action. The U.S. is hoping that after the 2012 elections there will no longer be corruption among the Kenyan government.

By: Justas Jakubonis

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Security Council doesnt work, Gadhafi tells U.N.

Libyan leader Moammer Gadhafi was one of many individuals who were addressing the U.N. Wednesday. In his 1 hour and 36 minute speech Gadhaf continually bashed the U.N. and U.S. He called for inspections into U.S. military activities and criticized many of the U.S. military actions in other countries. He also explained that the U.N. has not provided the peace and security it promised but "terror and sanctions."

Beside these points Gadhafi and President Obama, who also spoke, agreed on a number of issues, the main issue being world unity in the problems that the world faces at large, such as climate changes and food shortages. Also Iranian President Mohmoud Ahmadinejad announced that he is willing to work with the other nations. He also blames the current economic crisis on capitalism and, like others, criticized American military actions in other countries.

The rest of the article explains that the reduction of nuclear weapons is necassary and the U.N. must make reforms for this to prove its credibility, that has fallen in the eyes of many nations.

By, Kyle Reilly

Latin Drug Trade invades Western Africa

By: Gina Fazio

What used to be a lucrative drug trade to the United States from Latin America has all but dried up since the cocaine trade began declining in the mid 1980s. Now, Latin drug cartels look to West Africa as a springboard for a drug market in Europe, specifically in the UK, Span, Italy, France and Portugal.

A number of economic factors and surprisingly political factors have aided in this shift. The number one reason being that in recent years the US has upped security on its southern borders to add difficulty to drug trafficking. Also with the shift of the economy, the Euro has gained a great amount of strength over the US Dollar making trade more profitable to drug dealers operating out of Europe.

But perhaps the most startling and lamentable reason for this shift is simply that Western Africa is overlooked by developed nations. The area is so filled with corruption not only on a local police level but at the highest of government offices that most nations choose to deny any form of support to these nations. This leaves the region fairly to its own whims making it an amply unturned stone for drug cartels to hide their new businesses in.

In rambling U.N. tirade, Gadhafi slams Security Council, U.S.

Matthew Boguslawski

In his very long and hard to follow speech the Libyan leader, Mommar Gadhafi, managed to make several points clear. In the annual address at the United Nations, he showed his frustration and discontent with the United Nations and the members of the Security Council and much was aimed at the United States. Gadhafi, made many claims that the Secirity Council and the United Nations have not followed the preamble which at its founding and creation. One of his main grievances was against power of permanent member. According to the preamble all permanent members are to be eqaul no matter how big or small the nation is. According to him this is false. He even went as far as tearing the UN preamble and charter that he was reading from. He condemned the US for their actions around the world, but especially of the war in Iraq

Signs of Water Found on Moon

Three different spacecraft have indicated possible signs of water on the moon. Whether its drinkable is still unknown. The "water" is one part hydrogen and one part oxygen; wheras normal water contains two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen. The moon has been considered a dry place however this new information creates new possibilities that were once thought impossible. The water could be easily attained by heating the soil of the moon. The water is key in drinking, producing oxygen, and for energy and power generation. Scientist beleive solar wind is to blame for the formation of oxygen and hydrogen atoms. If water is on the moon inhabitation would be alot easier and more cost effective.

Source: NYT
By: Jesse Kugler

"Obama to world: Don't expect America to fix it all"

On Wednesday, September 23, 2009 Obama gave a speech in the White House making sure the entire world knows that America can't fix everything on its own and if years ago it did go alone into everything, this time it will be different. He states that the year 2009 is one of the most important years in the human history where interests of nations and peoples are to be shared. He also mentions how the easiest thing to do is to blame others for our troubles and avoid our responsibility for the choices we made and actions we took.

Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi went on and on how the U.N Security Council, which of course includes the U.S. was a "terror council" and accused them of treating nations different, such that smaller nations were treated as "second class, despised" as he states. He continues to say that U.S. is rich and powerful, but cannot solve problems without help of others.

Obama spoke of America more modestly and said that America will not behave as if it is better than other nations. His exact words were: "No one nation can or should try to dominate another nation" (Obama). All nations have their rights, but they also have responsibilities and if they want to rise to the top they also must take responsibility for their own actions.

Obama received a few rounds of applause from the people in the meeting, which never happened when the previous president, Bush spoke.

Obama continued to discuss the problems of nuclear programs of North Korea and Iran, the fact that they produced them and are moving really fast, and global warming.

"All of us must decide whether we are serious about peace, or whether we only lend it lip service" (Obama). I think that it would be awesome if there could be world peace, but I think that is one of the issues that it will be very hard to solve and have all the nations in the world agree upon the same. Our classroom of 30 students couldn't agree to all write "Cooperate" on a piece of paper so that each of us can get a point on the midterm, I doubt that the entire world can agree to keep peace just because. As we discussed in class, just because there is an intention it doesn't mean that it will be brought out, plus people's intentions change as their personal interests and their nations interests change.

Obama spoke with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev where they mainly focused on Iran. Obama is afraid that since Russia has great ties with Iran, they may stand in the way as they have done so in the past. Obama hopes that Russia will cooperate.

Obama and Japanese Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama discussed the importance of their alliance.

By: Vesna Tanasic
Source: Yahoo

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

EU visit widens Zimbabwe split

This week a delegation from the EU visted Zimbabwe to adress the issue of Zimbabwe's failing coalition government. The EU delegation didn't seem to help the situation, but appears to only have made it worse. Instead of pointing out what can be done to solve the problem, the EU delegation just pointed out that there were many problems. This has only worsened the coalition government because both President Robert Mugabe and Prime Minister Moran Tsvangirai only blame each other as the cause of the problems. This leaves only a couple of possibliteies that could play out in Zimbabwe. The first is that Mr. Tsvangirai and his MDC party will pull out of the government. This is unlikly because it will destory all the work that has been done just to get there and second the MDC will lose international standing because it is no longer a ruling part in Zimbabwe. The second is that that poor, rural blacks will start to get frustrated at the MDc because they have not made enough progress with the governement. This is important because this is the power base of the MDC, so any drop in support could hurt the MDC in future elections. The only real hope to solve this problem is a two fold solution. First, key personnel that are associted with corruption and ineptitude need to be removed from their jobs by Mugabe. This will show the world that the coalition government is really trying to clean up the mess of a government that Zimbabwe has. This will lead to the second part of the solution, which is that the sanctions placed on Zimbabwe will be lifted. This will have two benefits that will help the coaliton government. First, it will allow the government to get the $10 billion it needs to improve infrasture. Second, which will lead to Zimbabwe's economy growing and hopefully recovering from the massive inflation that it suffered from last year and still has problems with still today. Even though the EU visit did little to help the coalition government, the government of Zimbabwe still has a chance to make the changes nessecary that will help improve the country.

By: William Miller
Source: Christian Science Monitor

A trade war with China is a bad idea

The global economy is starting to strengthen from the recession and now a possible trade war with China may put a halt to that. If a battle of protectionism between the U.S. and China occurs it will not be good for the U.S. The battle could be going back into a recession. The main problem that is at hand is not that the U.S. is standing up for itself, but rather what has happened in the past when similar occurrences took place. The launching of tariffs has only caused more harm then good. There is not positive side in raising tariffs. It does not make sense to alienate a valuable trade partner. A trade war could be very harmful to the global economy.

By: Joe Longawa

Monday, September 21, 2009

Calais migrants set to lose camp

Over 1500 people live in a camp outside of Calais, France; this camp is known as the "Jungle." According to BBC World News, this haven for refugees will be closed and destroyed by the end of the week. While some residents argue that this has become their home and they should be allowed to stay, French officials are displeased not only with the camp's general unsanitary conditions but also with the use of the area by people-smugglers. The refugees are encouraged to seek political asylum in France and the United Kingdom.

By Hannah Zimmerman

Honduras' Manuel Zelaya sneaks back into the country

I guess third time is the charm because on Monday, Honduras' ex-president, Manuel Zelaya, managed to sneak back into the country. This was his third attempt, but he is being very vague on how he succeeded in getting back into Honduras. He took refuge in the Brazilian Embassy and is saying that he is open to a fair trial. Zelaya was overthrown in a coup on June 28, due to what some are calling "power-grabbing." The United States was also skeptical of the former president, but was even more upset with the coup, and even cut off funding. However, this is sure to cause some uproars in Honduras.
By: Natalie Cummins

Once Slave to Luxury, Japan Catches Thrift Bug

When the recession hit the United States it caused a tidal wave effect across the entire world. Japan is quickly feeling the money strain. For a country that spent $100 on fruit and $1000 on handbags, luxury items were considered a mass market. The recession, however, has now turned luxury Japanese shoppers into Wal-Mart shoppers!
For the first time in seven years, Japanese Wal-Mart retailers are expecting to make a profit. The luxury boutiques that once flourished are now rapidly declining. Designers like Louis Vuitton have cancelled plans for new stores in the Tokyo area. The younger generations, who once bought only luxury items, have no problems shopping at Wal-Mart. In the new economic environment, "cheap is chic, no matter what the product."
Luxury items are no longer an option. Japanese individuals everywhere are now more money consciences. A fear of the future economic environment has forced Japanese consumers to save not spend. A trend the United States is all too familar with.

by: Taylar Proctor
source: The New York Times

Sunday, September 20, 2009

President Obama will look to reason instead of politics in regards to Afghanistan

On Sunday morning President Obama literally faced the entire nation by appearing on the morning political shows of every major news outlet. He used this mass exposure to spread one simple message, the level of involvement in Afghanistan would not be determined by partisanship and politics. Instead, the President will look directly to General Stanley McChrystal, the leader of United States forces in Afghanistan, to make the defining suggestions of what the President will make policy. Currently, Gen. McChrystal has put a hold on any influx of troops and resources into Afghanistan so that he can finish his evaluations. However, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, explained last week that he expects the General's final requests to be in very shortly. The President felt it necessary to address this situation as surely and swiftly as possible due to the mutual partisan opposition to the issue. Republicans continue to push for an extreme influx of troops, while Democrats wish to put a hold on all operations. This bickering obviously does not service the greater good and the President desribed the situation perfectly when he said, "are we really doing the right thing?" Well Mr. President, we will see very shortly.

Source: Fox News
By:Travis James

U.S. Fears That Increased Aid to Pakistan Will Feed Graft

The United States is tripling its monetary aid to the country of Pakistan, but just how much of that $1.5 billion will be used to stabilize the economic crisis in an already uneasy country? According to the New York Times, the Obama administration questions the proper use of US funds by the incredibly corrupt government. Because of this distrust, a steady stream of members of the Obama administration have been passing through the country to ensure its correct usage.

The money will also be used to help fight terrorism in Pakistan and to improve some much-used roads in heavily trafficked areas of Pakistan. The US hopes to be more transparent in the handling of the money than was the Bush adminstration.

By Hannah Zimmerman

Cuba Rocks to Huge Peace Concert

As many as a million people from all over Cuba gathered in Havana, in the Revolutionary square, to partake in a musical celebration of peace. According to BBC, this is the largest open air concert since the 1959 revolution, and more people turned up for this event than did for Pope John Paul II's open air mass in 1998. Juanes, a Colombian pop-singer, who organized the "Peace without Borders" concert, received death-threats from Cubans in Miami who oppose the Cuban regime, but from within Cuba itself, he found much support. Barack Obama also spoke in support of the concert, though was careful not to "overstate the degree that (these kinds of cultural exchanges) helps".

By: Jessica Bilstein

State-run media: Yemeni goverment kills 150 rebels

For the past 5 years, Shiite rebels have fought Yemeni forces and struck again earlier today. State-run media, SABA, reported the Yemeni military killed about 150 Shiite rebels earlier in Northwestern Yemen. This happened because the rebels attempted to attack the presidential palace in Saada. No direct comments were given to CNN by the rebels but sources from the media and Yemeni Embassy were successful. The conflicts itself is both separatist and sectarian. The separatists are in charge of the area that the conflict occured in while the sectarians struggle with who is in controll of the area, especially Shiite Islam. The rebels that caused the conflict are in support of Hussein al-Houthi, who no longer lives.

The government got involved not too long ago, however that unfortunately is not in any ones favor because the fighting and bloodshed is only getting worse. Editor-in-chief, Hakim Almasmari told CNN on Saturday that Modammed Abdul Salam that the rebels had come to terms with the governments conditions. However earlier today, he said that 153 rebels were killed in the attack on the palace by the Yemeni military from the air. CNN was told that the Yemeni also had heavy losses and that the rebels had attacked three military checkpoints as well as the palace.

On Friday, Washington was told that the Yemeni military was going to investigate the air strike that killed Yemeni civilians but supposedly was indented for the rebels but that today's strike was intended for the Houthi rebels. UNICEF reported a death toll of 87 while the government officials called it to be 86. The majority of the dead were women and children. CNN however does not have any way to verify these numbers and does not have official comments about the air strike. Navi, Pillay, human rights commissioner of the UN is committed to a investigation done by the government because according to Mohammed Albasha no camps for displaced people was registered in the region of the attack.

The UN and UNICEF are very much troubled by these events. UNICEF has proposed a $23 millions in emergency aid to help displaced children and families in Yemen but has yet to receive any money.

By: Ivana Miljic

President Obama to Host Israeli-Palestinian Talks

President Obama will be hosting talks between Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. He will talk with both sides separately before bringing them together for a trilateral meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the construction that the Israeli government has begun on the land that the Palestinians claim as their own. The United States has publicly disagreed with Israel on their decision to build on the Palestinians' land. President Obama called for a complete freeze on the development. Israel has declined to follow through with the freeze. The closest Israel has gotten is to slow down their development, but not bring it completely to a halt. Hopefully the talks will bring forward some type of compromise to the two parties involved.

By Kelly Martin

Radical Somali leader defends peacekeepers' killings

Matthew Boguslawski

In recent months, one country that has constantly been in the spotlight has been Somalia. This time the spotlight has shifted from their pirate infested waters to the internal problems which is destroying the already chaotic country. A suicide bomber attack killed 21 African Union peacekeapers this past Thursday. This attack was defended by a radical Islamic leader that claimed that the attack was "the right thing to do." The Islamic leader defended his argument with the defense of Islam as his excuse and defense. Violence like this is not foreign to Somalia, in fact AMISOM (African Union Mission in Somalia) was launched to help and try to balence this politically unstable mess of a country. The fate of Somalia is unknown, but at the moment it doesnt look good.

Vote for Asia's Best Entrepreneur

In response to global economic difficulties, young entrepreneurs throughout Asia are looking towards their own innovative ideas to give them a boost in the business world. Creative thinkers like Adina Irvani of Indonesia, who decided to use shoes as her canvas for painting, resulted in her current company called Spotlight. The list of entrepreneurs includes everything from software engineers, fashion designers, animators, and photographers, etc. that are looking to make their mark. Not only are these young people working towards making their business ideas grow, many are still working to support their families as well. They will receive much sought after exposure, after the winner is announced in Businessweek's Asia Channel next month.

Vote here

By: Allison Zamora

Khamenei Denies Iranian Nuclear Arms Program

In a recent television broadcast, supreme leader Ayatollah Khamenei announced that Iran "fundamentally rejects nuclear weapons". The Ayatollah stated that the US has made, and continues to make, false accusations against Iran's nuclear program. The Ayatollah then went on to reiterate that Iran is developing nuclear technology only for the purpose of production of nuclear energy. This is the first official response from an Iranian official regarding a recently scrapped attempt by the US to put an anti-missile system in eastern Europe to protect against any potential Iranian bomb threat. International talks with Iran are scheduled to begin October 1st, and the US, the UK, France, Russia, and China are slated to attend.

Source: BBC

By: Grace Heimerl

Russia's political leaders

Russia's political leaders, Medvedev and Putin, know of their countries struggling economy and weak democracy, but are not looking to rush change. Russia's dependence on raw materials has held them back from making successful steps forward in their economy, but are working to establishing new technologies in hopes of opening a more flexible political system. President Medvedev published a manifesto of Russia's failings expressing the change his country needs to see but has been criticized for not practicing what he preaches. Another problem Russia is facing is the split belief in who should run the country. Many citizens feel that the prime minister can run the country, and Putin has already began to under mind Medvedev 30 months before his term gets up. Russia has many hurdles ahead and dealing with international relations will be strong in the currents months.
By Paul Yuccas

Russia will not deploy missiles

In response to President Obama's decision to scrap a US missile shield in Eastern Europe, Russia has announced that they will not deploy missiles near Poland. Russia's Deputy Defense Minister Vladimir Popovkin announced on the Russian radio station Ekho Moskvy that Obama's decision made the plan for short-range missiles in the Kaliningrad region unessential. However, Popovkin noted that the final decision could only be made by Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. He has not yet commented on the issue.

-Anna Mandrell

Sewn in Secret : Iranian Designers

The influence of Western fashion can be seen all across the globe, even in Iran - a country whose government imposes strict regulations on dress codes. An article from Newsweek explores the ways in which Iranian fashion designers are working in secret to break free of these regulations and introduce Persian-inspired Western fashions to their people. These designers must design, sew, and show their works in secret due to increased security since the election this past summer. If caught, the designers, as well as their clients, could face dire consequences. While the work these designers do is dangerous and considered criminal by their government, their influence is beginning to show in less monitored areas of Iran where their fashions are taking off. They hope that, in the future, their people will be able to wear what they want; not what they are told to wear.

By Kimberly Severns

South Korean scholars test their alphabet on Indonesian schoolchildren

In Indonesia, thousands of children are being taught Korean letters for the first time. This group of people, called the Cia-Cia, have hitherto had no form of written language at all, and everything in their culture has been spoken and then passed down from generation to generation. They are being taught by a group of Korean scholors, who are using them as a test group if you will. If the Cia-Cia are able to learn the written language, the scholors will then work on spreading the alphabet to many other populations with no written language system. The group has agreed to this in an effort to preserve their language. Many adults in the culture are able to speak their native tounge fluently, but younger ones are more apt to speak Indonesian.

By Nick Cramer

U.S. Nuke Accusations

The Obama administration is accusing Iran of developing a nuclear arms program. Iran responded by stating Obama is following the same "Iran phobia" the Bush administration followed. Iran also stated they intend to use their nuclear program for energy use. The EU and U.S. want to have hold talks with Iran to reduce nuclear use and arms. Obama is scrapping Bush era missle defense programs designed to defend Europe and the United States from a future attack from Iran. Bush responded that the defense missles are nesecary for defense against Iran's future development of nuclear arms. New intel shows the missles that Iran could develop would be short to medium range rather than the long range arms that the Bush administration thought was possible.

article is AP news report

Al-Qaida threatens Germany

A video was posted in German with a message from Al-Qaida towards Germany, that in the event that they vote for the war in Afghanistan to be extended they are asking for trouble and they will receive an unexpected hit.

For the simple fact that Germany was involved in the war in Afghanistan, there will be a terrorist attack on them. Germany has increased their security forces on airports and train stations because of the threats and the voting is coming up September 27. They fear that this may not just be a false alert but something they should carefully analyize and take cautions.

Here's the video that was posted along with the article on

Even three months before this article and video were posted, German newspapers and magazines were writing about possible terrorist attacks.

Vesna Tanasic

Three Afghans held over US plot

According to the article "Three Afghans held over US plot" from BBC, three men from Afghanistan who were in doubt of planning to attack US were arrested. The FBI's investigation was forcusing on some people who are living in not only the US but also in the other countries and are related to making a plan about terrorim especially by exploding public area in New York. One arrested man, Najibullah Zazi, is denying that he has a connection with Al-Qaeda or other terorist groups. He claimed that he was innocent and had nothing to do with terrorist groups, and what had media said was not true.

by Yuri Iwasaki

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Expand the House?

Many people feel under represented. Some districts hold many more people then others and are still represented by the same number of people in the House, one. There have been thoughts of redrawing district lines to even out the amount of people per district. Also there is a strong push by the people to add more people to the House so that less people will be represented by certain members. This push has not been a success as of yet. It is not fair that some districts have almost if not more then double other districts.

By: Joe Longawa

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Japan's New Prime Minister

The election of August 30th ended in Yukio Hatoyama' party winning. Taro Aso's, the previous PM of Japan, party had lost by a huge margin, nearly 3-yo-1. Hatoyama plans on building stronger ties with the US, and especially China. The new Democratic Party of Japan will lead with more left-wings perspectives, unlike the previous conservative party. The new party does plan on having talks with the US about military agreements, since over 50 thousand US troops are in Japan. Although no major changes are foreseen to happen.

By: Justas Jakubonis

Italy probes mob link with sunken ships

According to this CNN article, Italian mobsters are being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to sink ships that are carrying toxic waste. Why they're being paid to do this is still unclear to Italian officials but it's only a matter of time before they find out why. One theory is that the shipping companies are paying Italian mobs to sink their ship to avoid the costs of properly disposing of the toxic materials. There is also reason to believe that the companies paying for this 'service' have government help.

Surging Violence Targets UN Aid Workers in the DRC

Violence against United Nations aid workers has increased in the Kivu region of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, with a majority of the attacks coming from bandits. This is a new trend for 2009; 2008 saw armed militant groups as the majority of perpetrators. The northern area of Kivu has long been an epicenter of violence in the DRC, with countless exchanges between Government forces and rebel groups, including members of the Interahamwe who had fled to the DRC after the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The increase in not only the number of, but viciousness in attacks has created a hostile environment for aid workers. Most of the attacks are criminal in nature, although the Congolese forces have also been implicated in some of the activities. The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has stated that no one has been held accountable for the attacks to date.

By Caleb B. Ray

Source: UN News Centre

Senate Passes Bill to Let FDA Regulate Tobacco

Letting the FDA regulate the tobacco industry is a start toward eliminating such crowds to smoke. Although, I feel there is only so much they can do to persuade people against smoking. Our food industry is regulated yet the obesity rates keep increasing because there is so much grease and fast food in our society. Trends come and go and this happens with everything, including smoking, but involving the FDA is a smart approach to reducing the influence on younger crowds, as well as raising awareness to others. http://

Lush Land Dries Up, Withering Kenya’s Hopes

A severe drought continues to plague the normally prosperous country of Kenya. Kenya's people as well as their economic source of income, agriculture and tourism, are dwindling down to nothing. While thousands are dying of dehydration the Kenyan government seems to be ignoring their cries for help. International aid has already settled into the hardest hit regions, but in a much smaller force than hoped for. While donor nations are being slow to respond, the UN has asked for a $576 million fund, which has only been half-raised. Corruption continues to show its face prominantly and government officials seem more focused on the 2012 election than the current devastion facing the country. While the drought continues so does the Kenyan peoples fight for survival.

by: Taylar Proctor

Swiss-Based Oil Company Knowingly Dumped Toxic Waste on the Ivory Coast

After persistently denying that harmful waste was purposely dumped on the Ivory Coast, oil-trading company Trafigura has offered to pay damages to settle a suit brought against them on behalf of 31,000 citizens who say they were harmed by the waste. Internal emails show that the company began the controversy by purposely buying a cheap, dirty form of Mexican oil. In order to sell the oil, it was rid of impurities and cleaned by dumping caustic soda and a catalyst into the dirty oil (a cheap and rough process known as "caustic washing"). This method is effectively banned in most countries because it produces a highly toxic waste. Emails referring to the difficulty of dumping the waste because of its "hazardous nature" clearly demonstrate the company knew of its damaging properties. Nevertheless, after being turned away in the Netherlands, the toxic waste ended up in the hands of Solomon Ugburogbu, who had no facilities to process hazardous materials (he is now serving a 20 year sentence for poisoning local people). Though in 2007 Trafigura paid 100 million euros to the Ivorian government to "compensate the victims," compensation on a much larger scale is now in the works as evidence of their guilt continues to come to light.

By: Megan Shoemate

Zimbabwean minister denounces EU

By: Gina Fazio

In response to a recent visit EU officials made to Zimbabwe Justice Minister Patrick Chinamasa, a close ally to President Robert Mugabe accused delegates of siding with Mr. Mugabe's long-time opponent Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. This visit was the first in seven years that the EU has made with Mr. Mugabe and is in response to continuing power struggle in Zimbabwe after last year's heavily disputed election. After visiting the country and seeing little improvement in human rights the international community and the EU refuses to lift the sanctions placed against Mr. Mugabe and officials in his party, the Zanu-PF which have been in place since that election.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

UN Condemns "War Crimes" in Gaza

In an ongoing conflict that has started over half a century ago, many are used to hearing about terrorist activities, failed peace processes and rezoning when it comes to the Arab-Israeli Conflict. Out of all the recent headlines, the one that resulted in the most deaths, is the one in Gaza that took place in December of 2007. After a six month investigation, the UN declared that Israel committed war crimes during the Gaza conflict. The report claimed that there were numerous deliberate attacks on civilians and that the firing of of certain shells were against humanitarian laws. The conflict resulted in a total of 1400 Palestinian deaths and 13 Israeli deaths. The investigators advised that the UN security council should allow both Israel and Palestine to launch their own "credible investigations" in three months or that the council should refer the case to the ICC.

By: Aminat T. Odunewu

The World's Next Failed State?

In a world that is all to familiar to genecide, war, and ressecion, one thing that it does not need to see is another state that might possibly fall apart. But that is exctatly what might happen in Yemen. Fighting between Yemen's army and tribesmen, loyal to the Houthi family, has need going on in the northeatern part of Yemen since August. The UN says that 50,000 people have fled the fighting, which only adds to the 150,000 that have fled pervious rounds of fighting. The fighting is mainly caused by algations of corruption agaisnt Yemen's president, Ali Abdullah Saleh. As if this doesn't seem like enough for Yemen's government to handle there is also trouble brewing in other parts of the country as well. There is growing unrest in the once separate southern parts of the country, and meancing signs of an al-Qaeda resurgance. If Yemen can't deal with these issues then it, just like Somilia, might become another failed state and just one more problem for the international community to deal with. By: William Miller

USA expands role as world's leading weapons supplier

While some say that the United States is losing its influence in the world to other rising and successful countries, the country still has something going for it. Reports have just shown that the U.S. supplies the most weapons than any other country. With a large percentage going to the Middle East, this shows how America is continuing to expand itself across the globe. We make up for over half of the weapon supplied in the world today, which is still a far percent ahead of the runner-ups Italy and Russia. It seems as though the U.S. is still a frontrunner in the global market.
By Natalie Cummins

Turkish Leader Denies Press Crackdown

Turkish Prime Minster is denying accusations that the 2.5 billions dollar fine he levied on Dogan Holdings was done for political reasons. With Dogan Holdings assests amounting to about 2.8 billion this would be a huge blow. Dogan Holdings stocks saw a huge decrease when the penalty was announced. Dogan Holdings is also accused of have close relationships with past Turkish goverments that profited the organization, Dogan Holdings is currently denying these accusations.

By: Kyle Reilly