Sunday, February 28, 2010

Storm batters Europe, at least 55 dead

A winter storm by the name "Xynthia" smashed into Western Europe on Sunday. The storm was said to have hit France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and England with deaths being reported in all nations. According to the report France was hit the hardest of the affected countries. There are 55 deaths being reported initially and that number could very well rise in the coming days. The death toll in France sits at 45 right now, with most of the victims dying from drowning. French Prime Minister Francois Fillon declared the storm a "national catastrophe." He also went on to add, "now the priority is to bring all the people left homeless and still threatened by the rising waters to safety, all services are mobilized to reach that goal as soon as possible."

By: Cameron Adams

Earthquake Strikes Chile

Another earthquake has rocked the earth, this time hitting in Chile. With a second massive earthquake this year, storms ripping through Europe, and tsunamis crashing Hawaii, movies like 2012 seem a little too realistic. This newest earthquake was one of the most powerful on record, but unlike Haiti, Chile was at least a little prepared. The death toll is currently at 700, but rescue efforts are underway to save those still trapped under rubble. 1.5 million homes were damaged, along with bridges and roads. The damage is estimated to be $15 to $30 billion, but the country did not initially ask for aid. However, the president has now said that some aid will be accepted. In the areas of worst devastation, troops have been deployed to prevent looting, and in some areas a curfew has even been set. These procedures are all to help speed up the process of rescue efforts. Despite this severe damage, however, Chile is already beginning to bounce back. The airport in Santiago has reopened, many roads are passable with detours and there are efforts to return electricity to areas that lost power. Though the Chilean earthquake landed much higher than Haiti's on the magnitude scale, it appears that Chile will fair much better than Haiti did.

By Abbey Smith

Chinese Lunar New Year Gone Wrong

Chinese citizens have been celebrating the lunar new year with parades and most famous, spectacular firework shows. The United States over the years has begun to crack down on firework use, including it being illegal here in the state of Illinois. Fireworks are a large industry in China and are not hard for any citizen to buy and set off. This is the cause of the horrific firework explosion Friday night. In Guangdong Province, a family was lighting fireworks in front of their home when one of the fireworks set the house ablaze. This caused the major explosion that killed 13 people on scene, another 6 were declared dead at the hospital, and 50 others sustained injuries. The lunar new year is suppose to be the start of a new year where you start with a clean slate and begin a new, fresh year; this tragedy has left a dark mark on the lives of those involved with this large accident.

By: Alyssa Rabulinki

The Problem with Anarchy

According to the BBC, Somali militants have been blocking UN food aid meant to be delivered to displaced Somalians. Though the militants claim that farming has increased enough to feed the large numbers or displaced people, there is no way to verify the claim. With the nation having been in a constant state of stress and turmoil since the governmental collapse in 1991, WFP has been one of the only solid sources of aid helping the country recover. With the African Union currently maintaining peace in parts of Mogadishu, much of southern Somalia is under militant control. With instability now for a solid 20 years, one has to wonder when the international community will begin to aid with more than just food. If a country can not reestablish a true government in that long of a time, it might be a signal that they need a little help in the right direction.
by. megan smith.

UK Troops in Afghanistan

While General David Richards expects the military conflict to "trail off in 2011", he also plans to remain in Afghanistan for five more years. As of now, "they will continue in training and support roles." He has hopes their combat roles will dwindle, but believes the UK will "be committed to Afghanistan in some manner for the next 30 or 40 years." Now that the UK has the resources they need, Sir David has no intention of leaving. With combat roles fading out however, it seems conflict may lessen. Final reports in this article also claim, "The Taliban is now beginning to realise that they can lost this war, which was not the view they had a year ago." These findings seem hoepful for all those involved, and may have a more peaceful ending for all those involved.

Posted By: Meredith Hess

Israel Talks to China

As everyone has read, Iran has started to make a push to an official nuclear program. The international community is now trying to find a way to avoid conflict but at the same time stop the nation from continuing the process. Israel sent delegates to China to talk about the situation in the Middle East. China is the largest ally that that Iran has since they are major oil buyers and trade partners. Clinton is trying to get tough sanctions against Iran instead of using military force. Despite the fact that Israel would like military approach, they have been trying to help by going to China since China has a veto power and is the only obstacle left since Russia is leaning towards imposing sanctions.

By: Albie Braun

Russia's Drug Issue

According to Victor Ivanov, "At least 30,000 people died in Russia every year from heroin, 90% of it from Afghanistan." The drug issue between Russia and Afghanistan's borders, is a continuous one; causing tensions between the two countries. Ivanov is accusing Nato for allowing this drug trade to continue. While Afghanistan is allowed to continue working on their poppy fields, the drug trade continues to thrive. "Russia is believed to have around 5 million drug addicts, half of whom are addicted to heroin." While illegal drug trafficking has become a major global issue, the tensions between Russia and Afghanistan continue to grow. With such a large population addicted to Afghanistan's drug of choice, Russia is desperate to find a solution, and gain the aid to stop trade.

Posted By: Meredith Hess

Friday, February 26, 2010

Medvedev calls for 'responsible behaviour' from Iran

On Thursday, the Russian President Dmitry Medvedev urged Iran to “act responsibly and transparently” with it’s stand on nuclear program. It indicates the growing tension the International community has over Iran’s suspicious nuclear activities. Mr. Medvedev also demanded that Iranian goernment be transparent with the IAEA. The West has accused Iran for it’s nuclear program saying Iran might be secretly developing nuclear weapons but Iran consistently denied saying it’s for peaceful purposes. Russia as a permanent member of the U.N Security Council has power to veto or support any around of sanction against Iran. Read more at:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cultural Values

Ok so, even though the outcome is probably more similar to what would have happened in the United States, I think the fact that it even occurred is evident of the variance in cultural values across national borders. I also think that Canadians seem to have a much more relaxed approach to matters of this manner. Although they seem disappointed in the choices that the teachers made, no one is really up in arms about the way I imagine they would be if this happened in America.

Sure this may be trivial in comparison to cultural differences that have much larger implications such as views on religion and who is justified in religious conflict; however, it does highlight our differences and how they permeate to even the most frivolous aspects of society--how then are we ever supposed to agree on a global governance?

by Sarah Richardson

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Hammas and Public Relations

The Hamas has been confronted with an additional problem, besides that of the usual Israeli assassination attempts on its leaders and members. Recently, the son of the Hamas Founder, Mosab Yousef, said that he helped aid Israeli's for many years as an informant. When the Hamas leader and father was questioned, despite from from putting direct blame on israeli's, he did not discount the possibility of his sons invoment. In addiotin to this, Israel claims other members of the group have also served as informants for Israel, thus showing great instability within the organization. This is very interesting, for often when studying espionage, often what the public hears and whats actually going on is two very different stories.

Greg Voegtle

Gandhi's Pen of Choice.

India is up in arms now that the face of its national peace has been used for corporate gains. Pen makers Montblanc have apologized profusely to the nation for inappropriately using Gandhi's face on a new pen. Sales of the pen have stopped, but not for good. Apparently Gandhi's great-grandson is not apposed to the idea entirely. His charitable foundation has already received $145,000 worth of profits from the sales of the pens. The foundation will receive between $200 and $1,000 dollars for each pen sold. If you ask me India, he was a great man, go ahead, stick his face on a pen, and do even more great work in his name!
by megan smith.

Tymoshenko dares rivals to oust her

A truly ridiculous political drama from the Ukraine, where Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko has refused to resign even though her party lost in the recent elections, setting up a showdown with Parliament where she probably has the votes to remain in her office. Battle of egos like this has kept Ukraine's political system at a standstill for the last few years when the Orange Revolution's hope died down.

By: Justin Lynch

Monday, February 22, 2010

NATO Airstrike kills civilians

United States Special Forces helicopters were looking for insurgents who escaped the NATO offensive in the Marja area in Afganistant on Sunday. But a spokesman said that all the vitcims were civilians and that there were no Afgan forces known to be operating in that area. The commander of ISAF (the American-led International Security Assistance Force) ordered a full investigation into the Airstrike Sunday night.

By Alicia Panczyk

Housing Haiti

As time wears on there are still homeless Haitians. The Government has not "forced" anyone out of temporary camps but are trying to relocate homeless people into more permanent places, as people are living in makeshift tents which are really just sticks holding up sheets. Also, with hurricane season approaching these makeshift homes will not uphold the down pours of rain. Not to mention disease rates are increasing and with all the relief help diseases are easily transferrable, person to person, and country to country. It is important that we develop sustainable homes for the homeless but Haiti is in an area likely to be devastated again. Only time will tell.
By: Lindsay Weidling

Oh Israel...

Israel may have aided assassins in forging passports used to get to a Dubai hotel to kill the leader of Hamas' armed wing, but the E.U. avoided any direct criticism of Israel in a declaration on Monday. One quote seems that Israel had something to do with it: "At the present time, the member states are extremely angry at what happened. The discussions are ongoing- that's where we are" said Catherine Ashton, the E.U. foreign policy chief.

By: Justin Lynch

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tensions over Whaling

Australia has made it known in this past week that if Japan will not come to an agreement over the issue of whaling they will take the matter to the International Court. Japan and Australia have always been strong allies and trading partners, and many Japanese fear that because of American influence Australia may be going through with legal procedure for the wrong reason. For a country so developed, open, and environmentally conscious they still continue to hunt whales and defend their actions by saying it is for science when most of the meat goes towards food. Despite this, Australia and Japan are not going to let it effect their trading.

By: Albie Braun

Rebel Leader in the Philippines Killed

An assault by Philippine troops on Abu Sayyaf, a radical rebel group, left six dead, one a key leader. The leader was Albader Parad, a man wanted for abducting three Red Cross workers last year. The Abu Sayyaf group is the smallest of the Philippine's Islamic separatist groups, but also the most radical. Despite their size, they have been accused of committing brutal crimes such as bombing, beheading, and kidnapping. Their crimes target local Filipinos as well as foreigners. Christians are also targeted. The group has also been accused of having links with al-Qaeda. They wish to control parts of the Philippines, including Mindanao and the Sulu Islands, but the governments refuses to listen. The attack that ultimately killed Parad was started when Philippine troops received a tip-off from locals in the area. Officials had arrested another Abu Sayyaf leader in December, so Parad's death will be a blow to this militant rebel group.

By Abbey Smith

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Nepali Congress threatens to take up arms if Maoists resort to violence

The Nepali Congress(N.C) warned the Maoists to "mend their ways" or they will face retaliation. The Maoists have not fully dissloved their military and paramilitary organization and the Congress believes that Maoists will get back to the use of arms. This according to one member of the Central Comittee will force the ruling party to use force as well. So, the N.C urged the Maoists to abide by the 12-point political understanding in order to avoid any conequences that may result from their action. Read more at:

Submitted By; Namgyel Dorji

Friday, February 19, 2010

Ayatollah claims Iran Doesn't Seek Nuclear Weapons Due to Religious ReasonsC

Iran's supreme leader the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei claimed on Friday that the Islamic republic isn't pursuing nuclear weapons because of religious beliefs. Despite a report from a U.N. nuclear watchdog on Thursday claiming Iran may be trying to develop a nuclear warhead, Khamenei says that weapons of mass destruction are banned in Islam. According to International Atomic Energy Agency weapons inspector David Albright, Iran appears to be seeking concessions from the West on the tail of significant tensions over its nuclear program. Iran recently announced that it will advance uranium enrichment to 20 percent, leading Ahmadinejad to claim that it's "high time for some people to open their eyes and adapt themselves to real changes that are under way."

Chris Bilbro

Falkland Islands

In relationship to our recent discussion of the earth's environment, I came across this article on the Falkland Islands (east of Argentina). As the UK's oil rig arrived, major concerns are still being raised. Individuals are protesting against the new drilling, and are concerned for the preservation of the land. "Argentina has threatened to take "adequate measures" to stop British oil exploration in contested waters around the islands."

While those attempting to drill have stated they are following regulations, those living on the islands, and in Argentina, are not pleased with the actions being taken by the UK. As of now the UK has full intention with moving ahead with their operations, but Argentina will continue to fight. Though shipments are being detained, and Argentina continues to prolong the oil rigs, it seems the drilling will continue to proceed.

By: Meredith Hess

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Closer to Energy Reform than you Think

The issues that Venezuela are having right now are a testament to what I was saying earlier in class. When it is in a state's best interest to move toward more environmentally friendly measures of production, they will. For those staunch proportants of moving forward may be closer than you think to getting what you want.

Personally I think that it would be more beneficial for those in the Green Movement to give up on the played out "the world is ending and it's YOUR fault!" argument and focus on something less sensational and more logical. Because the truth is, as bad as it may sound the "what about the children" argument can only be stretched so far; as sad as it may be to accept a lot of people don't care about that more than they care about the imidiate future. Focuse on what is going to happen in the next couple of years and build on that. The ice caps are melting...yea yea yea. ok. now what?

by Sarah Richardson

Real Globalization

I'm not sure if this is legit enough to blog about for class but it is interesting none the less to see our culture proliferated in such a way

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Ugandan lawmaker pushing death penalty for gays

A Ugandan lawmaker is pushing a measure that would impose the death penalty for some gay men and lesbians. The president is pushing his ruling coalition to soften the bill (by forcing gays to go into counseling to get them to become heterosexuals.) Parliament has said they will act independently, meaning this or another ridiculous bill could become law.

By: Justin Lynch

Dubai Killing

Following the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh on January 20th, major investigations have been under-way. Mr. Mabhouh was killed in Dubai India in his hotel room. Investigators are lead to believe 11 Israeli agents are responsible for the killing. The research has found 11 stolen EU passports/forms of identification from Republic of Ireland, UK, and France. Pictures have discovered individuals in the hotel dressed in wigs, and fake beards. Those whose identification had been stolen are extremely confused and concerned. One man stated "I don't know who's behind this. I am just scared, these are major forces."
Those behind the murder are thought to be associated with the Mossad spy agency in Israel. While Israel's Foreign Minister, Avigdor Lieberman, has claimed no proof can be found. Although no proof can be found, the Minister has failed to announce a denial of their relationship to the case at hand.

Posted by: Meredith Hess

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Iranian president warns against tougher sanctions

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad appears to be stirring up controversy yet again today as he warned the United States and other countries not to place tougher sanctions on Iran for it's nuclear ambitions. When President Ahmadinejad was asked about the possibility of tougher sanctions being placed on Iran he replied, "We prefer that they move in the spirit of cooperation. It won't put us in trouble. They themselves will get into trouble." Ahmadinejad's comments come just a day after United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Saudi Arabian officials expressed concern over Iran's nuclear program. Yesterday Clinton addressed Iranian officials admitting they have enriched uranium to a level of 20%, she said, "This has only deepened the international community's doubts about Iran's nuclear intentions, along with the Iranian government's own isolation." Ahmadinejad continues to make provoking comments that suggest Iran is developing its nuclear program for more than just civilian purposes, and I think it has become a legitimate cause for international concern.

By: Cameron Adams

Yemeni Cease-Fire Too Good to be True

I blogged earlier this week about the cease-fire that was agreed upon between Yemeni officials and the Houthi rebel group in northern Yemen, however, I should have realized this deal was too good to be true. Deputy Interior Minister General Mohammed Bin Abdullah al-Qawsi reported to the Saba News Agency in Yemen that on Friday, which was within twenty four hours of the cease-fire's inception, his car was shot at in an attempt to assassinate him. This took place in northwestern Yemen, so he accused the Houthi rebels as being the group responsible for the shots fired. Many questions have risen as to why this could have happened, as well as the exchange of fire between a few rebels and troops. One possible answer as to why there has been continued violence is not every member of the rebel militia has been informed fully of the truce between the Yemeni government and Abdul Malik al-Houthi, the leader of the Houthi group. Abdul Malik al-Houthi posted on his website the details of the cease-fire signed on Thursday, and at this time he also asked his rebel members to respect the agreement and follow the terms. Hopefully the rebel members will spread the word through their network. The international community will continue to hope for peace in northern Yemen.

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

Monday, February 15, 2010

Iran to Become a Military Dictatorship

U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, visited the Saudi capital, Riyadh, after making statements that Iran is becoming a military dictatorship. The Obama administration backs this and feels Iran is headed for more power and a nuclear weapon, which means a tougher time for the U.S. and others in their efforts against their development of nuclear weapons. The U.S. Treasury Department has already froze assets to the Revolutionary Guards and other companies, because they have been linked to developing and spreading weapons of mass destruction. When asked if we are planning an attack on Iran, Clinton said no, but we will be pushing for sanctions and support from other countries in support of sanctions. No one knows what exactly is to come but hopes for sanctions and peace are what remains.

By: Lindsay Weidling

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Israeli cult leader charged with enslavement, rape

It is not unusual to see headline news about polygamy. But, this is one of the rare cases where an Israeli man who was arrested and indicted for having 23 wives and feathering 59 children. Sixty years old, Goel Ratzon, was charged on multiple counts of “sexual assault, rape, sodomy and enslavement” by a Tel Aviv court. He convinced his wives that he possesses infinite power and gained total control over their lives. He made all his wives and children worship him and made to abide by rules he set for them and deprived their rights to social contact. He was also accused of rape, sodomy, and sexual assault of some of his own daughters. Despite all the allegations, he denied claiming he is innocent because whatever he did was done with the consent of the women. Although the officials were aware of this case for a decade, they failed to intervene until one of the wives filed a complaint six months ago. To read more, visit:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Whoops! Climategate scientist says no global warming since '95

Fitting in nicely with Tuesday's discussion on climate change, in another embarrassment for climate researchers, the scientist at the middle of Climategate has admitted that he has trouble "keeping track" of the information on global warming, and that for the last 15 years there hasn't been any "statistically significant" warming.

By: Justin Lynch

NATO Missles Kills Civilians

After engaging in fire-armed combat with insurgents, the military in Helmand launched two missiles targeted the compound where the opposing forces were firing. The missiles instead landed 300 meters from their target hitting a home, where 12 civilians were killed. General McChrystal immediately issued an apology to the Afghan President, who has been a strong opponent against NATO. The missile system is under review and not to be used again despite the fact that it was used with not problems in Iraq. The article simply states what might have gone wrong and the apologies the military is offering and what it did to help, as well as goes into detail about the battle, however it does not explain what the potential consequences might be. The region is already unstable and the fact that civilians were killed might help Taliban to rally more supports while driving a bigger wedge between the Afghan citizens and the military.

By: Albie Braun

North Korea "Not Eager" to Restart Nuke Talks

Well this shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone who's been following the North Korea nuclear weapons fiasco. According to a report a UN envoy to the country put it best saying North Korea is "not eager" to restart talks about eliminating their nuclear arsenal. Last year China, Japan, Russia, South Korea, and the United States began talks with North Korea about them giving up their nuclear weapons. The talks were ended shortly and North Korea remained firm on their stance of remaining a nuclear state. It now appears the U.S. is attempting to get the talks going again, but North Korea isn't having it. Because North Korea continues to not cooperate in talks, the UN continues to mandate sanctions on the already impoverished nation. The article makes it clear that North Korea is not very appreciative of these sanctions. Hopefully it's enough to resume talks and perhaps convince North Korea to give up their weapons.

By: Cameron Adams

British Journalist Held in Gaza

British journalist Paul Martin has been detained
in the Gaza Strip for alleged offenses against Palestinian law. The claims also include actions which harm security of the country. No specific actions were outlined. Martin was reportedly taken into custody while covering a court hearing. He has been held for a full fortnight, and there has been no word of release.
by: megan smith

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Burma frees NLD leader Tin Oo

In a rare occasion, the Burmese government which is under the military junta has released Mr. Tin Oo, who served as the vice chair person of Aung San Suu Kyi's opposition National League for Democracy (NLD). Mr. Oo has been under house under for more than a decade after he was arrested in 2003 with the pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, who is a noble peace prize laureate. Mr. Oo also helped found the NLD in 1988. In 1990, the NLD under the leadership of Mrs. Aung San Suu Kyi won the national election but the military junta prevented them from taking the office. Now, Mrs. Suu Kyi has been under house arrest for more than 20 years. Burma now known as Myanmar is under several sanctions due to violation in human rights in the country under the military junta. Mr. Oo said he will continue work towards the democracy of the nation and hopes Mrs. Suu Kyi be released soon as well. Read more at:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Georgia Mourns the Death of Olympic Athlete

The start of the 2010 Winter Olympics should have been one of celebration, as over 80 countries in the world filled the Olympic Village in Vancouver to embark on a two week journey of pursuing the gold and peace. However, there has been a dark cloud on the international community, not meaning the fog and rain in Vancouver. Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili passed away Friday during a practice at the Whistler track. Kumaritashvili had his fatal crash at turn 16, where he was clocked at 90 mph before slamming into an unpadded metal pole. While several Olympic lugers have crashed on the track during their practice runs, the Vancouver organizers stated Friday evening Kumaritashvili "came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make the correct entrance into curve 16," implying it was the Georgian's fault. There have been modifications to the course, including a wall blocking the pole Kumaritashvili crashed into.Georgian President, Mikheil Saakashbili, who is in Vancouver to support his athletes, made the most powerful statement about the tragedy stating "no human error should lead to the death of an athlete."

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

Italian Counterfeit Bust

Italy is a popular place for counterfeit scams. Walking along the Vatican City wall in Rome will give you the opportunity to buy fake Gucci purses from a half dozen or more street vendors. On a colorful blanket, they display their goods on the ground, intriguing tourists with valiant offers. But that may have seriously changed. Italy's police force just seized a large amount of these counterfeit goods, including clothes, shoes, accessories, and leather goods. The fakes were found east of Rome in eight different industrial hangars. Italy's fake products market makes about 6.9 billion euros a year, according to Italy's national retailers association, and the country has tried to crack down tighter on this activity recently. There have even been calls for an appointment of a "counterfeit tsar" to stop this black market. Gucci, Bulgari, and Armani are all Italian companies, and thus attract Italy's tourists. When fakes passably close to the real ones are available for a fraction of the cost, it will be hard to stop the counterfeit activity. Besides, the people who are buying those purses wouldn't have bought the real ones anyway; those who want real Gucci get real Gucci. I don't think these major Italian companies have anything to actually worry about.

By Abbey Smith

Friday, February 12, 2010

NATOS's Afghan Offensive

The town of Marjah is considered to be one of the last Taliban strong holds and source of income provided by its opium fields in Afghanistan. Recently, U.S., British, Estonian and Afghan forces overtook the the city in attempt to rid of the strong Taliban influence there. The goal is to limit Afghan civilian casualties and build support among the local population for the NATO forces to prevent another Taliban strong hold from taking power in the future. The role of Afghan forces will be rather significant and will put their not only the U.S.'s ability to train, but also the current Afgahns force skills to the test.

Greg Voegtle

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Yemen Confirms a Cease-Fire with Rebels

The Yemeni government announced today they are ending its military operations against the Houthi rebels in northern Yemen. The two reportedly announced a truce that took place at 4pm ET. The Yemeni government is hoping the cease-fire will stop the large amounts of bloodshed and allow for northern Yemen to reconstruct. U.S Embassy spokesman said rebel leader Abdul Malik Al- Houth agreed to the six conditions in the cease-fire. The six conditions included: clearing mines, not interfering with local officials, releasing civilians and military personnel, abiding by Yemeni law, returning stolen items, and ending attacks within the country's northern neighbor, Saudi Arabia. The rebels started their revolt in 2004 over the slain Shiite cleric Hussein al-Houthi. The group is Shiite, while most of Yemen is Sunni, which is a large part to the conflict. Human Rights watch has reported that the conflict between the Yemeni government and the Houthi rebels has displaced over 250,000 Yemeni citizens. The Yemeni government now hopes to focus solely on the growing number of Al Qaeda members in the south.

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

Darfur rebel won't be tried by ICC

The ICC, in 2007 charged Darfur rebel chief Bahar Idriss Abu Garda with three war crimes of violence to life, intentionally directing attacks against personnel, installations, material, units and vehicles involved in a peacekeeping mission by the African Union Mission in Sudan (“AMIS”). The judges agreed that the case was of importance because the consequences of the attack had affected not only the AMIS personnel and their families, but also the local population as AMIS. However, the Chamber found that the prosecution’s allegations that Abu Garda participated in the alleged plan to attack AMIS were not supported by sufficient evidence.

By Alicia Panczyk

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

U.S. Offers Iran Medical Isotopes

Today the U.S. and other countries announced intentions to submit a plan to the International Atomic Energy Agency to provide Iran with medical isotopes used to treat cancer. This seems to come in response to Iran's announcement on Monday that it will continue enriching uranium to create fuel used in making isotopes. The U.S. aothers doubted Iran's stated motivation for pursuing this enrichment, arguing that this development will only increase Iran's ability to develop nuclear weapons. The U.S. State Department claims this offer will allow Iran to develop the isotopes needed for cancer treatment without improving their ability to develop fuel for nuclear weapons. Iran has rejected previous offers to ship its uranium to Russia for further enrichment in the recent past, and their acceptance of this deal seems unlikely.

Chris Bilbro

UN Slams Haitian Hospitals

The UN has claimed they will stop sending free medicine to Haiti, if their hospitals are charging for their medical care. The authorities made medical care free for everyone after the devastating earthquake. Plus millions of dollars have been donated, as well as people going over to Haiti and helping. Haiti hospitals claim none of their hospitals have been charging for their services, but the UN said if they can't make a strong enough argument to disprove this, they will only fund nongovernmental groups and private hospitals will free medicine and money. As for now the Haitian people are trying to recover and keep "looking to the sky" to see that no rain is coming. There hasn't been any major rain yet, but they say it's only a matter of time. Also, hurricane season starts in June. With all the relief efforts and money sent, we will have to see how this devastation plays out, and hopefully mother nature can cooperate more than it has recently.

By: Lindsay Weidling

Revolution Anniversary Sparks Warning to Protesters

Iran's police chief, Ismail Ahmadi Moghaddam, warned dissidents early this week that any protests related to the anniversary of the 1979 Islamic Revolution would be met with stiff opposition on the part of government security forces. He argued that is the responsibility of the government to curtail situations that threaten national security, especially under the banner of "sheer criticism". Prominent Iranian opposition leaders have called for citizens to take to the streets demanding that their rights be respected and their opinions heard.

Moghaddam also stated that Iranian forces, in an effort to maintain control of the situation, use "professional technology to prevent damages", such as monitoring text messages or email accounts of known dissenters. Protests have been ongoing in the nation ever since a highly controversial election in June allowed President Ahmadinejad to retain the Presidency despite accusations of fraud.

By: Nick McGuire

Monday, February 8, 2010

Sri Lanka election loser Sarath Fonseka arrested

General Sarath Fonseka, who lost to Mr. Rajapaksa in recent election in Sri Lanka, was arrested accusing him of “military offense.” Earlier the government accused Gen. Fonseka of plotting to overthrow the administration. But, Gen Fonseka denied the allegations. The arrest was described as “very disgraceful manner” according to one of the eyewitness, a Muslim congress leader. After the election was over, the government also accused Gen. Fonseka of plotting to assassinate the President and his family. Gen. Fonseka is seen as hero after he led the Sri Lankan army and defeated Tamil Tigers rebels last year. The civil war lasted more than quarter of a century. Mr. Rajapaksa won the election over Gen. Fonseka 57% to 40% of the votes. Read more at:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Costa Rica elects first woman President

Today the country of Costa Rica has elected it's first ever woman President. Laura Chinchilla of the National Liberation Party assumed victory after her opponent Otton Solis conceded his party's defeat earlier in the evening. According to the article, poll results showed Chinchilla recieving roughly 46.8 % of the vote with Solis only recieving 25 % of the vote. In Chinchilla's victory speech graced the woman population of Costra Rica and thanked them for their vote. She was quoted as saying "I want to thank the pioneering women who years ago opened the doors of politics in Costa Rica, my government will be open to all Costa Rican's of good faith." Truly this is a historic moment for the country of Costa Rica but is probably more historic for the women of Costa Rica and the role they are beginning to play in politics.

By: Cameron Adams

Yanukovych declares victory in Ukrainian vote

After a bitter election, former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych declared victory in Ukraine's second round of presidential elections over Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. We have to be careful since Yanukovych rigged an election in 2004...this one seems like he won fair and square though.

By: Justin Lynch

Englad to Stop Students from Entering

Pressure from the United States and the recent incident attempted bombing on Christmas Day, has reviewing how to decrease the likely hood that terrorists will try to settle within their borders. They will do this by reducing the amount of international students that come into the country as well as raise the bar for passing the application process and not allowing students to bring any family members with them, as well as monitoring the colleges where the students study. It would apply to anyone outside of the E.U. but focus is on the Muslim and Indian countries. Despite the fact that America has been pressuring them for a while, it is mainly the fact that the Christmas Day bomber studied in Britain and there came into contact with Islamic radicals.

By: Albie Braun

Confirmation: Iran Wants Nukes.

Iranian President Ahmadinejad has asked Iran's Atomic Energy Organization to begin enriching uranium to 20%. Uranium enrichment for energy, or, 'peaceful purposes' needs to be enriched to around a modest 4.5%. So, ready to use deductive reasoning? 20% is about 5 times what is needed for energy, and just enough for an extremely crude nuclear weapon. Granted, trying to use a weapon which has this level of enrichment would probably not work the way they want it to, it is a step towards the desired 90% enrichment needed for efficient nuclear weapons. I would be expecting that Iran would begin talk of pulling out of the NPT soon. What this means for the area is varied. Will Israel admit to it's weapons now that Iran is openly perusing them? Only time will tell!

Megan Smith

Friday, February 5, 2010


Is Iran really competing with the West in terms of technology? Can it? Obviously YES! Iran on Wednesday announced the launch of a research rocket not with people inside but animals (a mouse, two turtles and worms) into space. This is according to Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a prove that Iran can defeat the West in the battle of technology. This adds to the existing concerns of the West in regards to Iran’s nuclear program. President Ahmadinejad praised the launch and said “greater event” would come in the future and this is first time Iran’s space launching with animal inside. Does it tell anything about Iran’s ongoing nuclear facilities? Should the West be worried? To read more, follow the link below:

Submitted by:
Namgyel Dorji

Bomb Blasts in Karachi, Pakistan

On the last and most important day of a 40-day festival, Shia Muslims were attacked in Karachi, Pakistan. Two bombs killed over 25 people and injured over 50. The first bomb came in the form of a motorbike strapped with explosives. The bike ran into a bus carrying a group of Shia Muslims to a religious ceremony. This blast killed 12 people. Later, at the hospital, another bomb went off, right where the Shia Muslims from the original blast were being taken. This blast killed 13. Both bombs are believed to have been detonated from a remote control, and a third bomb was found in the hospital and defused before anymore damage could be done. These attacks happened despite strong security throughout Pakistan because of the festival, and they were not the only attacks over the past 40 days. Shia Muslims are the minority in Pakistan, as well as across the world, making up only 10% of the Muslim religion. Saturday is to be a day of mourning for Pakistan, a tragic end to a long festival.

By Abbey Smith

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

American Hikers Detained in Iran Since July

Three American hikers have been detained in Iran since July 31, 2009 when they accidentally were found hiking across an unmarked border of Iran. The three Americans who are being detained are: Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd, and Josh Fattal. Currently, the three are being held by the Iranian government with espionage charges.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton recently told the press that there are no negotiations taking place between the U.S and Iran on the topic of the three hikers. She said there is no option of exchanging Iranians being held in the U.S for the American hikers. Clinton calls on Iran to release our three citizens based on the fact they are being unjustly held and should release them based upon their humanitarian senses, if they have any. Clinton stresses they are being held on no real grounds that call for detainment.

By: Alyssa Rabulinski

Somali Pirates Hijack North Korean Ship

Pirates in the increasingly lawless Gulf of Aden seized a North Korean-flagged ship today, according to a European Union anti-piracy task force. The 4800 ton, Libyan-owned MV Rim is believed to have been hijacked by Somali pirates, as the ship was seen changing course for the Somali basin. It's currently unknown how many crew members are on board, and owner of the ship has been unable to contact anyone on board This hijacking comes only two days after pirates released a Greek-owned ship taken off the coast of Somalia. This episode only came to a close after that ship's owner paid an unknown ransom, though the crew and ship were returned safely. Somalian pirates are becoming a greater problem by the year for the EU and numerous other countries, and last year alone pirates made an estimated 60 million dollars from hijacking and kidnapping. As of the present, a dozen ships and over 250 seamen are still being held by Somali pirates.

Chris Bilbro

Sudan President can be charged with genocide at ICC

The International Criminal Court in The Hague will try to charge Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir with genocide in Darfur. The decision is good because now it is possible other world leaders can be charged with the same crime- the article states four investigations are on-going right now, all in Africa. Last March al-Bashir was charged with seven counts of war crimes and crimes against humanity, but not genocide. The president has since avoided traveling to countries where he might be arrested and brought to the ICC.

By: Justin Lynch

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Uh ohh Obaama!

President Obama is following through on his intention to meet with the Dalia Lama. China has the US "warned" against the meeting, suggesting that it would but a strain on their current relationship with the US. Some US officials, however are under the impression that China has too much invested in their relationship to follow through with any negative sentiments towards the US.
So our president is really attempting to make big strides in the international community. He said that he wanted to take a more diplomatic approach in international affairs and this seems to me moving in that direction. However, I'm not sure how realistic this endeavor is. As much as I would like to see it work out the way Obama has it planned, I'm not sure that that is something either party in China/Tibet is willing to take part in.

by Sarah Richardson

Monday, February 1, 2010

Immortal Cells

If it weren't for Henrietta Lacks we would not be where we are in the world of medicine today. Henrietta Lacks, was diagnosed with cervical cancer, and the doctor at John Hopkins took her cells, without her knowledge, and because of this we have "Hela" cells which was the first set of immortal human cell line known to medicine. The donor remained a mystery for sometime, but due to the leniency in privacy in the 1950s when Henrietta's cells were taken, the mystery donor was revealed. Lacks' cells have contributed to developing the polio vaccine and were used in gene mapping, cloning and in vitro fertilization.

By: Lindsay Weidling

Female Suicide Bomber Kills Dozens in Baghdad

The female bomber detonated her explosive vest amidts tight security, as thousands of Shiite worshipers are making their way to the holy city of Karbala, south of Baghdad, to mark the Arbaeen which is the end of the 40 day mourning period at the close of Ashura. The detonation took place in an area where only females where being searched and targeted mostly Shiite pilgrims. Three volunteer female searchers where amongst the 41 people that died today. Iraqi officials have warned of attacks during the pilgrimage ahead of national elections on March 7.

By Alicia Panczyk