Monday, May 31, 2010

German President Resigns

The German President, Horst Koehler resigned Monday. This is the first time this has ever happened in German history. He has resigned over criticisms he has recieved over a statement he made on May 22nd regarding troops. He was reported to have said, "in emergencies, military intervention is necessary to uphold our interests, like for example free trade routes, for example to prevent regional instabilities which could have a negative impact on our chances in terms of trade, jobs and income." Later he corrected his statement saying he meant to protect shipping routes from piracy along the Gulf of Aden. Many took his statement to be in reference to Germany's role in Afghanistan, claiming that the statement put the war in economic terms that had to do with Germany's self-interest, not because of a NATO mission they are involved in, which uses 4,500 German troops. Some believe his statement means he'll use the military to his like as long as it aligned with economic reasons, which could be unconstitutional. The head of the Bundersrat, or upper house of parliament will take over the Presidents duties, Jens Boerhrnsen will be taking over these duties until an electoral college chooses a new president by June 30th. The new president will be chosen by the Federal Convention as long as there is an absolute majority.

Submitted By: Emily Schaub

NO. 3 Al Qaeda Leader Reported Dead

The third man in command for Al Qaeda, Abu Yazid, has been reported dead, along with his wife, three daughters and one granddaughter. It was reported on an Islamist website and relayed to CNN and other news agencies via SITE, which monitors Islamist websites. The detail of their deaths has not been released. It is believed that he was a co-founder and financial manager for the terrorist group. He has appeared in past videos claiming Al Qaeda’s responsibility for various acts, including an attack that took place on December 30th in Eastern Afghanistan. The attack killed seven CIA officers and an army captain from Jordan. In the video he claimed the attack was to avenge the death of Baitullah Mehsud that was killed in a missile strike in August of 2009; he was a Pakistani Taliban leader.

Submitted By: Emily Schaub

US May Have Killed Al Qaeda’s No. 3 Leader

After the US stepped up drone attacks in areas of Pakistan, it is believed that the No. 3 leader of Al Qaeda was killed along with many other foot soldiers. The No. 3 leader was known as Sheikh Sa’id al-Masri, Chief operating officer, and having a very close connection to Osama bin Laden. This attack on Al Qaeda by the US is viewed by some as a counter terrorism attack due to a recent failed Times Square car bomb and a previous failed Christmas Day bombing.

Submitted by: Sherry Klinger

US Hikers not to be released from Iran

US citizens that have been in custody of Iran since July of last year will not be released along side Iranians that have recently been released from Iraqi custody. The Iranian Ambassador has downplayed the idea that just because Iraq has released Iranians that the three Americans would be released as well. The US citizens held in custody are being accused of being spys when the three Americans were hiking in Northern Iraq and inadvertently wandered into Iran where they were then captured by Iranian officials.

By Shawn Lawton

Crisis emerges after Israel's attack on flotilla to Gaza

A diplomatic crisis has emerged after the Israeli navy personnel led a raid on a flotilla en route to Gaza. The flotilla, made up of ships transporting aid to the ravaged Gaza Strip, was in international waters at the time of the attack. The ships were led by the Free Gaza Movement and were the latest attempts to break through Israel's three-year blockade of Gaza. Nine deaths have occurred from the attack which has caused a storm of international condemnation, even resulting in an emergency meeting of the United Nations Security Council. While many members of the international community are appalled by the violence that was demonstrated, the Israeli government is claiming it was done out of self-defense. While more information is bound to come out surrounding the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has canceled his previously scheduled meeting with President Obama that was to have taken place on Tuesday in Washington.

Submitted by: Mary Naset

The release of gay couple due to international pressure

Malawi's president on Saturday May 29,2010 ordered the release of a gay couple who were sentenced to 14 years in prison, but insisted that homosexuality was still illegal in his conservative southern African nation. President Bingu wa Mutharika believes it was a crime against his culture, religion, and laws but released them for "humanitarian grounds only". One of the 37 African countries with anti-gay laws Malawi faced international condemnation and in Uganda a proposed law would impose the death penalty for some gays. Many activists have been concerned with the safety of the two men after being released, trying to find them a safe house, or help them temporarily leave the country.
Submitted By: Jessica Seggman

Sunday, May 30, 2010

BP is Running

As reported by the New York Times today , top kill or the-new-failure, was unsuccessful in stopping the leak of oil. This crisis has fallen on the head of someone who really does not deserve it , President Obama. This is a problem that happened in the market and blame should truly fall on BP, not Obama. However, no matter who is blamed, the crisis is one not only of oil but of information. This leak has shown the Oil market as a whole may not be ready to fix all of their messes. Best estimates put the hemmorhage from stopping in Mid august, but no one seems to know. What is for sure; we are floundering in oil and there is no foreseeable wat up.

By David DePino

ICC Aggression Definition

The International Criminal Court, the ICC, is an international justice system that MOST of the world supports and takes an active role in. The U.S. despite being an advocate for justice not only does NOT participate but also scorns the ICC and their power. At this very moment there is a proposal going before leaders around the world to give the ICC the power to define and punish acts of aggression, including invasions and preemptive strikes. This only sounds slightly familiar. Many leaders of the world are for giving this decisive power--and another proposal that would allow the ICC to punish countries that use devices that cause "unnecessary suffering"--to the ICC. However, five major powers are against this proposal: Britain and France, both are a part of the ICC, and Russia, China, and the U.S., none of these countries are members. The five major players, all permanent members of the U.N. Security Council, have the power of veto in the U.N. which have lead some to believe that they P5 are trying to limit the ICC so that it does not have more power than them. This is just the beginning but there is a positive pattern that shows that the proposal might succeed even without support from the P5, or at least that is what many countries are hoping for.

Submitted By: Albie Braun

Tropical Disaster

Now it seems like the start of tropical storms season in Central America and just yesterday a tropical storm Agatha hit Guatemala, southeast Mexico and some parts of El Salvador. The storm triggered sudden rush of dirty muddy water. The storm caused about 12 people’s deaths and 11 or more people were missing. However BBC news said that Guatemala was the worst hit country and 63 people were killed. It rained about 30 inches in Guatemala, SE Mexico and El Salvador till Sunday. Before the Agatha storm hit Guatemala, there was a volcano that erupted and killed about three people although more than 1,800 people were evacuated out safely in advance. The capital’s international airport was shut down due to the volcano eruption. As the storm Agatha moved farther northeast, it slowly disintegrated. President Colom said that the weather will clear up soon and necessary supplies will be sent to those affected places. Read more at

Submitted by David Gum Awng

France steps up to help Rwanda

France just arrested a Rwandan doctor that was suppected of participating in the Genocide in 1994. Eugene Rwamucyo was arrested on a warrent issued by Rwanda. He was a doctor in France and a month before his arrest he was dismissed from one of the hospital there. France is committed to helping with the detainment of all suspect in the case. This move will also improve the relationship between Rwanda and France.

Jessica Branch

China urges region to step back from Korea clash

South Korea and Japan blame North Korea for torpedoing South Korea's Cheonan which killed 46 sailors. China, North Korea's biggest trade partner, has declined to to publicly join international condemnation of North Korea, saying it is still assessing evidence. Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao kept to that stance on a two-day summit which was originally meant to focus on regional economic integration. Wen didn't give any indication that China would accept an effort to condemn or sanction North Korea. As a permanent member of the Security Council, China can veto any resolution or statement.

Submitted by Derald Willey

China's Stance on South Korea's Ship

Saturday China offered its condolences for South Korea's sunken ship. As everyone knows, South Korea has blamed North Korea for the sinking of their warship in March. The world has been waiting for China's response because it has been an ally to North Korea and everyone was unsure if China would try to shield them. There has been pressure on them to reign North Korea in due to there influential role as an ally. Prime Minister Wen Jiabao of China was in a three-way summit on the southern Korean island of Jeju with the leaders of South Korea and Japan. He was also quoted on Friday saying that Beijing "will not protect anyone". This would come after there was a definite conclusion on the cause of the sinking. Investigators concluded that the torpedo that sunk the ship was from a North Korean vessel, however North Korea is calling the reports "fake" because they don't even own the type of ship said to have been used. South Korea is hoping for more sanctions on North Korea. Japan has already bans trade with North Korea, but has furthered this by lowering the amount of undeclared cash that could be carried there.

by Jenae Harner

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Robin Hood in Jamaica

Violence has flared in Kingston neighborhoods of Tivoli Gardens and Denham Town. Christopher "Dudus" Coke, suspected drug kingpin is wanted in Jamaica as wall as the United States, Security forces in Jamaica plan to renew a push Monday to arrest the accused drug lord at the center of violence that has now killed an estimated 76 people.

The high death toll is a result of violence triggered by Jamaican authorities' attempts to arrest Coke, Ellington said. The dead include 73 civilians, two police officers & one soldier, authorities have also detained more than 700 people. Coke has a heroic reputation in Kingston's slums. He has been likened to Robin Hood & Jesus because he has helped the community by handing out food, sending children to school & building medical centers, according the CNN wire staff.


Submitted By: Brian C. Gaddis

Difficulties with Early Elections in Thailand

After two months of particular inflamed protesting in & around Bangkok, the Thai government is looking to move forward with elections. Despite the want & need to move forward, it will be difficult for Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to hold a November election as he proposed.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, “It’s a lot more difficult now to have elections before the end of the year because the November date was set with the protesters joining in the plan right from the start,” Abhisit told foreign reporters today in Bangkok. “Because that hasn’t happened, it’s going to take a while longer to establish the right kind of environment.”

For the last 53 days, there has been a state of emergency in the capital & other parts of Thailand. The curfew imposed on May 19 was just lifted today when a military assault on anti-government protesters seeking an immediate election ended two months of rallies & arson attacks.
Abhisit aims to restore international confidence in Thailand after clashes between troops & protesters, which left at least 85 people dead. Finance Minister Korn Chatikavanij said on May 24 that losses from tourism revenue and investments should be expected because of the rallies, which may shave about two percentage points from economic growth this year.


Submitted By: Brian C. Gaddis

Pakistan mosque raids kill scores

There has been simultaneous raids on two different mosques of the minority Ahmadi Islamic sect in Lahore, killing more than 80 people, Launched by several gunmen. No one has laid claims to the attacks yet, but the Pakistani Taliban is suspected. Pakistani forces secured both buildings, & searching for militants who fled the scene after attackers fired guns and threw grenades at worshippers during Friday prayers. Three militants later blew themselves up with suicide vests.

Lahore has been the scene of a string of brazen attacks, at least 45 people were killed in March when two suicide bombers attacked a crowded residential area. More recently the attacks come as controversy rages in Pakistan over a competition on Facebook which invited people to draw cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.


Submitted By: Brian C. Gaddis

Friday, May 28, 2010

China seeks assurance from Patil on Tibet issue

The Chinese government brought up several issues during the visit of Indian President Pratibha Patil in Beijing. The Tibet issue was one of them. The Chinese official asked if India recognizes Tibet as an integral part of China to which the President responded by saying yes. The President also assured that anti-China protests are not allowed in India as promised. According to Indian officials, the Chinese government seek the same assurance about the issue from any visiting head of the states. The leaders also touched on the topics such as reaching the bilateral trade target of $60 billion and improving business relations between the two nations as well. Read more at:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Volcanic Eruptions in Both Guatemala and Ecuador

Thursday Guatemala's Pacaya volcano erupted covering the capital city in ash and shutting down the international airport. A television reporter was killed when he got to close to the volcano. At least three others have been reported dead. In 1998 the volcano twice erupted and force evacuations.

Ecuador: Tungurahua volcano also erupted blowing ash over Ecuador's most populous city. Flights were canceled, but neither of these volcanoes had the same affect on air travel as Iceland's recent volcanic eruption. At least 1,910 people have been moved to shelters. As of Thursday 800 homes were damaged. The ash was up to three inches thick in some parts of the city. In 2006 eruptions buried whole villages leaving thousands homeless.

Submitted By: Erin Burneson

Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty Working Towards Nuclear Disarmament

The current nations of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty have come to a solution and consensus that includes a document that will lead to nuclear disarmament in the future.  This new agreement is considered a "crucial step" for the treaty that hasn't really come a long way over the last several years.  One of the important parts of the deal includes "[holding] talks in 2012" for halting nuclear weapons in the Middle East.  Also important is the five nuclear weapon holding states agreeing to dismantle and disable some of their arms.  Recently, some of these states have come forward with how many arms they currently have, which is a start to potential nuclear disarmament.  Another significant factor discussed is Israel, which is assumed to holding nuclear weapons, but not openly acknowledging that it does.  And one of the problems the Non-Proliferation Treaty faces is how to deal with Iran and its nuclear production.

Submitted By: Hanna Khan

Over 80 people killed in Pakistan

The attacks targeted the meeting places of a small religious group in Lahore, Pakistan. The attackers used various methods to destroy two mosques. There was witness of suicide bombers, gunmen and grenade use. The group, Ahmadi, believes themselves to be part of the Muslim faith. However, the government does not make the same recognition. They have been restricted by the government and discriminated against by other Muslims.

Submitted by: Mallory Neumann

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Supply Convoy to Gaza Will Be Re-Routed

A supply convoy headed for Gaza will be rerouted, according to Israeli government officials. There’s a blockade that has been imposed since 2007 that blocks their direct route to Gaza. The government has agreed to allow the flotilla to dock at Ashdod, a port in Israel, unload the supplies and then transfer it to Gaza. The convoy is made of up two groups, the Free Gaza Movement which is a pro-Palestinian human rights organization and the IHH movement which is a Turkish humanitarian relief foundation that is affiliated with the Islamic Brotherhood. According to them the convoy is carrying construction material, medical equipment, school supplies and 750 activists of various nationalities.

The government is clearly upset about this, a spokesman saying that this is “"a cheap political stunt. If they were really interested in the well being of the people of Gaza, they would have accepted the offers of Egypt or Israel to transfer humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza, along with the other 15 thousand tons sent every week." Ambassadors from the countries that the convoy departed from have been called to meet with the director general of Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs to make it clear that the convoy is being seen as a provocation and that there aren’t any shortages in Gaza humanitarian or otherwise.

Submitted By : Emily Schaub

Chinese Apple Assembly Suicides

An Apple plant in China has recently had some terrible happenings. Tuesday a 19 year old "fell" to his death. It was actual a suicide and was the ninth one to occur this year. The actual plant is very large and not run directly by Apple but by Foxconn, which also makes products for Hewlett Packard and Dell. Apple representatives have said that they are extremely concerned about these happenings. They have issued a statement saying that they are in direct contact with Foxconn senior management and are taking steps to make sure "that conditions throughout our supply chain are safe and workers are treated with respect and dignity." It was almost devastating news for the Apple Company; tomorrow they will be releasing the new ipad to other countries. Hopefully Foxconn shapes up or Apple's going to be looking for a new manufacturing firm. Suspected reasons are long work hours, low pay and psychological pressures. Labor activists across China are suspicious of the working conditions in other assembly plants, particularly ones run by Taiwanese Foxconn. Some activists in Hong Kong are even calling for a boycott of the next generation of iphones. Time will tell, but I have a feeling if Foxconn doesn't shape up Apple will be dumping them, and who knows maybe Dell and HP will follow suit.

Submitted By: Emily Schaub

clear pixel North Korea to Suspend Naval Hot Line With South

North and South Korea have been argueing about a west side boarder ever since the Korean War ended with a truce in 1953. However, on Thursday North Korea’s military leaders said it would “completely nullify” a 2004 accord that wants to end unjustified firing/tension along the disputed western sea border. They did this with an exercise of ten shitps, including a 3,500 ton destroyer, far below the disputed areas just to demonstrate its power. This has been such a problem that there has been three bloody maritime battles in the past decade. What this truce means is that now they will communicate on the same radio frequency and be able to communicate together to avoid conflicts at Sea and handle emergencies. "Tension on the divided peninsula has escalated since a team of international investigators said last week that a North Korean submarine torpedoed the Cheonan a South Korean navy corvette, killing 46 sailors, in waters south of a western sea border drawn unilaterally by the United nations after the war. The South defends the border, but the North rejects it."

By:Chase Pavlick

By:Chase Pavlick

More elements added to Obama Doctrine

The Obama administration has just released their redefined "National Security Strategy." The 51-page piece covers such issues as terrorism, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, policies on Iran and North Korea, expanding engagement with other major powers, and the "strong partnership" with Israel. One of the main themes presented in the report, which is required under a 1986 law that calls for the president to present an annual strategic statement, is a divergence away from a pure unilateral military approach and instead a focus on "international engagement and collaboration as first options against national security threats." Presidential advisor John Brennan, in a speech presenting the strategy, presented a change from the rhetoric of the previous administration when dealing with antiterrorism. "Our enemy is not terrorism, because terrorism is but a tactic. Our enemy is not terror, because terror is a state of mind and, as Americans, we refuse to live in fear."

Submitted by: Mary Naset

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Air India workers call off strike

Air India workers have called off a two-day strike that left tens of thousands of passengers stranded after an Indian court asked them to return to work. The strike was called in protest at an alleged gag on staff speaking about the air disaster in Mangalore (which is still a mystery as to why the plane actually crashed). It left more than 100 flights canceled. During the strike several workers were dismissed, but the strike is expected to end and normal productivity should resume in a few days. This strike was a big deal locally as well because this is the first occasion where union leaders were actually dismissed. The Indian Government directed the striking employees to return to work, and called the whole situation "irresponsible." Unions are claiming that the management forbade them from talking with the press about the crash. As expected, the airline denies the union's accusations. Some Air India employees suggested that the airline was flouting safety regulations. Again, the airline denied such charges. Union leaders also said that the strike was to protest against the delay in payment of salaries.

Submitted by: Nate Heberlein

Egypt Officials Jailed Over A Rockslide

One Cairo deputy governor has been sentenced to five years for a rockslide that happened in Cairo in September 2008. Seven other government officials were also sentenced to three years apiece. The rockslide that tore through makeshift houses in Egypt's capital was responsible for the deaths of 119 people and a great deal of property damage. After much public outcry, and a long government investigation, the court determined that the eight officials would be charged with negligence because they ignored information that wastewater seepage would cause hillside collapse. The residents should have been removed from the area before the rockslide ever hit.

Submitted By: Nora Beswick

Prince of Pot Caught

Marc Emery, a 51 year old, has finally lost his battle against extradition for selling marijuana seeds around US via mail. He could serve up to 20 years in jail. He was arrested in 2005 and now after 5 years has appeared in court and pleaded guilty. Emery was extradited from Vancouver and will have his sentence hearing August 11th of this year. He is attempting to serve his time in Canada, but supposedly he will initially be in a US prison with a possible transfer to Canada. Emery commented saying, "I think of myself as a great Canadian. I'm proud of what I've done, and I have no regrets. I have the support of hundreds of thousands, possibly millions of Canadians." (In Canada, marijuana is illegal but rarely prosecuted)

by Jenae Harner

Britain reveals size of nuclear stockpile

For the first time, Britain has revealed the number of nuclear warheads it possesses...225 total, with 160 operational. Personally I'm surprised- I thought a country of Britain's size and economic might would have more- this is compared to the United States' overwhelming 5,113 nuclear warheads. Now it'll just be a little while until Israel reveals their number...haha.

By: Justin Lynch

BP gears up for 'top kill' plan

After several unsuccessful attempts to stop the spilling of oil from the well in the Gulf of Mexico, which continues to leak, the oil company BP is set to decide whether or not to carry out their 'top kill' plan, which includes pumping mud into the well. Before the decision can be made, the procedure has to be tested several times to ensure that it is safe and will have a lasting effect. Due to the previous failed attempts, BP is under pressure to succeed this time. According to BP's team, the hole will be sealed with cement after the mud is pumped inside. It is said to have a 60-70% chance of success, and if it is approved, will be able to be watched live via a videostream of the well, which currently shows oil and gas escaping into the Gulf.

By: Anna Moric

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

UN Forces to be removed from Chad and Central African Republic

After deploying over 4,000 troops at the beginning of 2009, the UN Security council has voted to withdraw the troops in stages by the end of 2010. These troops were originally deployed to help protect thousands of displaced Chadians and refugees from Darfur. The Chadian president Idress Deby described the UN's efforts as a failure, and the troops no longer necessary. Though Chad requested the removal, Amnesty International is concerned that this could endanger thousands of refugees in the region. Chad currently holds over 260,000 refugees from the Darfur region. This decision from Chad comes during a patching of relationships between the country and Sudan.

by: Shauntal Van Dreel

U.S. Is Said to Expand Secret Actions in Mideast

The top American commander in the Middle East has ordered a broad expansion of clandestine military activity in an effort to disrupt militant groups or counter threats in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries in the region, according to defense officials and military documents.These special and secret military actions give then the ability too go into the Middle East, Central Asia and the Horn of Africa to gather intelligence and build ties with local forces. Officials said the order also permits reconnaissance that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran if tensions over its nuclear ambitions escalate. "While the Bush administration had approved some clandestine military activities far from designated war zones, the new order is intended to make such efforts more systematic and long term, officials said. Its goals are to build networks that could “penetrate, disrupt, defeat or destroy” Al Qaeda and other militant groups, as well as to “prepare the environment” for future attacks by American or local military forces, the document said."

By: Chase Pavlick

By: chase pavlick

il Hits Home, Spreading Arc of Frustration

In the last week, the oil slick in the Gulf of Mexico has revealed itself to an angry and desperate public, smearing tourist beaches, washing onto the shorelines of sleepy coastal communities and oozing into marshy bays that fishermen have worked for generations. It showed its face through the use of killing off some of the state birds, brown pelicans, in its early stage. More than a month has passed since the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig blew up, spewing immeasurable quantities of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and frustrating all efforts to contain it. The billowing plume of undersea oil and water has thwarted the industry’s well-control efforts and driven government officials to impotent rage.

By: Chase Pavlick

Monday, May 24, 2010

More Problems in Iraq

On Monday, Bashar Mohammed Hamid, a newly elected member to Iraq's parliament was shot and killed. He was the first member of Iraq's new parliament to be a target of violence, which is adding more issues to already tense politics. People are unsure if his death had anything to do with his new place in parliament, because the area in which he was killed is very violent. Hamid's cousin saw two men meet up with six other men outside of his house, who then opened fire and shot Hamid seven times. One gunman has reportedly been arrested. Also, election officials announced (on the same day) that two other winning candidates may be disqualified from the parliament. This is making the creation of their new government more complicated then it already was. Critics of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al- Maliki are claiming he is doing this to remain in power, but others think it is just Iraq's complex bureaucracy. Either way, it is not helping Iraq's never ending government dilemmas.

Submitted by: Kathleen Tite

Britain bans doctor who linked autism to vaccine

As the pioneer of the completely discredited idea that linked vaccines to autism, it is only fitting that the man responsible for this theory has now been banned from practicing medicine in his home country, Britain. Dr. Andrew Wakefield started a fringe movement that is literally responsible for the hospitalizations and deaths of children from an easily preventable sickness like the measles in countries throughout Europe and the United States. After his study was widely panned, he came to America where he found celebrities willing to support his theories without credible evidence. This guy is a disgrace.

By: Justin Lynch

Caught In A Lie, Drilling Projects Keep Moving Ahead

Since Obama has announced a moratorium on permits for drilling new offshore oil wells, at least seven new permits of various types of drilling and five environmental waivers have been granted. The moratorium was meant to ensure that no new accidents occurred while the administration had time to review the regulatory system. Since the Gulf explosion federal regulators have granted at least nineteen environmental waivers, and at least seventeen drilling permits for gulf drilling projects. The Department of Interior officials said the moratorium was meant to only halt permits for drilling new wells, it was not meant to stop permits for new work on EXISTING drilling projects like the Deepwater Horizon. Not only have federal regulators been criticized for signing project waivers but for also failing to review these projects. Although none of the projects that have recently been granted have started drilling, but these waivers have been seen as troublesome, granted through a special legal provision that is supposed to be limited to projects that present minimal or no risk to the environment. Most of the new waivers are for waters that are deeper than the Deepwater Horizon, being classified as "ultra-deep". At least 3 lawsuits have been filed by environmental groups this month, this investigation will take months, while more permits are being released.

Submitted By:Jessica Seggman

Sunday, May 23, 2010

South Korea suspends trade with North Korea

South Korean Preident, Lee Myung-bak announced Monday that the country was going to suspend trade with North Korea. This was initiated because of the sinking of a South Korean warship. Lee made a few statements concerning South Korea's patience with North Korea, but they no longer feel that hoping for peace in their region will solve all of the problems at hand. According to this article, North Korea is denying all allegations that they had sunk the South Korean ship with a torpedo on March 26, which killed 46. South Korea "referred the incident to the UN Security Council in order to allow the international community to join in holding the North Koreans accountable."

By: Becca Sage

U.S. Tries Luring Taliban Foot Soldiers Back to Society

Juma Kahn, 23 was "tried" after being seized by Marines once they discovered ammunition, opium, and a bomb trigger device buried in his yard. "Trials" of young Taliban soldiers are a way of determining if they will rejoin Afghan society or are loyal to the Taliban. The trial took place after confinement and extensive questioning. Kahn left the Taliban, his elders swearing he'd never be a part of it again, and pledged himself to the Afghan government. Marines hope to "reintegrate" him, and other young Taliban soldiers like him, back into society, although they can never be certain if the soldiers ever rejoin. Reasons why young members of the Taliban stay or join vary, but most are worried about the consequences, according to the article.

Submitted by: Inge Moran

Israel's Arms May Not Be Big Enough

Many believe that our strong ties with Israel make them a huge target for other nations that are going nuclear- like Iran. The Washington Times Reports that Israel's armaments may not be nearly big enough or widespead enough to premptivley stop a nuclear attack from Iran by attacking its nuclear facilities. Even though Israel does have a lot of weapons supplied to them from the United States, it may not be enough because their fleet is relatively small. The only sure way to stop the nuclear mess is for the United States to totally shut down Iran's electricity indefinitely, a strategy that for all intents and purposes will not be pursued.

By David DePino

Death Rate Drops

Parents around the world should rejoice, the death rates for children under 5 are dropping anywhere from 2 to 6% and are growing at alarming rate. In terms of numbers, 7.7 million kids are still estimated to die this year, and although that sounds like a morbid prediction, it is still better than the rate in the 90's where nearly 12 million children died. This estimation shows that a positive trend has occurred and many are citing efforts that world has put forth to save the kids: vaccines, medical treatment, disease prevention, and education. Countries where the government fully support child survival are the countries that have the lowest rates. Although researchers are optimistic they admit that the rates can easily be reversed because the root cause of the problem--poverty--has not been addressed or treated.

Submitted By: Albie Braun

Cuban prisoners

The Cuban government has agreed to move many of the country's 200 political prisoners to jails closer to their homes, and will give medical attention to some ailing prisoners, and sick inmates after talks with the Roman Catholic leaders. But it was not clear if all of the political prisoners would be moved, or how many of those who are ailing will receive treatment. Moreover there are 200 opponents of the government serving prison sentences and almost 30 of them were found to be a state of health. Still those band of soldiers will not be regarded as political prisoners, said the Cuban authorities. The government’s decision about the issue of political prisoners comes just after a rare meeting between Cuban President Raul Castro and two Church leaders from Santiago de Cuba, including Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega. After meeting, Ortega said he was optimistic that the government would be willing to compromise.
More available at

Submitted by David Gum Awng

Jamaica Declares State of Emergency

Jamaica declared a state of emergency for two areas after two parishes were attacked and one set on fire. Gunman opened up fire on to police stations because of talk that Dudas Coke was going to be sent to the U.S. after killing hundreds of people in the big Cocaine Wars of the 80's. This is the 3rd time this has, happened the ones before were cancelled because of Cokes support of the government in charge. The people of Jamaica are outraged by this claim because he is a favorite of the people there. Because of this violence the U.S. Department of State have issue a travelers warning in two areas because of a chance of dangerous activity.

Submitted by Zach Mowen

Okinawa Residents Outraged with Hatoyama

Prime Minsister Yukio Hatoyama announced to Okinawa residents that the American Base would not be moved off of the Island. Hatoyama has made plans to relocate the base to the north side of the island. This outraged residents because Hatoyama gave them the impression that the base would be moved off of the island. The residents of Hatoyama have complained about the noise, possible accidents, and the tense relationships the residence have with the Marines. The tense relationship with the Marines dates back to 1995 when three American servicemen raped a twelve-year-old schoolgirl in Okinawa. Hatoyama mentioned that he did not want to risk security alliance with the United States so he has opted to move the base to the north side of Okinawa opposed to moving it off the island. Spectators believe that Hatoyama may be forced to step down because of his indecisiveness and aloof behavior.

Published by: Sherry Klinger

State of emergency in Jamaica

The Jamaican government has declared a state of emergency in parts of Kingston, the country's capital. This declaration comes after shootings and firebomb attacks directed at police stations. The attackers are suspected to be supporters of Christopher "Dudus" Coke. Coke, a drug lord, is being sought by the Jamaican government for extradition to the United States. As violence continues, the US State Department has issued a travel alert for Jamaica, which is often a top tourist location.

Submitted by: Mary Naset

U.S. pushes China to punish North Korea.

The United States begins to push China to punish North Korea for its torpedoing of a South Korea warship last March. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Dai Bingguo, a China state councilor in charge of foreign affairs and also who has raised the South Korea report of official accusation that the North had torpedoed the ship, killing 46 sailors. Meanwhile, China is showing extreme cautious steps, digesting the findings of the investigation backed by the United Nation and other countries as “the historic ties between the two countries would make that difficult,” a government official pressed.

At the same time, this three-day high level of economic and security meeting of Mrs. Clinton also goes with seeking China’s support for heavier sanctions on Iran. Even though China had joined the other four permanent members of the Security Council and Germany last Tuesday to extend more punishments on Iran’s nuclear program, there is some hold-back relating to China’s extensive investment in Iran’s oil and gas industries.

The meeting also observes the States’ encouragement of China’s openness in its economy.

Submitted by Yen Do.

Twenty-eight found dead in Turkish mine

Last Thursday, rescuers found the bodies of twenty-eight workers in a coal mine in northern Turkey, and two workers are still missing. The workers were trapped last Monday after a mysterious explosion at the mine near the Black Sea port of Zonguldak. Workers were trapped 540 meters underground, and it is believed that they died from carbon monoxide poisoning after the explosion. Abdullah Gul, the Turkish President, has called for an investigation into what caused the explosion. Relatives of the victims have been gathered in a vigil near the entrance to the mine, in a town that relies on the low-paying jobs to get by, and where most families have at least one member that works in the coal mines. The mine is state-owned, but the workers who died were from a private company that was working on a specific job. In light of this catastrophe in Zonguldak, Turkish labor unions are now questioning the safety standards of these private contractors, and have called for the ceasing of hiring them. This is the third major accident to happen in Turkish mines in six months.

Submitted by: Katie Kregor

Clinton Tries to Open China

Clinton, in a speech attempted to call China out, encouraging them to "level the playing field." China has been closed off and protected, and many of the international firms believe that in order to "level the playing field" it is necessary for China to open up so other nations can compete against the Chinese economy. Soon they will be discussing security and trade issues with China in attempt to free up the market. The protectionism is not the only flaw that came out about China recently, there was a claim that China's yuan is undervalued giving a false sense of being cheaper.

Posted By: Shane Dare

US reaches deal with Russia, China on Iran sanctions: Clinton

What would be the next move for Iran? The U.S said that it has reached an important agreement with China and Russia regarding a tougher sanction against Iran. The news come after Iran agreed to ship 1,200 kilograms of uranium to Turkey and Brazil for further processing. But, the U.S said that the real intention of Iran is still not clear in this regard, thus pushing forward a newer sanctions. The copies of the proposed resolution is being distributed to the members of the U.N Security Council. Last year in October, Iran agreed to similar deal but later changed their mind. China and Russia remained uncommitted to the new set of sanctions until recently. The U.S and the International community suspect Iran of pursuing activities in establishing nuclear weapons but Iran consistently denied saying it is soley for peaceful civilian purposes. Read more at:

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Somaliland Border Conflict Kills 13

Three Ethiopian soldiers and 10 residents of Somaliland have been killed as a result of fighting between the two countries. This is thought to be the first time Ethiopian troops have caused this type of conflict within the more peaceful are of Somaliland, known for being more stable than Somalia. Conflict arose after Ethiopian troops held several trucks belonging to villagers, which resulted in the citizens lashing out in anger. More Ethiopian troops have moved in to the self-declared republic of Somaliland after the conflict. "A lot of people are fleeing and we are scared the clashes will continue because the Ethiopians haven't left and militias are getting reinforcements," claims one resident.

By: Shauntal J Van Dreel

Gay Couple Sentenced to 14 Years in Malawi

A gay couple in Malawi was sentenced to 14 years in prison (maximum penalty allowed by law) for "unnatural acts and gross indecency" after celebrating their relationship with an engagement party and a newspaper reported the event on its front page. Although contrary to what the magistrate said, their actions were not intended as any assertion of gay rights. Human rights groups are jumping on this conviction and are calling for global protest and the secntence is likely to be appealed. However, same sex relationships are frowned upon in Malawi and one man said "I think 90% of the crowed here agree with the ruling." In fact, people gathered outside the courtroom to shout that they got what they deserved or their sentence should have been longer.

Subbmitted By: Erin Burneson

Deadly Plane Crash in Indian

Nearly 160 people are dead now from a plane crash near the Southern Indian city of Mangalore. The Indian officials say that there were 6 survivors out of the 160 passengers and 8 crew workers. The pilot overshot the runway and burst into flames. Survivors say they heard what sounded like a tire bursting right before the plane crashed. All the people on the flight were Indian nationals. Out of the eight people rescued, one was unharmed, four had minor injuries, and three were being treated for major injuries. Not all of them made it.

Submitted by:
Madelyn Higdon

Friday, May 21, 2010

Clinton Tours East Asia

Hillary Clinton has traveled to Asia this week to address some of the tensions in the region. Her first stop is Japan, where the Air Base controversy has caused quite an uproar among the Japaneses people. She will meet with the prime minister, Yukio Hatoyama, most likely to discuss a resolution to the base issue. She will also visit China and South Korea. South Korea has announced that they blame North Korea for the sinking of the Cheonan in March. North Korea has threatened to resign from their nonaggression agreement and respond harshly to the accusation.

Submitted by: Mallory Neumann

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Elvis Costello Opts Out of Scheduled Israeli Concert

Famed singer and musician Elvis Costello who's released over forty albums during the span of his career has pulled out of not only one but two concerts this summer that were to take place in Israel because of the tension amounting from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.  He apologized to fans, concert organizers, and journalists who already took the time to interview him, for his decision in not partaking in the concert.  He also claimed that him participating in the event could be considered a "political act."  On his website, Costello noted that he is "keenly aware of the sensitivity of [the] themes in the wake of so many despicable acts of violence perpetrated in the name of liberation."  Aside from the reasons he gave on his future absence in the concerts, he also mentioned that he feels sorry that he might never be invited to Israel to perform.

Submitted by: Hanna Khan

Picasso, and 5 Others, Stolen!

Disabling the alarmed security system one masked thief made out with what first estimate to be just over500 million of euros, but now it has been determined that it is just over 100 million of euro (Museams and art gallerys price them differently). Included in the theft were five very historically significant pieces of artwork major works by Picasso and Matisse, in a brazen overnight heist at a Paris modern art museum last night (Thursday Morning) police officials said. Some of the painting stolen were: "Le pigeon aux petits-pois'' (The Pigeon with the Peas); ''La Pastorale'' (Pastoral); ''La femme a l'eventail'' (Woman with a Fan); ''Nature-mort aux chandeliers'' (Still Life with Chandeliers. This is said to have been one of the largest known art hiests in the history of the world.

By: Chase Pavlick

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Passengers Voices Recorded In Cock Pit Before Polish Plan Crash

While investigating the plane crash that killed the Polish president and other top officials, they found that there were at least 2 passengers in the cockpit 16- 20 minutes before the crash. This fueled the idea that the pilots were pressured to land because the passengers on the plane were running late for their appearance at the ceremony for the 70th anniversary of the Katyn massacre. Terrorism, sabotage and technical failure have already been ruled out as causes for the crash, but no other causes have been identified. They are trying to determine if cell phone use on board or crew experience were factors, but the idea of passengers in the cock pit is starting to be investigated. One passenger in the cockpit has been identified, but the name is not being released. But, it is being published that it is the voice of the Commander of Poland's Air Force, Gen. Andrzej Blasik.

Submitted by: Kathleen Tite

'North Korean torpedo' sank South's navy ship

A North Korean submarine's torpedo sank a South Korean navy ship on March 26 causing the loss of 46 sailors. There was some debate on whether the torpedo actually came from North Korea, but divers found lettering on the torpedo that linked it N. Korea. Apparently the writing was a war threat against S. Korea if they should impose sanctions. N. Korea denied these accusations, and suggested that the writing was fabricated by S. Korea. The matter even got the attention of the US, where the White House interpreted it as a hostile act by N. Korea, that challenges peace. Experts from the US, Australia, Britain, and Sweden have investigated the matter, and all of them think that N. Korea is the culprit. They say, "There is no other plausible explanation." S. Korea said, "They want N. Korea to admit to its wrongdoings and return as a responsible member of the international community." World leaders agree that N. Korea's actions will deepen the international community's mistrust, and that the attack demonstrated "a total indifference to human life and a blatant disregard of international obligations."

Submitted by: Nate Heberlein

South Africa's Zuma sort of a leader on AIDS

South Africa is the center of the HIV-AIDS epidemic with 5.7 million people carrying the disease, more than any other country. Despite being run by a president with three wives and a fiancee (despite all this love, Jacob Zuma still managed to have an affair in which he had unprotected sex,) Zuma has started a program encouraging men to be circumsized, a medical procedure that can reduce a man's risk of contracting H.I.V. by half. This is despite being Zulu, an ethnic group that abandoned circumcision in the 19th century. The article goes on to describe some of Zuma's outrageous behavior as president.

By: Justin Lynch

Urban guerrillas in Greece face scrutiny

With recent large scale protests in Greece against some "brutal" cutbacks (raising the retirement age from 54, cutting pay to government workers that get 14 months pay for 12 months of work and large holiday bonuses, oh the humanity) a terrible incident occurred on May 5th in which a bank was firebombed, leading to the deaths of three employees. Responsible for this was a group known in Greek society as koukouloforoui, "hooded ones" that usually turn protests violent. These people have long been tolerated in a country with a deep understandable dislike for the corruption prevalent in Greek government, but after the bank bombing incident, people are starting to re-evaluate their feelings toward the demonstrators.

By: Justin Lynch

Mongolian Livestock Disaster

After one of the most harsh winters in Mongolian history, called a "zud," which is an abnormally long winter full of heavy snows and freezing cold temperatures, the land is now experiencing a summer drought that has left them with no grass. With snow this winter that was waist high and temperatures nearly 40 below zero, many livestock had already succumbed to the environment and were lost. With this new drought the rest of the living livestock have begun to pass as well, leaving the country, with it's nearly 800,000 herders lost. Almost 8 million livestock, which include cows, sheep, horses, camels, yaks, and goats, have been lost, and with the drought looking to keep up, it's estimated that more than 500,000 animals will be lost in the next couple weeks. This livestock catastrophe is expected to affect the countries economy more than anything, since owning livestock is one of the most popular jobs in the country. In one district of Mongolia the governor has said that nearly 70 percent of the livestock from that district have been lost, leaving 2,800 without a herd at all. During this time of crisis the government has enlisted a program, financed by the United Nations ($1.5 million), to help herders earn some money by clearing out the millions of dead animals in the country, but this will only last for a few months, after that there will be barely any income for these herders.
By: Katherine Conrad

The United States Debate For Tragedy

Extracting from Canada's oil sands is one of America's top sources of imported oil. The Obama Administration is reviewing a Canadian company's request to build a new 2,000mile underground pipeline that would run from Alberta, Conklin to the Texas Gulf Coast, increasing America's access to oil. Deciding this fall the Obama Administration is currently debating the pros and cons, and political appeal to secure a reliable source of oil from our neighbors. Canadian oil sands are expected to become America's top source of imported oil this year, which will slow down deepwater offshore drilling. Two pipelines have been approved already, with one delivering oil to Illinois in June, and if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved, the system would allow Canada to export an additional 1.1 billion barrels of oil a day. The disadvantages include most of the biggest production sites are huge mine pits accompanied by ponds of waste that are toxic to birds and fresh water. Extracting oil from sands creates more greenhouse gases than drilling, it requires more water for every barrel produced, and carving chunks from the worlds largest intact boreal forest. It is going to hard enough to monitor the pipes from leaks and maintain upkeep which could infect the groundwater, and one of the nation's main Aquifer. For more opinions & the article.

Submitted By: Jessica Seggman

Rice Or Hamburger?

Studies have show that emerging economies take up a "Western" style of food consumption as their per capita rises. Giving huge bonuses to companies like Kraft, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, and many more. According to economist Ron Trostle, counties in the range from 3,000 to 10,000 in per capita are likely to processed foods, the amount rising as the per capita amount does as well, of course. In the past though with economic crisis throughout the world, these emerging markets would typically resort back to their staple product. For example there was a crisis in Southeast Asia in 1997 and that year the people resorted back to eating and using more traditional foods that were locally grown and produced- rice! Chief executive of Cargill, a U.S. agribusiness, Gregory Page says that this year the market has not seen this trend. He seems hopeful for the coming decade for the agribusiness stating, "global economic growth in the 2010-2020 period would be above the 1990s average, but below the "supercharged by the liquidity spree" rate of the 2000s." Let's hope Mr. Page is correct and the rest of the economy has as hopeful of an outlook as agribusiness does.

Submitted by: Emily Schaub

Facebook banned in Pakistan

The government in Pakistan is blocking the nation's access to facebook after a controversial religious issue. A group on facebook organized an "Everybody Draw Mohammed Day" to which the Pakistani government was outraged. The drawing of the prophet Mohammed is seen as offensive in the Muslim culture. This incident has caused many riots and uproars among the people calling for a ban on facebook. The block is initiated until further notice.

Submitted by: Mallory Neumann

Attack on U.S. Base

Taliban insurgents armed to the hilt stormed a U.S. base--Bagram Air Field right before dawn on Wednesday, resulting in an 8 hour firefight that killed an American contractor & wounded nine U.S. service members.

It's the second major Taliban assault in the Kabul area within just a few days, besides the eighteen people, including 5 U.S. soldiers & a Canadian colonel, that were killed Tuesday in a suicide car bombing in Kabul. There hadn't been an insurgent attack in nearly three months around the Afghan capital.

An Afghan provincial police commander, Gen. Abdul Rahman Sayedkhail, said the attack began when U.S. guards spotted militants in a car just outside the base. The Americans opened fire, triggering running gunbattles in which at least one militant triggered his suicide vest and U.S. troops hunted down the other attackers.

The attacks in the Kabul area, in eastern Afghanistan, come as the U.S. is focusing resources on the country's south. NATO & Afghan forces are gearing up for a major operation to secure Kandahar, the biggest city in the south & the former Taliban headquarters. American officials believe control of Kandahar is the key to stabilizing the Taliban' southern heartland.,8599,1990334,00.html

Submitted By: Brian C. Gaddis

Bangkok under curfew

After anti-government protesters at last surrendered, Thailand's capital city of Bangkok was put under curfew by authorities. Lingering fires left over from the protests still burn throughout the city, and some resistance was encountered even after protest leaders expressed their desire for no more deaths. The curfew is to run for 11 hours and Thai TV stations are only to broadcast officially sanctioned channels. This is the first time in 15 years that such a curfew has been imposed on the city. The red shirts have been protesting since March 14, making it 2 months that protests have gone on.

By: Anna Moric

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

South Korea to accuse North Korea of sinking its warship ealier this year.

South Korea is ready to accuse North Korea for sinking its warship,which killed 46 sailors on March 26, according to government officials and local reports. The Yonhap news agency said that Korean Foreign Ministry intends to give scientific and objective to prove the involvement of North Korean in this attack. Its attempt to using multinational investigation is not a surprise as to gain international support for economic and diplomatic sanctions against the North once the evidence is released.

Investigators established what they said was a critical forensic link when they matched metal pieces and traces of explosive recovered from the ship and the site where it sank with a stray North Korean torpedo secured by the South seven years ago, Yonhap and other South Korean news outlets reported. They also said they had found a fragment believed to be part of a North Korean torpedo’s propeller.
And if the result is true that North Korea is in charge of the fierce attack, the tension between these two countries in Korean Peninsula will be worst since the Korean War.

However, this case has also raised some political disputes inside political system of Korea. President Lee Myung Bak is accused of using the anti-North Korean movement to win conservative votes for his party, by opposition candidates. One of them said that the world will laugh at the country if the government can’t obtain enough factual evidence to defend its accusation. At the same time, South Korea still looks forward to China’s back in supporting resolution denouncing the North.

Submitted by Yen Do.

Sanctions in response

On May 18th, the secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, made an announcement that five veto-aiming members of the UN Security Council and Germany had consented to extend sanctions on Iran and would present this resolution to the full council soon. This is a fierce response to the triumph the regional powers – Brazil and Turkey – just touched a day earlier, a deal of exchanging low-enriched uranium for the higher enriched one between these two countries and Iran. The five permanent members found this situation faithless, in regard to the scar of the October deal in which Iran turned their back. Meanwhile, the UN Security Council requires 9 votes out of 15 (with no veto from the permanent five) for the resolution. Lebanon is skeptical; Gabon has gone for negotiation; Mexico gets stuck between its regional partners of America and Brazil; China is in no doubt for a veto, while America is considering tougher sanctions as a diplomatic manner. In conclusion, “it now seems that Iran may have successfully repeated its old trick of confusing and dividing countries preparing to tighten the net around it.”

Submitted by Yen Do.

Turkish leader begins goodwill visit to Greece

Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan came into Greece Friday to work on mutual defense cuts that would drastically help out the financially bankrupt Greece. Although Greece and Turkey have long been historic rivals, Prime Minister Erdogan hopes that his coming to Greece and their discussions will put their relationship on better terms. However, there is still a little animosity between the two. Greece spends the most money on defense in the European Union due to the hostility from Turkey.

"We want to proceed to arms reduction under a basic political condition: that Turkey … respect international law on Aegean and west Mediterranean issues," Greece's Deputy Defense Minister Panos Beglitis told Greek radio.

Even so, the EU has given Greece an unprecedented $140-billion rescue package for Greece, but has pushed Athens to cut its defense spending.

Submitted by Tieren Dokes,0,405848.story

Monday, May 17, 2010

North Korean recalls parliament

North Korea called a rare second session of parliament two months after a meeting in which it changed the constitution to increase Kim Jong-il's power. Analysts say the second session could could reveal crucial personnel changes or new economic projects. State media has said the session would be held on June 7th.

Submitted by Derald Willey

Missing Mexican Politican

An influential Mexican politician, Diego Fernandez de Cevallos, has been missing since Friday. Mexican President Felipe Calderon has ordered that the search for the politician be expanded from Queretaro, the central state where his vehicle was found, to across the entire country. Prosecutors say that there were "signs of violence" found in the vehicle, and many worry that he has been kidnapped or killed, given the continuing violence in the country between security forces and powerful drug cartels. However, neither family nor the police has received ransom demands or any type of information concerning his whereabouts. Soldiers are searching the rural areas surrounding his ranch for evidence, and police have checked local hospitals in case he had been taken in unconscious or under a false name.
Fernandez de Cevallos lost in the Presidential election in 1994, but has continued to serve as a senator and congressman, as well as being a very successful lawyer.

Submitted by: Katie Kregor

U.S. Missionary Tries To Take Haitian Children

Laura Silsby, a U.S. missionary from Idaho, was convicted of trying to take 33 children out of Haiti illegally this past January following the massive earthquake that devastated the country. Silsby and nine other American missionaries were caught trying to take the children into the Dominican Republic. Silsby originally claimed that she thought the children were orphans, but recent information has determined that many of the children do have parents who handed them over because they felt that their children would receive better care in U.S. hands. The other missionaries were detained, but they were not charged, and returned home. Silsby was originally charged with abduction, but her charge was reduced to "illegal travel," which includes smuggling people. The judge sentenced her to three months and eight days in prison, which was the time she had already been waiting in custody. She was promptly returned to the U.S.

Submitted By: Nora Beswick

New China Rampage

Six more people were wounded in a serious of random attacks in China. A man wielding a cleaver attacked six women, the first attack occurred at night when the man attacked a lone women outside of a restaurant in the city of Foshan. The assailant then rushed into crowd and continued his rampage by attacking five more women. The attacker, named Xie, then climbed the stairs of a residential building and then jumped off committing suicide. China has seen a number of attacked similar to this in recent weeks, and the common theme among the attacks are that the attackers of males in either their 30's or 40's and use knives and hammers.

By: Shawn Lawton

Sunday, May 16, 2010

MOre Iraqi Head Honchos

An insurgent group in Iraq has just released the information that Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi al-Husseini al-Qurashi is to become their new leader along with Abu Abdallah al-Husseini al-Qurashi as his deputy. The group claims this is because two of their senior leaders, Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Hamza al-Muhajir, were killed in a raid in April. Al-Muhajir was also the military commander and his replacement will be Al-Nasser Lideen Allah Abu Suleiman who has promised retribution for the deaths of his former leaders.

Submitted by: Rachael Petro

Iraq dismantling nuclear plants

The Tuwaitha research complex in Iraq (11 miles southeast of Baghdad) is now being dismantled by engineers. The complex has been bombed numerous times in the past, and was the location for Saddam Hussein's production of a nuclear bomb. The engineers are finding their jobs difficult however, because of the nuclear contamination involved in the dismantling of this type of facility. The damage already done to the structure from previous bombings also makes the dismantling process more difficult. Officials are estimating the process to take decades, there are eighteen structures at Tuwaitha, and another ten around the country.

Brazil and Iran in Talks

Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva went to Tehran this weekend, as another attempt to convince Iran to stop their nuclear program. da Silva was scheduled to talk to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Sunday, yet at the same time, officials in Washington are more worried about if this diplomatic talk will somehow push back or halt the sanctions against Iran. The situation that Iran is in now is very similar to Brazil in the past: both are developing countries, Brazil expanded their nuclear program to include nuclear weapons like Iran is doing now, they both faced opposing views from larger international countries. Brazil is against the sanctions that U.N. Security Council is getting closer to deciding.

Submitted By: Albie Braun

Nigeria leader resigns over fruad charges

Vincent Ogbulafor, the Chairman of the Nigeria People Democratic Party, is accused of recieving 1.5 million in federal fund. He denies the charges but was under alot of pressure to step down because of the alligations. The PDP is having leadership struggles and the belief is that Mr. Ogbulafor alligation contributes to that.

Jessica Branch

Spain's Jobless

Many people in Spain are having a difficult issue finding a job, and it is not for lack of trying. During Spain's construction boom, many people stopped working in farms and started working construction, enjoying enough money for savings and to support their families on. However, as construction bubbles begin to burst, many Spanish want to go back to the original line of work- farming. However, they can't get those jobs because they have been filled with immigrants. There are two major concerns that are drawn from this. First, many Spanish officials are worried about Spain's international image as a country of hospitality with so much xenophobia running about. Spain has traditionally been a very hospitable country, and with attitudes towards immigrants rapidly changing this may be a cause for alarm. Secondly, where are the Spanish going to get now occupied positions. Many farm owners do not want to hire Spanish - citing rationale of work ethic and tenure amongst employees as the major reasons why.

David DePino

24 Killed in Somalia

Shelling in Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, on Sunday led to the death of 24 and wounding of dozens. The parliament's speaker, Speaker Sheikh Aden Madobe, asked the country's president to form a new government.  Somalia's Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke said his government, which is backed by the West, would continue.  Parliament met on Sunday for the first time since December as al Shabaab fired mortars at the parliament building, African Union peacekeepers returned fire.  Many legislators living in Kenya, Europe and America because of security fears.

Submitted by Derald Willey

Iranians Looking to Escape In Armenia

More than 27,600 Iranians spent the new year in Armenia because of the freedoms it offers. It wouldn't be the first place on a list of places to go for vacation, but for the people in Iran, the little border they share is a paradise. They can dance, listen to music, drink alcohol and dress freely, so Armenia is more of an escape than just a vacation.

"Music in Iran is a complicated issue," said one Iranian tourist. "It is forbidden to listen to certain pop music, so people come to Yerevan to listen to singers give concerts. Andy, Dariush -- not female singers, of course, because women are not allowed to sing in Islam. They can sing to themselves, but it is forbidden for anyone except the husband to listen."

Submitted by Tieren Dokes

Oh North Korea...Will you ever learn?

Warning shots were fired near the border between North and South Korean again. The shots were fired from a South Korean boat at a patrol boat from North Korea. South Korea's military stated that the two vessels had violated the Northern limit line. They had crossed the border on two separate occasions so shots had to be fired. Luckily, there were no shots fired. But it is presumed that tensions will be even higher after this incident. The skirmish took place close to wear the boat sank in the 26th of March. South Korea has not officially blamed the North yet, but they have a group investigating the incident. They will reveal their findings this week.

Submitted by:
Madelyn Higdon

Iraq dismantling nuclear plants

The Tuwaitha research complex in Iraq (11 miles southeast of Baghdad) is now being dismantled by engineers. The complex has been bombed numerous times in the past, and was the location for Saddam Hussein's production of a nuclear bomb. The engineers are finding their jobs difficult however, because of the nuclear contamination involved in the dismantling of this type of facility. The damage already done to the structure from previous bombings also makes the dismantling process more difficult. Officials are estimating the process to take decades, there are eighteen structures at Tuwaitha, and another ten around the country.

By: Becca Sage

Gun Battle in Bangkok

On Sunday night an "intense and fierce" gun battle broke out in Bangkok, Thailand. This occurred hours after the Thai government called on the protesters to stop the violence. The red shirts were willing to negotiate if the troops were moved out of the protest area where thousands of protesters have gathered. They want the United Nations as the mediator, but the Thai government does not due to its "policy not allowing organizations to intervene in its internal affairs." The violence has gotten worse and 31 people have died since Thursday (that's including 7 on Sunday). More than 261 people have been injured. A Thai government official said that protesters have been "deliberately provoking clashes with soldiers in order to 'get pictures of soldiers using violence to undermine the government.'" He also said that if protesters did not have arms, the military would not need to be armed. Soldiers have been authorized to open fire when armed people approach within a certain distance. A CNN commented on the gunshots he heard on Sunday night and he said that he could not tell who the shooting was coming from--the protesters or the Thai military. The Prime Minister spoke of the small group amongst the Red Shirts trying to evoke civil war "It is unbelievable that they use people's lives for political advantage."

Submitted By: Erin Burneson

Two Non-Nuclear States Talk to Iran about Nuclear Program

Iran has been the center of attention with the West because of the belief that Iran is trying to build a bomb but Iran denies any involvement with a weapons program. The Turkish foreign ministry along and Brazil are requesting that Iran send its nuclear material to Turkey for processing. Both Turkey and Brazil are non-nuclear states are known to be on friendly terms with Iran. The material would then be processed into a nuclear energy resource opposed to a weapon producing material and returned back to Iran. Both Russia and the United states agree that this will be the last talking attempt to negotiate with Iran before harsher sanctions will take place.

Submitted by: Sherry Klinger

Arrest of Pakistani Man at U.S. Embassy in Chile

Mohammed Saif-ur-Rehman Khan, a 28-year old Pakistani man completing an internship at a hotel in Chile, was arrested and has been charged with illegally possessing explosives, but has been released while prosecutors build a case against him, provided that he check in weekly with authorities. He was arrested last week after setting off detectors that check for explosives while at the U.S. Embassy in Santiago. Officials said, in a closed hearing on Saturday, that the detectors at the Embassy had found residues of TNT and tetryl, explosive materials, on his cell phone and documents, and these same particles were found on clothing, a suitcase, and a laptop bag after a search of Khan's apartment.

Khan came to Chile on a student visa, and a senior U.S. official says that he has "associated himself with a group that we have some knowledge of that was espousing extremist anti-Western views." Khan was on a watch-list because of this and he has been tracked for some time, and the association with this group was enough to call him to the U.S. Embassy to revoke his visa. He had been detained in Santiago for five days following his arrest, and prosecutors requested that he remain in jail during the investigation, but Judge Carolina Araya ruled that he need not be deprived of his freedom, considering his lack of a prior criminal record and lack of evidence suggesting flight risk.

Submitted by: Katie Kregor

Mild Success in Blocking Oil Leak

BP's senior executive vice-president Kent Wells has reported that the massive BP oil spill has been hopefully successfully blocked. The oil pipe that had the hole in it has apparently been plugged with a tool called a riser insertion tube, which closes off the majority of the oil leak. The tube is a five foot piece of pipe that blocks sea water from coming into the pipe. The oil leak has been leaking over 210,000 gallons of oil into the ocean a day for the past three weeks. The plug for now is only temporary, in the next ten days they hope to have a permanent solution to the problem. Overall, the oil issue is on its way to being solved, and hopefully not too late.
By: Katherine Conrad

France Denies Deal With Iran

The French Government denies reports that they negotiated the release of a French Teacher who took pictures of a demonstration in Iran. She arrived in a Paris air base today back from Iran. The Teacher was sentenced to ten years in prison for espionage but the penalty was reduced to a fine of 300,000 dollars. Which they paid so he could return home. She was arrested July 1st after being in Iran for a 6 week teaching stint. While being in Iran he attend a demonstration about the election and took picture of a clash between parties. After being in Prison his bail was posted and he was allowed to spend the rest of his sentence in the embassy.

By: Zach Mowen

Suicide Among Female Sex Workers - India

This particular article focuses on the suicide rates of female sex workers in India. India alone has suicide rates 5 times higher of those in the developed world. Due to the high rate, suicide has become a public health priority in India. Focusing on a smaller demographic, the research found 19% of femal sex workers attempted to commit suicide in the past three months. The rates are supposed to be higher with younger girls overall.
In order to complete this study, the research was gathered in Goa, India. After all the research was completed, the individuals conducting this work found the suicide rates to be higer. Among these results there were increased rates in drugs and alchohol. The women, often the providers for their family, were also without a home of their own. The social, economic, and cultural complications these women faced on a daily basis could be contributing factors to an increased suicide rate.
The research also found that women with HIV prevention education/resources were three times less likely to committ suicide. With this information, researchers are hoping to increase HIV awareness/prevention, which will decrease suicide rates.


By: Meredith Hess

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Rangoon, the former capital of Burma is now stumbling upon the shortage of water and poor people are suffering from the lack of water, unable to meet their daily needs for water. Moreover, approximately the death rate of people who died from heat stroke numbers up to 400 starting from April which is abnormally hot in Burma. Right now the temperature in Rangoon is over 120 degree Fahrenheit. Burma is a place where poverty and inequity strongly dominate so its people couldn’t help but rely on the vampire junta government. And the junta government is not being responsible as they are expected to be and the necessary allegiances for the problem are not being taken at the moment. Rangoon’s municipal, electricity, water and sanitation departments were unavailable for comment. Recently Burma has been hit by a major water crisis, which results from a combination of abnormally hot weather and increasing damming of rivers. Rangoon has also been hit by REGULAR electricity cuts since the annual water festival in April. One of the residents in Rangoon said that people are very frustrated and now not only because of the broken economy- they can’t even have enough water during the damn hot weather! Read more at

PS.Let's pray for the people of Burma who are suffering from the shortage of water!

Submitted by David Gum Awng

Confict on the rise in Darfur

A Sudanese army spokesman has said that the Sudan military has gained control of a rebel base in the western area of Darfur. 100 rebels, members of the Justice and Equality Movement, have reportedly been killed by the Sudanese military. Reports have seen a rise in conflict in the region, after a few years of relative calm. The current situation in Darfur has smaller rebel groups spread out through the region.

Submitted by: Mary Naset

Friday, May 14, 2010

Internet for Western China

Today, Friday May, 14th, full Internet service was brought back to the Chinese region of Xinjiang. The ban had occurring for the past 10 months. As the ban was lifted, people swarmed Internet cafes to check emails and such that had been building up for months. The "Great Firewall", or Chinese government censorship of many web pages and social networking, is still there. A new department in Beijing was created to help monitor the social networking of social networking sites.

by Jenae Harner

Another attack on children in China

In what is viewd as "social revenge," a man equipped with kitchen cleaver attacked and killed 7 kindergarten children, their teacher and her mom. The incident which left many Chinese shocked is seventh such case around the country which started late March which caused killings of 18 innocent children and injuring 80 which includes some teachers as well. The local sociologists describe the incident as the "copy cat" attack. Although security have been provided in schools around the country, both the local and central governments could do very little in handling these kind of attacks as these are not being organzied by group but desperate individuals. Read more at

Submitted By: Namgyel Dorji