Monday, February 28, 2011

Plot to blow up British Airline Plane

A bangledashi native who moved to England in 2006 for health related issues of his son, is now being prosecuted for involvement in terrorist threats against British Airlines. Rajib Karim is a computer worker part of an organisation, Jamayetul Mujahideen, which is committed to extreme jihadist and religious cause, and seeks martyrdom. He is found guilty of producing terrorists group videos, and plotting to blow up a plane.

Source Says Americans detained Pirate Negotiators

It was just discovered that U.S. officials detained two pirate negotiators after the message was sent "kill the hostages if we do not come back from negotiations". The pirates were apparently detained before the four hostages were killed, and this may have had a hand in their death. An as yet un-named U.S. government official told CNN reporters that the negotiators they detained were decided to have "no authority" and therefore were kept in custody instead of returned to the yacht. This entire proceeding goes against normal U.S. negotiating policies, and the question of why this took place and if it caused the deaths has arisen.

Claire Van der Vort

Sunday, February 27, 2011

European governments send rescue missions to Libyan desert

British Prime Minister David Cameron sent in a military-led mission to rescue U.K. citizens despite the fact that the U.K. did not have permission to enter Libyan airspace. Three aircraft were sent in to retrieve 150 civilians, but it was not completely safe. One of the aircraft was hit by small arms fire but did not receive any major damage. Germany had also sent in two airplanes to retreive 132 European Union citizens in a secret mission inside Libyan airspace. This willingness to send military aircraft into Libyan airspace shows that Western governments are growing impatient with Gadhafi. In fact, the U.S. has now strongly urged Gadhafi to step down now that American citizens appear to be out of the country.

- By Peter Zafiropoulos

As North Korea threatens, U.S., South Korea to start drills

U.S.-South Korean joint military drills kick off Monday, one day after North Korea threatened to engulf Seoul in a "sea of flames." The annual exercises are taking place amid high tensions. North Korea shelled Yeongpyeong Island, killing two South Korean marines and two civilians, last November.

The U.S insists the drills are defensive in nature while training forces to respond to any provocation but North Korea has always denounced them as preparing for an invasion to topple Kim Jong-il's regime.

Kazuya Usui


Egypt proposes presidency reform

Egypt is planning constitutional amendments that would open up competition for the presidency and only allow the winner to stay in office for eight years. The existing constitution is suspended by the military. Elections would be held within 6 months.

Read more:

by Yasmeen Kiswani

Can India's buget last?

20 years ago, India's prime minister Manmohan Singh and finance minister started the budget that opened India to the global economy. This budget help created India's economic growth that pulled its people out of poverty and aid the poor. Recently, the budget also created inflammation that is growing. Food prices has reached thier highest, prices over 11%. The government decided to deregulate Petrol prices but this may have been the mistake since control is now lost. India still needs to create more reforms to stop corruption and create more jobs since the current population makes India a very competitive place for jobs. Over the next five years, the government wishes to invest $1 trillion into infrastructure construction for example, roads and railways. Posted by: Ana Rivera

Yemen's parties to join anti-president protests

The opposition parties in Yemen, opposed to the current President, Ali Abdullah Saleh, joined the protestors today in favor of the president stepping down from power. This is a major setback for the United States, because Saleh is a major supporter of the United States in the War on Terror. Yemen is the next in a series of uprisings that have swept the Middle East and Northern Africa. Citizens are tired of being ruled by long standing dictatorships, and it is the youth that have decided to rise against them.
Jacob McCarty
William Hauge, the British Foreign Secretary, recently spoke out against how Lybia's government is handling protests and unrest. Moammer Gadhafi, the leader of Lybia has met the newest wave of political reform in africa and the middle east with violence. Ordering his army to kill civilians and quickly losing control of Lybia to rebel forces city by city, Gadhafi has been criticized by many world leaders for his handling of the situation. As a response, Britain has frozen the accounts of Gadhafi and the rest of his household to impress upon Gadhafi that using violent means against his own people isn't tolerable. Along with the frozen accounts, Britain has also revoked Gadhafi's immunity.

Courtney Darnell

Iraqi Prime Minister cracks down on Government Corruption

The Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has responded to the recent protests by the Iraqi people by giving the Iraqi government 100 days to eliminate its corruption or be fired. After the 100 days are up, the ministers will be assessed and changes will be made based on them. The police in the country have responded violently to protesters at a saturday funeral, opening fire on a rowdy crowd and wounding some of the protesters. There have been many other clashes across the country between protesters and police forces that have resulted in many people being wounded or killed. The Prime Minister has called for investigations into these cases as well as urged the protesters to stop what they are doing because he claims that former members of the Hussein government are leading the protests so that they can overthrow the current government and regain power.
Alex Damske

Opposition party ahead in Ireland elections

Ireland's first election since the multi-billion-dollar bailout is now said to be transforming politics. Fianna Fail, the ruling party for the last sixty years, is moving towards its worst election ever, while the nation's major opposition party is the largest parliamentary seat holder. It appears that center-right Fine Gael leader, Edna Kenny, will become the next prime minister. Moreover senior party members stated that he may attempt to negotiate with the center-left Labour Party in order to form a coalition government.

The Dublin government took out and 85-billion-euro loan package from the EU, IMF, and individual European nations last year. Voters placed the blame on Fianna Fail for the money issues and Brian Cowen, prime minister, had to step down before the elections. The election of Kenny has thus led to a "new era" in politics, as well as hope for rejuvination from it's people.

By Aleksandra Ruseva

China puts up a show of force to block rally

China stepped up its police presence in Beijing in response to an online call for protests in various areas of the country at 2pm. Overnight they erected barricades around the local McDonalds that was originally supposed to be the sight for the protest causing the protest to move to in front of KFC. The chinese government flooded the area with uniformed and undercover police officers, police dogs, water trucks, and civilian volunteers. Officers targeted college age teens and foreign reporters and forced pedestrians to move along at a normal pace. Though there was a sense of confusion about the police presence a protest never formed and eventually the police departed leaving no explanation for the exercise.
China's authoritative government leaves no room for protests and they continue to act to censor the internet and television content to prevent uprisings similar to those in North Africa.

Dylan Tate

Near Tripoli, Rebels in Libya Gain Firepower and Defectors

ZAWIYAH, Libya — The Libyan rebels challenging Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi demonstrated their increasing military coordination and firepower on Sunday, as defecting officers in the east took steps to establish a unified command while their followers in this rebel-held city, just outside his stronghold in the capital, displayed an array of tanks, Kalashnikovs and anti-aircraft guns.

In a further sign of their strength, the rebels also began making plans to tap revenue from the vast Libyan oil resources now under their control — estimated by some oil company officials to be about 80 percent of the country’s total. And in recognition of the insurrection’s growing power, Italy’s foreign minister suspended a nonaggression treaty with Libya on the ground that the Libyan state “no longer exists,” while Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said the United States was reaching out to the rebels to “offer any kind of assistance.”

The most striking display of strength came here, 30 miles from Colonel Qaddafi’s Tripoli redoubt, one of several cities near the capital controlled by rebels, who have repulsed repeated attempts by Colonel Qaddafi’s forces to retake them. The arsenal they had in Zawiyah was far more lethal than previously seen.

“Army, army, army!” excited residents shouted, pointing to a defected soldier standing sentry at Zawiyah’s entrance as he raised his machine gun in the air and held up two fingers for victory.

A few yards away a captured anti-aircraft gun fired several deafening salutes into the air, and gleeful residents invited newcomers to clamber aboard one of several Army tanks now in rebel hands. Residents said that when Colonel Qaddafi’s forces mounted a deadly assault to retake the city last Thursday — shell holes were visible in the central mosque and ammunition littered the central square — local army units switched sides to join the rebels, as about 2,000 police officers had done the week before.

And on Sunday, scores of residents armed with machine guns and rifles joined in a chant that has become the slogan of pro-democracy uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Yemen and across the Arab world: “The people want to bring down the regime!”

The opposition’s display came as a global effort to isolate Colonel Qaddafi and possibly force his resignation gained momentum over the weekend, with the United Nations Security Council moving to impose punitive financial sanctions and NATO allies discussing steps that included a possible no-fly zone over Libya.

But with their increasingly brazen show of firepower, the rebels appeared more willing to engage Colonel Qaddafi’s forces militarily and break the pattern of nonviolent revolts set by neighboring Egypt and Tunisia and now sweeping the Middle East — just as Colonel Qaddafi has shown a willingness to shed far more of his citizens’ blood than any of the region’s other autocrats.

The maneuverings by both sides suggested they were girding for a confrontation that could influence the shape of other protest movements and the responses of other rulers who feel threatened by insurrection movements.

Colonel Qaddafi’s militias, plainclothes police and other paramilitary forces have so far kept the deserted streets of Tripoli under a tight lockdown. And residents of Zawiyah said Sunday that his forces were massing again on its outskirts, and as a caravan of visiting journalists left Zawiyah on an official tour, a rowdy crowd of hundreds of Qaddafi supporters waving green flags and holding Qaddafi posters blocked the highway for a rally against the rebels. “The people want Colonel Muammar!” some chanted.

In interviews with ABC News, two of Colonel Qaddafi’s sons appeared to mix defiance and denial. “The people — everybody wants more,” said Saadi Qaddafi, apparently dismissing the public outcry for a more accountable government. “There is no limit. You give this, then you get asked for that, you know?”

He described the uprisings around the region as “an earthquake” and predicted, “Chaos will be everywhere.” If his father left, he said, Libya would face a civil war “one hour later.”

His brother, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, seemed to challenge journalists to look for signs of unrest. “Please, take your cameras tomorrow morning, even tonight,” he said. “Everything is calm. Everything is peaceful.”

But when government-paid drivers and minders took visiting journalists on an official tour to visit here Sunday morning, they found a town firmly in rebel hands, where Libyan officials and military units did not even attempt to enter. It was the second consecutive day that an official tour appeared to do more to discredit than bolster the government’s line, and questions arose about the true allegiance of the official tour minders, who appeared to mingle easily with people of rebel-held Zawiyah. Others suggested that the Qaddafi government might in fact have believed its own propaganda: that the journalists would discover that Zawiyah had fallen into the hands of radical Islamists, or young people crazed by drugs procured by Osama bin Laden.

But the residents o showed little interest in either Islamist politics or hallucinogenic drugs. They mocked Colonel Qaddafi’s allegations, waved the tricolored pre-Qaddafi flag that has become the banner of the revolt, and chanted, “Free, free, Libya.”

William B. Robinson

French Foreign Minister Resigns after Tunisia

Why would a French politician be ousted from a position because of protests in Tunisia. It turns out former Foreign Minister of France Michele Alliot-Marie had close ties with members of the Tunisian government and upper class businessmen. Her and her family had close ties with the former Ben-Ali regime in Tunisia. They would conduct business deals and and Alliot-Marie would vacation in Tunisia. She resigned after taking a lot of harsh criticism from the French Media about offering French Aid in stopping the protests in Tunisia. A lot of this could have been avoided with proper handling of the situation by Alliot-Marie, she tried to cver it up and deny the accusations. In he resignation letter to Nicolas Sarkozy, she said she did nothing wrong but decided it was best if she stepped down. The situation now creates a power switch with the Defense Minister becoming the Foreign Minister. The situation, besides essentially ending Alliot-Marie's career, also presents and issue about the French government's close ties with the Arab regimes and the powerful Arab businessmen.
More information about the cabinet shake-up at
By: Zach Howell

Possibly a Libya No-Fly Zone

The administraters to Obama met with officials from Europe who the U.S. is allied with to discuss a no-fly zone over Libya. The hopes in doing this is to prevent more civilian deaths from happening. Italy decided to withdraw their treaty with Libya for the time being as to show that they will take action to keep the peace in the international community. This is to pressure Colonel Qadaffi with the acts being done in Libya. NATO and European allies met to talk about controlling flight above Libya but no decision has been made yet. Now UN officials are saying that the no-fly zone will not be put into effect unless there are more attacks on civilians by air. The Obama administration is also discussing the use of military to the neighboring countries to help with refugees and cutting off communication of Colonel Qadaffi to the people of Libya. Overall, anything that is decided with Obama, the Security Council, and NATO will not go into effect for a while.
Jessica Connor

Libyan Security forces switch sides

The tides have changed for Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi when on Sunday his security forces had changed their views and joined to rally against him. A possible war between the government and the people could start sometime this week. Sited civilians have taken roof tops in the city of Zawiya, armed and dangerous ready to shoot at any of Gadhafi's attacking loyalists who try to take back the city. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton stated that the U.N. Security has already issued a arms embargo on Libya and issued travel bans for Gadhafi, his family members and his governmental aids. She quoted that this was the fastest response by the U.N. ever.

-John McWard

Oman clashes: Two killed during protests in Gulf state

The citizens of Oman have started protesting for political reform. Oman, is the oldest independent state in the Arab world, their main export is oil and the country has kept good relations with the US and Britain. The Al Said family has been in power since 1744. To keep the public calm for so many years, the Al Said family allows a select group of Omani adults to vote in elections for the Consultative Assembly, but this assembly is only advisory, with no legislative power. Now, the protestors are demanding more democracy and jobs. Already two protestors have died after being shot with rubber bullets. Though the ruler, Sultan Qaboos bin Said, has replaced six members of his cabinet and announced there will be more social benefits for students, I think the protestors are looking for a bigger change from the government.

To read more:
-Kathleen Fultz

Eight die in bomb attacks at Afghan dog fight

Eight people have been killed by two bombs at a dog fight in the volatile southern Afghan province of Kandahar. Nato forces have been battling to take control of Kandahar from the Taliban, whose heartland it is. All the dead were civilians, Arghandab district chief Shah Mohammad told the AFP news agency. Twelve civilians were also injured, AFP reported, quoting Afghan interior ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary in Kabul. No group has yet said it carried out the attack, but the Taliban regularly target large public gatherings.

Jamie Alt

Rebellion in Libya

In Zawiyah, Libya, people protest against the rule of Muammar Gaddafi who declared to keep his 41-year old rule. The crowds protested chanting, “The people want the fall of the regime.” The same slogan used in protests of authoritarian rulers across the Arab world. Banners were everywhere. One read, “Libya is the land of the free and honorable.” Another had a picture of Gaddafi’s head attached to a dog body. Bullet holes covered buildings in Zawiyah and burned out vehicles remained in the streets unoccupied. The state of Zawiyah was a signal that Gaddafi was losing power. Serbian television explained Gaddafi blamed foreigners and al Qaeda for the turmoil and the Security Council for approving and allowing a war crimes inquiry. Despite what the information the press was releasing, Gaddafi claimed, “Libya is safe, there are no conflicts, Tripoli is safe. The security council could not see how Tripoli is safe.” The turmoil in Libya has had effect on the increase in oil price, which has reached over $112 a barrel. However Libya only produces 2% of the oil in the world. Many people are trying to flee the country and some have escaped to Tunisia.;_ylt=AhS3peoXRX7vPEZXUzac1ghvaA8F;_ylu=X3oDMTJpNWdoZ2RxBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwMTEwMjI3L3VzX2xpYnlhX3Byb3Rlc3RzBGNwb3MDMQRwb3MDMgRzZWMDeW5fdG9wX3N0b3J5BHNsawNnYWRkYWZpZGVmaWE-

Taryn Vaughan

Report: 75% of Coral Reefs Threatened

The beautiful ocean wonders of coral reefs have become increasingly more threatened in the last 10 years. The rate of threatened reefs has increased by 30% up to 75%. This could greatly impact the many countries that depend on ocean ecosystems to sustain their lifestyles. Overfishing, destructive fishing, coastal development, and watershed and marine-based pollution, along with the rising temperatures of ocean water, has led to the threat of coral reefs. Over 60% of the world's reefs are in danger, but surprisingly, the largest reef, the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, has the lowest threat level of 14%. Many Pacific and Caribbean islands rely on reefs for fishing, tourism, and coastal protection, thus the threats on the reefs pose a great danger to these islands. There is no direct prevention plan in place yet to help with this issue, but the continued actions of reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be beneficial, along with trying to regulate and prevent the local threats of overfishing and destructive fishing.

-Kristine Zizis

Saudi king returns home to shaken Mideast

After three months abroad for medical treatment, Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah returned home Wednesday to a Middle East shaken by unrest, announcing a series of sweeping measures aimed at relieving economic hardship and meeting with Bahrain's beleaguered monarch.
King Abdullah's gestures of largess are not uncommon in a time of celebration, but the large scale of the measures -- the boost in spending amounts to billions of dollars -- raised the prospect of an attempt to stave off the kind of revolts that have engulfed neighboring nations.
Undoubtedly, the Saudis are concerned about events in the region, especially in bordering Bahrain and Yemen. But Boucek said the Saudi government is much more apt to use methods of co-opting or persuasion than to use brutal force to quell opposition voices.
Adding to the Saudi dilemma is that soon the kingdom will have to deal with a pending transition of leadership, now composed of elderly men.

By Annie Hung

Tunisian interim PM Ghannouchi resigns over protests

At a news conference in Tunis, Tunisian interim Prime Minister Mohammed Ghannouchi announced that he was resigning at the demand of protesters. The announcement came after a long speech defending his government record. Mr. Ghannouchi had served under the former President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali whose was toppled in last months uprising. The protesters called for his resignations in anti-government protests on Friday and Saturday. Unfortunately, three people were killed on Saturday. Tunisia's government is working on reform and is planning elections in July, this was clearly not fast enough for the people.

Nicole LeDonne

Brazil sues ex-president, ex-minister over letters

In world news, federal prosecutors in Brazil have filed suit against former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and a former Cabinet minister. According to the article both the former president and minster are being charged with misusing public funds to send more than 10 million letters to retirees telling them about low-interest payroll loans from Banco BMG. Back in 2004, the letters served no public interest and were sent 10months after the law was passed allowing the loans. During the time of the sent letters the financial institution recently contracted was able to make the loans, which was the new thing. In the article, it states that the protestors believe the purpose of the letters was merely self-promotion, praising the law and at the same time benefiting Banco BMG, which was the only bank approved to provide the loans. The prosecutors seek to compel Lula and former Social Security Minister Amir Lando to refund the amount spent on the letters, about $5.7 million, which is 9.5 million Brazilian reais.

Delaina Flagg

Libya: Barack Obama calls on Col Gaddafi to step down

President Obama has offically stated that Gaddafi must relieve his post as ruler of Libya. The United States has issued sanctions against him as well as the UN sending evidence to the International Criminal Court for Gaddafi's crimes against his people. Previously, the US had not issued a statement on the happenings in Libya until it turned violent. The United States has also revoked all visas for Libyan officials as well as calling off trade between the countries.

Jim Michalik

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Violence escalates in Ivory Coast

The Ivory Coast's unresolved presidential election is still affecting the country as violence has increased after the African Union demanded a "binding solution" to the election crisis. In the commercial capital of Abidjan, forces who are loyal to President Laurent Gbabgbo have been firing on supporters of Gbabgo's opponent Alassane Ouattara, who his still being kept in the Golf Hotel under the protection of UN peacekeepers.  Witnesses fleeing the region have reported high amounts of violence and casualties.  The UN has condemned the recent violence and calls for cooperation from both sides so that the African Union can come to a solution and another civil war can be avoided.

Mark Zajac

676 arrested, tons of drugs seized in US bust of Mexican cartels

U.S. law enforcement officials have seized thousands of pounds of drugs and arrested hundreds of people in connection with the drug cartels. Not only were the cartels arrested, but their associates were arrested as well. In total, 676 people were arrested, over $12 million dollars were confiscated as well as numerous weapons and vehicles. Almost 40,000 pounds of marijuana, 467 kilograms of cocaine, 64 pounds of methamphetamine, and 21 pound of heroin were confiscated during this raid. This raid shows what can happen when the U.S. gets involved. Although, the U.S. law enforcement confiscated a huge amount of drugs, their work is far from complete.

The joint operation began Wednesday and concluded Friday. The Drug Enforcement Administration is using this operation to send a message to drug cartels, letting them know that they will be caught and punished. Over the past week, there have been two incidents involving drugs. A immigration and customs agent was ambushed while in Mexico and a Houston police officer was also shot while trying to serve a a narcotics warrant.

By: Brianne Thomas

Another Russian Bomb

A Russian man, near a Russian supermarket in Moscow detonated a grenade while in his possession. The man drove up to the supermarket, got out of his car, walked to the entrance, activated the grenade and waited for it to explode. It is unclear about the intent of the attack, but Russia did have a suicide bomber kill 37 in Moscow's Domodedovo airport January 24th. The attack at the airport was claimed by a Russian Islamist from the Russian Caucasus. It is interesting seeing attacks being focused on Russia. Russia is a very unique place because it lies between many different cultural regions, and is very unique culturally in it's self. It has some "western" style, but not a typical "western" nation.

Brett Kelleher

Friday, February 25, 2011

U.S. prepares to slap sanctions on Libya

The Obama administration has announced that they plan to apply unilateral sanctions against the Gadhafi regime. The president will meet with the UN in order to discuss the situation in Libya and the options. What's more, a senior US official told NBC news that the executive order on the sanctions would name and target Gadhafi and his family members, create travel bans, and freeze assets as well. I think it is interesting how the article states that the attacks against the Libyan civilians are "crimes against humanity" according to a draft of the UN Sanctions resolution. This correlates to our class discussions on human rights and the fact that they can be violated and stripped away from people.

By: Jasmina Vukovic

Iraq protests turn violent

Today violence erupted in Iraq when police fired on demonstrators and protesters burned buildings. Thousands of Iraqis have been rallying for better government services, modeling their protests after Egypt and Tunisian. Protesters in Baghdad pulled down two concrete walls, and threw rocks, resulting in multiple police beatings. Elsewhere Iraqi soldiers fired on over 250 demonstrators, killing at least eight. However, prime minister Maliki continues to affirm free-speech rights while continuing to discourage the protests. The crowds are not looking for an entirely new government, but rather are outraged at the corruption and instability that exist in the current administration.

Claire Van der Vort

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Tough Winter Fails to Loosen Regime's Grip on North Korea

North Korea is face what some are considering to be one of their toughest winters ever. Korea is said to be facing poverty levels that are usually seen in sub-Saharan Africa. Despite this, the people of North Korea do not seem to be shown any signs of unrest, like that seen in the Middle East. While the government would like to modernize, economic reform is not likely to take place is North Korea. To the people of North Korea, reform would mean death. So for now, they are just quietly waiting for the situation to improve.

By: Kaitlyn Gordon

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Iran War Ships Sail Via Suez Canal Amid Israeli Concern

For the first time, Iranian warships have passed through the Suez Canal since Iran's 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iranian officials have stated the two Iranian warships are heading to Syria for training. The Suez Canal is a ship canal located in Egypt and used as a major navigational route linking the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea thus eliminating the grueling circumvention of Africa. The Egyptian Defense Ministry has reported the two vessels would have no military equipment, nuclear materials, or chemicals on board. At the center of attention is whether this deployment is seen to demonstrate diplomatic significance or actually pose a significant threat to the Israeli Navy or US vessels in the Mediterranean. The latter is unlikely, as the standards of the Iranian Navy are light years from the sophistication of both the Israeli Navy missile boats and US Navy's warships. Some believe the deployment to be a direct response to the upheavals in the Middle East and Northern Africa. However, a semi-official Iranian news agency had reported this year-long training mission through the Suez and the Mediterranean well before the protests in Tunisia and Egypt toppled their respective regimes. But that does not mean Israel is not be concerned. Israel has described the deployment as provocative and in particular destabilizing. Israel has had an long confrontational history with Iran as a result of Iran's controversial nuclear program, development of ballistic missiles, support for Lebanese and Palestinian militant groups, and Tehran's repeated anti-Israeli rhetoric. For Israel and its main ally - the US - this deployment sends multiple signals and represents another clear sign of Tehran's widening strategic horizons. Thus, this act demonstrates Iran's pursuit of diplomatic significance in the region and its tendency to demand respect from the West.

BBC News - February 22, 2011

-Dennie Whitlow

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Security Council Condems Libyan Crackdown

On Tuesday all 15 members on the UN security council condemned Libyan leadership for the crackdown on protests and called for an end to the violence along with addressing the wishes of the population. Stating that "(They)deplored the repression against peaceful demonstrators, and expressed deep regret at the deaths of hundreds of civilians." Human rights have also been brought up and even the Libyan deputy UN ambassador who has called for Gadhafi step down said that the security councils stance is not tough enough.

Brandon Borkovec

Gadhafi loosing his grip on Libya

Today Libya's leader Moammar Gadhafi gave a speech refusing to step down and saying he will "die a martyr", even though he has lost control of Eastern Libya and many officials from his own country. The crowds of people gathered to hear his speech are devoted supporters according to state TV, however opposing leaders tell a different story. Many were "dragged" into the square to hear Gadhafi's speech. Sources report people being offered money to carry pictures of Gadhafi into the square, and students were even being offered free master's degrees if they would appear at his speech. In eastern Libya, civilians are solidly in control. Armed civilians guard the boarders, but there is no structure or higher government authority. Meanwhile in central Libya violence continues as Gadhafi tries desperately to stop the opposition underway, and there are reports of food shortages, intimidation by soldiers and mercenaries. Protests have only been occurring for eight days, but the situation is escalating dramatically.

Claire Van der Vort

China begins work on Caribbean resort

China has recently started construction on a new resort in the Bahamas. The resort, costing an estimated $2.6 billion, is composed of four hotels, one golf course, and a record-breaking large casino. It is being funded by state-owned Chinese companies. The project will bring an economic boost to the tourism industry of the Caribbean which was also affected by the global financial crisis. Over 8,000 jobs will be created in the hospitality sector of the project, while 4,000 temporary jobs will be created for the construction of the resort. The Chinese are using the resort to globally expand their presence in economic affairs.

Meghan Steinbeiss

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Jordan's king calls for 'real and quick reform'

Okay so in the todays news, King Abdullah II is telling his government to enact a "quick and real" reform. In order for the situation to not be the same as it is; King Abdullah wants a quick and real reform. Ever since the economy downfall, Jordan's economy has been hit really hard.

Read more:

Yasmeen Kiswani

Pacific Fishing in danger

"More than $300 million worth of fish was being stolen every year" said Foreign Minister Murray Mc Cully who is calling for the United States and Australia to help protect the Pacific fishing grounds. Currently, New Zealand is the largest provider of surveillance over the Pacific but more help is needed. The Pacific is the world's last sustainable fishing areas and due to climate change, human population growth and over fishing, Tuna and other fish are endangered. Mc Cully states that even with the US Coast Guard contribution, more surveillance is needed to make a big difference to stop illegal fishing. He believes if New Zealand, US and Australia all pitch-in in the fight against illegal fishing then the Pacific can be saved from being exploited beyond the point of no return.
Posted by Ana Rivera

North Korea likely preparing for nuclear tests

North Korea is digging tunnels at the site of two previous nuclear test sights, according to a report by South Korea. This is bring tensions between the two states to high levels again, after North Korea fired artillery shells at a South Korean island in early November. North Korea says that they are using their uranium enrichment program for peaceful purposes only, but even major ally China has expressed concerns and distrust with North Korea over their use of nuclear power

Jacob McCarty
Following days of unrest and protest, several of the larger protest groups in Bahrain have recently met to come to a consensus on position and to present a united front. One of the main demands that all of the groups agree on is an independent investigation into the death of 10 protesters in the last week. They also ask that the disappearance of dozens of people thursday morning be explained. Bahrain's government has publicly stated that communication is open with opposition groups, but that there are a lot of unresolved issues to get to the bottom of. Bahrain is just one of many countries that are following the successful examples of Tunisia and Egypt.

Courtney Darnell

Uganda Election- Another Call for Corruption

Following the political revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, the Uganda election which extended Yoweri Museven’s 25 years of presidency is receiving speculation. Though it does not appear the the opposition party will be able to overthrow Museven, his challenger, Kizza Besigye has made allegations toward election fraud and rejects the result of himself only winning 26% of the votes. Now it seem like every time a reining leader wins an election someone screams for a corrupt conspiracy. However, is it possible that that presidents could keep in the good graces of their people without resorting to dirty dealings. Not to say that Besigye is wrong to want a recount because in 2006 Museven had only 59% support from the population. I do think it is important to note in Will Rose’s annalysis, the heavy hit all of this political scrutiny is going to take on the economy. With several leaders using large amounts of money to watch their backs and secure their position, this money pumped into their campaigns is dangerous for the economy.

To read more:

-Kathleen Fultz

Egyptian Police Officers Arrested

Three officers in Alexandria, Egypt have been arrested because they have been accused of firing live ammunition at protesters in late January. The Alleged incident occured on January 28 while protesting for Murbaraks ousting. The Attorney General of Alexandria issued an arrest warrant for the officers because a number of family members and eye witnesses reported this instance. Alexandria was on of the main political protested cities located in Egypt.

-John McWard

Islam in Tunisian Politics

With all of the current revolutions and rebellions going on in the world it's easy to forget the first country to start this movement, Tunisia. While the focus has been on elsewhere Tunisia is still in a sensitive place especially in it's politics. While the Tunisian people did manage to overthrow their authoritarians after decades of rule one thing they can't agree on is how religion and politics are going to mix. In the middle of all of the commotion following the revolution there was a more interesting problem in Tunis (the nation's capital); protecting the city's brothels from boards of religious fanatics.
The group attacked the city's brothels yelling and throwing rocks in the alleyways of Tunis, where prostitution is legal. The police have been forced into a position of putting down the Muslims who are against these brothels. The politics of the past in Tunisia have been shockingly advanced for a country that has 9.8 million out of it's 10 million residents practicing Islam. Not only is prostitution legal, but so are abortions, and alcohol and women are even allowed to wear bikini's.
The main concern right now is the move to make Tunisia a strict Muslim country with strict laws much like the rest of the middle east. Women are the most scared and have the most to lose should this be the case. In a country that fought for it's freedom the women in the country are prepared to fight for theirs. In one of the biggest demonstrations since the overthrow of their former leader, the Tunisian people demanded the separations of church and state. However, the recent re-formation of the Muslim political movement called Ennahdha and it's alignment with Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood have cause more than a little discomfort. However, as we have seen in recent weeks this country is full of people who are willing to stand up for their rights and what they fell is best for their country.

Spencer Darrow

Gulf spill's effects 'may not be seen for a decade'

In April of 2010 Millions of barrels of oil spewed into the sea after a BP deepwater well ruptured. In a recent exploration using a submersible scientists from the University of Georgia discovered a layer of oil and dead animals in some cases over ten cm deep. Samantha Joyce, lead investigator, has disputed Bp's assessment that the gulf will be recovered by 2012. At the American Association for the Advancement of Science conference in Washington Prof Joyce told scientists that it may take up to a decade before all the effects of the oil spill even become apparent. It took several years before it became clear that the herring industry had been destroyed after the Exxon Valdez spill, Professor Joye noted at the conference. Professor Joyce believes that one day the gulf will make a full recovery but not by 2012 as Bp predicts. She believes by 2012 the extent of the damage will become clear.

Nicole LeDonne

Gadhafi to fight to 'the last bullet'

In response to the unrest sweeping Libya Moammar Gadhafi's son Seif al-islam proclaimed "we are not Tunisia and Egypt" and that his father remained in power with the military's backing and that they would "fight until the last man the, last woman, the last bullet"
Following the speech security forces fired upon thousands of protesters killing 60 people Sunday to bring the rising death toll to 200. With the Libyan government taking increasingly firm stances with protesters, and the recent acquisition of weapons by the protesters resulting from their seizure of several military bases, Libya is staged to explode in violence. Western countries have expressed concern over the steady increase in violence but have gone largely unheeded.
I believe the result of Libya's protests will have a much greater impact on the region than those of Egypt if the protesters manage to succeed in overthrowing their totalitarian government.

Dylan Tate

Chinese protests supressed in Shanghai and Beijing.

It seems that the protests that started in Tunisia and Egypt are spreading to China now. Chinese blogs were calling for protests in the street against the government and in the cities of Shanghai and Beijing, some protesters showed up. Some were arrested but it is unclear why at this point since they did not have any signs and they were not shouting any slogans. Some in the government are calling for stricter controls to be put on the internet. They have already blocked the search term "Jasmine" since it relates to the Tunisian revolution which has been called the "Jasmine Revolution."
Alex Damske

Overnight attack silences independent TV Station in Kurdistan

Protests all over the Middle East have lead to violence and death. This particular attack occurred as hundreds of protesters demonstrated in central Sulaimaniya in northern Iraq. There were 70 people reported injured and one dead. What is interesting is that most of the protesters demonstrated opposition to the current Kurdistan regional president, Massoud Barazani. The attackers fired at the NRT TV building, which is the first independent television station in Northern Iraq. In correlation, two other protests occurred in cities south of Baghdad. One specific demonstration protested the lack of jobs. There are many things going on in the Middle East, and interestingly enough it all seems to be connected together, and has the ability to affect the entire world.

By: Jasmina Vukovic

Crackdown to stop pro-democracy rallies in China

A recent online message calling for a "Jasmine Revolution" was quelled by Chinese officials before anything major was able to take place. The online blockades were heightened on social networks such as Twitter to keep gatherings from occurring. Hundreds had gathered, but there were many plain-clothed policeman, making it hard to tell the difference between the officers and the protesters. President Hu Jintao said that they need to find a way to secure people's right while maintaining political stability.

Jim Michalik

Worried Israel: Encircled by enemies again?

Israelis are anxious about the recent trends in Egypt, the Arab world and even in America. Israeli Prime Minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, fears that the unrest in Egypt will unravel the 32 year old peace treaty signed with Israel's giant Arab neighbor. The prospect of an Egyptian government that included the Muslim Brotherhood would strengthen Hamas, a Brothers' Palestinian offshoot, whose charter calls for the Jewish states destruction. The Egypt unrest is heightening a sense of encirclement that has not been felt so acutely by Israelis in decades. Lebanon, to the north, has displaced its Pro-western Prime Minister with one backed by Hizbullah, the Shia party-cum-militia that is armed and backed by Iran. Syria, found to the northeast and also on friendly terms with Iran, seems to support Hamas as well. To the east, Jordan is finding itself being shaken by an assortment of Islamists, tribal leaders and Palestinians while being the only remaining Arab country in the region to have a formal treaty with the Jewish state. In addition, relations with Turkey have turned from cool to icy in the past year. Meanwhile, Iran, perhaps Israel's biggest threat in the region, moves steadily towards getting a nuclear weapon. All the while, peace talks with Palestinians have broken down, apparently irretrievably.

Israeli legitimacy and support has also deteriorated within the United Nations and the West. The UN already looks unfavorably on Israel for its decisions during Israel's war in Gaza in 2009. This sentiment could be reinforced soon as a resolution may be aired within the UN Security Council condemning Israel's refusal to freeze the West Bank settlements. One year ago America would be sure to veto it . They will probably do it again. However, Mr. Netanyahu's people do not have a good word for Barak Obama and view the White House as a lost cause. In the end, doubts about America, let alone Europe, may be more menacing than the Islamist governments in Egypt.

The Economist

Dennie Whitlow

Bahrain and Formula 1 Racing?

As the protests in Bahrain continue to escalate, concerns for the opening of the Formula 1 season begin to become evident. BBC's Sarah Holt reports, Formula 1 racing is set to hold it's season opening race March 13 in Bahrain's Sakhir Track, which includes the final preseason testing from March 3-6. As we know Bahrain's Military has gotten more violent as of late, starting to use live ammunition and killing 6 protesters Thursday. However, the Crown Prince withdrew security forces allowing protesters to retake the capital city's, Manama, town center. The Crown Prince has been the Cheif member of Bahrain's Government working with opposition leaders to reform the government, he is also the founder of the formula 1 race in Bahrain. Formula 1 boss Bernie Ecclestone has said that the decision will rest with the Crown Prince whether the Race will take place in Bahrain or not. Ecclestone and Formula 1 have already made arrangements with courses in Portugal and Spain if the decision is made to not have the race in Bahrain. Formula 1, has the right state of mind about the situation however, saying that Bahrain should be focused on the protests and violence in there country. Red Bull sponsored driver Mark Webber has said "It's probably not the best time to go there for a sporting event. They have bigger things, bigger priorities". That just shows that Formula 1 has the right frame of mind with the situation, but also shows just how far reaching the effects of these protests can be.
More information and images at
Zach Howell

Somalia fighting leaves 18 dead, dozens wounded

A heavy exchange of artillery between Islamist militants and government forces in Somalia's capital today left 18 dead and many more wounded. Of the 36 wounded, 11 were caught in an explosion when an artillery shell hit a bus near Mogadishu's Bakara Market. Two of the dead were peace keepers, while another six were rebel leaders who were linked to al Queda according to the Uganda led AMISOM mission.

According to the African Union peace keeping mission the figthing occured because of attempts to remove a network of tunnels and trenches used to move fighters and weapons around the capital by the jihadist movement Al-Shabaab.

The closing of these tunnels are a significant part of stabilizing the city according to AMISOM, which supports Somalia's traditional government. The combined forces control 60 percent of the city now; however, the government does not have much influence beyond Mogadishu. Thus Southern Somalia is under Al-Shabaab.

By Aleksandra Ruseva

Protests to Limit Royal Powers of the Moroccan King

Many protesters in Morocco filled the streets Sunday, protesting for King Mohammad to have less powers than he currently has. The protesters also want to get rid of the current government and for something to be done about all the corruption.

The police stayed separated from the large crowd of people , but some officers took note of what the crowds were chanting. They chanted "The people reject a constitution made for slaves!" and "Down with autocracy!" The protest was said to be a peaceful way of emphasizing the need for constitutional reform.

Those that were involved in starting the whole protest were a group who called themselves the February 20 Movement for Change and had 20,000 followers who all found each other on Facebook. Political commentator Anozla mentioned that protesting for constitutional reform has always been around, but the difference now is that apolitical youths are supporting the demand for reform.

Taryn Vaughan

Israeli PM: Crossing of Iranian ships a grave concern

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Iran is trying to take advantage of the situation in Egypt in order to expand its influence in the region. Egypt has given the green signal to Iran to send two Iranian warships through the Suez Canal. The Suez canal connects the Mediterranean to the Red Sea, which is a prime route for trade between Europe and Asia. In fact, millions of barrels of oil pass through this canal every day. Egypt has a treaty with Iran, which is why the post-Mubarak government is allowing this. No Iranian warship has passed through this canal since 1979, which is why Israel is concerned.

- Peter Zafiropoulos

Bahrain: What's at stake for America

Washington (CNN) -- Bahrain -- a tiny group of islands where hot political rhetoric meets cold military reality.

As far as Washington is concerned, this small Persian Gulf kingdom may be where support for Middle East democracy dies. The loss of American military power that could accompany an overthrow of the regime of King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa is incalculable.

Nestled between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Bahrain is home to 1.2 million people. More importantly, it's home to the U.S. Navy's Fifth Fleet -- a vital instrument for the Pentagon in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Fighter jets from carriers in the fleet provide close air support for American troops in Afghanistan.

The fleet is also a potential bulwark against a future nuclear Iran, analysts note.

"It's our most important strategic asset in the Persian Gulf," said Michael Rubin, a former Bahrain resident and Middle East expert at the American Enterprise Institute.

The security of America's naval presence in Bahrain was called into question when protests erupted there this week. Three people died and dozens were injured Thursday when security forces stormed a group of protesters. Witnesses described a blunt show of force, with police firing pellets and rubber bullets, as well as using tear gas.

Two other people died during disturbances earlier in the week.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said in response that the United States has "deep concerns" about the crackdown. Future protests should "not be marred by violence," she declared.

"Violence is not an appropriate reaction," lectured White House Press Secretary Jay Carney. Leaders in Bahrain and across the Middle East region need to "be more responsive" and "live up to the hopes and dreams of their people."
But exactly how responsive?

Bahrain has been ruled by a Sunni Muslim royal family since the British left in 1971. Two-thirds of its population are Shiites. While the latest turmoil is largely a reaction to uprisings in Egypt, Tunisia, and elsewhere, younger Shiites have routinely led protests -- often violent -- to complain about discrimination, unemployment and corruption.

They also rioted when the Islamic Revolution toppled the Shah of Iran in 1979. Since then, every time Shiite protests have become too heated, the Sunni rulers of Saudi Arabia have quietly sent troops into the country, according to Rubin.

"On the one hand, Bahrain is a flash point between the United States and Iran," he told CNN. On the other, it's "a flash point between Saudi Arabia and Iran."

Bahrain was actually a Persian province through the 16th century. Iran claimed the territory when the Britain left, but the Bahrainis opted for independence.

"Bahrain is Iran's Kuwait," Rubin said, referencing former Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein's insistence that Kuwait was rightfully an Iraqi province.

If Bahrain's government falls, "there is no question -- no ifs, ands or buts -- Bahrain would become an Iranian satellite, and the Fifth Fleet would be sent packing," Rubin predicted.

The Obama administration is "not being too vocal on the riots in Bahrain because it's pretty much the one country where we can't afford regime change," he said.

Could U.S. officials find a new naval home in the Gulf? Possibly Qatar or the United Arab Emirates, Rubin said, but "if there's a sense that the dominoes are falling and the United States is the big loser, then all the regional states are going to make their accommodation with Iran whether they like us or not."

The stakes could not be higher.

William B. Robinson

Deadly 72 hours in Juarez

53 people were killed in Juarez,Mexico in a 72 hour period starting on Thursday and ending Saturday. 4 police officers were killed during this 72 hour period. Friday was the worst day of the killing 20 people were killed. Juarez is one of the most dangerous cities in Mexico because of the drug war between the Juarez cartel and Sinaloa cartel. These two powerful cartels are fighting over turf and secretive drug smuggling routes into the United States. There has been so much killing the city is having trouble storing all of the bodies. Juarez is averaging 8 murders a day for 2011 right now ,but this weekend will probably raise the average even more.

Brian Campbell

Ireland voting for change

The people of Ireland may be voting out the Fianna Fail party that has dominated Irish politics for the last 80 years. Ireland's economy has taken some serious hits and is in a tremendous downward spiral. The people of Ireland are responding with anger toward the government and it seems like all things are pointing to a change in Irish politics. The article says that this will be a "political earthquake". Ireland is part of the European Union, so many other countries banks have interest in the Irish political situation due to investments in the Irish economy. If the new politics of Ireland restore economic success in Ireland, the European Union will be much stronger, if a similar situation to what happened in Greece occurs, the European Union, which dictates the Euro, could be in a lot of trouble.

Brett Kelleher

G20 Leaders set deal and criticize China

The Group of 20 met over the weekend and agreed on some guidelines that could help identify some economic and financial developments that would create problems for the rest of the world. They particularly aimed blamed at China because China has accumulated currency reserves in US dollars, which helps hold down the value of their currency, the renminbi, and run up large trade surplus. French Secretary of Treasury, Timothy Geithner, said that china's currency is still, "substantially undervalued."

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Japan will recall whaling fleet.

Japan will cut short this year’s annual whale hunt in the Antarctic Ocean after obstruction by an environmental group (Sea Shepherd) largely prevented its ships from killing whales, the government said on Friday.

English article tends to support Sea Shepherd’s side, so I introduce how Japanese government is thinking about this matter by translating Japanese article into English. According to the articles of MSN Japan, the hidden reason why Japan decided to recall is to deal a blow to the finance of Sea Shepherd which has been gathered huge donation by making use of Japanese whale or dolphin hunting. Sea Shepherd has taken the video of obstructive activity against Japanese ship and has broadcasted the TV show focusing on one-sided opinion of Sea Shepherd to gather money by increasing their supporters. Sea Shepherd has made Japan as antagonist one-sidedly and has made drama on purpose. The opinion that we should not let Sea Shepherd record more video for their promotion has risen within Japanese government, Japanese government decided to recall. It is expected that Sea Shepherd will suffer from serious economic blow because they cannot record more videos of obstructive activities and their TV show is expected to be shrunk abruptly.

Yutaka Banno, the vice minister of foreign affairs of Japan, said, "The activities of Sea Shepherd is dangerous illegal activity threatening crew's lives and property and the safety of the navigation of ships. Japanese ships are researching about whales legally and we cannot forgive their illegal activities." He also criticized flag states of Sea Shepherd, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand as they are supporting of illegal activity of Sea Shepherd.

Sea Shepherd gathered 9.4million dollars by flashy promotion on the TV show in 2009, and is buying equipment and threatening lives of crew of Japanese ship.

Kazuya Usui

MSN Japan
International Herald Tribune

Cuba to free 7 more prisoners

The Roman Catholic Church recently announced that Cuba is set to release 7 more prisoners, including one dissident from the 2003 crackdown on the opposition. This Cuban move is in response of the Catholic Church and Spain for Cuba to remove all political prisoners from their prisons. This news comes Saturday, as the Church announced six more prisoners have agreed to go live in Spain, bringing the total number of prisoners who agreed to live in Spain to 70.

One of the prisoners, who had refused to go into exile has been released to leave the prison and live in Spain. These moves come as Cuban president Raul Castro agreed to free all 52 prisoners who were imprisoned during the 2003 crackdown. Most of the prisoners have been released, including those who were involved in counterrevolutionary attacks. Those who refused to go into exile were delayed until the moves taken today.

By: Brianne Thomas

Afghan bank in Jalalabad hit by suicide bomb attack

Eighteen people have been killed and more than 70 wounded in an attack on a bank in the Afghan city of Jalalabad, according to the provincial governor.
Gul Agha Shirzay said suicide attackers armed with guns and grenades carried out the attack, according to AFP.The Taliban say they carried out the assault on the Kabul Bank, targeting police and intelligence officers who had gone to collect their salaries.

Afghan security forces are frequently targets of attacks by the Taliban.
"Unfortunately 18 of our countrymen were martyred and more than 70 injured," said Mr Shirzay, governor of Nangarhar province.

Those wounded included Alishah Paktyamwal, the province's police chief, and his deputy.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the attack."People were there doing business deals and to receive their salaries. This attack once again showed the cruel actions of the terrorists who do not want the people of Afghanistan to live in peace," he said.

By Annie Hung

Oil Keeps Flowing Despite Unrest, but High Prices Jangle Nerves Worldwide

Since September 2008, prices have risen about 30 percent since September, reaching their highest level. In regards to the turmoil in North Africa and the Middle East, has helped drive oil prices up to more than $102 a barrel for an important benchmark crude, Brent. Brent is a global benchmark crude oil that is produced in the North Sea and traded in London. It is typically the benchmark that is used to set the price for most of the oil from the Middle East. However, there have been no disruptions with production or supply according to the article. According to the article, the increased price of energy is a “burden that can be a detriment to the global economic recovery,”

While Egypt and Tunisia have little oil, Libya is one of Africa’s largest holders of crude oil reserves, Algeria and Iran are major suppliers and Bahrain and Yemen both border Saudi Arabia on the peninsula that produces most of the world’s oil. Together, Libya, Algeria, Yemen, Bahrain and Iran represent about 10 percent of global oil production. It is said that, the oil markets are famously skittish, especially with the possibility of disruptions in the Middle East and North Africa, which account for some 35 percent of the world’s oil production and a greater percentage of the world’s known reserves. Yet, those who track oil prices are especially worried about the renewed turmoil in Iran and the possibility of unrest spreading from Bahrain to Saudi Arabia, which could have a major impact on oil’s price and its availability.

By Delaina Flagg

Somali Pirates

And the Somali pirates strike again; this time, a yacht was hijacked with four Americans onboard in the Indian Ocean. The yacht, the S/V Quest, is owned by Jean and Scott Adam, however, it is uncertain if they were onboard the ship at the time of its capture. The Adams have been on a worldwide cruise for seven years now, with their mission "to allow the power of the word to transform lives and seek fertile ground for the word and homes for our Bibles." The U.S. military has said they will be ready to intervene in the situation if it becomes necessary to do so. At this point, it is believed that the hijacked yacht has not been taken to shore but officials believe the pirates are onboard with the Americans. The next step is for the U.S. officials to determine with the military how to keep the yacht from reaching the shore, either by blocking it or harassing it.

-Kristine Zizis

Rising Dealth Toll in Libya Due to Protests

The number of people killed in three days of protests in Libya has risen to 84, according to the New York-based group Human Rights Watch. The main focus of the demonstrations against Col Muammar Gaddafi's 42-year rule has been the second city Benghazi, where security forces are said to have attacked protesters again on Saturday. State media have warned of retaliation if the unrest continues. Media restrictions make it difficult to verify reports independently but the BBC has confirmed that websites including Facebook and al-Jazeera Arabic were blocked. Security forces opened fire in Benghazi on Friday when protesters approached a compound used by Col Gaddafi when he visits the city. In Darnah, east of al-Bayda, police stations are said to have been evacuated. Oea newspaper, owned by one of Col Gaddafi's sons, reported that demonstrators had lynched two policemen in the city. One protester told the BBC that soldiers had switched sides in some areas and joined the demonstrations.

Jamie Alt

Friday, February 18, 2011

Swiss Find Funds Linked to Mubarak

Swiss officials found potential sums of money of Mosni Mubarak that were frozen. The money is stored in a Swiss bank and officials are not saying whether the funds are directly linked to Mubarak or maybe some of his family and friends. Officials will not say the exact amount but it is thought to be somewhere around several dozen million dollars. After the resignation, Swiss officials ordered banks to freeze all of his assets and those of his family and friends as well. The new military leading the country of Egypt has asked all countries in surrounding areas to freeze assets of the four former ministers, party insider, and their families but nothing of Mubarak's or his family.

Jessica Connor

Protesters rally against government in Djibouti

Protests in the small African nation of Djibouti have been taking place since late January, but are growing amidst the wave of democracy taking over North Africa and the Middle East.  The protesters are calling for the resignation of President Ismail Omar Guelleh, whose family has ruled Djibouti since 1977 when they received independence from France.  Although the protests have been peaceful, it has been reported that the police have responded with tear gas.  Djibouti is actually very important to Western interests as it is home to a French naval base as well as a US naval base (the only one on the African continent), both of which have been crucial in monitoring the Somali pirates.  Djibouti's proximity to the Middle East is also of value, as the US uses it's base to stage attacks on al Qaeda.  It will be interesting to see the US response to these protests considering that, like Egypt and Bahrain, they have serious ties to and interests in Djibouti.

Mark Zajac

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Egypt's Workers Strike

Following the revolution that has occurred in Egypt, workers went on strike along the Suez Canal on Thursday for better wages and working conditions. The increasing amount of protests are threatening the economy. Banks reopened last week, however due to the wave of protests they have re-closed. Officials fear that the reopening of the stock market in these conditions may cause severe economic distress.

Bahrain's military takes control

As Bahrain officials ban gatherings, things get violent when the military gets summoned and ends with 5 anti-government protestors getting killed. The tensions in Bahrain are decades old as sunni and shiite sects in the country vie for power only being intensified by recent political protest across the Arab world. As police forces use tear gas and fire shotguns on the crowd most dispersed and the streets of the capital are relatively quiet for now.

Brandon Borkovec

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Italian Prime Minister involved in Sex Scandal

Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is allegedly charged of paying and underage prostitute. He is awaiting his trial which will be april 6th. Apparently he tried to cover up this allegation by illegally abusing his powers as Prime Minister. Many MP's are requesting the resignation of Silvio, and others believe he is not guilty of the accused. Nevertheless, the Prime Minister faces up to 3 years jail time.

Monday, February 14, 2011

South Korea hit with heavy snowfall

The east coat of South Korea received nearly 2.6 feet of snow in 24 hours. This record snowfall has been the heaviest fall recorded since 1911 when the nation began its record-keeping. Widespread chaos is taking place across the affected areas with many houses collapsing under the weight of the snow. A number of primary schools have been closed and many motorists are also stranded in the snow drifts. The damage is estimated in the millions of dollars. Thousands of soldiers have been deployed by the South Korean government to aid in the recovery process after the weather disaster.

Meghan Steinbeiss

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Italy Using Forces to Halt Illegal Immigrants

The interior minister of Italy sent in forces to halt Tunisia immigrant from coming in. In the most recent days 3,00 people have been arriving by boat to Italian islands. Roberto Maroni, the interior minister of Italy, is asking for permission to go into Tunisia and block the people. Moaroni was quoted as saying, "it is a flow of immigrants of biblical proportions". People traveling to the Italian island, Lampedusa, are sleeping outside because there aren't enough places for them to stay. Italy is now opening the immigrant holding center and airlifting them to give their information.
Jessica Connor

Malaysia against Valentine's Day

Two-thirds of the 28 million of Malaysia population are Muslims. Malaysia Anti-Valentine campaign was established and been enforced by the countries Islamic authorities since 2005. This Monday the campaign will be stepped up to prevent Muslims from celebrating this Hallmark holiday which is labelled as a "trap" too encourage immoral behavior. The Deputy prime minister, Yassin said Valentine's Day was "not suitable" for Muslims. On Monday, Malaysian states will enforce checks on hotels to stop young couples from having premarital intercourse. The department's chief believes, Islam does not reject positive things from the West and are open to Mother's and Father's Day but Valentines Day in reality is historically known to concentrate on vice actions. He also states-" Islam would reject anything, even from the Eastern culture, if it contravenes the Islamic teachings."
Posted by, Ana Rivera

Mandela's release from hospital calms South Africa

Friday, after being released from the hospital, Nelson Mandela returned to his home. Mandela was in the hospital receiving treatment for an acute respiratory infection. Reports said Mandela was in good spirits and is recovering very well. Along with Mandela's family, the rest of South Africa was in anxiety due to the lack of information that was being released on Mandela's state of being. Close family members, including his wife Graca Machel, and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren, visited him while he was in hospital, prompting speculation that his condition was worse than initially reported.

Brandon VanLoon

Iraqi lawmakers approve ministers

Iraqi Parliament appointed 8 new ministers to the cabinet, though key spots remain empty. These appointed ministers are to oversee electricity, trade, and municipalities. Also the first female minister was appointed to oversee Woman's Affairs. The key spots that remain empty are defense, interior and national security. After all this commotion, demonstrators have took to the streets in outrage. At the end of 2011, the United states has agreed to remove all troops out of Iraq, though the United States might petition to keep a few troops in Iraq to keep an eye on the newly developed government.

John McWard

Cuba frees 2 political prisoners against their wishes

Two prominent Cuban dissidents who had refused to leave prison were released against their wishes on Saturday as the Cuban government continues to free opposition activists arrested during a notorious crackdown in 2003.
The Cuba government is releasing the prisoners who are willing to go into exile in Spain. The recent releases are a sign that the government will continue the releases even if the dissidents refuse to leave the island.Some people argue that the Cuban government has taken advantage of the deal with Spain to release a number of prisoners who are not engaged in any political activity and could not be considered prisoners of conscience.

By Annie Hung

Arab Leaders, Facing Calls for Reform, Consider Next Move

After demonstrations caused the collapse of government in Tunisia and Egypt, the risk of uprising and demonstration is spreading among Arab countries. As more protests planned in coming days, some governments were clearly worried that demonstration which has a possibility to kick the leader out will occur in their countries, too. “Arab people discovered their ability to make change,” said Nabeel Rajab, a human rights activist in Bahrain. “And with Egypt in the leadership once again, the change will reach all Arab world.” Each country is implementing policies to avoid uprising. "In Bahrain, King Hamad Bin Isa al-Khalifa on Friday ordered the equivalent of $2,650 be given to every Bahraini family. In Iraq, officials have reduced their salaries, and in Algeria, the government has promised to lift the state of emergency that has been the law since 1992. Syrian officials lifted a ban on Facebook and Youtube this week, tools Egyptian protesters used to great effect. Human rights advocates warned that the move could make it easier for the government to monitor its opponents. "

Intenrnational Herald Tribune

Kazuya Usui

Suspected car bomb injures 12 in Thailand

At least 12 people were injured and as many houses burned down, after an explosion in southern Thailand Sunday morning. Investigators believe that a car bomb caused the explosion. The region has seen a rise in insurgent activity recently. 9 civilians were killed and 2 injured in a bombing last week.
The government suspects muslim separatists who have long been at odds with the government in the mainly buddhist country. I think that a lot of the articles we have read for class mainly Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations" underline the inherent tensions in the region.

Dylan Tate

Move over Japan: China is now No. 2 world economy

In the news today, China is now number 2 in the world economy while Japan falls to number three. Japan's economy was valued 5.73 trillion, China was 5.88 trillion. The economy in Japan in 2010 grew by about 3.9%. China though was to have growth by 10%.

Read more:

Yasmeen Kiswani

Arrest warrant issued for former Pakistani President Musharraf

Former President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf, has been issued an arrest warrant by the Anti Terrorist Court in Rawalpindi. He is being accused of the assassination of former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who was running against him for presidency in 2007. A United Nations panel found him guilty of not providing adequate protection, and intelligence agencies hindered the subsequent investigation. The panel believes that the assassination by a suicide bomber that killed him could have been prevented, but Pervez Musharraf says he had afforded adequate protection. Musharraf's legal adviser believes the charges against him are politically motivated and baseless. Last year, Musharraf started a political party to run in the next election in 2013 because he believes Pakistan is suffering and the current political officials are not doing enough to fix it. He also believes the accusations against him are now arising due to his return to the political game after he gave himself a self-imposed exile to London in 2008 after he resigned presidency. As for now, he is going to have to defend himself in front of a court against these accusations.

By Peter Zafiropoulos

Bahrain getting ready to protest.

In Buhrain the citizens are getting ready to protest on February 14. I think it seems like they want more rights but the article doesn't make it completely clear why they are about to go out and protest. The article does talk extensively about how the government is cracking down on sites such as facebook and twitter. In order to try to get the protest to remain small they've cut off ways of communication which is a shame.
James Lambert

Officials: 105 dead in Southern Sudan clashes

Last Wednesday and Thursday forces loyal to George Athor attacked the town of Fanjak in Southern Sudan, where twenty SPLA soldiers, thirty of the attackers, and thirty-nine civilians were killed. The group also attacked the town of Bor killing twelve of the attackers and four SPLA soldiers. In all 105 are dead due to this incident.

The SPLA is a military wing of the Sudanese Libaration Movement that is currently governing Southern Sudan. Moreover, in 2010 George Athor "took up arms" after losing the election for governor of the Southern Sudanese state of Jongeli. Although he accused the government of election fraud, he signed a truce days before the referendum in January.

The nation is preparing for it's official independence on July 9; however, violence from renegade militias is causing some concern. In fact, last week a mutiny among the Joint Integrated Units (JIU) by soldiers loyal to militia leader Gabriel Tang led to fifty deaths, as well as with sixty-five injured civilians. The JIUs are a coordinated military force made up of the northern Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the southern Sudanese Peoples Liberation Army.

By Aleksandra Ruseva

Italian Police maybe deployed to Tunisia to tackle immigration

Italy asked for Permission on Sunday to use police intervention to prevent the sudden influx of Tunisian migrants coming into the country. Italian sources say there have been over 4,000 migrants on the island of Lampedusa, which is South of Sicily and East of Tunisia. The usual population of the island is around 5,000. The Italian Minister of the Interior, Roberto Maroni, has issued a Humanitarian Emergency and has asked for aid from the European Union. Maroni also cites the failure of other European states to help Italy in the matter of immigration. Italy cites the need to put the migrants into detention camps in Sicily and other prisons in Italy because they feel as if terrorists and other criminals may be using the unrest around the region to enter Europe. The detention camps are just a way to check the migrants identities. The UN's refugee agency says that the primary causes of this influx are from those seeking political asylum after the upheaval of the Tunisian Government and those just seeking to escape poverty.
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By: Zach Howell

6 dead in Mexican Nightclub attack

Early Sunday morning in Guadalajara, Mexico 6 people, and 37 injured in a night club attack. There has been a lot of violence and tension across the U.S./Mexico border, but rarely has it reached as far south as Guadalajara in recent years. Guadalajara is Mexico's second largest metro area, and it is a major piece of territory in the Mexican drug trade because of its location in the south and western routes. Violence has been subdued recent years in Guadalajara because the Cartels were weakened, but with growing resistance at the U.S. border, cartels are trying to combat the U.S. border patrol by beefing up there own resources.

Brett Kelleher

Egypt's military dissolves Parliament, suspends Constitution

Cairo, Egypt (CNN) -- Egypt's military dissolved the country's Parliament and suspended its Constitution Sunday following the ouster of longtime leader Hosni Mubarak, telling Egyptians it would be in charge for six months or until elections can be held.

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces said it would appoint a committee to propose changes to the Constitution, which would then be submitted to voters. The council will have the power to issue new laws during the transition period, according to a communique read on state television.

Sameh Shoukry, Egypt's ambassador to the United States, said Sunday that the generals have made restoring security and reviving the economy its top priorities.
"This current composition is basically a technocratic government to run the day-to-day affairs, to take care of the security void that has happened, and to also address the issues related to the economy," Shoukry told CNN's "Fareed Zakaria GPS."

Army, protesters clean up Tahrir Square The next steps for Egypt Monument for martyrs of Tahrir Square Coffee shop debates continue
However, a leading opposition figure said Sunday that the military must explain its plans in more detail or see a resumption of the demonstrations that drove Mubarak from office.

"They need to come out of their headquarters and start talking to the people and tell us what is in store for us," ElBaradei told GPS.

And a prominent Egyptian activist credited with helping spark the revolution warned against taking too long to establish a new representative government.
"Biggest mistake now is to give the Egyptian people too little too slow. Restoring confidence requires a faster pace," Wael Ghonim said on Twitter.

Mubarak stepped down Friday after 18 days of protests against his nearly 30-year rule and is now in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh. The longtime president was himself a product of the military establishment that has ruled Egypt since the 1950s, but his abdication leaves a council of generals led by Defense Minister Hussein Tantawi in charge of the Arab world's most populous nation.

Sunday's military communique said new elections would be held for both houses of Egypt's Parliament as well as the presidency. Protesters had blasted the November parliamentary elections as fraudulent, and calls for their annulment were among the major demands before Mubarak's ouster.

In the meantime, government ministers are now reporting to the military high command in the same way they reported to Mubarak, Prime Minister Ahmed Shafiq told reporters Sunday, in remarks that were carried live on state television. He said he was reviewing candidates to fill vacant government ministries, adding that no one who was not acceptable to the public would be appointed.

Sunday marked the first workday since Mubarak's ouster. For the first time since the uprising began January 25, traffic flowed freely around Tahrir Square -- the epicenter of the protests -- and the majority of shops around the square were open. Some protesters remained in the square Sunday, vowing to keep protesting until Egypt is under civilian rule.

The Egyptian junta now has to grapple with the economic problems that fueled the revolt, including massive youth unemployment and economic underdevelopment. The demonstrations virtually shut down Egypt's economy, costing it vital tourism dollars as well.

New protests at the headquarters of the National Bank of Egypt appear to have forced the ouster of that institution's chairman, Tarek Amer, and two top deputies, who submitted their resignations on Sunday, according to an e-mail shared with CNN by a bank employee.

The National Bank's headquarters in Cairo continued to function during Sunday's protests, with disgruntled staff taking turns to work and demonstrate.
It was not clear whether the resignations have been accepted. However, Sunday evening,
Egyptian state television announced banks would be shut down until Wednesday, and urged workers to consider the national interest.Bank workers complained that members of Mubarak's family put their allies into positions of power at the bank with grossly inflated salaries.

Cairo's stock exchange will freeze transactions from former ministers and businessmen who are now under investigation when trading resumes Wednesday, the exchange's chairman, Khaled Serri Siyam, announced in a statement on the government-run website EgyNews.

Outside the Interior Ministry, hundreds of disgruntled police officers demanding higher wages, shorter hours, better benefits and more respect faced off with Egyptian troops. The police officers currently earn 500 Egyptian pounds (about $85) a month -- a quarter of what army troops of comparable rank earn, they said -- and face imprisonment if they refuse to work unpaid overtime. Both low-ranking police officers and administrative staff joined in the protest.

Mubarak's ouster came three weeks after a similar revolt toppled longtime Tunisian strongman Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. And even as officials hash out the details of Egypt's murky political future, public demands for change have rippled throughout the region.
In Yemen's capital Sanaa on Saturday, protesters chanted, "Yesterday Tunisia, today Egypt -- tomorrow Yemen will open the prison." And in restive Algeria, anti-government protesters chanted, "Change the power" on Saturday. Security forces clashed with the crowds Saturday in Algiers and detained roughly 100 protesters, according to the opposition Algerian League for Human Rights.

Shoukry said it was a "matter of pride" for Egyptians that their revolution was "organized and peaceful," adding, "Egypt has always been a trend-setter in this region."
"The region looks to us in many aspects, and I'm sure also in this regard, many lessons will be learned," he said.

William B. Robinson