Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Yemen's President Saleh Resigns

Ali-Abdullah Saleh is stepping down from power in Yemen after 33 years of presidency.  After three more months of transistional governance, Saleh will officialy be remeoved from office, making him the fourth Arab leader to be ousted this year.  Whether this is a sign of progress for Yemen will naturally be answered only when the shape of the new government takes form.  What is clear is that like in other Arab states, there have been many violent and deathly protests occuring in Yemen over the past year as supporters and protestors clash.  Saleh follows former Tunisian President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, and Moammar Gadhafi of Libya as Arab leaders to be taken from power recently.  Ali and Gadhafi fled, while Mubarak and Saleh agreed to step down.  The most important issue in all of these cases now turns to action going forward.  Will the next government in line continue with the corruption, exploitation, and violence that plagued their predecessors?

David Johnson

Monday, November 21, 2011

Whose lost decade?

Over the years, people have been striking Japan's economy with almost a pessimistic tone, failing to realize the actual growth that actually has been occurring. Since Japan's population has been declining, people above 45 are getting wealthier. Furthermore, many thought of Japan as the indebted nation when in fact they are one the biggest creditors around. The individual growth of Japan has definitely startled those who doubted it and is on a good track for continuing progress ,despise the problems it was having with deflation and such.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Cubans Set for Big Change: Right to Buy Homes

Cuba is ready for big change with rights that allow Cubans to buy homes. Many are expecting major changes in Cuba. With money from Cubans who are living in the United States are giving a large amount of property taxes and money to their home land and also Cubans from around the world. “There’s going to be huge demand,” said José, 36, who declined to give his last name, stepping away from the crowd and keeping an eye out for eavesdroppers. “It’s been prohibited for so long”(Cave).
The people in Cuba understand that the key to capitalism is the idea of private property. Their is a slogan in the country "socialism or death" to fight for their rights and legitimize their country. With the new rules that were put in place by the Obama administration which allows relatives of Cuba to send as much money as they want. This is giving the Cuban Americans a big part in giving the Cuban economy success. Experts in Cuba say that the Cubans are already creating a tiered social system within Cuba. The Cuban Americans have already sent $1 billion so far to fund the idea of the people of Cuba receiving their own rights to purchase and own their own home.

By; Joe Ruffolo

Sources: U.S. to slap new sanctions on Iran's petrochemical industry

Diplomatic sources have said that the Obama administration plans to add more sanctions to Iran's petrochemical industry. Current US sanctions already prohibit American companies from doing business with Iran. The proposed sanctions, planned to be announced Monday, would bar foreign companies from doing business with Iran's petrochemical industry by threatening to cut off business from America and banning those companies from US markets. The intention of the new sanctions is to take away some of the power form Iran. These new sanctions come just after the IAEA reported there is strong evidence that Iran is building the technology needed to create a nuclear weapon. This is very concerning for all free nations, as Iran is very unstable. Because Iran has huge oil reserves, taking business away from its petrochemical industry might have a big effect.

by Rachel Foy

Libyan Government to Try Gaddafi's Son at Home

According to Fox News, Libya's new leaders said Sunday they will try Muammar Qaddafi's son at home and not hand him over to the International Criminal Court where he's charged with crimes against humanity. Saif al-Islam Gaddafi, who was once the face of reform in Libya and who led his father's drive to emerge from pariah status over the last decade, was captured by fighters from the small western mountain town of Zintan who had tracked him to the desert in the south of the country. He was then flown to Zintan, 85 miles southwest of Tripoli, where he remains in a secret location.

Meghan Kats

Al Qaeda in Africa

Two weeks ago al qaeda connected terrorist groups began to wreak havoc in the African nation of Nigeria. Hundreds were killed in gunfights and bombing campaigns coordinated by the terrorist group. According to the CNN article, Christians were the primary target along with mosques that were deemed "insufficiently islamic". Experts believe that the Nigerian 'Boko Haram' terrorist group, over the past two years, has built up relations with al qaeda. Houses, churches, and places of "Western influence" are all common targets of Boko Haram. This has caused a flood of Nigerian Christians to leave their homes and flee into neighboring nations. President Goodluck Jonathan has promised "swift and certain justice for criminal elements". Wether the weak Nigerian government can hold their promise of justice is as of now unclear. The Nigerians were able to somewhat defend themselves from attack and hundreds of Boko Haram were killed including their leader, Mohammed Yusuf. Nigerian forces have also begun to stockpile weapons to prepare for futher attack. As of now no international help has been offered or requested. Unbelievably, the Human Rights Watch has defended the Boko Haram and condemned Nigerian police for "extrajudicial executions" of terrorists. Violent times call for swift and sometimes unpleasant responses.

Andrew Cross

14 Tons of Marijuana Seized After Border Tunnel Is Found

14 tons of marijuana was seized after tunnel was discovered in San Diego. The tunnel stretched about 400 yards and linked warehouses in San Diego and Tijuana, Mexico. Authorities of United sates seized about 9 to 10 tons of marijuana, Mexican authorities recovered about 5 tons. The depth and the width of tunnel is unknown, also several arrests were made. It was one of the most significant drug smuggling passages ever found on United States-Mexican border.
The number of tunnels that were found in 2008 is about 70, which is surpassing the number of discoveries in previous years. Many smugglers are grouping in California border because it is popular for it's clay-like soil, which is easy to dig.
Last November 50 tons of marijuana was seized on both sides of the border, two of the largest seizures in United States history.

Nazira Bakhriyeva

Facing Calls to Give Up Power, Egypt Military Battles Crowds

CAIRO — Egypt’s military rulers struggled Sunday to contain an explosion of protests demanding their ouster, as a growing crowd of demonstrators pushed security forces out of Tahrir Square for a second night in a row and new clashes broke out across the country.

Egyptian troops, heralded as saviors when their generals ushered out President Hosni Mubarak on Feb. 11, led a new push to clear the square. And the battles took a more lethal toll: the Health Ministry said that at least six were killed, and doctors set up in the square said that the number could be twice that.

But the violence only seemed to reinforce the revolutionary urgency that had returned to the square, and when the army moved to push out the thousands of protesters, more than twice as many quickly flooded back.

“This is February 12!” said Abeer Mustafa, a 42-year-old wedding planner. “We have finally succeeded in reclaiming our revolution.”

The crackdown, including the reported use of live ammunition by troops, elicited condemnation across the political spectrum, joined by voices who had previously taken a more restrained tone toward the military council, from the liberal former diplomat Mohamed ElBaradei to the Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.

Almost all the civilian parties called for an accelerated end to military rule before the drafting of a constitution — either an immediate handover to some civilian unity government, a turnover to the lower house of Parliament when it is seated in April, or after a presidential election, to be scheduled as soon as possible.

But while unity reappeared in the square, where Coptic Christians once again stood guard as their Muslim compatriots bowed to pray, the political class remained deeply polarized over what sort of civilian government might succeed the military. Liberals and Islamists continued to battle each other in back-room arguments over the question of what rules the military might set for the selection of a constitutional convention, even as the street protesters demanded that the military give up such authority.

In its first official response to the crisis, the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces repeated its commitment to its “road map” of the transition, including next week’s elections, but it did nothing to move up or clarify its exit date, now set for some time after drafting of a constitution and electing of a president in perhaps 2013 or beyond. The council expressed “sorrow” over the situation. It said it had ordered an investigation and it asked the political parties to “contain the situation.”

By: Joseph McGee

Socialists Lose in Spain

Europes debt crisis has taken a large toll on the people of Spain with its high unemployment rate and credit squeeze. This caused the people to Spain, who have had a socialist government for over the past 8 years, to vote in a different way. On Sunday 99.8% percent of the votes counted were for the popular party candidate, Mariano Rajoy. The popular party won 186 seats while the socialist party decreased greatly from 169 seats to 110. Unlike other countries being affected by the Europe debt crisis the new prime minister of Spain will have the strong support of the single party majority in Parliment. Former Socialist Prime Minister Zapatero left office because of the complete loss of an economy boom. There is a threat of another recession that still has the Popular Party questioning if a center-right government can turnaround the economy. It was stated in the article that this problem is too big for just the new government to fix. Spain will need help from outside intervention.

Blake Sabatke

More Turmoil in Egypt

Ten people died in Cairo, Egypt today as a part of the demonstrations that Egypt's military government hand over their power to the people. The EU's foreign policy chief condemned the violence that continues to take place inside of Egypt. According to a statement read on Egyptian state television the current government is commited to holding the scheduled elections on time. The frustration of the Egyptian people is quite clear and I wonder how much longer it will be until a stable government that the people approve of is in place. It does seem that Egypt is on a path to path to froming a democracy. Hopefully the interim government allows for this to take place.

Matthew Draper

U.S. Fugitive Found in Portugal

A fugitive named Manuel Luis Ferreira has been found in Portugal after decades of searching for the man. Ferreira escaped from jail in 1970 after being found guilty of murder. He was also a participant in an alleged plane hijacking. He has evaded capture for almost forty years. The real interest in the story comes from the fact that Portugal will not extradite the fugitive. The Portugese court determined that since Manuel Luis Ferreira is not a citizen of Portgual, is in declining health, and the Portugese statute of limitations has expired on the case, they will not return the man to the Unites States. This story offers an interesting look on the power dynamics between state actors in regards to both individual policies and the agreements they have between one another. The U.S. and Portugal have a bilateral extradition policy and Portugal determined they were denying the U.S. big for extradition. It seems to be a rare occurence that the U.S. is denied anything on a global level. The United States may appeal the decision to the Portuguese Supreme Court.
Posted by: Kendall Bilbro

14 killed in eastern China chemical plant explosion

In eastern China, fourteen workers have been killed due to an explosion a a chemical plant. This happened Saturday afternoon at a melamine production unit in Xintai in the Shandong province. This is where a condenser was being repaired according to the local officials. They are still investigating the cause of this explosion in Xintai. According to BBC news, these types of industrial explosions are pretty common due to the disregard for basic safety measures taken by these industries. This plant was of Shandong Liaherd Chemical Industry Co Ltd. and four workers were killed and ten are hospitalized. China has said to have ''a notoriously poor workplace safety record, with rules widely flouted as companies chase contracts and profits.'' These accidents are common in China even though the government is working towards a safe working environment for the Chinese workforce.

Libya's former intelligence chief is captured

Libya's former intelligence chief, Abdulla al-Senussi, brother-in-law to Ghadafi, was captured by the Libya revolutionary forces just 100 km north of Sabha. The announcement came a day after the capture of Ghadafi's son, Saif al Islam. Authorities plan to bring al-Senussi in Tripoli, where he will be standing trial. Earlier this year, the ICC (International Criminal Court) in the Netherlands indicted al-Senussi for crimes against humanity, especially after the revolt against Ghadafi's regime. Unlike his brother-in-law, al-Senussi was reorted to not have been harmed during his capture. Besides his own son, al-Senussi was also reported to have been one of Ghadafi's potential successors during the latter's time. The court prosecutor's arrest warrant stated that al-Senussi, "exercised his role as the national head of the Military Intelligence, one of the most powerful and efficient organs of repression of Gadhafi's regime." Deputy chairman of the National Transitional Council, Abdel Hafiz Ghoga, stated that an investigative committee has been set up to review al-Senussi's case.

BY: Lauren Marie De Guzman

Trucks carrying fuel for NATO torched in Pakistan

Four assailants attackers torched three trucks carrying fuel for U.S. and NATO forces in Pakistan near the border with Afghanistan.

Police informed that nobody was injured during the attack because the drivers managed to escape before the trucks were set on fire. Witnesses said that the big flames could be seen from quite far away.

These type of attacks have become common in Pakinstan, in an attempt from the assailants to cut supplies for NATO and to try to block the fuel supply for U.S. forces that allegedly target suspected militants in northern areas of the country.

by Paula Elum

America in the Asia-Pacific: We're Back

Since he was elected, President Obama has wanted to be known as the first “Pacific President”. Although he hasn’t done much to live up to his self-proclaimed title so far, Mr. Obama says that is changing.

America’s allies in Asia have rightly complained about only receiving intermittent attention from the U.S. According to Mr. Obama, this marginalization of the East has ended; America is shifting its focus to Asia and the Pacific, and keeping it there for good.

Senior administration officials back up the president, saying that the President has had to deal with “inherited issues” tied to President Bush’s “war on terror” for most of his first term. According to the officials, now that troops are being pulled out of Iraq, and that there is a deadline for withdrawal from Afghanistan, the U.S. will begin to bring the Asia-Pacific region more into focus.

At his stop in Canberra, Australia’s capital (as part of his recent Asia-Pacific trip), Mr. Obama announced with Australian Prime Minister Julia Gillard that the U.S. will put rotating units of marines in Darwin, in Northern Australia, for training and exercises. Although China has implied that it is uncomfortable with the decision, Mr. Obama has affirmed that the decision in not meant to hinder China’s “peaceful rise”.

Andrew Elam

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Election in Spain

An election to choose 350 members of Parliament and 208 senators is set to begin tomorrow morning in Spain. Recent tensions due to the state of the economy have pushed the country in a new direction; It is anticipated that the nation's newer, more conservative Popular Party, lead by Prime Minister candidate Mariano Rajoy Brey, will make great strides in the elections, while power is expected to shift away from the current Socialist Party. This is in response to the new party's claims to make economic changes; Rajoy has won a lot of support with his promises to reduce unemployment and mend the economy. Many have become frustrated with the Socialist Party's extreme austerity measures after allowing the economy to fall apart. However, the Socialist candidate, former Interior Minister Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, has accused Rajoy of planning significant cuts to education and health in order to make the improvements that he has promised. Nevertheless, polls have projected that the Popular Party will finish some 15 percent ahead of the Socialist Party. Regardless of the outcome, though, it is clear that the winner will have to act quickly and keep Spain committed to repaying its debts.

Maci Mitchell

Unscheduled Meeting Between the Leaders of the U.S. and China

President Obama and Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao had an informal meeting after an Asian forum, ended at 19, Nov. in that meeting, it is reported that they talked about China’s currency issue and the territorial dispute on the South China Sea.
In terms of the currency issue, although Western countries and the U.S. have insisted that “China’s currency has been artificially undervalued,” Mr. Wen stated again that its value of the currency was already adjusted and the effort would be continued.
Regarding the territorial dispute between China and other countries including the Philippines, Taiwan, Vietnam and Brunei, Mr. Wen emphasized a refusal on any mediation on this dispute. That territory is believed to possess rich minerals.

Natsumi Tsuchiya

Public Calls for FIFA President to Resign Following Racism Comment

The president of FIFA, the Fédération Internationale de Football Association (International Federation of Football Association, in English), is facing a lot of criticism since his comment earlier this week about racism present in football. Sepp Blatter, the president of FIFA, commented that any racism present on the football (soccer) pitch could simply be resolved with a handshake at the end of the match. "There is no racism on the field, but maybe there is a word or gesture that is not correct," Blatter said. “The one affected by this should say this is a game and shake hands." Additionally, he said that these such remarks and gestures among the players are frequent, stemming from “the heat of the moment” and should be forgotten after the final whistle. The public is outraged by these comments because Blatter basically said that just because racist comments may be exchanged on the football pitch, it does not mean that racism is present in the sport. He claims racism is not present at all in football.

Racism has been an ongoing problem with football, not just between the players themselves but among the fans and spectators, especially. Every year, many are injured, or die, in football riots that start with spectator behavior. Players are subject to the spectators’ racist comments, too, and minority players frequently complain that they have been hit with objects thrown at them from the stands. Following his ‘misinterpreted’ comment about racism present in the game, Blatter also noted that FIFA has long been trying to eradicate racism from football, and he has continually spoken out about the importance of enforcing fair play. Seemingly contradicting himself, Blatter mentioned that he has “personally leading the fight against racism in football,” with FIFA’s many campaigns to stop it, such as 'Say No to Racism.'

Many are calling for Sepp Blatter to resign as the president of FIFA because of these comments about racism and football. He has frequently made other blunders in interviews, but this last comment was so far off the mark that people agree he’s gone too far. Blatter says he has no intention to resign.

Marion Gibney



US Marine Base at Australia builds up tension between China

Last Wednesday, Obama has announced that 2500 Marines will be deployed at Australia to strengthen the alliance among Asian nations, which caused immediate negative response from Beijing, rising military tension around the region.
This agreement will result in military of United States staying for long-term in Pacific for the first time.
It is reported that leaders of China are arguing that what Obama is attempting to accomplish is to encircle China militarily. Reacting to those claims, Obama commented that he “made a deliberate and strategic decision - as a Pacific nation, the United States will play a larger and long-term role in shaping this region and its future.” He also emphasized that this movement is not to isolate China but to make it clear that US stays guarded and careful for China’s any military actions, especially since China has shown its heavy yet rapid growth of military and economic power.

He additionally explained that this is also an outcome of wishes from allies around this region from India to Japan. At the same time, however, some allies showed their concerns that this action may affect their leadership role to China.
Instead of building a new base, they will be using the facilities at Darwin. 200 to 250 will arrive next year first and eventually there will be 2500 Marines will be arriving.

Naoko Takada

Saif al-Islam Captured in Libya

Saif al Islam, Colonel Gaddafi's son, has been captured. The National Transitional Council (NTC) said he was caught by fighters near the town of Obari and taken to the city of Zintan. Saif was wanted by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for alleged crimes against humanity during the uprising against his father. When asked by a Reuters reporter Marie-Louise Gumuchain how he was and responded to her with a simple "Yes." NTC'sJustice Minister Mohammed al-Allagui said that Saif will be taken to the capital, Triopli. Tribunal spokesman Fadi el-Abdallah told BBC that Libya had a legal obligation to hand Saif over to the court and that the final decision on where any trial would take place was up to the ICC Judges. The European union urged Libyan authorities to ensure that Saif is brought to justice in full co-operation with the ICC.

By Carmen Brodnax

Friday, November 18, 2011

Egypt Islamists Demand the End of Military Rule

In Cairo today thousand of Islamist people gather in Tahrir Square. The wanted the interim military out now. This is the largest challenge to their rule scene they took rule months ago. This was the first time that people in Egypt had openly and aggressively challenged military rule.

By: Matthew Sahd

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Shots Fired at White House

According to MSNBC news, Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, an Idaho man has been charged with firing two shots at the White House last week in attempt to assassinate the President and or any member of his staff. Ortega will face attempt of assassination charges in Washington, D.C. in federal court next Thursday. The man fired shots at the Yellow Oval Room, which is in the middle of the family’s living quarters, around 9:30 p.m. U.S. Park Police found an abandoned vehicle, with an assault rifle inside it, near a bridge leading out of the nation's capital to Virginia. The car led investigators to Ortega. Fortunately, the bullets were stopped by protective bullet proof glass. There is no official motive for the man’s actions except that he it is said that he is obsessed with Barack Obama and the date 11/11/11. Authorities and investigators are checking into the man’s mental stability.

Kate Crawford

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Diaspora social network's 22 year old founder has died

According to BBC News, Ilya Zhitomirskiy who was the co-founder of Facebook has died. He was only 22 years old and he was one of the four New York- based students who had launced Diaspora as a ''privacy-aware, user-controlled'' social network. This was set up by them when alot of people had been critizing that Facebook is not handling the provacy of its users efficiently. The cause of Ilya Zhitomirskiy is still under investigation. But the public memorial services are being planned for him in San Fransisco this week. In the article, Peter Shurman who is the co-founder, stated "We'll all miss Ilya more than we can say. Ilya was a great friend and a brilliant person, a visionary whose work for a better future online brought hope to many people."
By Ramla Sheriff

Monday, November 14, 2011

Norway Killer Admits to Massacre in First Public Statement

July 22nd was the day that Anders Behring Breivik acted out Norway's biggest modern-day massacre by placing a car bomb at an Oslo government building, which killed 8, and then going on to shoot and kill 69 more people at a summer camp on an island. Most of the people he killed were in their teens or early 20's. Breivik is known for having a strong anti-immigration philosophy. He has had 4 hearings, however, he spoke out in an open court on Monday for the first time, admitting to killing the 77 people, but denying that he was guilty in anyway. Breivik claims that he is a military commander in the Norwegian resistance movement and Knights Templar Norway. He claims that he acknowledges his actions but does not plead guilty to anything.
Alison Ortscheid

Judge: Norway terror suspect is not insane

In the first public appearance since his mass murder spree on an island in Norway Anders Breivik has made his first public appearance. He was summoned to court to decide if he would remain in jail until his official court date later on. It was ruled he should stay in jail. The criminal was ruled sane, and he admitted to the bombings that killed 8 people and the shootings that killed 69 people, most of which were children. However Breivik pleaded not guilty. When attempting to speak and read from a note he had written for court he was stopped several times by the judge, who explained this was not the venue in which Breivik had any right to explain himself. The court room was packed with hundreds of people, some of which were parents of the children murdered on the Norwegian island. The parents were seeking any explanation to help them understand how this could happen. Breivik is a Christian extremist who is critical of Muslim immigration and European liberalism.

Ryan Borchardt

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Russia Resumes Manned Soyuz Flights

Russia has launched a spacecraft carrying three passengers, two Russians and one American, into outer space, marking the first launch since a failed mission in August which resulted in the destruction of the craft. The Soyuz rocket used was of the same type that crashed in August, however safety checks and tests were extensive before liftoff. Currently, Russia is the only nation capable of launching rockets to the International Space Station, as well as any other missions to outer space involving personnel. Russia also had a failed probe launch earlier this week as the rocket heading to Mars got stuck in orbit. The Soyuz rocket launch occurred in Kazakhstan earlier today, and is expected to dock with the International Space Station in two days after which it will return to Earth.

by Brandon Bard

Rescue of Wilson Ramos capped a harrowing two-day saga

Wilson Ramos was abducted in Venezuela four days ago when he returned home for the winter away from his Major League Baseball club the Washington Nationals. The Nationals catcher was rescued Friday night by the Venezuelan police force. He spent two days as a hostage. It has become a very serious issue within Venezuela over the past couple of years. Rich and professional baseball players are being kidnapped and taken hostage for ransom. The crime rate has been rising in Venezuela as well.
Ramos was being rescued and told the details of what he heard;"There were many shots fired. I could not do anything but get under the bed, to pray, to cry, and then I felt a great relief when I heard the police yell my name. That is when I responded, because I could not even speak"(Lacques). Ramos returned home with his family five hours after his rescue and will return to his Venezuela club for a winter ball season in his home country before returning back to the states before spring training.

By; Joe Rufolo

Tummult only increases in and out of Syria

As trouble continues to ravage Syria, other Arab countries have decided that enough is enough. Syria's membership in the Arab League has already been suspended, and now even more pressure is coming down on the Assad regime. France has joined in condemnation after one of their diplomatic missions was attacked. Turkey has pulled their nonessential officials out of Syria, and called for global action against the bad apple state. At the same time, Assad continues to claim that terrorists are responsible for the trouble against protesters in the streets, trouble that has since March killed 3500.

Kenya army official: soldiers kill 9 al-Qaida-linked militants in Somalia in shootout

Kenyan and Somali governement troops have killed nine memebers of a militant group linked to al-Qaida they were pursuing in Somalia, a spokesman announced today. A military official said the camp across the group while on a routine patrol. Four Kenyan soldiers were wounded, and one critically wounded that had to be flown out of the city for further treatment. However, officials believe that some militant members escaped the attack with sever wounds and told bordering communities to be on the look out for people seeking treatment for suspicious wounds. The Kenyan government has also conducted raids in towns looking for al-Shabab group members all over Somalia. They blame the group for a string of attacks and kidnappings in Kenyan that they say threaten tourism, which is a major revenue source for the country.

Kourtney Macaluso

Taliban claims to leak security details of crucial Afghan meeting

The Taliban has claimed to leak secret details of an upcoming Afghan meeting in an effort to disrupt it. A tribal elder meeting is going to be held in Kabul to discuss the possibility of long term US military presence in Afghanistan and peaceful negotiations. This meeting would be a great step towards developing good relations between the United States and Afghanistan, and the meeting will likely affect the decisions of President Karzai. However, in an attempt to prevent this meeting, the Taliban has claimed that it has leaked serious security details of the meeting. The documents included a detailed satellite map of the area and supposed details of the security arrangements. The Afghan Interior Ministry has stated that the documents that were "leaked" are fake and do not contain accurate information. The Taliban has long threatened to disrupt the meetings through violent means. They have threatened to carry out suicide attacks in several places that could last for hours, rocket attacks in Kabul, and an infiltration of the Taliban into security forces. The Taliban has promised to use any means necessary to disrupt the meeting.

by Rachel Foy

French, German leaders stress urgency with Greece's new prime minister

As Greece swears in its new Prime Minister, French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel both congratulated the nation. However, they also cautioned the new regime to take the full action and consideration towards the commitments they have made "including implementation of an Oct. 27 bailout package brokered between former Prime Minister George Papandreou and other European leaders." Greece will not recieve further payments till they have fulfilled their conditions from the last one. Papademos has taken his seat as the new PM of Greece and he is grasping the nation at a very weak position, so how will he play his cards out, Europe waits to see.

Pooja Sahai

Neo-Nazis Suspected in Long Wave of Crimes, Including Murders, in Germany

On Sunday German government officials said that Neo-Nazi terrorists are responsible for crimes that were happening during the past ten years, group is also suspected for bank robberies and bombing in Cologne. At least ten people were killed, including immigrant shopkeepers and the police officer.Two of the suspects were found dead, one was surrendered to the police, and the fourth is arrested.
Much of the evidence was gathered by the wreckage that happened in eastern Germany where some suspects were living, explosion was basically used as a cover for their tracks. Killings were signs of "a new form of right-wing-extremist terrorism" said interior minister. Investigators and police are looking for other crimes that might have been done by the same group. In most of the cases targets were immigrants.
Government officials and even local residents were shocked of the fact that the group is capable of this.

Nazira Bakhriyeva

Occupy Oregon becomes violent

Months after the 'Occupy Wall Street' protests began, they continue to grow in strength and popularity. Occupy Oregon is in the spotlight tonight after dozens of protesters were ordered to be arrested by Sgt. Pete Simpson. The mayor of Portland, Oregon stated today that, "a 2o% increase in crime surrounding the encampment" was reported recently which is what prompted the increase in security surrounding the protest. Although the mayor has reportedly expressed support for the protest he also states that it is attracting too many criminal "elements" and "needs to evolve" into a more effective force. The protestors suggest that their group is a refuge for homeless, drug addicts, and the mentally ill. About 7000 people showed up to the downtown protest, and the arrests-have only convinced more people to join the ranks. Interesting to see these protests take on a national scope.

Andrew Cross

Officials Seize Rocinha

Brazilian officials have taken over Rocinha, the largest slum area in Rio in their attempt to make the city a safer place for the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympic Games. Known for its location along the coast, Rocinha has been an area plagued by poverty, drugs, and crime. Officials have been now starting to "take over" these slum areas because such areas are close to where the events will be held. This particular take over went smoothly, as there was no resistance from the gangs, leading to no casualties. Only one person was arrested, and the only act of disobedience appeared to be the oiling of several hills, making it impossible for the heavy trucks and tanks to climb. To date, officials have claimed eighteen slums, most close to the richer areas of Rio.

By: Tyler Lundquist

Economic Protests Occur in Spain

According to a report by CNN protests in Madrid included a calculated march on the capital by thousands of protesters, all upset with the current economic situation in Spain. Though not nearly at the level of their embattled Greece, Spain has been experiencing great economic troubles as well over the last few years. Elections for a new government are set to take place in a week, and the protestors made it clear that they want more jobs for the high number of unemployed Spaniards, and also want more focus and funding for education. This hit home in a small way for myself personally, as I witnessed a very similar protest in the city of Sevilla during my fall term in Spain last year. A protestor that was interviewed for the CNN article noted that a new government might not be enough, and that continued pressure needs to be put on whoever is in charge to stop cutbacks, and give opportunites to the people. Just because it is not on the same level as Greece does not mean Spain's situation is not in need of immediate fixing, and the even more unfortunate part is that they are not alone; Portugal, Ireland, Italy, and other EU countries are also struggling economically at escalating rates.

David Johnson

Conflict Between Exxon and Iraq

Major oil company Exxon Mobile is being critized by the deputy prime minister of Iraq for making an effort to expand into the region of Kurdistan. The government has been warning Exxon of making this expansion for a while now and considers the expansion to be illegal until an agreement can be worked out deciding on where revenues will go. Exxon was said to have signed a deal in Kurdistan on October 18 and was given six exploration blocks. There has been great conflict with the Kurds and other Iraqi's ever since the invasion into Iraq by the U.S. Many conflicts over oil, Iraq's main source of wealth, have risen. However many smaller oil companies in the U.S. have signed deals in Kurdistan but larger companies have been avoiding it. Professor Michael Klare at Hampshire college stated that Iraq is too reliant on Exxon's business that punishing them can only hurt their oil industry.

Blake Sabatke

US apologizes for frisking Ex-leader of India

India has complained after the ex-leader of Delhi was frisked on board an aircraft. At one point his shoes and jacket were taken from him. The incident happened after Mr. Kalam had taken his seat onboard at the JFK airport. This is not the first occurrence. India has complained about the treatment of other dignitaries by the US air staff. Mr. Kalam has been frisked flying between the US and India twice. Protocol exempts former presidents and other dignitaries from these searches. The US expressed their deep apology to the ex-leader, as regarded by the Press Trust of India: " We deeply regret the inconvenience that resulted for him."

By Carmen Brodnax

Can Mario Monti 1up ex prime minister, Berlusconi?

We 've all heard the news. The european union is not doing so well as of right now. With Greece having to default and with Italy under the spotlight it seems as thought the whole continent has its hands filled right now.

However, Italy has decided to throw out their prime minister, Silvio Berlusconi. Of course, it is evident how much Italy loves its now ex prime minister. In their time of need, they have placed the blame on this man.

Luckily, president Giorgio Napolitano announced Wednesday, Mario Monti as a "Senator for life". More importantly, he has been nominated as succesor to Berlusconi. The media has dubbed him as Super Mario for his work in international finance and his many merits. On the surface, he seems to be the opposite of Berlusconi. He is not flamboyant and has tough exterior, but he has shown through his achievements his capacity to be the next Italian Prime minister.

Brazilian Police Prepare for World Cup

The police force in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, cracked down on a slum earlier today. The police were trying to get a control on the major drug trafficking coming from one of the biggest slums in the city, where about 100,000 people currently live. The crime-ridden environment is dangerous, especially for families trying to raise their children in the slum. With roadblocks set up around 2:30am, and thousands of different forces in place, the police action started early in the morning. The goal was to crack down on the slum’s drug trafficking, and now the focus becomes catching the criminals responsible for the dangers. Today’s operation was part of a bigger plan to rid the country of crime before the 2014 World Cup, and the eventual Olympic Games in 2016.

Marion Gibney

Silvio Berlusconi's Resignation

Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, officially submitted his resignation on last Saturday.
This dramatic event in the world of Italian politics was met by hundreds of crowds cheering around presidential palace, applauding in excitement and expecting a better change to come. Isabella La Monica, one of the crowds commented as following: “I know that the crisis won’t be over just because he leaves, and I’m a bit concerned about what will happen with the markets, but I know that this country will be better without him. Things can’t get any worse.”
It is said that the whole alteration in politics of European nations including this event and retirement of George A. Papandreou, Prime Minister in Greece, represents a serious financial crisis that is threatening the market of European Union.
Mario Monti, a former member of the European Commission, is seen as a prospective leader who would form new government in Italy. The essential goal set for next Italy’s government is to reduce public debt, which current amount is said to be $2.6 trillion.

Naoko Takada

Life Improves in Afghanistan

According to NATO's ambassador to Afghanistan, Simon Gass, quality of life has improved in the impoverished country. Bribery is necessary to get almost anything done, but girls are able to go to school and women are able to walk about freely.

Two recent attacks, one on the US Embassy in Kabul and one that killed the former Afghan president, occurring within the same month prove that, though things may be stabilizing, the Taliban still is able to carry out deadly attacks on civilians and politicians. One has to wonder, however, if these attacks and the recent Taliban activity are acts of desperation, meant to keep the organization relevant. If quality of life improves in Afghanistan in the absence of the Taliban, then the people of Afghanistan will oppose the Taliban more, and I think the Taliban knows this, so it is trying to scare people.

The Taliban may or may not be on their back foot, but if Western military's pull out of Afghanistan, the power vacuum would likely result in fighting between the Taliban, warlords, and the government.

Bob Hartzer

Limited access allowed in Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant

On Saturday, November 12th, journalists were allowed for the first time to enter the now defunct Fukushima Daiichi nuclear facility. After an 8-month hiatus, the three dozen journalists traveled ground-level by bus, in which radiation readings, expectedly, rose as they neared the facility. Those on board the buses were ordered to wear a protective suit, two pairs of gloves, two sets of plastic booties over their feet, and a radiation detector. During the 9.0 magnitude earthquake in Japan that killed more than 15,000 people, the plant suffered major damage when three of the reactors overheated, setting off a chain of events that eventually lead to a massive explosion, exposing a large amount of radioactive material in the air. Due to the tsunami that occurred afterwards, the emergency generators that would usually act to cool the reactors subsequently disabled. The grounds, as stated by the Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), contained more than 90,000 tons of water, laced with radioactive material. Tokyo Electric spokesman Tetsuya Terasawa stated that vast progress has been made to contain the facility. Plans that had been made to built a seventh and eighth reactor were cancelled earlier this year.

By...:: Lauren Marie De Guzman

Obama at APEC summit: China must ‘play by the rules’

President Obama worked to project America's leadership today in Asia, and he announced a multi-nation-free-trade pact and warned China that now that it has more international influence, it must "play by the rules".

Obama recognized America's role in the past but insisted on U.S. primacy today, and on its expanding role in the international market. On the other side, China's president offered a competing vision for regional growth with dynamic Chinese markets and improving international businesses standards as an important key. The Chinese president highlighted China's potential and capital, and insisted on their goal: turn China into an innovation-driven country.

Their comments happened in front of businesses leaders who attended the Asia-Pacific Economic summit in Honolulu, and came after a private meeting between both leaders. From the meeting Obama insisted on the importance of working together, but even thought the Chinese leader talked about mutual respect and interest, journalists allowed in the room did not appreciate any of that by reading the Chinese president body language.

This will show what is coming, a competition between China and the U.S. to gain influence.

Also, Obama agreed on the Trans-Pacific partnership, a free trade agreement with eight other nations that will create jobs as it will open foreign markets to U.S. exports.

by Paula Elum