Introduction to World Politics

Foreign News Happenings Brief Index

What is going on in the world of consequence? What are the implications of those events? If you want a quick place to find out, you are in the right place. The students of Creighton University’s Introduction to World Politics comb through non-US newspapers to find events of great interest and analyze the impact of those events on the world.
Below is a list of world events and their impacts on the United States. To read the briefs, click on the green arrow to the right-most column. Should you wish to keep abreast of what the students are writing, please subscribe to the RSS Feed. Those interested in the actual requirements for this assignment (including a grading rubric), should read the assignment description paper.

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Summaries: Hide
Ordering: Timestamp, Descending

Listing

uk
US- UK Relations in Good Shape
[April 18, 2008] ->
After a meeting at the White House Gordon Brown, the UK prime minister said that Britain’s ties with the US would remain strong and steadfast. Earlier he met with the three candidates for president, and felt “absolutely confident” with working with any of them. Mr. Brown also said the world owed Mr. Bush a huge debt of gratitude for leading the fight against terror and that the UK will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder rooting out terrorism wherever they can find it. Browns three day visit was overshadowed by Pope Benedict’s six day tour of the US. The leaders also spoke about the economy, and want to boost trade, while being vigilant in maintaining the upward growth of our economies.
zw
Zimbabwe Struggles after Elections
[April 18, 2008] ->
Three weeks after an inconclusive presidential poll, Zimbabwe celebrates its 28th year of independence from England with still no answer as to who will be the new president. Current President Mugabe gave a speech to celebrate the day, one of his first public speeches since the poll. Meanwhile, the opposition candidate from the Movement for Democratic Change party (MDC) Morgan Tsvangirai, has called on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to remove President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa from his position as mediator of the election. This call comes after Mbeki’s meeting with President Mugabe after which he declared that there was no crisis in Zimbabwe.
Tsvangirai believes that the situation in the country is one of extreme poverty and has requested a “special envoy” from the SADC, similar to the one that brokered a deal in Kenya.
eg
President Carter Up To Same Old Tricks
[April 18, 2008] ->
Former President Jimmy Carter is attempting to recreate his success in Middle Eastern peacekeeping by meeting with the leader of Hamas. President Carter met with Khaled Meeshaal, former political leader of Hamas now in exile in Egypt. Carter has also met with Israeli president Shimon Peres on his tour of the region. Carter has said that his involvement in the situation involves “only listening”.
ir
Iran, Most Powerful Military?
[April 18, 2008] ->
Iran’s annual National Army Day claimed more attention than before because Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad proclaimed that Iran had the most powerful military in the world. He did day that the military is for defensive purposes but will attack if threatened with the slightest amount of aggression. To back up his claim, President Ahmadinejad had around 200 aircraft fly by making it the largest show of aircraft.
eg
Carter Meets Hamas Leaders in Cairo
[April 18, 2008] ->
On April 17, former United States president, Jimmy Carter, met with senior Hamas officials in Cairo. Carter has reported said that this meeting lasted around three hours. The Hamas officials had to drive to Cairo, because Carter was not given permission to enter Isreal for meetings. Although Carter’s meetings with Hamas officials and exiles have drawn a lot of criticism, those on Hamas’ side are very eager to meet him. “Jimmy Carter wants to hear out our point of view,” said Salah Bardawil, a Hamas legislator in Gaza. Carter is credited for helping with the peace deal between Egypt and Isreal.
ke
Two Sides Come Together in Kenya
[April 18, 2008] ->
After violence in Kenya caught the world’s attention after the presidential elections the two sides have come to a truce. President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga Thursday have said they will work together to heal and re-unite the country after violence tore the nation along tribal lines.
ec
Ecuador Warns FARC
[April 18, 2008] ->
The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, issued a statement Thursday that Ecuador would consider any incursion by military forces other than Ecuadoran military forces to be an “act of war.” This comes following reports given by the Colombian government that Correa is involved with FARC. In March, a Colombian raid to a FARC base within Ecuador caused many deaths that Ecuador claimed were innocents. FARC also took some Ecuadorans hostage during the raids.
es
ETA Blamed for Explosion
[April 18, 2008] ->
The Euskadi Ta Askatasuna or better known as ETA is being blamed for an attack in Spain, which seriously damaged the office of the ruling the country’s Socialist party. Police said the blast, in the northern Basque city of Bilbao, came just after a telephone warning.

The suspicious package was spotted outside the building and officers immediately evacuated people from their homes, including senior citizens and children, when the device exploded. Seven officers that were caught in the explosion were all treated for minor injuries and were not in need of any hospital treatment.
ke
Violence Slows after Installment of New Kenyan Government
[April 17, 2008] ->
After nearly four months of violence, Kenyan citizens get a reprieve from the fighting. Following a controversial election, demonstrators took to the streets of Kenya protesting the placement of President Kibaki. The demonstrations ignited violence that ended with 1,500 people dead and 600,000 displaced from their homes, thousands still have yet to return. The new government has both the President elect and the contender Raila Odinga at equal power in the government. A new cabinet was created with 40 ministers and 52 deputy ministers that were sworn in just this week. There is a proportional distribution of chairs between the different ethnic groups in Kenya, with only five of them being women. Although the fighting has stopped, there is still talk about the cabinet being too large. Many worry that the cabinet will cost too much of the tax payers’ money. Supporters disagree, saying that a large cabinet will provide the government equal distribution among the diverse state.
ht
Haiti Food Crisis, Increasing Concerns
[April 17, 2008] ->
The head of the UN mission concerned with the rising food prices in Haiti, Hedi Annabi, has called for a new government to be established to prevent further problems and escalations regarding the rising food prices, and its effect on the people. Categorized as one of the 50 poorest countries in the world, Annabi feels that by changing the government, the weak state institutions, and political divisions, Haiti can improve and rise out of their troubles.
As one of the poorest countries in the world, many Haitians are struggling to survive on less than $2 a day, especially with the prices of food up 50% in the past year. The UN has asked Haiti President Rene Preval to appoint a new prime minister and cabinet. Preval has goals of his own, and has incorporated an emergency plan to reduce the price of rice by 15% or more. But rice is not enough, as most Haitians feel other important staples should be included. Many Haitians expected this drop to occur immediately, and since it hasn’t, tensions continue to rise in the undernourished country.
Four days after the Haitian government took steps to reduce the price of rice, as a way to counter food riots, Haitians now are asking for lower prices on other important staples, including flour, rice, and cooking oil.
Annabi has also urged donor countries to work with Haitian authorities to find ways to create what he calls a “security dividend” that will ultimately provide the immediate improvement Haitians are looking for. He also seeks improvements and aid in agriculture as a means of boosting food production back up and preventing a shortage from continuing.
ir
No Power to Stop Tehran
[April 17, 2008] ->
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, said on Thursday, there is no power that would attack Iran. He further said that Iranians are the most powerful people in the world.Ahmadinejad made these comments in a speach at Iran’s National Army Day.
uk
Brown’s Visit with Bush is Overshadowed by Pope’s Visit to United States
[April 17, 2008] ->
Amidst a much-anticipated visit from Pope Benedict XVI, leader of the Catholic Church, Prime Minister Gordon Brown of the United Kingdom also paid a visit to the United States in efforts to strengthen ties with President George W. Bush. The Prime Minister met with the Head of State in order to discuss current issues such as trade and terrorism, two key issues the United States is currently facing with the upcoming presidential elections. After the meeting, Brown was quoted as saying that ties are “stronger than ever” and the two governments will likely enjoy “closer cooperation”. He also met with the three presidential candidates (McCain, Clinton, and Obama) and agreed that he is more than willing to work with any of the three and felt sure that the “special relationship” between the United States and Britain would be in safe hands with any of the candidates.
ir
Iran Displays Its Military Power
[April 17, 2008] ->
At a military parade in Iran, held to celebrate Army Day, the Iranian president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, claimed that Iran is the “most powerful and independent nation,” in the world. President Ahmadinejad also claimed that no major power could challenge Iran.

The parade consisted of missiles on trucks and a large aerial show. The planes were US fighter jets bought by Iran in the 1960’s and 1970’s.

Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, quickly responded to President Ahmadinejad’s claims. Prime Minister Olmert stated that the international community will stop Iran from ever becoming a nuclear power. The Iranian government denies claims that its civilian nuclear energy program is being used to develop nuclear weapons.
iq
Violence in Iraq
[April 17, 2008] ->
During this last week a lot of bombs and violent acts have happened in Iraq. After US troops’ and other local groups’ successes in fighting Al-Qaeda, a big increase in violent attacks has emerged. The monthly rate of people killed in Iraq has risen by 50%; last Tuesday one attack took more than 50 lives, a car bomb in Baquba took more than 40 lives and another attack in Ramadi left more than 15 dead. There are suspicions that these attacks have been made under al-Qaeda order.
au
Drought in Australia Major Factor in World Food Shortage
[April 17, 2008] ->
The drought in Australia of the past six years is turning out to be a significant part of the global food shortage. Australia at one time produced enough rice to feed 20 million people, but since the droughts began their crops have been reduced by 98%, leading to the collapse of Australian rice production. This is one of the reasons food prices have risen so dramatically, and many farmers are abandoning rice for much more lucrative grapes, leading to even less rice production. Most poorer countries use rice as a staple in their diets, so the high prices of rice are hitting them hard. If droughts continue to worsen, famines of great magnitude are imminent.
jp
Bird Flu Vaccinations
[April 17, 2008] ->
Over the next few months Japan plans on administering a vaccination for avian flu to thousands of workers. Though no cases of the virus have been reported on the island, there is fear that an outbreak on the nearby Asian continent could quickly spread to Japan, home to several incredibly populous areas. The vaccination would first be administered on those with jobs in immigration and heath professions. It is said that if the first round of vaccinations has good results then more people in those areas of work would receive the vaccination. Japan claims to have enough to immunize up to 20 million people, however it is said that citizens would only be given the vaccination in the event of an actual outbreak of the virus. Despite Japan’s optimism about the treatment others from the World Heath Organization say that the vaccinations would not be likely to save Japan from a bird flu pandemic, the fear of which is another contributing reason for Japan to make the vaccine. However, since the state has the resources to administer these vaccinations there is no protest in the action.
ge
Georgia turns to UN Security Council and OSCE
[April 17, 2008] ->
Georgia calls on the Security Council and OSCE to have an emergency meeting and accuse Russia of violating Georgia’s sovereignty. Previously on Wednesday, the Russian president gave orders to provide support for the population in Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia. Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili demanded that Russia revise its actions to strengthen cooperation between Moscow and the unrecognized republics of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, and asks OSCE and UN to stop Russia.
ir
Iran Claims to have Most Powerful Millitary
[April 17, 2008] ->
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has recently stated at a parade that Iran now had the most powerful military in the world, but that the purpose of Iran’s power was to bring about peace and harmony. He said that no other country would challenge Iran’s security because of its newly growing military power. He did express that although the military was solely defensive, they would not hesitate to attack if they felt they were under attack. The parade boasted two hundred aircrafts, making it the largest display of aircrafts ever seen before.
ps
Increased Conflict in Gaza Strip
[April 16, 2008] ->
In the Gaza strip on Wednesday, Israeli forces launched several attacks against Hamas gunmen killing at least 17 Palestinians, five of which were armed members of Hamas. In one of the attacks, nine Palestinians were killed and 17 wounded when an Israeli air strike hit a Palestinian refugee camp; none of the dead were Hamas members. Throughout the day, two children were killed in the attacks as well as a Reuters cameraman, who was traveling in a marked press vehicle when an Israeli tank opened fire. The Israeli government lamented the loss of the reporter, but recognized the fact that he was filming in an area where attacks occur daily. In what Hamas leaders called a “sophisticated ambush,” three Israeli soldiers were killed and three wounded earlier in the day after pursuing two Hamas members who had planted a bomb. Their deaths have not yet been confirmed by Israeli officials. The soldiers were in the area to eliminate Palestinian fighters firing rockets into Israel.
iq
Several Killed in Bomb Attacks in Iraq
[April 15, 2008] ->
This past week, the detonations of deadly explosives in three Iraqi cities have led to the deaths of over seventy people. Over one hundred more Iraqi civilians were severely injured in these bomb attacks. Baquba, the capital of Diyala, suffered the most deaths and damage when a suicide bomber blew up a bus near the courthouse. The United States Military and Iraqi armed forces suspect that al- Qaeda militants carried out the attacks, since they seem to be regaining strength in the northern region of Diyala. This region is considered a part of the “Sunni Triangle,” which has been a stronghold for Sunni anti- government fighters.
uk
Brown Appeals Food Prices
[April 11, 2008] ->
The British prime minister, Gordon Brown made an appeal in his letter to Yasue Fukuda, the Japanese prime minister, about the soaring food prices. Brown called upon Fukuda the chair of the Group of Eight (G8), to ask the World Bank, the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to address the food prices across the world. Brown said that the problem of hunger was growing for the first time in a decade and that the cost of food was threatening to roll back progress made on development. Brown emphasized an international fully coordinated response with both short-term action to deal with immediate hardship and a medium-term response, which would lay down framework. The immediate action would include financially supporting countries with balances due to the price hikes and the long-term solution would be to provide incentives for more locally produced food while having the poor have more purchasing power.
cn
IOC and Chinese Premier Discuss 2008 Olympics
[April 11, 2008] ->
The president of the International Olympic Committee Jacques Rogge and the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met in Beijing on Wednesday to discuss Olympic games as well as the protests being encountered on the torch relay. China assured the IOC that security was getting tighter and that “we do hope the torch relay can now progress with many more cheers and smiles and the kind of atmosphere that it deserves.”
cn
Protests Over Olympic Games Continues
[April 11, 2008] ->
The recent protests during the Olympic torch relay have many people speaking their opinion about the Olympic Games in Beijing. Senator Barack Obama has urged President Bush to boycott the opening ceremony. Senator Hillary Clinton has made similar claims. As the torch approaches Beijing, concerns over further protests are apparent. The Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual and political leader of Tibet, has asked that protestors follow the laws of their respected counties, especially in India.
so
Pirates Take Charge on French Yacht
[April 11, 2008] ->
About thirty people were taken captive by pirates off of the Somalia’s coast. No physical force has been used since the ship was tracked, and authorities, such as the French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, have been in touch with the ship owner. Their main goal is to make sure the peace is maintained and that all those that are captive remain safe. Piracy has reportedly increased by ten percent in 2007.
cn
UN Secretary-General to be Absent from Olympic Opening Ceremonies
[April 11, 2008] ->
The United Nation’s secretary-general has threatened to boycott the Olympic opening ceremonies in China. He has urged China to change their human rights policies but, failing to do so, secretary-general Ban Ki-moon had informed the Chinese, months ago, that he may not be attending. The location of the Olympics has also caused problems along the torch route. Protesters in London and Paris managed to extinguish the flame and disrupt the ceremony. The route through San Francisco was changed last minute in order to avoid demonstrators. It is scheduled to go through Buenos Aires next and demonstrators there have said they will not try to extinguish the flame but will be present.
ir
New Iranian Centrifuges Spark Tension at the United Nations
[April 11, 2008] ->
Worries are spreading among several countries allied against the proliferation of nuclear activity in Iran after an announcement was made on Tuesday concerning an additional 6,000 centrifuges being added to the Natanz uranium enrichment facility according to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. The centrifuges, which were put into place as part of commemoration ceremony marking the two-year anniversary of nuclear materials being made in Iran, are capable of producing “five-times greater than the current machines”. UN responses to this indicated that the five permanent members of the UN Security Council, except Russia and including Germany, want to impose further sanctions on Iran for failing to halt its nuclear proliferation. Russia, however, suggested a greater incentives package be offered in order to persuade Iran to stop creating uranium-enriched material capable of being used as fuel for nuclear weapons.
cn
Torch Run through Paris Cut Short
[April 11, 2008] ->
The Paris portion of the 2008 Olympic torch run was cut short on Monday. The torch itself was extinguished three times. Protestors supporting both Tibet and China clashed along the route.

The pro-Tibetan activists were protesting the Chinese crackdown in Tibet. U.S. Senator Hilary Clinton has called for President George W. Bush of the United States to boycott the opening ceremony of the games. The Chinese government severely criticized attempts to derail the torch run.
il
Future Israeli Meeting to Decide if Falk Investigates
[April 11, 2008] ->
Richard Falk (who is to take over the position of the UN Human Rights Council) has recently told BBC that when he said Israel was like the Nazis in their issues with Gaza, he stood by that comparison. As a result, Israel has forbidden any UN official to enter Palestine or any of its territories and conduct an investigation on human rights abuses. Israel later stated that if they were to be investigated, they wanted Palestine to also go through an investigation. Israel will officially announce this request in September. After the meeting, Israel will decide whether or not to let Mr. Falk come in and investigate.
ir
Iran Increases Nuclear Power Capabilities
[April 11, 2008] ->
Iran has recently started the installation and testing of 6,000 new centrifuges, capable of working five times faster than the old centrifuges, at the main nuclear plant in Natanz.
Centrifuges are used to enrich uranium. Iran President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claimed that Iran had tested advanced new equipment earlier this week, announcing that Iran has put to test a faster version of the machine.
Ahmadinejad spoke of the US September 11 attacks, too, pointing out the significant loses and devastation faced by both Afghanistan and Iraq.
The United States and Western allies cannot agree on how to respond. French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner proposed to reinforce the sanctions against Iran, passed in early March that aim at suspending Iran’s uranium enrichment activity and stopping the construction of a reactor that could produce plutonium. Together, the two serve as key ingredients in constructing a nuclear bomb. Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov suggested a different approach, offering the idea of using incentives to influence Iran to stop uranium enrichment.
cn
Boycott the Olympic Games
[April 10, 2008] ->
Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton suggested to US current president, George W. Bush to boycott the Olympics in China, unless China human rights record does change. In addition they have been big protests in the United States, concerning China human rights. However, Bush has a different strategy to solve this problem; he is going to talk with Dali Lama and see if he can talk with Tibetan protesters and touch their spiritual side, in order to stop the protest.
cn
Chinese Authorities have Released 1,870 Tibetans
[April 10, 2008] ->
According to Public Security Ministry spokesman, Chinese authorities have released 1,870 people detained during violent protests against Chinese rule in Tibet in mid-March. He said the released protesters included 413 Buddhist monks, but added that 432 suspects, including 170 monks, were still in custody, while the investigation is ongoing. Arrests have begun on March 10 after Buddhist monks protested marking the 49th anniversary of a failed uprising against Chinese rule. Within the past month Chinese authorities have ignored world’s media cretinism and the protests around the world. However the protests against the Olympics have increased, perhaps spreading fear over the Government Party.
uk
Gordon says he won’t go to Opening Ceremonies
[April 10, 2008] ->
As the 2008 Summer Olympics approach and anxieties run high world leader will be forced to play politics with the Olympics. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel, last month said she would not attend the Olympics, becoming the first world leader to decide not to travel to China for the games.
cn
Trouble with the Olympic Games, but yet President still capable of holding the Olympic Games.
[April 10, 2008] ->
On Thursday, China government officials uncovered a criminal ring planning to kidnap athletes and others at the Beijing Olympic Games. Approximately 35 people were arrested for plotting to kidnap athletes, journalists, and other visitors. Ministry of Public Security Spokesman Wu Heping announced at a news conference, “we face a real terrorist threat.” The arrests took place between March 26 and April 6. This plot was made by the simmering separatist rebellion in Xinjiang.
The actual plot Wu said was to kidnap athletes, foreign journalists, and other visitors to the August Games. He added that police had also confiscated almost 22 pounds of explosives, 8 sticks of dynamite, and “Jihadist” literature in the latest raids in Urumqi, the capital of Xinjiang.
Chinese President Hu Jintao said that China was confident and capable of hosting a good Olympic Games. Jintao met with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse in the southern island province to discuss the Beijing Olympic Games. Hu Jintao needed to reinsure any attempt to undermine the August Games was doomed to fail. Rajapakse wholeheartedly wished the Beijing Olympiad success.

Later, President Jintao stated “The Beijing Olympic Games meets the aspiration of the Chinese people for the past 100 years and is also the common expectation of people worldwide.” He also stated “With support from people around the world, China was confident to and capable of phasing out all interference and hosting a successful Olympic Games.”

Sri Lanka said they would firmly obey the one-China policy and definitely supported the policy of the Chinese government on Taiwan and Tibet issues.
xk
Kosovar Constitution
[April 10, 2008] ->
The parliament in Kosovo has adopted a constitution which will go into affect on the 15th of July when the UN is due to hand power over to the new state. The charter is said to guarantee the rights of all minorities within the state, including Serbs living in the region that adamantly oppose Kosovo’s split from Serbia. The constitution was unanimously approved of by Kosovo’s parliament. The Serbian Minister for Kosovo, Slobodan Samardzic, has called the adoption of the Kosovar Constitution an illegal act as Serbia does not recognize Kosovo’s break.
zw
SADC Emergency Meeting Called
[April 10, 2008] ->
The South African Development Community (SADC) has called an emergency meeting for this Saturday to discuss the Zimbabwean elections. The results of those elections, help March 29, 2008, still have not been released. The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), the opposition group to the ruling Zanu-PF within Zimbabwe, has stated that it will not participate in a run-off election because they believe that their candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai, won the majority of the first vote. The reason that the results have not been released, according to the lawyer of the electoral commission, George Chikumbirike, is that the release of the results would be “dangerous.” Both Tsvangirai and incumbent Robert Mugabe are to be in attendance at the SADC meeting.
mm
Burmese Military Rulers Publish and Distribute Proposed Constitution
[April 10, 2008] ->
This past week, Burmese military rulers published a draft of their constitution. The document is in circulation for the public to read at local government bookstores. The Constitution will face a referendum on May 10th to determine whether it will become the “law of the land.” The constitution was drafted without taking into consideration the opinions of the pro- democracy opposition party. Critics of the Burmese military constitution claim that it is a ploy to weaken opposition forces, while the government claims it is a necessity to prevent separatism within the country.
ht
Haitians Riot Over Food Inflation
[April 9, 2008] ->
Soaring food prices in Haiti inspired riots in which the people stormed the Presidential palace in the wealthy neighborhood of Petionville in Port au Prince and burned down a UN compound in Les Cayes killing five Tuesday. They demanded the resignation of Haitian President Rene Preval in light of food prices, which have soared globally since 2007, rising 40% and causing unrest throughout the world. For Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere where the majority of the population lives on less than $2US a day, the cost of food poses a significant threat. The rioters burned tires and exchanged gunfire but were ultimately chased away with rubber bullets and tear gas.
ir
Iran Increases Nuclear Capability
[April 9, 2008] ->
On Tuesday, the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, announced Iran would begin installing 6,000 new nuclear centrifuges, each of which supposedly has five times the capacity of the old centrifuges. Iran currently operates 3,000 of the uranium-enriching centrifuges. Ahmadinejad’s claim could not be immediately verified by Western sources. The UN Security Council disagrees on how to persuade Iran to halt its nuclear program, which the United States and others say is aimed at producing nuclear weapons. The United States and France agree that further sanctions should be imposed upon Iran, while Russia is arguing that a new plan of incentives needs to be drafted to encourage Iran to halt enriching uranium. Iran maintains that the previous sanctions placed upon it by the United Nations have not harmed its economy, and the purpose for their nuclear program is not for creating nuclear weapons, but instead for nuclear power.
zw
Zimbabwe Elections Tenuous
[April 4, 2008] ->
In response to building pressure to release election results that would verify if a second round of elections is needed in Zimbabwe’s presidential race, President Robert Mugabe has convened a meeting of his ruling party to determine a next move. The MDC Party candidate, Morgan Tsvangirai has declared that he received a majority of the vote in the most recent election and members of his party are calling for him to be immediately enstated as president.
kr
Instability on the Korean Peninsula
[April 4, 2008] ->
South Korea’s new president has threatened North Korea that they may provide economic aid depending on North Korea’s nuclear progress and their human rights. This would lessen the amount of aid given unless North Korea showed no signs of nuclear armament. North Korea has still not released any information on their nuclear activities, which is South Korea’s may concern and motive for such a move. North Korea has responded saying South Korea’s new president is damaging the progress to stability in the Korean Peninsula.
kr
North Korea Threatens South Korea
[April 4, 2008] ->
North Korea threatened military action on South Korea yesterday after the head of the South Korean military threatened a pre-emptive strike on the possible North Korean nuclear weapons site if Pyongyang threatened to attack with atomic weapons. North Korea is asking for these statements to be withdrawn and for an apology to be issued, though South Korea holds that it would not make an unprovoked attack on North Korea. South Korea’s new president, Lee Myung-bak is open about having a less reconciliatory attitude toward North Korea. There are whisperings of naval skirmishes and North Korean air force jets have been flying quite close to the border before veering back north. North Korea has recently threatened to turn the South into “ashes.”
cn
Chinese Activist Jailed
[April 4, 2008] ->
One of the most prominent Chinese civil rights activists, Hu Jia was jailed on Thursday. He was sentenced to three years and six months in prison for, “inciting subversion of state power and socialist system.” Hu was known for his campaign for the environment, religious freedom, and the rights of people with HIV and Aids. Hu’s conviction comes only two weeks after another activist, Yang Chunlin was jailed on similar charges. The ruling drew criticisms from the international community as well as his wife, Zeng Jianyan, an activist herself. She said this is irrational and unfair. The European Union has called for Mr. Hu’s immediate release.
co
Release of Abductees Stalled by FARC’s Second’s Death
[April 4, 2008] ->
The Colombian government has been trying to establish a negotiation deal with the FARC terrorist group who abducted six hostages. Talks were stalled when the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC)’s second-in-command was killed. Raul Reyes was coordinating with the Colombian government and president Hugo Chavez on the terrorist’s side. The group has asked for a demilitarized zone for the exchange but the government is unwilling to comply with their demands. The government is willing to meet with the group only if they appear without weapons.
zw
Foreign Reporters Arrested in Zimbabwe
[April 4, 2008] ->
Two foreign journalists, including a reporter from the New York Times, have been arrested by Zimbabwean police for operating without accreditation. The Zimbabwe government banned foreign news media from reporting on last Saturday’s elections and stated that any reporters caught violating the press ban would be dealt with. The executive editor for The New York Times, Bill Keller, said referring to the arrested New York Times reporter “We do not know where he is being held, or what, if any, charges have been made against him.” The results of the election have yet to be officially stated, but the opposition Movement for Democratic Change party has declared victory creating a tense situation throughout the country.
ke
Cabinet Decided in Kenya
[April 4, 2008] ->
An agreement has finally been made in Kenya regarding the changes to the government. A compromise was made to have a forty-member cabinet consisting of two main parties, the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) and the Party of National Unity. Kenya’s President Mwai Kibaki belongs to NPU and his main opponent, Raila Odinga, belongs to the ODM. This agreement comes about four months after violence, especially among different tribes, broke out due to the election results. After this agreement was made public, many people expressed their opinions saying a forty-member cabinet is to big and gives room for corruption and miscommunication.
co
FInally FARC Receives International Attention
[April 3, 2008] ->
Members of the FARC A rebel group in Columbia have taken about 40 hostages deep in to the jungle and offered to exchange them for about 500 prisoners. One of the hostages is Ingrid Betancourt a high profile politician from France. Both the rebels and the government have expressed willingness to negotiate, the rebels have refused to allow medical attention to Betancourt. France have tried to send a humanitarian mission to treat Betancourt but they don’t know exactly where she is and the rebels have refused to allow them to come to them.
in
India to Receive Nuclear Technology and Fuel
[April 3, 2008] ->
India can only receive nuclear technology if it completes its deal with President Bush. If not, the deal will have to be reviewed by the next president of the United States. If India does complete the deal however, the US will sell nuclear technology to India. With the promise of future nuclear technology, India will need to allow full inspections of its civilian nuclear buildings. It does not however need to allow inspections of its military facilities.
zw
Zimbabwe Elections Cause Police Raids on Opposition
[April 3, 2008] ->
Zimbabwean Police raided the headquarters of the opposition party, the MDC, Thursday. This comes after elections were held by Zimbabwe on Saturday. At least two foreign journalists were arrested during the raid, one of which was Barry Bearak, a writer for the New York Times. The raids came prior to the official presidential election results. The current president, Robert Mugabe, seems to be readying for a run-off election, which would seem to indicate that the election results were either too close to call, were tied, or have possibly been tampered with. The official count of voters was reported as 2,405,147, which is in contrast to the voter roll of 5.9 million names.
ro
NATO Summit Successful For Some, Not All
[April 3, 2008] ->
The ongoing NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) summit in Bucharest, Romania has denied Macedonia, Ukraine and Georgia entrance into NATO. American President George W. Bush supported the membership of Ukraine and Georgia. Membership action plans, which essentially ensure membership, were extended to Albania and Croatia. Macedonia will most likely be allowed membership after the name dispute with Greece is settled. Greece’s northern region shares its name with Macedonia. Greece worries Macedonia will claim sovereignty over the Greek region, a claim Macedonia strongly denies. The foreign ministers of NATO nations will review the status of Ukraine and Georgia in December.

NATO did agree to allow the United States missile shield in Poland and the Czech Republic to go forward. France also agreed to send more troops to Afghanistan.
ro
Georgia, Ukraine hail NATO admission while Macedonia is out
[April 3, 2008] ->
During a NATO summit in Romania on Thursday the 26-member bloc voted to postpone offering the former Soviet republics of Georgia and Ukraine the chance to join the alliance. However alliance has agreed to grand admission to Georgia and Ukraine in future, but not Macedonia. Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili called the decision a “victory.” Ukrainian President Viktor Yushchenko, also called the decision “historic,” despite the fact that the majority of the country opposes NATO membership. Russia is highly concern with its neighbor’s plans to join a military alliance.
cy
Cyprus’ Ledra Street is Reopened After Years of Ethnic Conflict
[April 3, 2008] ->
After nearly forty-five years of being closed, Ledra Street was finally reopened to the entire Cypriot public this week. Ethnic conflict between the Turks and the Greeks forced authorities to partition the street back in the 1960s. Ledra Street was known as one of Cyprus’ busiest shopping streets when Greek and Turkish military posts were constructed on both sides of the partition. Cypriot President Demetris Christofias and Trukish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat agreed upon the street’s reopening about one month ago, and they hope that it will push the island towards unity.
cu
Raul Castro Making Changes in Cuba
[April 3, 2008] ->
Since Fidel Castro has stepped down as the leader of Cuba, Cubans have welcomed the many changes that are happening in the communist nation. Just last week, new Cuban President Raul Castro legalized cell phone use for Cuban, granted Cubans access to previously off-limits tourist hotels, and legalized the sale within Cuba of microwaves, DVD players and personal computers. Change is happening in Cuba somewhat.
ar
Farmers Strike Suspended
[April 3, 2008] ->
Argentine farmers said Wednesday they are suspending a 21-day strike over government tax hikes, hours after lifting many of the highway blockades that stripped store shelves of produce and meat. This strike consists of many road blocks set up across major highways which have slowed the exports to other countries. This has also led to a shortage of meat, milk, and vegetables across the country.

The farmers say that this strike will last for 30 days in attempts to see whether progress can be made with the government. This is doubtful because Argentina’s President Christina Kirchner says “the taxes are needed to control inflation.” This decision was made on March 11th which raised export taxes on soybeans from 35% to 45%, as well as raising tax on exports of corn, wheat, and beef.

Currently, the strike has temporarily been lifted, but one strike leader, Juan Echeverria, said, “the fight doesn’t end here -- today we are simply taking a break to talk.”
cz
NATO backs US missile defense
[April 3, 2008] ->
The United States and Czech Republic came to an agreement; they are going to place missiles in Czech Republic soil. The purpose of these missiles is to protect from future conflicts with rouge states, particularly in the Middle East. These missiles will offer protection to the United States and its allies. Not all the NATO members agree with this proposal; for example, Russia disagrees because they fear that the missiles could be used against them. However, the majority of NATO’s members have agreed with US missile defense proposal.
kp
Tensions on the Korean Peninsula
[April 3, 2008] ->
Tensions have risen recently in the Korean peninsula as with South Korean leader Lee Myung-bak has threatened to base economic aid given to North Korea on their progress in nuclear disarmament and on issues of human rights. The issue with the nuclear weapons steams from the fact that North Korea has failed to submit the information of all its nuclear activities within the year, a second stipulation on the foreign aid. North Korean news has in turn accused Myung-bak of hindering progress toward stability in the Korean peninsula and inter-state relations. They went on to say that they (North Korea) were fully capable of surviving on their own resources, and did not require the aid from South Korea in order to maintain survival.
ec
Ecuadorian Government to Pass Legislation Prohibiting Foreign Military Bases
[April 3, 2008] ->
Ecuador’s Constitutional Assembly has announced that it is “a state of peace” after approving five amendments to the constitution which will prohibit foreign military bases from being installed inside the state’s borders. This comes as a blow to US forces which were to be deployed to Manta, a city on the southern border of Ecuador, to help stop drug trafficking that runs rampant in the area. The United States, which already has several military bases in South American states, was looking to extend its presence into Ecuador. However, the Ecuadorian opposed the US military presence in the region.
ve
Venezuela Oil Money To Help People
[April 3, 2008] ->
Venezuela plans to increase taxes on oil to decrease excessive profits of oil companies. The tax will take 50% of oil reserves over $70 per barrel and 60% of oil reserves over $100 per barrel. After the price of oil reached over $110 per barrel earlier this year, the government will begin to address the excessive amount of profits, which they deem more than necessary, among oil companies.
This tax comes just after President Huge Chavez forced out Exxon Mobil Corp and Conoco Phillips, two of the world’s largest oil companies.
The high prices of oil have led to very high profitability among oil companies in Venezuela. Legislator Angel Rodriguez says one of the goals of this tax is to distribute the wealth to the people, who are the owners of the Venezuelan land, thus “owners of the oil.” Chavez has recently announced to use part of this money to help fund the expansion of health care programs known as “Missions” that bring health care to marginalized communities throughout Venezuela. According to Chavez, the new tax will also increase contributions made to social programs already established and growing within the state. Other programs Chavez hopes to expand include Culture Mission, which helps people in poor communities by providing resources, and the Tree Mission, which promotes reforestation.
Congress is set to initially approve this proposal later this week.
iq
Militia Crackdown in Iraq
[March 28, 2008] ->
A crackdown on militias in Iraq that began Tuesday has already led to 130 deaths and hundreds more injuries. In a statement Prime Minister Nouri Maliki asked that any people who possesed heavy and intermediate weapons bring them immediately to a security site where they would be rewarded financially for doing so. Mr. Maliki has vowed to continue the fight against militia’s for as long as necessary.
kp
Nuclear Plans Hindered in North Korea
[March 28, 2008] ->
North Korea has recently fired short-range missiles into the Yellow Sea, officials reported today. The firings came just one day after North Korea evicted South Korean managers from a joint industrial plant located on the border. These expulsions are viewed as a protest against the Seoul government that, along with the United States, seeks to denuclearize North Korea. Newly election South Korean president Lee Myung-bak said that any further economic cooperation between the two states will come only if North Korea further disables its nuclear facilities. Presidential spokesperson Cheong Wa Dae, however, calls the tests “ordinary military training.”
The test launch has been viewed as a political statement. Hong Kwan-hee of the Institute for Security Strategy explained that the North has used these actions to see if South Korea will continue to support the United States after their warnings, or begin to take a “softer” approach to the North. The South Korean government, however, has been aiming at increasing their alliance with the United States. These launches, although viewed as ordinary military operation, came at a “critical time in the nuclear standoff” and will most likely weaken international efforts to reach a negotiation between the two Korean states.
iq
Three Days of Fighting in Iraq Creates Curfew
[March 28, 2008] ->
The Iraqi army has faced its third day of fighting in Basra. Shia militias continue attacking the army with explosives and rockets every few minutes, creating danger in the city. More than 150 people have died and another 30 are injured from the violence. The fighting began Tuesday between the two forces in Iraq’s third largest city, closing businesses and instigating curfews. The army had hoped to control the Shia faction after an ultimatum by Iraq’s Prime Minister on Friday but the violence quickly escalated. The newly instated curfew will affect Baghdad Thursday through Sunday.
zw
In Zimbabwe, Rhetoric Flies As Elections Loom
[March 28, 2008] ->
As Zimbabwe’s Presidential Election nears there has been a sharp upswing in rhetoric of both a political, and threatening nature. Incumbent Robert Mugabe has won Every Presidential Election since The post of Prime Minister was abolished in 1987 in favor of an Executive President. Mugabe is the leader of the Zanu-PF political party which is active in several African countries and was formerly based in Mozambique. Mugabe is facing two opponents in these elections: Simba Makoni, a member of Mugabe’s party and Morgan Tsvangirai the leader of the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change. Mugabe has warned oppostition party supporters against protesting and rioting should they lose the election. Conversely, opposition supporters have threatened ot attempt to remove Mugabe throug force should there be evidence of foul play in the elction, or should Mugabe retain power despite losing the election.
iq
Clashes Between Iraqi Forces and Shia Militants Lead to the Implementation of a Curfew in Baghdad
[March 28, 2008] ->
A curfew was enforced in Baghdad after the escalation of military conflict between Iraqi forces and Shia militants. Over 130 people have died from the violence this week, including two American soldiers. Originally, the clashes between Moqtada Sadr’s Shia Mehdi Army and the Iraqi Army were contained within the southern Iraqi city of Basra. After the chaos spread to Baghdad, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki imposed the curfew that will last until Sunday. Despite Sadr’s call for a peaceful political solution, Maliki has vowed to continue fighting for as long as necessary.
zw
Worries Over Zimbabwe Elections
[March 27, 2008] ->
Zimbabwe will be holding presidential elections this Saturday and already there are complaints by the two opposing candidates that President Mugabe’s government is holding unfair elections. Mugabe, who has held power since 1980, has affirmed the election will be, and has been, free and fair. The opposition party Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) and independent runner Simba Makoni, maintain that Mugabe’s government has deprived its opponents of air-time, used the police to intimidate voters to vote for Mugabe, and is planning on rigging the ballot. The government has dismissed the claims as an excuse for losing the election and has warned against protestors protesting if their candidate does not win. Only a limited number of foreign newspapers have been allowed to cover the election, and western monitors have been barred. Just recently, the government has allowed police to enter polling sites in order to assist those who are illiterate or unable to cast a vote. Mugabe’s opponents fear the police will intimidate voters. Also, opponents of Mugabe have questioned as to why there are many more ballots being printed than there are registered voters and fear these excess ballots will be forged with fake names and cast for Mugabe.
eg
Warning Shots Turn Deadly
[March 27, 2008] ->
On Wednesday, the U.S. Navy admitted one Egyptian man was killed and two were injured this week when shots were fired from a military-contracted cargo ship at a boat near the Suez Canal. The man that was killed was Mohammed Fouad, a 27-year-old father of three. The American Embassy in Cairo released this statement, “A warning flare was then fired, but one small boat continued to approach the ship and received two sets of warning shots.” An Egyptian security official, speaking to the Associated Press on the condition, said merchants often use small boats to try to sell cigarettes and other items to ships transiting the Suez Canal. He also said the merchants know not to approach military vessels, but the fact that the Global Patriot was a civilian vessel may have led to confusion.
uk
A New Direction For France and Britain
[March 27, 2008] ->
France’s president, Nicolas Sarkozy took a two-day trip to Britain this week. On his first day he was able to speak to the British parliament. During his speech, he urged the British to play a larger role in the European Union. On Thursday, President Sarkozy met with Britain’s prime minister, Gordon Brown. During their meeting, they discussed about immigration control, nuclear power plants, and counter-terrorism. The two leaders also talked about promoting peace in Darfur and human rights in Burma.
ar
Argentinian Farmers Rioting
[March 27, 2008] ->
Following a tax change on export goods, many Argentinian farmers and their supporters have been rioting, closing down roads and creating shortages of food within Argentina. The President of Argentina issued statements today saying that “the doors are open” to discussions regarding the tax change. The problem with the tax appears to be that it is a sliding export tax. This means that at times, the tax can reach as high as 45%, but can drop also to much lower levels. The Argentinian government cites the need to raise revenues and curb inflation as reasons for the tax. Farmers believe that it is hitting them especially hard, and so they have begun rioting.
iq
Oil Prices Reach $108 a Barrel
[March 27, 2008] ->
Recently oil prices have increased substancially and now sits near $108 a barrel. The recent fighting in Basra and the destruction of one of Iraq’s main oil pipelines have an affect on the high prices. The weakness of the US dollar’s value is also a leading cause for the high prices of oil in the United States. OPEC’s President says that the oil prices should stay with $80-$110 a barrel for the remainder of the year.
cn
Largest Tibetan Uprising in Twenty Years
[March 27, 2008] ->
While reports are varied, between 19 and 140 people died and 660 people were taken into custody by the Chinese government in the largest protests and riots of Tibetans against Chinese rule in twenty years. The Chinese government insists that the Dalai Lama is behind the violent behavior of the mobs and has sectioned off six districts of China with significant concentrations of Tibetans. They are searching homes throughout these areas looking for a list of 53 people they believe to have masterminded some of the events of the past weeks. The Dalai Lama insists that he is against any violence used and has nothing to do with the instigation of the violent protests. He also says that he is not in favor of independence for Tibet.
cn
Riots in Tibet Could Lead to Boycott
[March 27, 2008] ->
China is in the process of trying to end the largest protest by Tibetans since 1989. The riots were a result of an escalated Anti- China protest, which began on March 10th in Lhasa, the capital of Tibet. It is unsure how many have been killed in the riots. China says 19 people have been killed, however the Tibetan government-in-exile says about 140 have been killed by the crackdown by the Chinese Security Forces. Thupten Samphel, a spokesman for the Tibetan government, whom is in exile in northern India said, “If China really wants calm restored to the country, it is in the best interest to engage in dialogue with the Dalai Lama, and other Tibetans in exile.” On Tuesday, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said he had not ruled out boycotting the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games on the 8th of August. Others are concerned about the violence, such as UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband, and US President George W Bush, but feel that it will not do anything for human rights in China.
cn
The European Union may boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics
[March 27, 2008] ->
On Tuesday, the European Parliament accused Chinese government of a “cultural genocide” in Tibet. Currently the European Union considers the possibility to boycott the 2008 summer Olympics. Within the last two weeks Chinese government launched a crackdown against anti-Chinese protestors in Tibet. Tibetans claim to have the death toll left 100 civilians dead, while Chinese officials reports only 19 deaths. As the violence escalates in the region, the world media is following Chinas every step. EU and the rest of the world are interested in successful games, but not at the expense of the cultural genocides of Tibetans.
iq
Pipelines blown up in Iraq
[March 27, 2008] ->
One of Iraq’s major pipelines has been blown up, causing an increase in oil price. After the explosion of Iraq’s pipelines, the price of oil has jumped. The New York light sweet crude rose above $107; London Brent crude also rose. The oil market on Iraq is getting instable; leading this market to become a potential concern to Iraq traders. The reason why this has had such a big impact is because Iraq is one of the biggest oil exporters.
dk
The Dutch in Trouble With Islam Again
[March 27, 2008] ->
A right wing, Dutch Member of Parliament posted an anti-Islamic video on the European website LiveLeak. The video portraits Muslims as violent. A Dutch Moroccan group has labeled the video as nothing more than propaganda. The Dutch Moroccan spokesman said that there should be little or no backlash because it is something that Muslims have had to deal with before.
uk
Summits between Sarkozy and Brown to Become a Regular Occurrence in “New Political Era”
[March 27, 2008] ->
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy met this week in London to discuss issues concerning the cooperation between their respective countries in such areas as economics, defense, immigration, and the future of a better relationship. The summit signifies a new era in international relations between the two countries, an era which looks to be much more unified than in previous years according to a statement issued from Sarkozy. Both leaders seemed pleased with the results of the talks and look to move forward with the discussed plans for reform in areas such as Afghanistan involvement, nuclear energy, and further education about the 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
iq
Oil Prices Reach $108 After Iraqi Pipeline Blast
[March 27, 2008] ->
On Thursday oil prices closed at $107.58. Prices per barrel had reached the record price of $111.80 last week. The President of the Organization of the Oil Exporting Countries (OPEC), Chakib Khalil, said that oil prices will remain in an $80-$110 per barrel price range for the remainder of the year. Chakib Khali went on to link high oil prices to the declining value of the US dollar and the economic slowdown in the United States. The destruction of one of Iraq’s main export oil pipelines on Thursday also influenced the rise of the price of oil.
eg
Casualty at the Suez Canal
[March 27, 2008] ->
The United States has taken responsibility for the death of an Egyptian man, Mohammed Fouad, who was aboard a small Egyptian food carrying boat. Two other men aboard the boat were injured. The US has stated that as its naval ship was entering the Suez Canal it was approached by several motorboats. These boats were warned by a native Arabic speaker aboard the US ship to turn back using a bullhorn. This was followed by the firing of a warning flare on the part of the US. The ship that Fouad was on, however, did not turn away and the US ship proceeded to fire two sets of warning shots which were the cause of the injuries and death.
iq
Fighting in Basra is a glimpse to Iraq’s future
[March 27, 2008] ->
Iraqi forces have begun a crackdown in southern Iraq, especially in the city of Basra because of the vehement violence that has killed at least a hundred people and injured hundreds more.
ir
Elections in Iran
[March 14, 2008] ->
The polls opened today for Iranian’s wanting to vote for the 4,500 candidates who are running for 290 seats in the country’s parliament. Most of the reformist candidates were disqualified and said to be “insufficiently loyal to Islam or the revolution.” Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has pledged his support for the conservatives.
be
EU Summit Focuses on Climate
[March 14, 2008] ->
A two-day summit has started in Brussels, with European leaders meeting to discus climate change and the world economy. The summits chair is the Slovenia Prime minister Janez Jansa, who said that the leaders of the European countries have approved a timetable to implement an agreed 20% cut by 2020, compared with 1990 levels. At one point the plan was called the “third industrial revolution.” The economic condition was also discussed, which is a first and usually receives struck criticism when it comes to cutting emissions. However, after discussing the turmoil of the financial markets they feel that they could ride out the current instability as well as a downturn in the US. The emission bloc for 2020 is going to take place of the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to end in 2012. Failure to agree on the details would delay the process until these EU countries met again in Copenhagen in November of 2009.
rs
Serbian Government Dissolves Parliament
[March 14, 2008] ->
Serbia’s president has asked that the government convene parliament early in order to hold an emergency election. After the fall of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica’s government coalition, President Boris Tadic felt that an election should be held. Tadic is in favor of Serbia joining the European Union and he hopes that new elections will produce pro-European parties. Tadic felt that the best way to protect Serbian interests was to join the European Union. Many of the European Union states have recognized Kosovo as an independent nation and Prime Minister Kostunica felt that joining the European Union would be counterintuitive. Political parties will call for Serbian territory to be preserved if they were to join the European Union.
il
Israel Presented with Terms for Truce
[March 14, 2008] ->
Wednesday, March 12, Ismail Haniya, the Hamas leader, offered a cease-fire agreement between Hamas and Israeli forces. He demanded the re-opening of the Gaza Strip’s border, sealed off since June and for Israel to end their raids in Palestinian territory. Israeli Prime Minister’s spokesman responded by saying that there was “no need for negotiations”. Israel recognizes Hamas as a hard-core terrorist organization. Israel tightened restrictions on the Gaza Strip’s border.
rs
Serbia President Disbands Parliament
[March 14, 2008] ->
Serbian President Boris Tadic disbanded the parliament on Thursday and set early parliamentary elections for May 11. The coalition government of Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica declared on Monday the inability to pursue a common policy on the Kosovo problem and the European integration. It seems that most local elections will also move to May 11, where people will makeup their mind.
pk
US- Led Forces Fire Stray Artillery Shells into Pakistan
[March 14, 2008] ->
On Thursday, military forces led by the United States in Afghanistan fired five artillery shells into Pakistan’s North Waziristan region. The stray shells killed four people, all of whom were women or children. The Pakistani army spokesman claims that the attack was ordered due to an imminent threat in the region. American, Pakistani, and Afghan forces have all been battling Taliban guerillas along the Afghan- Pakistani border for quite some time. Many Pakistani villagers have already begun protesting these military actions in the Bajaur region.
ca
Canada Staying in Afghanistan Extra Two Years
[March 14, 2008] ->
Prime Minister Stephen Harper asked a group of people to determine whether or not Canada should leave its troops overseas. The group of people thought it would be best if Canada were to leave its troops in Afghanistan, until 2011, only if NATO would send an extra thousand troops to Kandahar and if new helicopters and vehicles were supplied to Canada before February 2009. Instead of fighting the Afghanistan troops, Canadian soldiers would be training them for national security.
uk
European Union Backs Off Environmental Reform
[March 13, 2008] ->
On the cusp of passing new laws which would hold European business and organizations accountable for harming the environment, give tax breaks for green products, and set new regulations for members nations to follow, has been all but scraped after exception was taken by many countries. It all began after the German Chancellor Angela Merkel proposed concessions to protect German car makers and manufacturers. As one can imagine, after even one such suggestion any proposal is in danger of being ruined by such crippling modifications. The proposal was originally brought about by Great Britain and was killed by the European Comission which has ultimate authortiy over energy proposals in the EU.
be
EU Aimed at Cutting Greenhouse Emissions
[March 13, 2008] ->
With an always increasing concern for global climate change, the European Union recently proposed region-wide targets aimed at significantly reducing greenhouse emissions.
Threats due to climate change could relocate millions of people into Europe due to food and water shortages, increase poverty and refugees worldwide, as well as global security. The emission cuts, aimed at a lofty 20% by 2020, would likely move the countries to a low carbon economy, significantly contributing not only to setting a good example for other countries to follow, but also in reducing mankind’s carbon footprint. Such cuts may also stimulate the economy.
Although climate issues increasingly plague the earth, the European Commission, led by President Jose Manuel Barroso, still has some doubts regarding whether or not the new system can and will work. Since the goal is so high, the best indication of whether of not the goals will be met lies within the leaders and their acceptance of the targets proposed by the commission on reducing greenhouse emissions. 27 EU leaders are expected to make a commitment to pass legislation by next March on plans for substantial cuts in greenhouse emissions.
Other problems that exist regarding the proposal reach outside of the European Union. France aims at strengthening a Euro-Mediterranean partnership, as well as establish closer ties with countries beyond Europe, including Israel and Arab States. However, many tensions still exist between Eurpe and Islamist nations, especially after the publication of cartoons of the prophet Mohammed in Denmark. However, because climate change remains a global issue, threatening to affect all countries on earth, steps in the right direction are deemed necessary but the international community.
iq
Turkey Attacks PKK in Iraq
[March 13, 2008] ->
For six days in a row now, Turkey has been in northern Iraq fighting rebel Kurds of the Kurdistan Worker’s Party (PKK). The Turkish military has launched the incursion because they say the PKK is using northern Iraq as a launching point for attacks into Turkey. The Iraqi government has strongly opposed the incursion because they feel it is a “violation of Iraq’s sovereignty.” The United States, which is mostly in charge of security in Iraq, has provided intelligence to Turkey and hopes the incursion will be short-lived. So far, Turkey claims it has killed 153 PKK rebels, and lost 19 soldiers, while the PKK claims it has killed 81 soldiers. The PKK is regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States, the European Union, and Turkey.
af
Canada staying in Afghanistan until 2011
[March 13, 2008] ->
Canada’s House of Commons has extended the tour of its 2,500 troops in Afghanistan. Thus extending their continued support of the United States war on terror in Afghanistan. The troop’s mission was to end in February of 2009.
tn
Al Qaeda Issues Ultimatum for Return of Austrian Tourists
[March 13, 2008] ->
On Thursday, March 13th, al Qaeda operatives who kidnapped an Austrian couple February 22nd issued an ultimatum for their release. According to the terms of the ultimatum, Austria must obtain the freedom of al Qaeda prisoners, specifically prisoners from the Islamic Maghreb faction. The prisoners that are to be released are being held in Tunisia and Algeria, where the kidnapping and transport of the hostages is thought to have taken place. Austria is currently attempting to negotiate the release of its citizens, and it has stated that it has no control over the prisons of other countries.
by
United State conflict with Belarus
[March 13, 2008] ->
A big conflict arose between the United States and Belarus. Belarus was accusing the US of breaking some diplomatic rules. They accused the US of tightening sanctions on the country’s state-controlled oil-processing and Chemicals Company. Belarus said that they will take out their ambassador but the US ambassador plans to stay and try to improve their relations.
th
Thailand’s Natural Relief Chairman Resigns
[March 13, 2008] ->
Brief description of the event: Five years after Thailand’s natural disaster (known as the Asian Tsunami and the Boxing Day Tsunami), the chairman decided to resign. Smith Dharmasarojana announced on Thursday his resignation, saying he decided to quit because of “lack of funds and overall government support which has prevented him from making progress in his duty that is to ensure the safety of the public and foreign visitors through the center.”

Smith, a veteran meteorologist and earthquake expert, was brought out of retirement to head the Disaster Warning Center after the December 26, 2004 tsunami hit Thailand’s southern coast on the Andaman Sea, killing over 7,000 people, including some 4,000 foreign tourists. He has pushed through the establishment of a tsunami warning system in southern Thailand, but still has made little progress in planning for other disasters.
ps
Israel Receives Truce Conditions
[March 13, 2008] ->
The Palestinian group Hamas has laid out conditions for a truce with Israel in the wake of an influx of violence in that region in the past week. The former Prime Minister of Palestine, Ismail Haniya, asked Israel to end its raid into Palestinian territory and re-open the boarder crossings to Gaza in exchange for a mutual ceasefire. Israeli leaders have said that they will in no way negotiate with the militant group or reduce their forces in that region as there are “hard-core terrorists” there.
cn
China Slams the United State’s Human Rights Record
[March 13, 2008] ->
China’s Information Office of the State Council released its ninth consecutive report on the state of human rights within the United States. The report includes very little original research on the part of China and instead relies on news articles from within the United States to support its claims. The report brings together a multitude of news articles from the New York Times, Associated Press, The Washington Post with additional research from international news sources, university reports and United Nations reports. The report was released by the Chinese government in response to the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report. The report released by the United States highlights human rights violations in China but does not list it as one of the world’s worst violators.

The Chinese report states that the United States holds a double standard by attacking other nations for their violations but doing nothing about their own. Some of the issues included in the report are, increased gun violence such as the Virginia Tech shooting, police brutality, decrease in worker unionization, press manipulation, expensive presidential elections, poverty, hunger, racism, unemployment and the lack of health-care for the poor.
ps
Gaza Strip Air Strikes by Israeli Forces Condemned by UN Secretary General
[March 13, 2008] ->
UN Secretary General, Ban ki-Moon, has called the air strikes against Palestinian inhabitants of the northern Gaza Strip by Israeli air forces “excessive and disproportionate”. The strikes were meant to be attacks on a rocket-firing squad which has reportedly fired twelve missiles into southern Israel earlier the same week. However, the greater world community, including the United Nations, is calling for a cease-fire between Israel and Palestine in an effort to restore a semblance of peace in the region. The recent destabilization of cease-fire efforts follows attacks earlier during the week which killed several Palestinian fighters in the West Bank region.
my
Malaysia’s Prime Minister Sworn in for Second Term
[March 13, 2008] ->
This week, Malaysia’s prime minister, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, was sworn in for his second five-year term. He chose not to resign from his position, even though some have urged him to, including former Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad, who chose Badawi to be his successor. Badawi vowed to fight crime and better the economy during his second term. He would also like to focus on the states that seem to have lost support for his party, the United Malays Organization. Although the party is experiencing set backs and a decrease in the support of the citizens, they still hold 139 out of 222 seats in the parliament.
iq
Body of Iraqi Kidnapped Catholic Archbishop Found Near Mosul
[March 13, 2008] ->
Chaldean Catholic Archbishop Paulos Faraj Rahho was found dead today outside the city of Mosul. He was kidnapped February 29 and was in poor health with high blood pressure and a heart condition. The kidnappers called the church revealing that Rahho was dead, and disclosed the location of his body. It is unclear if he was murdered or died of natural causes, but there is no obvious evidence of murder such as gunshot wounds or other violence. Local news reported that he was found beheaded. This kidnapping is one of several that has targeted Iraqi Christians.
il
Israeli Forces Carry Out Massive Attack on the Gaza Strip
[February 29, 2008] ->
Since Wednesday morning, Israeli attacks in the Gaza Strip have resulted in the deaths of nearly thirty Palestinians, including several children. The destructive air strikes were ordered by Israeli officials in retaliation to the Palestinian firing of rockets into southern Israel. Although the air strikes were used to target militants in the region, many innocent civilians were also killed. Unfortunately, neither side has made any effort to temporarily stop the violence and pursue peace negotiations.
cu
Cuba Makes Strides in Human Rights
[February 29, 2008] ->
The Foreign Minister of Cuba, Perez Roque has signed the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights on behalf of the Cuban Government. As the leader of the Communist Cuban government changes from Fidel Castro to his brother Raul Castro, the international community’s hope is that the signing of these legally binding documents hails a new era of freedom in Cuba. In addition, there is speculation that Raul will help to bringing changes in the governmental system in Cuba similar to what Mikahil Gorbachev did in the former Soviet Union. While the likelihood is small that Cuba will turn away from Communism under Raul Castro, the groundwork is definitely being set. Roque upon signing the documents, denied implications that the signing of these documents was connected to the change in leadership. Instead, Roque stated that Cuba has finally formalised rights that Cubans always had. This is of course nothing but pure rhetoric, as any objective observer can see that Cubans still don’t have freedom of expression or assembly. However, as a sign of compliance Cuba has released several political prisoners and other dissidents.
il
Airstrike hits Gaza ministry building
[February 28, 2008] ->
At least three Israeli missiles hit the Palestinian Interior Ministry in Gaza early Thursday morning. This was after the Palestinian military fired more than forty rockets into southern Israel. The strike at the Ministry injured many people and killed at least three children. One of the children was only six-month-old child who died from shrapnel.

On Wednesday afternoon, one Israeli was killed, several were wounded and many were treated for shock as at least 40 Qassam rockets slammed into the western Negev town of Sderot and the surrounding communities. The forty-seven year old man,Roni Yechiah, was killed while parked in his car outside of the Sapir College on the outskirts of Sderot. The cause of death was shrapnel wounds to his chest.
iq
Turkish Troops in Northern Iraq
[February 22, 2008] ->
Turkey has sent 10,000 troops into northern Iraq backed by their Air Force in order to target members of the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) thought to be hiding out in the area. This is not the first, but definitely the largest, incident of Turkish troops in Iraq targeting the PKK since the army was authorized to act in October 2007.
rs
US Embassy Attacked
[February 22, 2008] ->
On Thursday Serbs attacked various embassy in Belgrade. The US embassy was set fire due to the Serbian residence being angered by the western support for Kosovo’s independence. This violence has come at a time when Serbia is trying to sign a trade deal with the EU, however the EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana said, “The continued violence would just harm efforts to improve ties.” The attacks on the embassies followed a rally of 150,000, which took place outside the main parliament building, in the Serbian capital. It was reported that 1000 rioters smashed their way into the US embassy, while throwing flames through the windows. The fire burned for a half of hour, before the firemen were able to get through with the help of riot police dispersing the crowd with tear gas. Along with the US embassy, the UK, German, Croatian, Belgian, and Turkish embassies were also attacked.
rs
Serbian Protests turned to Embassies
[February 22, 2008] ->
February 21, 2008 in Belgrade, Serbia, Surbian rioters set fire to the US embassy and attacked several other western country embassies. The riots were against the western countries that support Kosovo and their indepence. The European Union and the United States are calling out to Serbian to protect te embassies within there country because it is their obligation.
il
Palestinian Demolition Project
[February 22, 2008] ->
It has been reported, that Israel orders that for every one Palestinian that is granted a building permit, 55 Palestinian homes are demolished. Israel has permitted a total of 1,600 Palestinian homes to be built. Compared to the 18,500 thousand Israeli homes that have been cleared for construction. Israel has been accused of forcing more and more Palestinians out of their homes and into refugee camps.
rs
Serbians Attack United States Embassy in Belgrade
[February 22, 2008] ->
Angry over the United States decision to support Kosovo in its recent independence, Serbian protesters attacked the United States embassy in Belgrade. A mob attacked the embassy after a peaceful rally against Kosovo’s declaration. About 150,000 protesters climbed the walls surrounding the embassy and threw flares into the windows. There was one body found but United States reports say that all embassy workers have been accounted for. The Serbians are angry that Western powers stand behind Kosovo’s independence; Serbia’s Prime Minister has stated that Kosovo belongs to Serbia. Reports indicate that riot police were delayed in acting to subdue the crowd. Other embassies of Croatia, United Kingdom, Belgium, Bosnia, and Turkey were also attacked.
cn
Chinese Arms Shipments to Sudan Criticized
[February 22, 2008] ->
The Chinese special envoy to Sudan, Liu Guijin, responded to criticism of Chinese arms shipments to Sudan. The Chinese, according to Liu Guijin, only send eight percent of the arms imported by Sudan. He stated that the largest exporters of arms to developing nations which include Sudan were the United States, United Kingdom and Russia. Sudan is also the third largest domestic producer of arms in Africa. The Sudanese government is thought to be backing militias that are responsible for widespread violence in the Darfur.

Mr. Guijin also claimed that China’s influence was critical to Sudan accepting a peacekeeping mission composed of both African Union and United Nations soldiers within its territory. China will contribute 270 military engineers to the United Nations force in Sudan. He went on to say that any solution must respect the sovereignty of Sudan.
pk
Opposing Parties Form Coalition in Pakistan
[February 22, 2008] ->
Two main opposition parties in Pakistan have agreed to form a coalition government after winning the most seats in Pakistan’s general elections on Monday. This new government, formed by the Pakistan People’s Party (PPPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N), as well as the Awami National Party (ANP), could increase pressure on President Pervez Musharraf. Although the two main parties have their differences, they have agreed to band together to increase their strength, influence, and purpose throughout Pakistan. Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said he and assassinated opposition leader Benazir Bhutto were already forming agreements.

The party behind Musharraf, PML-Q, has lost the majority of its seats in Parliament. If the leaders of the PPPP and PML-N, who hold half of the Parliament seats, form a 2/3 majority against Musharraf, they would be able to impeach Musharraf, kicking out a Pakistani dictatorship and working to establish a strong democracy. The ultimate goal of this coalition is to work for a strong democracy within Pakistan, and will work together to form the government in the center and within the provinces. While all of this is happening, Musharraf, however, has claimed he is aimed at achieving a stable democratic government in Pakistan.
cn
China Defends Actions In Sudan
[February 21, 2008] ->
A Chinese official has spoken out recently giving several reasons why China should not be antagonized for its arms sales to Sudan amidst the Darfur crisis. The official cited the fact that Sudan is the third largest arms manufacturer in Africa behind South Africa and Egypt and the fact that China accounts for only 8% of Sudanese arms imports to point out that China has little effect on the actual violence happening in Darfur. The official went on to say that the US, UK and Russia all exported more weapons to Sudan and were in fact the top three weapons sources for the region. The diplomat went on to say he would recommend that the Sudanese government cooperate with UN peacekeeping efforts and that pressure and sanctions from world powers would not help to resolve the situation. With the upcoming Olympics to be held in Beijing, China has come under intense scrutiny for its role in Darfur especially since the Olympics are supposed to represent peace and freedom among nations.
rs
Kosovo’s Independence Splits the World
[February 21, 2008] ->
World starts to react to the actions of Albanian separatists in Kosovo. The UN Security Council gathered for a special meeting upon Russia’s demand to discuss the declaration of Kosovo’s independence that the Parliament of Kosovo approved on February 17. However, several other members of the UN Security Council upheld the initiative. United States, Great Britain, France, Belgium and Italy announced their readiness to recognize Kosovo’s independence, while Russia, Spain, Greece and China oppose.
pk
Opposing Parties Form Pakistan Government Coalition
[February 21, 2008] ->
After Pakistan’s general election on Monday, two main opposing parties have come together to form a coalition government. The Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League- Nawaz (PML-N) have come together in order to accomplish both parties’ shared objectives. Alone, neither party is strong enough to get much done, with President Musharraf’s PML-Q party and its coalition partners holding the majority, but now the PPP and PML-N control over half of the government. The two parties differ on several issues, but for the most part share common objectives. For example, both parties want to increase democracy and view Musharraf’s rule as a dictatorship. They also agree that the country’s chief justice, who was fired by President Musharraf, needs to be reinstated. Asif Zadari, leader of the PPP, is the husband of the late Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated at a political rally in December. Both parties plan on asking the United Nations to investigate the assassination.
rs
Serbian Attacks on Customs Posts Require NATO Forces to Close Kosovo’s Borders
[February 21, 2008] ->
On Wednesday, NATO troops closed the northern borders of Kosovo after Serbian protestors, armed with bulldozers and explosives, attacked two customs posts. Kosovo’s declaration of independence over the weekend has caused tension and violence in the region to dramatically escalate. Many Serbs do not recognize Kosovo’s independence since the United Nations still affirms Serbia’s sovereignty over the region. The Serbian government even drafted a resolution on Monday annulling all actions and decisions initiated by the government in Pristina. French, American, and Estonian forces have aided NATO’s efforts in sealing the borders and bringing the situation under control. Luckily, no casualties have been reported.
rs
Fire in the United States’ embassy in Belgrade, Serbia
[February 21, 2008] ->
The United Sates’ embassy in Belgrade, Serbia was set on fire by a group of protesters. Eyewitnesses said that the embassy was not being guarded by the police and that it was close by the time the protesters decided to set fire to the embassy. The reason of this act is the support Kosovo is receiving from the United States to receive its independence from Serbia. The people in Belgrade, Serbia were not too happy with the United States stand point and decided to set fire to the United States’ embassy. The United States embassy was not the only embassy affected; other embassies supporting the independence of Kosovo were affected too.
rs
Rioters Attack Embassies in Belgrade
[February 21, 2008] ->
This evening, February 21, 2008, in Belgrade, Serbia, rioters attacked several embassies including the US and Croatian embassies. The United States embassy was attacked by the rioters with rocks and flares, which set the building ablaze. One person is confirmed dead within the embassy, however all US citizens who work in the embassy are accounted for. The fire has since been put out, and riot police have dispersed or arrested many of the rioters. These riots come after Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on Sunday. A peaceful demonstration elsewhere in Belgrade also occurred tonight also regarding Kosovo’s declaration. Peaceful protestors were chanting things like “Kosovo is Serbia” and “Kosovo is the heart of Serbia.”
xk
Division in Stance on Kosovo
[February 21, 2008] ->
With Kosovo’s declaration as an independent nation there has been a division among states across the world as to whether or not they should recognize the nation. The US supports Kosovo citing the fact that there had been a history of violence in that region of Serbia, initiated by the government, against the Albanian peoples living in that region. The EU is split in stance. Countries such as Britain, Germany, France and Italy have said they will recognize Kosovo, while countries like Spain and Cyprus do not. They are joined notably by the countries of Russia and China in their disapproval. All states have the threat of areas within their respective countries breaking off which is fueling their distaste for Kosovo’s split. Russia also has stated that Kosovo’s declaration of independence from Serbia would undermine basic security in Europe.
iq
Two of the United State’s Allies are Pulling Out of Iraq
[February 21, 2008] ->
Two of the remaining three countries, Britain and Australia, are pulling out after five years of war. British Commander, Major-General Graham Binns, has stated that one of his main goals was to secure Basra of invading enemies. Many people living in Basra, however, do not believe that Basra is in complete control of its own state. Britain plans to remove their troops slowly, only after training Iraqi’s for combat.
Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has recently said that Australia’s troops will be pulling out of Iraq by mid-2008 because they have completed the goals they wanted to accomplish when they first started occupying Afghanistan. A couple hundred Australian troops will remain in Iraq to either guard the oil terminals or to remain in Baghdad.
pk
Musharraf may be out soon in Pakistan
[February 21, 2008] ->
As expected, the polls threw out Musharraf allies in the nation’s legislature. Pakistanis are hoping that the top gainers, the Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N), will look to create lasting change the country is calling for. Together they have the strength with likely help from the supporting leftwing Awami National Party (ANP) and a stream of independents to make the difference.
au
Australian Troops to Leave Iraq
[February 21, 2008] ->
Australian Defense force Chief, Angus Houston, told the Senate Estimates Committee that the Australian troops have successfully done their job in southern Iraq and are ready to return to Australia. Houston expressed his confidence in the Iraqi forces saying that they are now able to handle the conditions there without backup. Australian troops have been based in two regions, Al-Muthanna and Dhi Qar since the US invaded Iraq 2003. The withdrawal is expected to take place in the middle of 2008.
rs
Serbian Ambassador Pulled from US Embassy as Struggle Continues
[February 21, 2008] ->
The government of Serbia has removed its ambassador to the United States after the US government recognized the sovereign independence of Kosovo, a territory of Serbia. Serbian government officials made several statements against the US decision to recognize the state’s declaration of independence, including a speech made by the Prime Minister of Serbia, Vojislav Kostunica. Meanwhile, several other nations have since recognized Kosovo’s independence as well, including France, Italy, Germany, and Great Britain. As of the publication of these articles, the Serbian government had yet to take any action against the other states recognizing the declaration of independence.
cu
Fidel Officially Steps Down
[February 19, 2008] ->
Fidel Castro, after an extended absence from public view due to health issues, has officially stepped down from the Cuban presidency at the age of 81. He has given his brother Raul Castro control, at least for the time being. Parliament will officially choose a new leader this weekend. It is tough to say whether the country will remain static as the new president and a younger generation of Cubans move into government positions.
il
Israel to build Arab City
[February 15, 2008] ->
The Israeli prime minister has begun plans to make way for an all Arab city within Israel. The city plans are supposed to be submitted and approved by the government by the end of this year. The Prime Minister is also submitting plans to build 1,100 new Israeli homes in East Jerusalem, which is an occupied territory. International Law says that Israel cannot build in any occupied territories. Palestinian officials insist that building Israeli settlements will make peace more difficult as long as the Israeli government keeps expanding.
tl
Struggle Continues for Democracy in East Timor
[February 15, 2008] ->
East Timor is the world’s newest deomcracy, having been established in 2002. Unfortunately, problems still exist with rebels in the country who would see the overthrow of the freely elected government. Many major democracies have supported the democratic government in East Timor, most prominantly Australia, however many feel other major democracies such as the United States should do more. This past Monday there was an attack on the democraticly elected president, wounding President Jose Ramos-Horta. This prompted increasing the number of Australian peacekeepers to about 1,000 and a visit from the Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd. The dispute between the terrorists and the government stems from a wave of violence in 2006, of course both sides blame eachother for the incident.Many democratic people deeply involved in the conflict have urged other democracies to help protect the democratic government in East Timor
bo
Floods in Bolivia Cause State of Emergency
[February 15, 2008] ->
The city of Trinidad was called a disaster area after constant rain fall caused the river to flood into the city. Water poured into the city and in the process killed 60 citizens, ruined many of the crops and cut off communication lines. The newest fear is that the dams will not be able to hold off the many tons of water that threaten the city of 95,000 people. The city has been working to secure the dikes around the clock while citizens are relocated to higher ground or bused to other cities. Food supplies have run low and many of the families do not have enough rations to feed all of the members. Bolivian president, Evo Morales, visited the areas that were most severe and has called in for more aid and rations to the site.
ec
Tribes and More at Risk Due to Illegal Logging in Ecuador
[February 15, 2008] ->
The Ecuadorian government and police force are investigating allegations that illegal loggers have killed 15 native people in the Yasuni National Park. The indigenous people killed were trying to stop the loggers from felling trees in the area. Illegal loggers were looking to gain access to valuable resources of trees in the park, which is off limits to all loggers. The park, a protected area, is home to natural reserves of petroleum and the Taromenane and Tagaeri tribe, as well as several other Ecuadorian tribes.
uk
Wrongly jailed 9/11 pilot can claim damages
[February 15, 2008] ->
In a British court Lotfi Raissi, an Algerian-born pilot deserves compensation after being wrongly accused and jailed on a U.S. warrant in the Sept. 11 attacks. The court criticized the police and prosecutors for their handling of the case.

Lotfi Raissi was imprisoned for nearly five months in a high-security prison until a British judge refused to order his extradition, saying there was no evidence to link him with terrorism. Three judges said that police and the prosecutors abused the legal process by using a warrant to hold him indefinitely with out even questioning Lotfi.
lb
Hizbullah Leader Threatens Israel
[February 14, 2008] ->
Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah accused the nation of Israel for the death of Imad Mughniyeh on Tuesday, February 12, 2008. Today was the funeral for Mughniyeh, and also a memorial service for Rafik Hariri, a previous Lebanese Prime Minister who was killed in 2005. At the funeral for Mughniyeh, Nasrallah spoke to the assembled crowd about Mughniyeh’s death via television screen. He accused Israel of Mughniyeh’s death, which Israel denies. Nasrallah has stated that there is now an “open war” between Hizbullah and Israel.
my
Parliamentary Elections to be Held on March 8 in Malaysia
[February 14, 2008] ->
This week, election officials in Malaysia announced that the country will be holding parliamentary elections on March 8. Premier Abdullah Ahmad Badawi dissolved the former parliament over a year earlier than anticipated. Candidates wishing to run for state and parliamentary seats only have thirteen days to campaign before the nominations take place on February 24. However, many analysts believe that the current coalition in power will win the election, even though it has lost popularity since Badawi’s dissolution of the parliament. Anwar Ibraham, one of Malaysia’s leading opposition party candidates, is banned from politics due to his arrest in 1998 for corruption.


co
People of Columbia Fight Against FARC
[February 14, 2008] ->
Last week hundreds of thousands took the streets across the world to march against Colombia’s largest radical group known as FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia), which is still holds about 700 hostages somewhere in the Andean jungles of the South American nation. In Bogota a crowd estimated in 100,000 streamed out of offices waving flags and wearing white T-shirts printed with “No more kidnapping, No more lies, No more killing, No more FARC.” People of Colombia have been frightened by the wealthiest radical group in South America for years, but now they turned against them. As protest continue 44 key hostages including 3 Americans are at risk.
cn
Olympics and Darfur Sharing the Same Spotlight
[February 14, 2008] ->
The upcoming Olympics of 2008 in Beijing have proven to be already proven to be very controversial. Many have started protesting it, because of the China’s current business and political relationship with Sudan. Many believe that this relationship is aiding the atrocities that have been occurring in Darfur (western region in Sudan) since 2003. China is believed to buy about two-thirds of Sudan’s oil and in return sell arms to the Sudanese government. On February 12th, a letter was issued to China’s president, Hu Jintao, urging him to use his strong ally with the Sudanese government as a way to talk them into stopping the genocide in Darfur. This letter was signed by many western politicians, entertainers, former Olympic athletes, and Nobel laureates such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Elie Wiesel This past week Steven Spielberg, who was appointed the job of being the artistic advisor for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Olympics, stepped down from his position due to his belief that China has the ability to help change things. The Chinese government believes that its policies regarding Sudan and the games Beijing should not be tied together at all.
dk
Danish Cartoon Reprinted
[February 14, 2008] ->
The Danish Newspapers have reprinted one of the 12 controversial cartoons Wednesday after three men were arrested for plotting the murder of Kurt Westergaard one of the cartoonists. The cartoon is an image of Muhammad wearing a bomb shaped turban with a lit fuse coming from it. Many Muslims are saying that the reprinting will only cause anger. The editors of these newspapers are quoted as saying, “We are doing this to document what is at stake in this case, and to unambiguously back and support the freedom of speech that we as a newspaper will always defend.” When these cartoons were first published in September of 2006 Danish embassies were attacked around the world and dozens died in the riots that followed.
sy
Assassination a severe blow to Hizbullah
[February 14, 2008] ->
On tuesday, Imad Mughniyeh’s assassination can as a shock to most of the world, especially the country of Syria. The Syrian government is currently accusing the assassination on Israel and Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah has also said that Israel is responsible and that its war is still not over. Israel has denied these claims, but is now on high alert for preventative measures. The United States is also being accused by Syria and other Muslim nations for the assassination.
ve
Venezuela breaks ties with Exxon
[February 14, 2008] ->
The President of Venezuela, Hugo Chavéz, has said that Venezuela will no longer send oil to the United States’ oil company Exxon. Chavéz has accused the company of plundering the nation’s resources; he also said that Exxon is being backed by the United States. The US supports Exxon in their actions. Venezuelan President, Hugo Chavéz has decided to cease petroleum exports due to the fact that Exxon has frozen some of Venezuela’s assets.
so
Somalian Children in Danger unless Help Arrives
[February 14, 2008] ->
UNICEF is asking for ten million dollars in help with food and water for the children in Somalia. If aid is not immediately sent in the next few weeks, as many as 90,000 children will suffer the consequences because “life-saving feeding activities” will have to be shut-down from the lack of funding.
Water health is also a risk, leading to more and more cases of cholera which of course leads to more and more unnecessary deaths.
sy
United States imposes new sanctions on Syria
[February 14, 2008] ->
The White House on Wednesday ordered expanded sanctions against Syrian government officials. The sanctions target officials; the United States says are involved in public corruption and aiding those who have been involved in undermining peace and stability in neighboring Iraq.
sy
Hezbollah Weakened by Assassination
[February 14, 2008] ->
Imad Mughniyah, a high ranking member of Hezbollah, was killed in a car bomb attack Tuesday night. The United States claims that Mughniyah was responsible for the Beirut barracks bombings in 1983 which killed 350 U.S. Marines and French troops. The bombings of the Israeli embassy and community center in Argentina and the border raid that triggered the war between Lebanon and Israel in 2006 were planned by Mughniyah, according in the United States. Hezbollah, Hamas, members of the Syrian parliament and IRNA, the official Iranian news agency, all claim that Israel and the United States were behind the assassination.
sy
Hezbollah Commander Assassinated in Syria
[February 14, 2008] ->
Imad Fayez Maghuniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander, was assassinated Wednesday in Damascus, Syria by a car bomb. Before September 11, Maghuniyeh was one of the world’s most wanted terrorists, involved in the killings of more Americans than anyone else in the world. Maghuniyeh has been in hiding since the late 1980’s. It is unclear at this point who assassinated Maghuniyeh, but Hezbollah, Hamas and Iran all point the finger at Israel. Israel has denied any involvement in the assassination. Some of Maghuniyeh’s more famous attacks include the bombings of US Marine and French peacekeeping barracks in Lebanon in 1983, in which over 350 people died. The hijacking of a TWA flight, in which a US navy diver was killed, and the bombing of an Israeli embassy in Argentina, in which 29 people died. Robert Baer, a former CIA operative, described Maghuniyeh as “…probably the most intelligent, most capable operative we’ve ever run across.”
in
India-Russia Partnership Growing
[February 14, 2008] ->
Six years ago, Russian President Vladimir Putin signed with India a Strategic Partnership of Friendship and Peace. The agreement came at a time when US power was at its greatest, and after an altered US-India nuclear deal. The distribution of global power was changing, and India began to reevaluate their world view. At the same time, Russian and Indian leaders formed a $300 million Indo-Russian joint venture to manufacture 1000 supersonic cruise missiles over the next ten years. Russia is India’s main supporter for military equipment and imports, and is also very important to India’s energy security. India, in their quest to expand international relations, is reviving their relationship with Russia, who seeks to make more partnerships with neighboring regions. Not only would Russian aid improve India’s role in the global arms competition, as well as with international relations and global position, but it would also create relationships between countries with increasing power.
sy
Senior Hezbollah Commander Killed by Car Bomb
[February 14, 2008] ->
Imad Mughnieh, a senior Hezbollah commander was killed by a car bomb planted in his SUV in an upscale neighborhood of Damascus on Tuesday night. He is suspected in numerous terrorist attacks against the United States including a TWA hijacking, bombings of the American Embassy in Beirut, and multiple hostage situations. Hezbollah has declared him a martyr and accused the “Israeli Zionists” of being behind the attack.

While a number of Israeli officials are not hiding their lack of sadness at his death, many Lebanese officials are offering their condolences whether or not they liked him. Some are saying that his death is a bigger blow to Hezbollah than that of their current leader, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, would be.
sy
Hezbollah Leader Killed in Car Bombing
[February 13, 2008] ->
Hezbollah’s Lebanese leader, Imad Fayez Mughniyen, was killed in a car bombing on Tuesday night in the Syrian city of Damascus. Intelligence agents from Israel are being blamed for the leader’s death, but Israel is denying its involvement. Mughniyen had been high on both Israeli and US most wanted lists, and had been in hiding for nearly twenty years. His death is seen as a blow to Hezbollah as he was a big name. Islamic states such as Iran and Syria are calling him a martyr and are praising his efforts toward jihad.
ru
Soviets Claim New Arms Race
[February 8, 2008] ->
Russian president Vladimir Putin condemned new US missile defense plans as well as NATO’s expansion in an address to parliament. He claimed that both the US and NATO have so far failed to address security concerns put forth by his government. US leaders claim plans to build 10 missile interceptors and a radar base in Poland and the Czech Republic are needed to protect the country from possible Iranian missile attacks. Putin says that his country will respond to this “new phase in the arms race” by building new weapons.
uk
England Makes Interest Rate Cut
[February 8, 2008] ->
Due to a sluggish economy the Bank of England cut interest rates from 5.5% to 5.25%. This is following the Federal Reserve in the US slashing interest rates since September of last year. Currently the interest rate is 3%, coming down from 4.25% just a few months previous. However, England is most likely to be a lot less aggressive with cuts due to a fear of inflation and run away prices. Also on Thursday the European Central Bank (ECB) in Berlin, left its interest rate unchanged at four percent, despite the growing pressure to cut rates from the recent US and England rate changes. Economists say their logic was to curb inflation rather than support a weakening economy. Citizens in all of these locations are finding, the rate changes hard. The rate changes are beneficial if one would take out a mortgage, however the many people trying to save, for retirement are making less money every day. Cuts are expected from the ECB by the middle of the year and more cuts are possible at the Bank of England depending on inflation in the next few months.
pk
Two Suspects Arrested in Assassination of Bhutto
[February 8, 2008] ->
Two more young men have been arrested under the suspicions that they have taken part in the assasination of Benazir Bhutto. She was killed on December 27, 2007 in Rawalpindi; she was there trying to get support the upcoming parliamentary elections. So far about four people, including a fifteen year boy, have been arrested for their suspected involvement in this death.
ru
OSCE Announces Boycott of Russian Election
[February 8, 2008] ->
The Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe or OSCE, an international organization which, among other duties, ensures fair, democratic elections in severeal European countries, has announced that it will boycott the upcoming Russian elections. The OSCE’s election monitoring wing announced the end of their election monitoring mission in Russia after restrictions put forth by the government made their task impossible. The main dispute between the monitors and the Russian election comission is based on the size and time schedule of the investigation. The OSCE claims that Russia is restricting their operations to such an extent that it is impossible to conduct their observation. Russia asserts that it must undergo much more scrutiny than other countries, and that the OSCE is making unreasonable demands and playing political games.
td
Chad Imposes All-Night Curfew After Attack
[February 8, 2008] ->
After very heavy fighting last weekend in N’Djamena, the capital of Chad, the government has imposed a night curfew for an unspecified amount of time in N’Djamena and six other provinces. The curfew comes after very heavy fighting in N’Djamena when hundreds of rebels, trying to overthrow President Idriss Deby, fought with government troops for control of the city, leaving 100 dead and hundreds more wounded. The rebels eventually fell back, but have regrouped with a group of rebels who had been fighting near the Sudanese region. The rebels have not revealed their next move, but have stated they have been re-supplied and now possess over 200 pick-up trucks. Deby has accused Sudan of sponsoring the rebels, but Sudan has denied any involvement.
A rebel spokesman stated that during the battle, the rebels were being bombed by French warplanes and helicopters. France has a military base in Chad and admitted to helping the government with intelligence and logistics, but denied any further involvement in fighting the rebels. President Deby has also asked the European Union to send peacemakers immediately, and is willing to pardon six French aid workers who were jailed in Chad for child abduction charges, in exchange for peacekeepers. The six aid workers were part of the aid group Zoe’s Ark, and were jailed for attempting to abduct 103 children without permission from the authorities or the children’s parents. The aid workers claimed they believed the children to all be orphans.
tj
Food and Energy Shortages in Tajikistan
[February 8, 2008] ->
Families in Tajikistan are struggling to keep warm this winter as the price for heating increases. Many, who were unable to buy proper food before, now find themselves using the last of their money for heating. Even more people no longer have heat at all while temperatures drop below zero. Food supplies have diminished leaving most families eating one meal a day or not at all in some cases. Zlatan Milisic, Tajikistan’s country director for the World Food Programme, warns of conditions only getting worse. Milisic has had additional funds to help the families in need but there are many in the same situation. Tajikistan does not expect its energy supply to last much longer and they warn of a total blackout.
iq
Controversy Over Killing of Unarmed Family
[February 8, 2008] ->
US soldiers opened fire on and killed a man, his wife and their nineteen year old son. The soldiers claim that they were under attack and the family was armed and dangerous. Witnesses, however, are saying that the family was unarmed and were not doing any harm. The families daughter was wounded in the town of al-Dawr.
Karim Hamad, the cousin of the family, stated that the United States soldiers barged into the house and started shooting. The couple and their son were in their beds sleeping and the military responded by saying that it was “unclear who shot them.”
af
War on Drugs
[February 8, 2008] ->
Afghanistan is the world’s largest opium producer. Processed opium, also known as heroin, is a very addictive drug, which is increasingly being processed inside Afghanistan before it is smuggled to Europe. The money from drug trafficking goes towards the Taliban insurgency, resulting in increased corruption of government officials and weakening of government control over large areas of the country, therefore allowing more opium to be produced. Opium cultivation is more concentrated in less-stable southern Afghanistan where the Taliban are strongest. Northern Afghanistan, in contrast, is increasingly becoming poppy-free.

According to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2007, Afghanistan produced more land growing drugs than Bolivia, Colombia, and Peru combined. The report coincides with a UN meeting in Japan to discuss developments in Afghanistan. Rangeen Dadfa Spanta, Afghanistan’s Foreign Minister, said that the government is striving to destroy the opium fields with the help of international financial support. He went on to state that the government is dedicated to destroying 50,000 hectares of poppy lands this year. The UNODC estimates that the number of poppy-free provinces is expected to rise from 12 in 2007, to 14 or 15, out of 34 Afghan provinces.

ir
Russia is concerns over Iran Newest Stunt
[February 8, 2008] ->
Monday’s test launch of Iran’s Explorer-1 space rocket was a cause for concern to Russia. Iran insists its nuclear program is purely for peaceful energy production. Still this action fuels Western concerns that Iran is taking steps down a nuclear course the rest of the international community has tried to deter it from.
pk
Unoffical Truce Evident Between the Army and Militants in Pakistan
[February 7, 2008] ->
Pakistani government officials and members of the Tehrik-e-Taleban Pakistan militant group entered into an unofficial cease-fire on Wednesday. The Pakistani army and the militants have been fighting in the South Waziristan region, located near the Afghan border, for over one year. The recent truce has yet to be officially confirmed, but Interior Minister Hamid Nawaz declared that all fighting in the Waziristan region has come to a halt. Peace talks between tribal leaders and militants had resumed several days prior to the cease-fire. However, leaders are still wary of any resolution formed through the present peace talks, since the last peace talks held in September of 2006 proved unsuccessful.

td
Chadian Government Institutes a Curfew
[February 7, 2008] ->
Last Saturday, rebels attacked the capital city of Chad, N’Djamena, causing civilian and military casualties. The rebels began their attack on Saturday, with the fighting continuing for forty eight hours. The rebels have since withdrawn outside of N’Djamena to ease “the suffering of the Chadian people.” The Prime Minister of Chad blames the Sudanese government for the attack. Sudan denies this accusation. Many Chadian citizens have fled N’Djamena to Cameroon. To restore order within the country, the Chadian government has initiated a curfew between 6:30 PM and 6:30 AM in six provinces.
cn
China Blizzards Causes Concern
[February 7, 2008] ->
As China celebrates the Year of the Rat, the country is also dealing with the worst snow storm in decades, hindering celebrations and travelling plans across China. The snow has been affecting many parts of the country since January, and officials are now journeying to affected areas to help resolve the devastating situation. It is estimated that over 80 deaths have occurred thus far, and that over 100 million people have been affected by the snows. Multiple roads are inaccessible, houses have been destroyed, and cropland left barren. Power has gone out in multiple areas, but electricity has been restored to 167 of the 170 worst hit cities.
nz
Pilots stabbed in NZ hijack attempt
[February 7, 2008] ->
A woman stabs two pilots and was able to lock out everyone except the two injured pilots out of the cabin. The two pilots had cuts one on the hand and the other had was stabbed in the foot. There was another small injury to a woman. The 33 year old woman was originally from Somalia then moved to Blenheim. She claimed to have two bombs on the plane also. The plane was safely landed at the Christchurch airport and the woman was taken into custody immediately.
af
US Afghan stand-off puzzles Nato allies
[February 7, 2008] ->
Last week Canada was asking for more troops to send to Afghanistan and the United States completely supported them and NATO was willing to support the request too. This week the United States is asking for more troops and NATO support that, but there are some allies that do not think the same way. Germany does not agree with that, they said they had already got to an agreement and they are not willing to send more troops or change their agreement. NATO, UN, and other organizations want all the allies’ counties to contribute at the same level. The mission in Afghanistan is very important for NATO because its reputation is staked to this mission.
ke
Children at Risk in Kenya
[February 7, 2008] ->
Children and women have been victims of devastated violence in Kenya. United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) is seeking resources to fight the growing sexual violence. The two leaders in the disputed election, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, have accepted the mediation of former Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, and other African leaders. Unfortunately while UNICEF pointed out increased incidents of sexual abuse against children, adolescents and women the valance keeps escalating.
af
NATO is “Tested” in Afghanistan as Karzai Tries to Diffuse Tensions
[February 7, 2008] ->
On Thursday US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice made a surprise visit to Afghanistan, accompanied by UK Foreign Secretary David Miliband. Even though Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai has made efforts to downplay the tension between NATO countries and the push for more troops to support Afghanistan, many countries are still reluctant to commit soldiers to the country. US officials are disappointed by the lack of response by other countries to strengthen NATO presence within the area, and US and UK officials are jointly asking countries to send more reinforcements in order to lighten the load on US and UK soldiers already deployed to the area. Many US allies are refusing to send significant numbers of soldiers to the country, instead leaving the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and the Netherlands to continue the work.
il
Israeli Boarder Fence
[February 7, 2008] ->
Israel has plans to put up a fence along the Egyptian boarder. The idea of a boarder fence was originally brought to light a few years ago, but dismissed because the government lacked the funding needed. The fence has been approved this time around though in light of recent events. Last Monday Israel experienced its first suicide bombing in over a year at the hands of Hamas, a militant Islamic group located in Gaza. The fence would hope to prevent Hamas members from entering Israel from the Egyptian boarder, much of which is unguarded. The one problem with erecting this fence would be the extremely mountainous terrain. Due to the landscape a complete fence along the 150 mile long boarder would be impossible, but it will be helped in areas where the fence could not reach by sensing devices.
sa
Saudi Woman Arrested for Being Spotted with Man in Public
[February 7, 2008] ->
A Saudi Arabian woman was arrested on Tuesday for being publicly seen in a Starbucks in Jeddah with an unrelated man. The woman is a financial consultant opening a new branch, and when power to her building was temporarily out she and the male colleague went to the Starbucks for internet access. The Saudi religious police, the Commission for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, arrested Yara and her colleague on the spot, transporting them both to prison.

The forty-year-old mother of three was forced by authorities to sighn a false confession, was strip-searched, and was not allowed to call her husband. Last year a ruling was issued forbidding the commission to detain people, stating that they must be passed on to the police. Her husband, a powerful businessman, used political contacts to track her down and get her out of prison. Her colleague remains in custody.
ua
Ukraine joins the World Trade Organization
[February 7, 2008] ->
Ukrainian President Viktor Yuschenko entered Ukraine into the World Trade Organization this week. Membership in the World Trade Organization reduces barriers for exports and opens Ukraine up to more foreign investment. A 1.7 percent boost to the Ukrainian economy is expected due to membership in the World Trade Organization.
ma
Madrid Train Bombing Suspect Detained
[February 1, 2008] ->
Abdelilah Hriz, one of the main suspects in the March 11, 2004 train bombing in Madrid, Spain, was detained in Rabat, Morocco. A Spanish judge filed a petition with the Moroccan government, and Morocco arrested Hriz. This is reportedly the first time that Morocco has detained one of its own citizens for crimes committed outside its borders. The main evidence against Hriz is his DNA found on items at crime scenes linked with the March 11th bombing. Mr. Fuentes of the Audiencia Nacional stated that this kind of judicial cooperation between Morocco and Spain was “extraordinary.”
ir
Iran Continues on Nuclear Program
[February 1, 2008] ->
Earlier this week Russia transported nuclear fuel to Iran to help continue Iran’s nuclear program. The Iranian government continues to state that the nuclear power plant, which they estimate will begin testing in October of this year, is only for energy. They have also invited western nations to help build the power plant now, as Russia is doing, or else Iran will reject their help later down the road. The UN Security Council is still planning on imposing new sanctions on Iran, including Russia.
pk
Top al Qaeda killed
[February 1, 2008] ->
Al Qaeda leader is killed after being in charge of attacks against the United States and coalition forces. Al-Libi was killed by a missile strike, which was later confirmed by U.S. military officials. Al-Libi was in the top twelve terrorist and is not to far below al Qaeda leaders Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri.
pk
Senior al-Qaeda Killed in Pakistan
[February 1, 2008] ->
Senior al-Qaeda terrorist Abu Laith al-Libi is dead, according to a website written by Islamist groups. The speculation suggests that the field commander was killed during a United States air attack in Pakistan. Locals reported seeing airplane drones before the bombs fell on North Waziristan, Pakistan killing 12 people in the attack. Some of the tribesmen in the area said that the area was the location of second and third tier terrorists rather than the reported leaders that were hoped to be in the vicinity. Al-Libi has led many al-Qaeda training camps and appeared in many internet videos putting him in the top 12 most-wanted men by the United States. It was reported that he was also behind the bombing of a United States base during a visit from the Vice President Cheney killing twenty three. The compound was destroyed in the attack and the bodies left behind are in the process of being identified.
il
Israeli War Report “Deeply Flawed”
[February 1, 2008] ->
Human rights organizations Amnesty International says Israel’s latest report on their war in Lebanon was “deeply flawed.” No reports of civilian deaths were cited, said Amnesty International, and they stated the war began with no clear strategy from Israel that caused the war to turn into an unwinnable battle. Amnesty International also indicated that Israel fighters made no distinction between the Hezbollah fighters and Lebanese civilians during their attacks, thus worsening the conflict, as well as the outcome. Martin Smart of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa Program said the report failed to address the policies of International humanitarian law, including war crimes.

The fighting began after Hezbollah fighters captured two Israeli soldiers in a cross border attack in July of 2006. Since then, over 1500 Lebanese and 150 Israelis have died. Most of the Lebanese victims were civilians, many of them children.

The main threat to civilians came from “cluster bombs,” a topic discussed in only six pages of the 629 page report. Amnesty International asked that the laws regarding cluster bombs be reevaluated. The group also asked Hezbollah to keep their captured victims alive and to stop using rockets against Israelis.
ke
Increasing Violence in Kenya Leads to Hopeful Involvement from the UN
[February 1, 2008] ->
The days following the election in Kenya have been trying for those living there, especially for the women, who have had to endure brutal rape. The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, has expressed his growing concern over these recent events and has urged the UN to send aid to help put an end to the deadly violence.
de
US and NATO Ask Germany to Send More Troops to Afghanistan
[January 31, 2008] ->
Last week the US secretary of defense Robert Gates sent a letter to the Defense Minister of Germany Franz Josef Jung, asking him to send some of their troops in the North of Afghanistan to the South to help fight the Taliban. Also, on Tuesday NATO sent an official request to the German Defense Minister to provide 250 combat troops to a Quick Reaction Force in northern Afghanistan.
Former NATO Chief of Staff, and member of NATO’s military committee, Harald Kujat, warned that the German troops were poorly equipped to deal with combat, and lacked the adequate hardware. On Tuesday Jung meet with Afghan President Hamid Karzai and told him that, “the German troops were ready to participate in operations against terrorists and cooperate with other international forces in any other part of the country. During the discussion with Jung, Karzai disagreed with the increase in troops, and felt that more than anything else work needs to be done to rebuild the Afghanistan army, police force and administrative structure. Also Karzai feels that the focus should shift to the mountainous border with Pakistan, where it is thought that Taliban extremists regroup to launch attacks in southern Afghanistan.
pk
Death of a top al-Qaeda leader
[January 31, 2008] ->
Abu Laith al-Libi, a top al-Qaeda leader, was reportedly killed by a missile strike in the North Waziristan area of Pakistan earlier this week. He was under US intelligence surveillance for years, so the attack was intentionally aimed at Libi, along with Obaidah al-Masri, another al-Qaeda leader. The missile strike was most likely fired by CIA operatives or another US agency, rather than US troops because they are based in Afghanistan, not Pakistan. Libi was reportedly behind a number of suicide bombings in eastern Afghanistan. He was the senior operative commander and spokesman for al-Qaeda.
kp
North Korea Refuses to Back Out of Nuclear Deal
[January 31, 2008] ->
DPRK leader Kim Jong-Il says that North Korea “has not changed” in regards to an agreement made to end its nuclear programs. Although missing a deadline that required all nuclear developments would be ended by the end of the year, Jong-Il remains adamant that the country is in the process of ending all programs regardless of setbacks which have stalled its progress. The deal agreed to by North and South Korea, the United States, Russia, Japan, and China states that if North Korea terminates all of its nuclear programs, trade restrictions will be eased along with diplomatic aid packages sent and North Korea will be removed from the list of countries that the United States claims support terrorism.
ca
Canada asking for more troops
[January 31, 2008] ->
Canada is asking NATO to send 1000 more troops to Afghanistan. If Canada’s petition is accepted they will extend their mission in Afghanistan. The United States and NATO recognize the valuable job Canadians troops are doing there. The United States showed its interest to this request, and will send 3,200 US marines to Afghanistan.
za
Zimbabwean Refugee Mayhem
[January 31, 2008] ->
Late Wednesday night into Thursday morning, South African police raided a church harboring Zimbabwean refugees,beating them and needlessly shooting rubber bullets and pepper spray into a crowd containing the elderly, young mothers, and babies. They claim the South Africans in the area have been complaining of robberies and other problems regarding the refugees in the church. The South African authorities arrested around 1,500 people, deporting about 500 who did not have valid asylum papers, most of whom returned to South Africa within hours after deportation. They are fleeing the rule of Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe and the issues surrounding the corrupt election that took place there. This raid is being compared to the days of Aparteid in the 70s.
ve
Chavez proposes military alliance against U.S.
[January 31, 2008] ->
According to the Venezuelan leader Washington is trying to provoke a war in South America. Venezuelan officials claim to have obtained intelligence that the U.S. was trying to provoke a war between Venezuela and Colombia, President Hugo Chavez called on Cuba, Bolivia and Nicaragua to form a military alliance to guard against eventual attacks from Washington. The appeal comes as tensions between Caracas and Bogota spin out of control after Chavez’s allegation that Colombia and the United States are plotting a military “provocation” against him. United States officials have denied all accusations.
rs
Negotiations and Debates Delay Kosovo’s Declaration of Independence
[January 31, 2008] ->
Earlier this week, Kosovo began its constitutional debates in the provisional capital of Pristina. Despite his earlier conviction that the proclamation for independence was only days away, Prime Minister Thaci believes that it could take some time for Kosovo leaders to agree upon the framework of a new constitution. In addition to the constitutional debates, both the United States and the European Union are persuading Kosovo to make a clean break from its mother country, Serbia. Negotiations, which could take weeks or months, have been arranged between Kosovo Albanians and Serbian leaders.
so
African Union to Send More Peacekeepers to Somalia
[January 31, 2008] ->
The African Union will go ahead with a plan to send more African peacekeeping forces to Somalia. The new influx of trrops is a preposed 8,000 strong primarily from Uganda. These troops would relieve the current force of mostly Ethiopian troops who have had mixed success in their objective to remove Islamic militias in the country. These militias, primarily based in the capitol of Mogadishu, have been fighting amongst themselves and preventing the establishment of any kind of stable government in Somalia. The African Union has become increasingly willing and increasingly capable of intervening in Somalia since the departure of American troops from Somalia during the Clinton administration.
td
EU Force Deployed to Chad and the Central African Republic
[January 31, 2008] ->
By mid-May, 3,700 EU troops will be deployed to Chad and the Central African Republic on a peace-keeping mission to protect civilians and aid workers from the violence in Darfur. The operation would still be grounded due to a shortage of troops and equipment if not for France, who will contribute more than half of the 3,700 large force. The overall commander of the operation, Lt. Gen. Pat Nash, praised the French for taking the lead role and ensuring the operation is carried out, despite its numerous difficulties. Chad is located 2,250 kilometers from the nearest seaport and only contains 770 kilometers of paved roads. General Nash described it as a “logistical Everest.” Operation Eufor, as it is called, will work closely with the larger UN-African Union mission in Darfur, as well as attempt to speed up the delivery of humanitarian aid to refugees in the area.
pk
High Level al-Qaeda Leader Believed to be Dead.
[January 31, 2008] ->
Abu Laith al-Libi, a senior al-Qaeda leader in Afghanistan was killed by a US missile strike in Pakistan this week. He is reported to be one of the top six leaders of al-Qaeda. In 2005 US forces destroyed a training camp in Afghanistan believed to be set up by al-Libi. He operated out of the tribal Waziristan region of northern Pakistan.

Pakistan has made multiple statements declaring that it will not allow foreign military involvement in its territory. The United States has used strategic missile attacks against suspected militants along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border on multiple occasions. The al-Libi attack was reportedly carried out by an unmanned drone.
iq
Iranian leader to vist Iraq
[January 31, 2008] ->
On Thursday, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad agreed to visit Baghdad and meeting with Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki. This will mark the first trip to Iraq by an Iranian President since the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980’s. Relations between the neighboring countries have improved since the fall of Saddam Hussein and his Sunni led government. The trip is a reciprocation of a trip made by Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to Iran in August of 2007. This trip comes on the heels of Iraq- Iran trade talks on February 6th and as the US is attempting to put new sanctions on Iran for its nuclear program.
ir
Iran Receives Nuclear Fuels
[January 30, 2008] ->
Russia has delivered nuclear fuel to Iran, and Iran has plans to begin operation on a new nuclear power station later this year. Iran claims that the development of nuclear power will be used only as a source of fuel and not as a weapon. Actions have been taken recently by the UN to put a hold on Iran’s enhancement of uranium, but no attempts have been heeded. Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said that Iran has finally overcome the intimidation of the western world, and he has aided in the changing of the tides in the political world. He said that he had offered to accept the help of the west in his determination to make Iran a nuclear country but if they would not aid him he would go about it on his own. He has also stated that if the UN plans to come back with new proposals in four more years it will “be too late”(BBC). Later in this same speech in Bushehr, Ahmadinejad told westerners that “your mighty palaces will fall through the grace of God.”(BBC)
af
Canada Pressuring NATO for More Troops
[January 30, 2008] ->
NATO is endorsing the findings of the independent panel headed by cabinet minister John Manley on Canada’s future military involvement in Afghanistan. The key condition for Canada continuing its combat mission beyond February 2009 is to persuade other allies to supply 1,000 more troops to southern Afghanistan. NATO wants Canada to stay in Kandahar to build on strategic gains already made in fighting the Taliban insurgency there. In contrast, Canada wants another member country to collaborate with in Kandahar to share the combat burden.

NATO remains committed to its current exit strategy for Afghanistan. The plan is to train enough Afghan army and police to be able to provide a competent level of security in their country without the help of Western forces. There were no offers of major reinforcements, but up to nine nations may be willing to increase their contributions to help train the Afghan National Army.
il
More Trouble on the Gaza
[January 25, 2008] ->
Israel has pulled all aid from the Gaza strip in an attempt to get the Palestinians there to stop firing missiles into Israel. They are no longer providing the Strip with fuel, and therefore electricity, food, and other supplies. The wall along the Gaza-Egyptian border is down, and as many as 700,000 Palestinian refugees are flooding Egypt, with Israeli, Palestinian, and Egyptian leaders worrying about terrorists moving across the borders.
eg
Breach in Barrier Causes Thousands to Seek Supplies in Egypt
[January 25, 2008] ->
Tens of thousands of Gazans continue to cross into Egypt after more than 2/3 of the Israel blockade was breached by a series of explosions that occured along the border. The Egyptian army, after permission from the President, has allowed the surge of Gazans to cross the border in order purchase food and other supplies providing that they don’t carry weapons. The Israel blockade was enforced last Thursday blocking off supplies and fuel to the Gaza area creating mass shortages for all citizens. Israel has urged Egypt to control the situation stating that it is now their responsibility to monitor the border activity. The Israeli government fears that members of the Hamas will gain access to weapons while in Egypt creating more security problems in Gaza.
rs
Kosovo to Declare Independence From Serbia
[January 25, 2008] ->
The Prime Minister of Kosovo, which is a province of Serbia, announced on Thursday, January 24, 2008, that the Province of Kosovo will be seeking its independence from Serbia. A United Nations task force has been within Kosovo since 1999. Serbia has not been involved governmentally within Kosovo since the UN entered. A specific time and date for this declaration has not been set.
ke
Restoring Peace in Kenya
[January 25, 2008] ->
For the first time, Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and his election rival, Raila Odinga, met to begin talks following last month’s controversial presidential election. The talks are being held in Nairobi and mediated by Kofi Anan, the former United Nations chief. Hopefully the talks will be able to put an end to the ongoing violence that has erupted as a response of the outcome of the election. Although both President Kibaki and Odinga expressed their willingness to cooperate, some are questioning whether Kibaki is being sincere. He was quoted as referring to himself as a “duly elected president of Kenya.”
rs
Serbia in Favor of Russian Gas
[January 25, 2008] ->
On Thursday, Serbian head of state President Boris Tadic and Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica came to Moscow, to meet with President Vladimer Putin. Leaders of the counties made an important energy agreement, which involves building a pipeline to Serbia, to supply Serbia and potentially Southern Europe with gas. Gazprom, Russian leading gas company has agreed to build pipeline to Serbia, as long as the pipelines are in control of the Gazprom. For Gazprom, this deal in not going to bring fast revenue, it is believed that this is purely a political move by Russia. Whether or not the deal changed the upcoming Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) vote or not, Council turned down Kosovo resolution.
us
Middle East peace conference begins in Annapolis
[January 25, 2008] ->
The United States Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, invited all major Middle East leaders with the exception of Iran to Annapolis Maryland to talk about peace for the first time in seven years.
it
Uncertainty Reigns As Italian Parliament Voices ‘No Confidence’
[January 25, 2008] ->
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi has resigned after losing a vote of confidence in the upper house of the Italian parliament known as the senate. The issue was brought to vote after the center-left coalition of political parties headed by Prodi fell apart. The coalition lost their majority after the withdrawal of minor party Udeur after the resignation of Clemente Mastella. Mastella, who was Prodi’s minister of justice, resigned under accusations of corruption. All of this serves to further antagonize an Italian public who are becoming disenfranchised because they are tired of corrupt politicians and the seeming inability to run the government free of bickering and corruption. At this point, Italian President Giorgio Napolitano has two options, call a snap election which would almost certainly be won by the head of the center-right coalition of parties, Silvio Berlusconi who masterminded the ousting of Prodi; or Napolitano can appoint an interim government, which would likely be filled with ‘yes men’ who would pass several election reform measures which the President says are necessary for stability in the Italian government.
eg
Palestinians Flood Across the Egyptian Border
[January 24, 2008] ->
On January 17th Israel sealed the borders of the Gaza Strip following missile attacks into Israel. An initial breach of the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt was halted by Egyptian security forces on January 22nd. The next day the border wall was breached. Approximately 50,000 Palestinians flooded across the border in search of vital supplies.
The leader of Hamas Ismail Haniya has called for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak to help end the crisis. Israel intended the blockade weaken to Hamas but it appears that it strengthened the group instead. The United Nations Security Council met multiple times this week to try and resolve the conflict.
af
United State-led raid “kills Afghan police”
[January 24, 2008] ->
The United States coalition forces killed ten Afghan policemen and two civilians; within the people that were killed, was the police chief of the district. The reason why the United States forces shot these people is because they confused the police for rebels; said a spokesman of the United States coalition forces. This inconvenient has started an anti-American manifestation on the area.
ps
Egypt-Gaza Border Wall Breached
[January 24, 2008] ->
On Wednesday, Palestinians in the Gaza strip bombed an Egypt-Gaza border wall in Rafah. The border barrier is approximately seven miles long and constructed of corrugated sheet metal, with short stretches of concrete blocks and barbed wire. In the border town of Rafah where the breach occurred, the barrier is metal with a height of eight to nine feet. Israel began building the barrier in 2001, after a surge in Israeli-Palestinian fighting.

The Egyptian military patrols the Egyptian side. Israel policed the Gaza side until September 2005, when it withdrew its forces from Gaza. The Palestinian Authority took over Gaza, but the militant Islamic group Hamas overthrew it in the summer of 2007.

Hamas control and the daily shelling of Israel out of Gaza blockaded the flow of materials for basic needs. The Palestinians in Gaza are suffering as Western Nations, including the United States, do not recognize Hamas as a legitimate authority for Palestine.
ir
New Compromised Sanctions on Iran
[January 24, 2008] ->
After much compromise a new draft was agreed upon by the United States, Russia, China, and Western Europe countries. The draft is supposed to punish the Tehran for continuing their nuclear program. A program they say is for civilian use only, but the processes they are using can lead to the development of nuclear weapons. The United States and Western Europe both agree the compromise is not as strong as they had wished, but Russia and China, both big traders with Iran, pushed for a more lenient resolution.
iq
Recent Explosions in Iraq Kills Twelve and Wound Many More
[January 24, 2008] ->
An attack on an apartment building in Mosul has left twelve dead and more than one hundred injured. The explosion caused nearby homes to be destroyed, subsequently killing women and children. Many of the recent bombings are being linked to the US, as an aftermath of their offensive tactics.
As a result of the recent explosions, many Sunni anarchist groups have moved their headquarters north of the capital to try and escape the recent influx of bombings.
se
Sweden feels Energy Plan is Unfair
[January 24, 2008] ->
Recently the European Commission president, Jose Manuel Barroso announced a plan that would cut 20 percent of greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020, throughout all of the EU nations. Sweden in 2005 had the highest level of renewable energy use at 40 percent. This new plan would ask them to increase their renewable energy use to 49 percent, which is the most aggressive of all the nations. In addition, Sweden has been asked to cut its CO2 emissions by 17%, which is third boldest in the bloc. Maud Olofsson, Sweden’s Enterprise and Energy Minister, has an optimistic outlook saying, “If there is any country that can succeed at this it is Sweden.” She had previously noted that Sweden might be punished for starting the emission cuts and energy transfer early; because Sweden was given a stiffer national target than other countries. Sweden’s industry was not happy with the targets they were given; consequently, Urban Backstrom remarked, “The fact is that we are already at the top of the class in several areas, but we have not been given credit for the work we’ve already done.”
However, there are costs associated with this new plan. First off the plan would cost $4.39 a week for every EU citizen. Next the EU estimated that this would add 10-15 percent to electricity prices. Some are afraid of a possible “economic suicide” due to the restrictions on industries emissions, effecting production. However, the commission agreed that energy-intensive industries would get emissions permits for free. Yet, all carbon-emitting businesses, regardless of intensity, are required to buy permits under the new plan.
ke
Annan Meets with Rival Kenyan Leaders
[January 24, 2008] ->
For the first time since the tumultuous Kenyan presidential election, President Mwai Kibaki and Raila Odinga, the opposition leader, have met. The former secretary-general of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, mediated the talks. It was with much surprise that the two agreed to meet with Annan, since previous attempts to set up talks had failed. The talks were described by Annan as “a very encouraging development” and Kibaki and Odinga shook hands afterwards.
it
Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi Resigns After Failing to Capture the Upper- House Vote
[January 24, 2008] ->
On Thursday, Romano Prodi announced his resignation as the Italian Prime Minister. Prodi headed his centre- left coalition in the Italian government for a little less than a year. He received a vote of confidence from the lower house of Parliament on Wednesday, but he failed to gain a vote of confidence in the Senate. The Udeur Party, whose support Prodi was counting on to attain the vote in the upper- house, withdrew their three seats in Parliament after a scandal surfaced concerning the former Justice Minister Clemente Mastella and his wife. Thus, Prodi lacked the 160 votes necessary for his government to stay alive. He warns, however, that the defeat of his coalition could generate political instability within the country until a new government is established or elected. President Giorgio Napolitano now faces the challenge of deciding whether to organize an interim government, or to hold emergency elections.
ps
Gaza Border Crisis Taking its Toll
[January 24, 2008] ->
For the second day in a row, thousands of Palestinians have crossed from Gaza into Egypt after segments of the border were destroyed and opened. The border was broken on January 23 following an increase in rocket attacks in Southern Israel that caused the border between Israel and Gaza to close. Egypt wants to do anything it can to help out the Palestinians, but because tens of thousands of people are rushing into their country, Egypt has started to feel pressure to find a resolution. Officials say that the border will eventually return to its initial state. However, Palestinians rulers of the Islamist Hamas movement are trying to negotiate with Egyptian officials to create a permanent crossing as a connection between Egypt and Gaza. Israel is searching for a similar solution and wants Egypt to take control of the border. Israel eventually wants to cut off their relations with Gaza.

The UN plans to meet to make plans for an immediate end to violence in Gaza and southern Israel. The Human Rights Council of the UN passed a resolution seeking an end to the Israeli military blockage of Gaza.
cn
Should China’s Growth Rate Cause Worries for the US Economy?
[January 24, 2008] ->
China’s growth rate has reached a 13-year high, topping out at 11.4% in 2007. However, this might not be all good for the Chinese as they face high inflation rates due to this increased economic growth rate. Chinese government officials vow to adjust exchange and interest rate policies, in keeping with their studies of the current US economy. Analysts attribute the biggest problems to controlling the fast-growing economy of China, not to curbing the economic growth. Price controls are being implemented so as to help millions in China with the rising prices on daily commodities such as food resulting from the growth rate.
ru
UN Resolutions Down-Played by Russian Foreign Minister
[January 24, 2008] ->
Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, is questioning the usefulness of the new sanctions on Iran agreed upon at a recent UN meeting. The newest sanction does not impose new rules or laws, but rather heeds countries to be cautious in their relations with Iran so that there is no trade or transmission of anything that could be used for the Iranian nuclear program. The Foreign Minister also stated that the terms agreed upon in the latest meeting will remain in effect until the IAEA’s (International Atomic Energy Agency) anxieties have been quelled.
de
New Action Against Iran
[January 23, 2008] ->
The UN Security Councils five permanent members consisting of France, Britain, US, Russia, China and non permanent member Germany all agreed on a new drafted resolution that strengthens existing measures and sanctions against Iran. This action is in response to Iran’s refusal to suspend its nuclear program.
ae
France and UAE, Nuclear and Military Cooperation
[January 18, 2008] ->
UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and French Foreign and European Affairs Minister Bernard Kouchner signed a nuclear cooperation agreement which forms a joint committee to oversee cooperation between the two nations in terms of nuclear power generation. The two nations, through Shaikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the French Defense Minister Herve Morin, have also signed a military cooperation agreement which allows France to station as many as 500 permanent military personel in Abu Dhabi.
cn
China on the Iran Nuclear Issue
[January 18, 2008] ->
On January 17, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Jiang Yu, expressed hopes for a good settlement to come out of the ongoing Iran nuclear talks. At the press conference, Yu emphasized that China wants Iran to cooperate and adhere to the UN resolution, as well as with the international community. Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator, Saeed Jalili, will be having separate meetings with Yang Jiechi (Chinese foreign minister) and Tang Jiaxuan (state councelor) on Friday in Beijing.
cn
Gordon visits China
[January 18, 2008] ->
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown visited China with British business leaders for the purpose of expanding economic relations between the two nations.
ke
Kenyan Upheaval Over Election
[January 18, 2008] ->
Political unrest in Kenya due to disputes over who won the Kenyan election have lead to huge protests in the slums of Nairobi over the past few days. Odinga has accused the police of shooting seven dead under the orders of Kibaki. The police say that this number is being exaggerated and that the police have been using restraint, killing only the criminal protesters. So far a total of between three and five hundred people have been killed and another one hundred thousand have been displaced.
il
Peace in Israel, is it feasible?
[January 18, 2008] ->
On Thursday, January 10th, during President Bush’s middle east tour, he said, that before his second term in office is over, that he is confident that there will be a peace agreement in the middle east. President Bush is confident that the Palestinians and Israelis will be able to come to a lasting agreement. If Israel and Palestine signed a peace agreement Bush would be willing to politically and economically support a Palestinian state.
ke
Kenyan Opposition Party Plans Third Day of Protests
[January 18, 2008] ->
The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) led by Raila Odinga has continued on with their plans to rally for another day in Kenya. This would make three days total that the opposition group has protested the controversial re-election of Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki. The party has charged the government with holding a rigged election and was demanding a peaceful resolution and a new vote. Odinga has accused the government and Kenyan police of unnecessary force after ten ODM supporters were killed during security raids. The police have denied such allegations claiming the officers acted “with restraint.” The violence that has been occurring since the December 30th election has caused 6,000 citizens to flee to Uganda. The group has decided to end demonstrations after Friday’s rallies but they have encouraged supporters to boycott businesses owned by Kenyan officials.
ir
Iranian President Weighs In On Israel and the United States
[January 18, 2008] ->
Iranian President, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spoke out on President Bush’s recent visit to several Middle East nations. During his eight-day visit, President Bush spoke to leaders of several Gulf States, saying that Iran was the world’s largest sponsor of terrorism. President Ahmadinejad responded by saying that these statements as well as President Bush’s entire visit was intended to sow discord and division in the region. President Ahmadinejad in his statements also responded to Israel’s test of a ballistic missile, saying, “The Zionist regime ... lacks the courage to launch any strike against the Iranian state,”. These comments came in response to Israel’s announcement that they had tested a ballistic missile with the capability to carry an unconventional payload, presumably a nuclear warhead. Israel has also claimed that Iran could have a nuclear bomb by 2010 and that such a weapon would threaten the existence of Israel.
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Opposition in Georgia will Fight Until the End
[January 18, 2008] ->
Opposition states that it will not recognize Mikheil Saakashvili’s January 5th presidential election victory. Saakashvili won the election by 53.4% of the votes in the first round of elections. Opposing parties are claiming massive falsification on behave of the Georgian Central Elections Commission. Parties are wiling to speak with the parliament, as long as the parliament is willing to help restore civil unity; Stop political prosecution of opposition and allow independent media presence. Until these issues are addressed, opposition will continue to walk the streets of Tbilisi, forcing Saakashili’s inauguration out of the capital city.
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Leader of Islamic Jihad Killed during West Bank Raid
[January 18, 2008] ->
Walid Obeidi, also known as Abu al-Qassam, was killed in the city of Qabatiya, after open shots were fired. Obeidi was killed after he refused to allow the Israeli army to peacefully arrest him. He was known for his involvement in the attempted terrorist attacks in Israel.
The attack in West Bank was organized for a vehicle filled with soldiers, although nineteen innocent civilians were killed.
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Beirut Bombing Hampers Lebanese Stabilization Efforts
[January 18, 2008] ->
A bomb placed behind garbage dumpsters exploded in Beirut, Lebanon, on Tuesday, January 15th, after a United States Embassy vehicle passed the dumpsters. The two embassy officials were injured in the blast, but not killed. The blast instead hit the car following the embassy vehicle, killing both inside, and at least one other bystander. Twenty one other people in the vicinity were also injured.
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United Nations extend mandate in Ivory Coast
[January 18, 2008] ->
Ivory Coast has been divided in two, north and south, since 2002 due to a civil war. An article posted January 16, 2008 says that the United Nations recommended that the mission in Ivory Coast should be extended. The extension of the mission means that the French soldiers and the United Nations force will stay in Ivory Coast until July 30th and they will organize elections during this extension of time.

The civil war stared because the rebels from northern Ivory Coast felt their government was discriminating them. Muslims and especially those with foreign origins could not participate in presidential elections.
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Kenya in Crisis: Protests Continue
[January 18, 2008] ->
Protests continued for two days over the election of President Mwai Kibaki. He won by a very fine margin and many are claiming that the election was rigged. The protests were met by the Kenyan police and so far seven people have been killed. The police claim they were met with resistance. Public demonstrations were prohibited by President Mwai Kibaki very shortly after he took office. Since his election, Kenyan authorities report over 600 people have died due to the violence, but Mr. Odinga, the opposition leader, claims that more than 1,000 people have died. The UN and EU have begun sending aid to those affected by the violence.
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US Arms Deal with Saudi Arabia
[January 17, 2008] ->
Before leaving on a tour of the Middle East, President Bush delivered a $20 billion arms deal to Saudi Arabia aimed at countering threats from Iran. Saudi Arabia and other gulf nations with majority Sunni Muslim populations have deep suspicions of Shiite Iran gaining more power and destabilizing the region. The weapons deal first appeared last autumn, but the US Congress postponed it due to opposition. The Bush administration notified Congress of its intent to conclude the deal as President Bush began his tour of the Middle East to gain support for further sanctions against Iran. The US Congress has a review period during which lawmakers could move to block the weapons sale.

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Seven killed in Protest
[January 17, 2008] ->
Police reportedly killed seven people in the second day of protest in Kenya. A spokesman for the police said that they fired in an act of restraint. These nation wide protests are still continuing after the Dec 27 elections when president Kibaki won by a small margin. Recently president Kibaki stated that there would not be a recount issued, which is the one thing his opponent Raila Odinga and the opposition party want. Kibaki refuses to give into the wants of the opposition and urges them to use the courts if they feel that the election was unfair. The country braces for a third day of protests as police formed a human barrier around Kibera to prevent opposition supporters from traveling to a mass rally in Uhura Park in Nairobi. Kenyan officials say that 600 people have died since the violence started following the election, however Mr. Odinga told reporters that over 1,000 have died. A quarter of a million people have left their homes, mostly who are Kikuyu (the presidents ethnic group), who are in fear of violence against them because of their affiliation. Also 6,000 people have fled to Uganda.
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Rioting in Kenya
[January 17, 2008] ->
Since Kenya’s presidential election in late December, protestors have been out in force accusing the election of President Mwai Kibaki as “rigged.” Police have had their hands full trying to restore order through the use of batons and tear gas but on Wednesday they began using live rounds. Human Rights Watch reported five people shot dead by police on Wednesday in Kisumu. Raila Odinga, a government opposition leader, accused the police of shooting and killing seven people in Nairobi. Police have acknowledged killing two “criminal” protestors and are launching an investigation into why live fire was used. Police have had to reinforce their ranks with administrative police, usually reserved for administrative work and guarding government buildings. A virtual ban on public assembly has taken place in Kenya though the government maintains that if one wishes to demonstrate they must notify the police and wait for approval.
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Tension Between Opposing Members in Kenyan Parliament Disrupts Voting Process for New Speaker
[January 17, 2008] ->
Parliamentary sessions resumed for the first time on January 15th since the questionable re-election of Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki. Raila Odinga, who is the leader of the Orange Democratic Movement, accused President Kibaki of unfairly rigging the ballot during the December 27th Presidential election. Mr. Odinga, despite objections by religious leaders, refuses to call off the protests during the election of the new Parliamentary speaker. These protests have killed hundreds of people, and have left many more homeless. William Ruto, a member of Mr. Odinga’s Orange Democratic Movement, demanded that the election of the new Speaker be held in public, while Kabanda Wa Kabando, a member of the Party of National Unity, retaliated by claiming Mr. Kabando was guilty of intimidation. Furthermore, many members of the Orange Democratic Movment within the Parliament still refuse to recognize President Kibaki as the Kenyan President, which was obvious by their failure to stand and applaud when the President entered the Parliament Chamber. Kofi Anaan, the former United Nations Chief, was supposed to lead negotiations between the two political parties, but it is skeptical whether he will be able to succeed since President John Kufuor of Ghana was not able to make much progress during his visit to Nairobi.
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Death of Hamas Leader’s Son Causes Outrage
[January 17, 2008] ->
At least 18 Palestinians were killed in Gaza on Tuesday. This is some of the worst violence in that particular area for some time. The attack was launched by Israelis in response to the murder of an Ecuadorian volunteer in Israel. The militant Islamic group called Hamas had claimed responsibility for this death, and the attack was in retaliation. Among those killed was the son of Mahmoud Zahar, the leader of Hamas. Zahar believes that President George Bush’s recent visit to the area spurred the attack.
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Castro Could Come Back To Political Life Soon
[January 17, 2008] ->
Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva recently met with Cuban President Fidel Castro in Havana. Following their meeting Lula commented that Castro is in “impeccable health” and ready to return to public life. Castro has not been seen in over seventeen months following stomach surgery. His brother, Raul Castro has been the acting head of state since Fidel’s surgery.

Brazil also signed a one billion dollar aid package with Cuba. The talks also opened up Cuban waters for oil exploration by the Brazilian state oil company Petrobras. The visit was seen as a strengthening of ties between the two nations.
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Kenya at a Crossroads
[January 17, 2008] ->
Kenya is in a state of turmoil after recently executed elections that created a division between governmental forces. Many Kenyans, as well as international communities, think the election process was rigged, causing chaos to break out in one of Africa’s most stable states.

Many Kenyans have been opposed to the government, believing the system to still be run by the leaders of Kenya’s independence movement. Feeling as though the country is stuck in the past, making no progress in growth or significant change, many believe the conflict has been growing for some time now and finally burst following the controversial elections. These issues, unaddressed by previous governments, include resources, land, the economy, and tribe.

Voters in the country’s largest providence, Rift Valley, did not vote for any of former President Moi’s sons, indicating that Kenyans are ready for change, young citizens especially. In addition to what some call a “generational revolution,” much of the problem centers around land issues. Many Kenyans consider land to be a “cultural identity,” a foundation for society and different communities. Fights have broken out, increasing the outrage in a now torn country. Over 500 people have been killed in riots, and over 250,000 have been displaced. It is rumored that young men are paid for each person they killed, and also receive payment for torching houses and ruining homes.
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Ashura festival bombing could lead to further US involvement in Pakistan
[January 17, 2008] ->
A bombing that occurred as preparations are being made for the weekend festival of Ashura, a Shia holiday marking the climax of the holy month of Muharram, has left at least 10 dead and more than 20 wounded in Peshawar, the capital city of the North West Frontier Province in Pakistan. Reports differ on the exact details of the bombing, but most agree that a teenager was somehow able to push his way past police security and detonate a suicide bomb near a Shia mosque. There is yet to be a claim made as to who is responsible for this attack.
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