Anniversary of Chinese Earthquake

Today marks the one year anniversary of the devastating earthquake in Sichaun Province in China last year. 85,000 died and 500,000 were left homeless. China’s president, Hu Jintao, was at the anniversary ceremony today where he opened an memorial for the victims of the earthquake, Xinhua. Controversy surrounds the deaths of 5,000 schoolchildren who died when their schools collapsed. There are allegations that schools were built with shoddy materials and building practices. Parents are suspicious because some schools collapsed while building surrounding it remained standing. The Chinese government has declared that there was nothing wrong with the school’s construction, BBC News.

Government doctors in Sri Lanka are reporting 49 more civilian casualties from army shelling inside the warzone. Government officials have denied the reports, Bloomberg.

A hearing is scheduled for today concerning Continental Connection Flight 3407 that crashed as it neared Buffalo’s airport in February. 50 people died in the crash. The captain of the flight is said to have failed simulator tests in the past and was fatigued, CNN.

Continuing on his tour of the Middle East, Pope Benedict XVI is in Jerusalem today. He was the first pope to enter the Muslim holy site Dome of the Rock. The pope also visited the Western Wall which is significant in Jewish history and will visit the place where Jesus Christ is said to have eaten his last meal, Catholic News Service.

Pakistan says it has dropped commandos into the Swat valley to battle Taliban militants, Associated Press.

New export figures show Chinese exports were down 22% in April, making six straight months of export declines for China, New York Times.

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