140 people are dead and 1,000 wounded after members of the Uighur ethnic group, a predominantly Muslim minority group in China, clashed with Chinese security forces in the capital city of Urumqi in the province of Xinjiang. The victims have not been identified and it is unknown if the majority of the victims were Uighur activists, Chinese security forces, or civilians. It is also unknown exactly what sparked the riot but the unrest follows an incident at a toy factory in south China in which two Uighurs were killed, Voice of America. The protest in pictures, BBC News.
Xinjiang is an autononmous region similar to Tibet. Uighurs, who have no ethnic or historical relation to the Han Chinese that make up 80% of China’s population, say they are persecuted by the Chinese government. China has encouraged people who are ethnically Han Chinese to move into the Xinjiang where Uighurs are currently the majority. Some Uighur activist groups have been labeled terrorist groups and about 20 Uighurs who were living in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks were picked up by US forces and sent to Guantanamo Bay. The US is currently in negotiations to release the men to countries other than China where they say they will be executed.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara has died at the age of 93. A member of President Kennedy’s team of Harvard-educated “best and the brightest,” McNamara attempted to apply corporate business models and academic methods of analysis to the Vietnam War, Washington Post. McNamara defended his involvement in the Vietnam War and outlined lessons he had learned from its conduct in Errol Morris’s excellent documentary “The Fog of War,” IMDB.
Following up on the outcome of the events we chronicled in last night’s live post, Honduran President Zelaya was not permitted to land in Honduras and was diverted to Nicaragua instead. The internim government has declared that if Zelaya lands on Honduran soil, he will be arrested, CNN International. The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras until Zelaya is reinstated, Washington Post.
US President Obama meets with Russian President Medvedev in Moscow today. The US aims to reach a deal with Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles, BBC News. They will hold a press conference today at 10:30am EDT, Whitehouse.gov [live audio].