Red-shirt protesters, supporters of ousted Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, have converged on Thailand’s capital city of Bangkok to call for new elections, BBC News. the protesters, numbering in excess of 100,000, have shut down parts of Bangkok, New York Times.
5 same-sex couples wed in Mexico City. While civil unions are legal in some parts of Latin America, Mexico City is the first in Latin America to explicitly allow same-sex marriage, BBC News.
A U.S. court has ruled that there is no evidence a vaccine containing thimerosal has caused autism in the cases of three families who brought lawsuits, Reuters.
Amnesty International issued a report condemning maternal deaths in the U.S. The rate of death among pregnant women in the U.S. has doubled in the past 20 years. Lack of access to regular care during pregnancy, particularly among minority women and women living in poverty, endangers both the health of the mother and the child, CNN. Full report, Amnesty International.
Pope Benedict XVI has come under fire for his alleged involvement in the cover-up of a sexual abuse case in Germany in 1980 when he was archbishop, BBC News.
A new report by Amnesty International says that Israel is restricting access to water in Palestine, CNN. Israel’s Water Authority has denied the accusation, Jerusalem Post. Full report, Amnesty International.
Former Bosnian Serb President Biljana Plavsic has been released from prison after serving 6 years of an 11 year sentence for crimes against humanity, BBC News. Factbox on Biljana Plavsic, Reuters. The trial of Bosnian war leader Radovan Karadzic resumed today in a UN court despite his refusal to attend. He is accused of crimes against humanity, including aiding genocide during the Bosnian war from 1992-1995. Karadvic, who is defending himself, claims he needs more time for preparation, AFP.
The families of 3 Americans accused of illegally crossing the Iraqi border into Iran have released video that they claim proves the trio were simply on vacation, Globe and Mail. Family website, Free the Hikers; Video Page.
The U.N.-backed Afghan Election Fraud Commission has excluded votes from 83 polling places, Associated Press.
A Nato probe of the airstrike that targeted two stolen fuel tankers near Kunduz, Afghanistan and also resulted in significant civilians casualties has determined that the German Nato commander who ordered the strike overstepped his bounds, AFP.
Nato’s also been criticized regarding the rescue of kidnapped journalist Stephen Farrell. Farrell’s translator, the Afghan journalist Sultan Munadi was killed in the rescue along with two other civilians and a British solider, CNN.
Japan’s death row conditions are so harsh that many prisoners are going insane reports Amnesty International. 102 people are currently on death row in Japan where criminal trials have a 99% conviction rate. Prisoners are completely isolated and are not allowed out of their cells except brief exercise sessions. One man has been on death row for 40 years, BBC News.
A stampede at a crowded school in Delhi, India resulted in the death of 5 girls and injured at leat 30, IBN.
A Republican member of the California Assembly, Michael Duvall, resigned yesterday after he was inadvertently recorded bragging about affairs he was having with two women, New York Times.
Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf has been called to court in Islamabad to explain himself in an investigation of his removal of 60 judges. In 2007, Musharraf suspended the constitution, declared a state of emergency and sacked the judges who he feared might rule against him, IBN.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague has ruled to redefine a disputed area in Sudan. The Abyei region has rich oil deposits and is fought over by the Muslim north and the Christian south. Both sides have said they will respect the ruling which sought to divide access to the area’s resources equally. South Sudan will hold a vote in 2010 on whether to become a separate country. The violence in Darfur, which is in a separate region, will not be effected by the court ruling, Associated Press.
Amnesty International has released a new report about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles Times.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will meet with US President Barack Obama today. The pair will hold a joint press conference at the White House today at 3pm EDT. Watch live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
President Obama will also hold a primetime press conference tonight at 8pm EDT. It will be carried on the networks as well as live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
Millions turned out in Asia to catch today’s solar eclipse, the longest eclipse of this century, CNN. Images of today’s solar eclipse: Xinhua, IBN.
Stunning video of the eclipse from all across Asia from BBC News.