NATO has pledged an additional 5,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama announced yesterday that the U.S. would be sending 30,000 additional troops. 42,000 NATO personnel are currently in Afghanistan, CNN. Map of forces in Afghanistan, BBC News. The Taliban has vowed to fight the surge, BBC News. Live blog of the U.S. Senate hearings on Afghanistan, New York Times.
The 5 British sailors who were picked up by Iran after allegedly straying into Iranian waters have been released, BBC News.
More than 1,000 police officers were removed from their posts in the province of Maguindanao where 57 people were massacred on November 23 in a pre-election power struggle. Those killed were family members and supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu who were on their way to register his name for the race for governor of the province as well as journalists covering the event. Andal Ampatuan, Jr., son of the current provincial governor, has been charged with 25 counts of murder and is suspected of arranging the massacre. The federal government removed the police officers, who are suspected of helping or allowing the violence, prior to a full investigation of the massacre. They will be replaced with officers from other parts of the Philippines, Al Jazeera.
In an effort to stamp out free market trade, North Korea is revaluing its currency, the won. Citizens must exchange their cash and there will be an exchange upper limit of 100,000 won (about $700 USD) per family. This will virtually wipe out any wealth an average North Korea has managed to accumulate. Shops will be closed until next week when the new currency becomes valid, Times Online.
Thierry Henry, the French football player responsible for the handball that led to France advancing to the World Cup over the Republic of Ireland, will be investigated by FIFA’s disciplinary committee, BBC Sport. World Cup seeding announced, New York Times.