China now boasts 130 individuals worth more than $1 billion U.S. At the top of the list is auto entrepreneur Huang Guangyu, Reuters.
Pakistan has started its military offensive in South Waziristan. Pakistani officials say that 80 percent of militants attacks are planned in the region. Bombers destroyed 15 houses in the Makeen, Ladha and Barwand regions of South Waziristan. Ground troops will go into the area later this week, Associated Press.
U.S. President Barack Obama has approved 13,000 support troops to be sent to Afghanistan. The troops will be medical officers and engineers, etc, not combat troops. The lead general in Afghanistan, General Stanley McChrystal, has said that he needs a significant increase in troops if the mission has a chance of succeeding, Voice of America. Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he would welcome more troops. Karzai is still under heat for the widespread fraud reported during the recent presidential election, Reuters.
Though neither qualified for the 2010 World Cup, teams from Turkey and Armenia will play a football match on Wednesday as part of the renewed diplomatic relations between the two countries, AFP.
One family’s battle with cancer has become a battle for health care, CNN.
“I don’t think I could bear to listen to those words again. … ‘You have cancer,’ ” Elder said. “I’ve said to my husband, if I start to get sick, just set me up with a nice pill cocktail on a beach, because nobody cares. That’s the message you hear every day from insurance companies.”
Six gunmen disguised as military attacked Pakistan’s military headquarters in the city of Rawalpindi earlier today. 4 of the men were killed and 2 were able to escape. 6 troops were killed in the attack, Voice of America. The 2 escaped men are now said to be holding military personnel hostage in the compound, BBC News.
3 people arrested during the protests that followed Iran’s disputed presidential election last June have been sentenced to death, Al Jazeera.
Turkey and Armenia are expected to sign an agreement today that will reestablish diplomatic ties and reopen the border. The two countries have been in conflict for over a century. A key issue, Armenia’s insistence that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians near the end of the Ottoman Empire was genocide, was not explicitly addressed but the agreement calls for a scientific review of historical events, Associated Press.
In a search for water, NASA crashed two spacecraft on the surface of the Moon, Scientific America.
The Iraqi suicide attack death toll from this morning has risen to 87 dead, making it the deadliest day in Iraq this year. 28 people were killed in central Baghdad and over 50 wounded by a female suicide bomber. There was a piece of good news from the war-torn country: Omar al-Baghdadi, leader of an al Qaeda-linked umbrella group, was captured in Baghdad yesterday, CNN.
The United Nations is sending a relief team to Sri Lanka to help over 50,000 civilians caught in a civil war between the government and a rebel group, the Tamil Tigers. Doctors Without Borders volunteers told BBC News that the hospitals in the area are overflowing, with one hospital having 400 beds for 2,000 injured or sick people, BBC News.
Turkey and Armenia have agreed to work on fixing their strained relations. The two countries have been on the outs for decades, notably because Turkey refuses to recognize the 1915 genocide of over a million Ottoman Armenians. The statement from Turkey’s Foreign Minister did not say how they would mend relations, but did say Switzerland was acting as a mediator, NY Times.
The AP is saying Iraq’s own tally has recorded 87,215 civilians dead since 2005, at a minimum. The tally only includes violent deaths, such as bombings, execution-style shootings, and beheadings. The numbers put the total of deaths since the U.S. war started in 2003 well over 100,000, NPR.