Tag Archives: Ban Ki-moon

Passage of U.S. health care bill imminent

Democrats appear to have pushed through a final version of the health care reform bill. Final vote on the bill is expected tonight. The bill will impose new limits on health insurance companies, including ending the practice of denying coverage based on pre-exisiting conditions. It will also require individuals to buy health insurance or face a penalty. Details of the final bill, Reuters. Passage of the bill was boosted by concessions by President Obama and Democrats that ensure health care reform will exclude federal payments for abortions. Text of the President’s statement, CNN.  Timeline of the past 100 years of American health care reform, New York Times.

Two weeks after elections in Iraq, the votes are still being counted. Iyad Allawi’s secular coalition narrowly leads over current Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s mainly Shi’ite coalition. Maliki has called for a recount but Iraq’s electoral commission ruled that a recount is not necessary. About 95 percent of the votes have been counted, Reuters.

Two Palestinians were shot by Israeli military in the West Bank today. The military says the men had attempted to stab a soldier, Al Jazeera.

Secretary-General of the United Nations Ban Ki-moon has called for Israeli to end its blockade of the West Bank, BBC News.

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China Celebrates 60th Anniversary of Founding

Massive celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China have begun in China where it is Thursday, October 1.  Full round-up and coverage of the celebrations, Xinhua. Live video, Xinhua. Heavy security will be in force in Tiananmen Square where a large military parade will highlight China’s position as a world power, Voice of America. Live Blog from Reuters reporter Lucy Hornby at Tiananmen Square, Reuters. Memories of Chairman Mao’s declaration of a new China from those who witnessed the event in Tiananmen Square, AFP. China before Mao, ABC Radio National Rear Vision, Transcript and Audio.

Workers at France Telecom has been committing suicide, sometimes at work, at what some have said is an alarming rate. Since France Telecom was privatized a decade ago, workers have complained about the conditions. 24 workers have committed suicide in the past 18 months, including 8 since this summer alone, NPR.

Members of the Forbes 400, the 400 wealthiest individuals in America, collectively lost $300 billion last year. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is #1 on the list with assets worth $50 billion, CNN Money.

A two-day Distracted Driving Summit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking place in Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow. Speakers at the summit called for all states to ban texting while driving, Christian Science Monitor. Summit homepage, DOT. Twitter username DistractedDriving.

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Top Commander Says U.S. Strategy Not Working in Afghanistan

A new report from General Stanley McChrystal says that the U.S.’s strategy in Afghanistan is not working. The priority should be on protecting Afghans from the Taliban and that the U.S. should seek more peaceful engagement with the Taliban, McCrystal said, Christian Science Monitor.

45 Taliban were killed by security forces in the Swat Valley in Pakistan. Pakistan waged a house to house effort to root out Taliban from the Swat Valley earlier this year, Associated Press.

Two firefighters have died while fighting wildfires just north of Los Angeles, California. The fires are driven by high temperatures. A dozen separate fires are raging throughout the  area, threatening over 20,000 homes, ABC News.

Japan’s new leader will be Yukio Hatoyama. After 55 years in power, the Liberal  Democratic Party was defeated in Japan  by Hatoyama’s Democratic Party of Japan in elections held yesterday. Hatoyama will boost government spending, including increasing payments to families with children, Economist. Factbox on policy change challenges, Reuters.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is in Norway today to observe the effects of global climate change on the Arctic. He has made global climate change his top priority. The visit comes amid charges that Ban did not push the U.N. to stop bloodshed in Sri Lanka earlier this year when the government cracked down on Tamil Tiger rebels and ethnic Tamils, Associated Press.

What really happens to electronics when they are recycled? 60 Minutes tracks a shipping container from Denver to Hong Kong and discovers a toxic city in China, 60 Minutes story and video.

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Business Tycoon Found Guilty in Death of Lebanese Pop Star

Two men were convicted of killing Suzanne Tamim, a Lebanese pop singer, last July. Real estate mogul and member of the Egyptian parliament Hisham Talaat Moustafa paid former officer Muhsen el Sukkari $2 million to kill Tamim because he wanted to take her as a second wife but could not because his family objected. It is expected that the men will receive death sentences when they on sentenced on June 25, CNN.

First reported last night, former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun’s death has been ruled a suicide. Roh was accused of accepting $6 million in bribes during his time in office, BBC News.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was permitted to tour a camp for Tamils displaced in the conflict in Sri Lanka, Voice of America.

2 people died and 4 were injured when a tunnel used for smuggling collapsed in Gaza. The tunnels are used by Palestinians to bring goods into Gaza from Egypt because Israel has blocked the borders, Jerusalem Post.

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