11 high ranking security officials and 50 police officers have been arrested in Iraq on suspected involvement in last Sunday’s devastating double bombings in Baghdad. Those arrested include guards at the 15 checkpoints the bombers had to pass to gain entrance to the high security zone where the bombings took place, Reuters.
U.S. President Barack Obama met the returning coffins of 18 service members killed this week in Afghanistan at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last night, Times Online.
Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s special envoy for torture investigation, was denied entrance into Zimbabwe yesterday despite an invitation from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Control of the country is currently shared by Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe. Nowak was going to Zimbabwe to investigate reports that President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has begun to use violence against members of Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) party, BBC News.
The yacht belonging to Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple on a sailing holiday in the Indian Ocean, has been found. The couple sent out a distress signal before they were picked up by pirates and are now being held on a boat off the coast of Somalia, AFP. Q & A on Somali Piracy, BBC News. The Prime Minister of Somalia met with relatives of the captive couple in Britian, ITN. Transcript of Paul Chandler’s call to ITV news, Telegraph.
The 2009 Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to U.S. President Barack Obama. The announcement came as a surprise to many as Obama is only nine months into his four-year term in office. Obama’s work to reduce nuclear arsenals and his outreach to the Muslim world are included among his “extraordinary” diplomatic efforts, the committee judges said, Reuters. Arab reaction to the announcement is predominantly positive, Voice of America. Nobel Peace Prize facts and figures, Washington Post. President Obama will make a statement at 11:00 AM EDT, C-SPAN.
A car bombing in Peshawar, a city in northwestern Pakistan near the Afghan border, has killed at least 50. As Pakistan’s army prepares for renewed battle against the Taliban in South Waziristan, attacks are expected to increase, Bloomberg.
A woman who became famous for her stance supporting 2nd Amendment rights by bringing a loaded gun to her daughter’s soccer game in Lebanon, Pennsylvania on September 11, 2008 has been found shot in her home, along with her husband, in a suspected shootout. The couple’s three children fled the house when the shooting started and are safe, CNN.
26 are dead in the latest mining accident in China. Two elevators failed at a tin ore mine in central China. China has the most dangerous mines in the world, Associated Press.
According to current election returns, current President Hamid Karzai and main opponent Abdullah Abdullah are about even in the Afghan presidential race. Only 10 percent of votes are in, and there are already 50 complaints of election fraud, but many believe a runoff election will be needed, AP.
More than 4o people have been killed in a car bomb blast in Kandahar, Afghanistan. The city is a stronghold of the Taliban, though no one has yet claimed responsibility. 60 people were injured. Four U.S. soldiers were also killed in the country while patrolling, but a NATO spokesman would not reveal where in the country the troops were located, BBC News.
The White House is predicting that over the next decade, America will rack up a $9 trillion debt – more than the history of American debt combined. The economy is also predicted to shrink 2.5 to 2.8 percent this year. However, President Obama pointed out that there are signs that the U.S. will come out of the recession soon, such as the success of the cash for clunkers program, which ended yesterday, AP.
NASA will attempt to launch the Space Shuttle Discovery early Wednesday morning at 1:10 am. The shuttle attempted to take off today, but thunderstorms prevented the launch. Discovery will take a 13-day journey to link up with the International Space Station, SPACE. You can follow @Astro_Jose, crew member Jose Hernandez, on Twitter for updates.
A suicide car bombing on a road between the cities of Jalalabad and Kabul has killed 4 people in Afghanistan. Attacks are increasing ahead of Thursday’s elections. A provincial candidate was killed in an attack by the Taliban, Al Jazeera. The BBC has found evidence of fraud in the Afghan elections. Thousands of voter cards are for sale. It is also alleged that all major candidates have paid local leaders for votes. 17 million people are eligible to vote, but are being discouraged by the Taliban who say they will target anyone involved in the elections, BBC News.
Al Jazeera report on election security:
Former South Korea president Kim Dae-jung has died at the age of 85. President from 1998 to 2003, Kim won a Nobel Peace Prize for his work to promote democracy and reconciliation with North Korea, Yonhap.
The Russian Navy, which found the missing cargo ship Arctic Sea off the coast of Africa yesterday, has detained 8 accused hijackers, CNN.
64 people are feared dead after an accident at a Russian hydroelectric plant in Siberia, AP.
Sharon Keller, a judge in Texas, is on trial for professional misconduct for not allowing a man on death row to file a last minute appeal simply because the appeal came in after normal office hours. The man was executed by lethal injection, USA Today.
3 men (1 American and 2 Russians) have been arrested in the biggest case of identity theft in the U.S. The men hacked into online security systems to steal information from 130 million debit and credit cards. Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
The White House has relaxed its insistence that any health care reform must have a public option (a government plan that people could buy like private insurance) and has expressed an openness to nonprofit health co-ops instead, New York Times.