More information is available on Major Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychologist who opened fire at Fort Hood in Killeen, Texas yesterday killing 13 people and injuring 30. Although he was initially reported to have been killed, it is now known that Hasan was shot several times by a civilian police officer and is unconscious and under armed guard at a local hospital. Hasan, the son of Palestinian parents who was born in Virginia, is a lifelong Muslim but did not appear to be an extremist. He was harassed after the September 11th attacks. Recently, he had expressed dissatisfaction with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and was suspected of posting comments on the internet that seemed to praise suicide bombers, Associated Press. Witnesses say Hasan was calm and methodical during the shootings, ABC News. Hasan was said to have joined the Army in exchange for college fees and to have tried to gain release from his contract but was denied, Times Online. Hansan’s aunt says he even offered to repay his medical training in exchange for discharge. His aunt said that Hasan’s work as a psychiatrist at Walter Reed Army Medical Center left him deeply disturbed and fearful of being deployed to Iraq, Washington Post.
Civilian police responded to the shooting within 3 minutes of the attack. Sgt. Kimberly Munley is being hailed as a hero for bringing down Hasan despite being shot herself, Associated Press.
Timeline of the shootings, BBC News.
In Yokohama, near Toyko, Japan, a gunman injured 3 debt-collectors before killing himself. The gunman was a member of organized crime in Japan. Violence, especially gun violence, is rare in Japan and is usually associated with the Japanese mafia (yakuza), BBC News.
The deal that would have restored political order in Honduras appears to have fallen through. Ousted president Manuel Zelaya says that he was unable to join the de facto government that has controlled the country since June 28 when Honduran military forced him to leave the country. Roberto Micheletti has been acting as the country’s leader since Zelaya’s exile. An upcoming scheduled presidential election is expected to proceed as planned but the United States has said the outcome will not be recognized as valid unless Zelaya is returned to power first, New York Times.
Ri Gun, a North Korean diplomat, will be allowed to visit the United States later this month where he will discuss the country’s nuclear program, BBC News.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe has announced that he and his party will boycott cabinet meetings and not work with President Robert Mugabe’s party. Mugabe is a very controversial figure and has been condemned internationally for his policies. Tsvangirai says the catalyst for this move was the jailing of Roy Bennett, his deputy agriculture minister-designate, New York Times.
Talks in Honduras remain deadlocked as de facto leader Roberto Micheletti resists reinstating President Manuel Zelaya, the man ousted during a military coup in June. Zelaya says he will give the interim government two days to reach an agreement, Reuters.
Hot Topic: In Mexican Drug War, Investigators Are Fearful.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 10015.86 today, reaching 10,000 for the first time since October of 2008. The boost was thanks to a better-than-expected profit from bank JP Morgan Chase. That marks a 53 percent gain in only seven months, Wall Street Journal.
Confusion has erupted over whether an agreement has been reached in Honduras between the ousted government and coup leaders. Negotiators for ousted President Manuel Zelaya have said an “unified text” has been agree upon, but representatives of interim leader Roberto Micheletti deny this. Talks are likely to resume again tomorrow, BBC News.
The Iraqi government has estimated that 85,000 citizens were violently killed during the 2004 to 2008 American occupation. The estimate does not include foreigners or insurgents. Past reports have placed the number anywhere between 100,000 to over half a million, BBC News.
European officials have criticized Turkey over threats to freedom of expression in the country. This comes after controversy about a $3.9 billion fine against Dogan Yayin, Turkey’s largest media conglomerate, who have been critical of the current government, New York Times.
Honduras has restored civil liberties that were suspended by an emergency decree in September. The decree also shut down two radio stations that supported ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Zelaya is currently holed up in the Brazilian Embassy in Honduras. He was threatened with arrest in a military coup in June. Zelaya’s opponents, led by de facto President Roberto Micheletti, claim Zelaya was attempting to illegally change the country’s constitution so that he could serve a longer term as president. The international community has condemned the coup and refused to accept Mr. Micheletti as the Honduran head of state. Talks brokered by the Organization of American States are expected to commence this week in an effort to resolve the crisis, BBC News.
Ohio Governor Ted Stickland issued orders to delay two scheduled executions today. The decision comes after an execution that was aborted in September because executioners could not find a suitable vein for a lethal injection in a prisoner, Reuters.
The U.S. Supreme Court began its 2009-2010 term today with new Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Washington Post. The Supreme Court declined to hear 2,000 cases, New York Times.
The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has issued new rules about product information and online reviews. The guidelines will include bloggers and will require websites disclose free gifts and payments made for product reviews. The FTC also said that questionable products can no longer be sold with the diclaimer “results not typical,” Associated Press. How will music blogs be affected by the new rules? Idolator.
A new confidential report by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has the information necessary to make a nuclear device. However, the agency has also cautioned that it has no proof Iran has started the complicated physical process of making a weapon, New York Times. Leaked excerpts of the report, Institute for Science and International Security.
Rescue experts from Rapid UK and International Rescue Corps have arrived in Indonesia to help search for victims of a massive earthquake that occurred on Wednesday. 1,100 people have already been declared dead and rescuers fear that another 3,000-4,000 may be trapped under rubble. The earthquake was centered near the city of Padang, BBC News. In pictures, BBC News.
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and defacto President Robert Micheletti have agreed to talks, though it is unlikely the two will meet in person. President Zelaya was forced to leave the country in June after a coup by military leaders. Opponents of President Zelaya claim that he was trying to change the country’s Constitution so that he could serve a longer term as President. The President of the Honduran Congress, Robert Micheletti, was sworn in as the new president in June. However, world leaders have not accepted his presidency and have stated that Mr. Zelaya needs to be reinstalled as president. Mr. Zelaya returned to Honduras in late September and is currently living in the Brazilian Embassy. Soldiers are stationed outside the Embassy ready to arrest Mr. Zelaya if he leaves, Voice of America.
Honduras has set a deadline of 10 days for Brazil to decide whether it wants to force ousted Honduran President Jose Manuel Zelaya out of its embassy in Honduras, CNN.
Just days after admitting to the world that it had a built a secret site for uranium enrichment, Iran test-fired short range missiles on Sunday. The test was conducted by the Revolutionary Guard which protects the country’s clerics and control Iran’s missile program. General Hossein Salami, head of the Revolutionary Guard, said the test was scheduled before the disclosure of the nuclear site, Associated Press.
A man with a metal detector found the world’s largest hoard of Anglo-Saxon treasure in the United Kingdom, including over 1,500 gold and silver items from between 600 and 700 AD. The find is expected to shed more light on the Dark Ages in England after the Romans left around 400 AD, Times Online.
Ken Burns’ “The National Parks: America’s Greatest Idea” premieres on PBS stations tonight. The 12-hour 6 part series will air every night this week and end on Saturday, Los Angeles Times.
U.S. President Barack Obama will address the United Nations General Assembly today. He will call for greater world cooperation and caution that the United States cannot solve the world’s problems alone, Associated Press. UN webcast.
Also making his appearance at the UN for the first time is Libya’s leader Colonel Qaddafi. Since Libya gave up its nuclear ambitions Libya is experiencing greater acceptance on the world stage and currently has one of the rotating seats on the UN Security Council. Controversy has surrounded the visit however, and approval for Qaddafi to stay in New Jersey was rescinded after the release of the Lockerbie bomber, a Libyan who was allowed to leave prison in Scotland because he is suffering from a terminal illness. Protests are planned, BBC News.
Border agents traded gunfire with human traffickers attempting to bring 70 illegal immigrants across the Mexican border into the United States yesterday. Four people were injured, New York Times.
A standoff continues in Honduras where President Jose Manuel Zelaya was deposed in a coup three months ago after the opposition claimed Zelaya was attempting to change the Honduran constitution so that he could serve another term. Zelaya is currently at the Brazilian Embassy in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. The water and power to the embassy have been cut, but it is unlikely soldiers will be sent in. Interim President Roberto Micheletti is calling for Zelaya to agree to hold elections as planned and to turn himself in to the military. Zelaya says he will not return unless he is restored to full presidential power, CNN International.
A massive dust storm in eastern Australia has blanketed Sydney in red dust. Heavy winds blew the dust from the Australian outback. Hail storms, bush fires, and earthquakes are also affecting Australia, Telegraph. In pictures, BBC News.
Honduras has imposed a curfew from 4pm to 7am local time as ousted President Manuel Zelaya makes his return to the country. Zelaya is currently inside the Brazilian embassy. Interim leader Roberto Micheletti has called for Brazil to hand over Zelaya and says Brazil will be held responsible for any violence, BBC News.
More than 100 people have been killed by militiamen in southern Sudan in ethnic clashes. The UN says the Lou Nuer ethnic group attacked civilians and security forces, possibly in retaliation for the deaths of 185 Lou Nuer members last month in the same area, BBC News.
Six people have been killed as flooding in the Southeast U.S. continues. Five of the six killed were in the Atlanta area and many schools have been closed, MSNBC.