In a second referendum vote, Ireland has voted in favor of the Lisbon Treaty, which aims to reform the workings of the European Union. A first referendum was held in June 2008 and only 10 out of 43 parliamentary constituencies were in favor of the treaty. In contrast, this time 41 constituencies voted in favor. Ireland was the only EU nation to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, Guardian UK. The Telegraph has posted a Q&A of the treaty here.
A Hamas official is denying reports that the Palestine National Authority will control the Gaza Strip after an agreement between Hamas and Fatah. A reconciliation deal is expected to be signed later this month in Cairo and some reports say Palestine will hold official elections next year, Xinhau.
Three foreign aid workers held hostage for three months have been released in Somalia. The workers, who work for Action Against Hunger, were kidnapped in Kenya by about 10 Somali gunmen. It is not known if a ransom was paid for their release, but they are all reported to be in good health and safe, BBC News.
Some parts of the U.S. will begin to receive H1N1 vaccines early next week. 600,000 doses of the nasal spray FluMist will be spread across 21 states and more will be sent out later in the week, USA Today.
Hot Topic: From Inside Military, Strong Rebuke Of Ban On Gays.
Famed broadcast journalist Walter Cronkite has died at the age of 92. Cronkite, named “the most trusted man in America,” was the anchor of the CBS Evening News from 1962 to 1981. He broadcasted such events as the Apollo 11 launch, the Vietnam War, and Nixon’s impeachment, New York Times.
A second French hostage has been handed over to al-Shabab, a Muslim terrorist group in Somalia. Another man was taken by the group on Thursday and the Somali government says the group is known for their public executions. The two hostages were part of a team training government troops in Mogadishu, BBC News.
The space shuttle Endeavour has linked up with the international space shuttle for a 16-day mission. The number of crew members on board is now at 13, from six. NASA says they are tracking a piece of “space junk” that may force the station to change its position, CNN.
Iran is still in turmoil, more than a month after the controversial presidential elections declared incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner. Today, large groups protested, even amid reports of detained protesters being tortured by police over the last month, AP.
59 civilians were killed in Iraq this week. A U.S. soldier shot and killed a civilian driver yesterday after the driver did not stop when he was signaled to. In a separate incident, a driver was killed in a head-on collision with an U.S. Army Stryker vehicle, CNN.
An Italian Red Cross worker that was held hostage for six months in the Philippines has been released. Eugenio Vagni, 62, was being held by Muslim rebels who called for an end of military operations in the area and a withdrawal of troops. A ransom was requested in exchange for Vagni, but officials say no ransom was paid, BBC News.
Gunmen have killed five federal agents and two soldiers in Mexico in retribution for the arrest of a prominent member of the La Familia drug cartel. The gunmen threw grenades and shot at police stations in the town of Morelia and in five other cities, New York Times.
Thousands of Bosnia Muslims remembered today the events the took place in Srebrenica in 1995, when what is believed to be 8,000 men and boys were killed by Serb forces. The killings were “Europe’s worst massacre since World War II,” Sky News.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will back a two-state solution for Palestine, but only if Palestine is completely disarmed. Under his conditions, Palestine would not be allowed an army, would have no way of smuggling weapons, and would have no control over its own air space. The Prime Minister also said he was open to immediately having peace discussions with Palestine, BBC News.
Nine foreigners have been kidnapped in Yemen by Shia rebels. The group is comprised of mostly women and children, with seven Germans, a Briton and a Korean. Two of those kidnapped had been working in the country as nurses, BBC News.
We’ve been extensively covering the Iranian election chaos the past few days, and while we can’t give out much more confirmed information (foreign journalists are being expelled, power is down, and the only info is coming from Twitter), we can give you a brief rundown of the situation as it stands now.
We hear that students at a university in Tehran have sparred with police and eyewitness reports say 15 are severely injured and over 100 students have been arrested. A video was posted on Youtube earlier of what appeared to be a protester beaten to death by police, but it has since been taken down. Those who are supporting the Mousavi supporters are urged to wear green tomorrow, no matter where in the world you are. Here’s a great New York Times article with info on the unrest in Iran.
Nine policeman in Peru have been killed by Amazonian indigenous protesters during a rescue operation at a petroleum facility. Protesters had kidnapped 38 officers, of which 22 were rescued and seven others are still missing. The protesters were angry with the government for drilling for oil and gas on ancestral land. Fighting in Bagua, Peru began Friday, killing 22 tribesman and 11 officers. 5 civilians were also killed. The violence was the worst in the country since the 1990s, BBC News.
Juarez, Mexico seemed to be recovering from their deadly drug wars, but violence is spiking again. Officials say the amount of executions performed in broad daylight is much higher than at this time last year. Two drugs cartels in the city are fighting for control of the drug trafficking routes that enter the U.S. Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, NPR.
Longshot Summer Bird won today’s Belmont Stakes race, denying jockey Calvin Borel the chance to be the only jockey in history to win all three Triple Crown races on different horses. Borel rode Mine That Bird, the horse he rode in his Kentucky Derby win, and placed third, SI.
Svetlana Kuznetsova easily defeated #1 ranked Dinara Safina in the women’s finals of the French Open. Kuznetsova won in only 74 minutes, winning the frist two sets 6-4 and 6-2. Tomorrow, Roger Federer will play Robin Soderling in an attempt to win the only Grand Slam title that has alluded him in his career, ESPN.
U.S. President Obama spoke at Omaha Beach in France today to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Read a summary and quotes from his speech here.
Around 10:20 local time in Jamaica, an airplane was taken hostage by a man who sneaked onto the plane. There have been conflicting reports that one person has been killed. The CanJet plane, which was headed to Halifax, Canada, is still at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
Update: 167 passengers have been released, 7 people are still on the plane. No one has been shot, although a shot was fired. The 7 people include the pilot, 4 flight attendants, and 2 passengers.
Jamaica Radio is reporting the man’s intention was to rob the passengers aboard the plane.
2nd Update: The two passengers on board a hijacked plane in Jamaica have been released, 5 crew still on board. The airport is on lockdown. Continue reading
A British man who was taken hostage by Nigerian militants seven months ago has finally been freed. Robin Hughes, an oil worker, was captured by The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) along with 26 other workers. All the other hostages were released months ago, except for Matthew Maguire who is still being held captive. Hughes appeared to be uninjured, Sky News.
The public is now working on helping free American journalist Roxana Saberi, the woman being detained in Iran for “spying.” President Obama commented earlier this week, saying he was deeply disappointed in the situation, but as America has no diplomats in Tehran, they can do little to help. The website Free Roxana is updating the situation frequently and we recommend you follow Free Roxana on Twitter.
Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, and a handful of other nations have all joined the U.S. in boycotting the U.N.’s upcoming race summit. The U.S. announced earlier that they would not attend because they fear it will become an anti-Semitic and anti-Israel forum, BBC News.
Read our earlier update of the man charged with the deaths of 5 young children in Texas.
Thailand remains in turmoil after protests all week. Today the government has declared a state of emergency and local news sources are reporting that tanks are patrolling Bangkok. Former Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra is stoking the unrest and asking dissenters to revolt against the government, which they claim was not democratically elected since the current government ousted Thaksin in 2006 during a coup. Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva has refused to step down, Sky News.
The Sri Lankan government has declared a temporary ceasefire with the Tamil Tigers and will not launch any military offensives on them until the truce is over. The battles between the two have put Sri Lanka in the middle of a civil war with tens of thousands of civilians trapped in the fighting. The truce is meant to allow civilians time to leave the area, BBC News.
Conservationists have found a new species of orangutan in a remote part of Indonesia. The team estimates there are 1,000 to 2,000 of the animal in the area, which would give a big boost to the endangered species. Before the discovery, scientists said there were only between 50,000 to 60,000 orangutans left on Earth, Associated Press.
BREAKING: The American ship capatain who had been held hostage by Somali pirates has been freed. Three of the four pirates holding Captain Phillips have been killed and the fourth is in custody, BNO.