Tag Archives: Indonesia

Hamas Deal Would Halt Rocket Attacks on Israel

The Palestinian political group Hamas has reached an agreement that other militant groups will stop firing rockets into Israel for a year. The agreement also suggests that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who has been held in Palestine for over 3 years, may be released soon in exchange for hundreds of Palestinian prisoners being held in Israel, Guardian.

23 people are dead after a ferry sank in Indonesia. Over 200 people had to be rescued, BBC News.

The United States is one step closer to health care reform after the U.S. Senate voted last night 60-39 on a procedural motion to move debate further, Voice of America.

Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan had his first hearing for charges in the deaths of 13 people. Hasan, who is paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a civilian police officer, had the hearing in his hospital room. New evidence has emerged that the Federal Bureau of Investigation that the FBI had intercepted emails from Hasan to people connected with al Qaeda but that information was not passed on to the military, BBC News.

A Canadian woman has lost her long-term disability benefits for depression after an insurance agent for her private supplemental insurance saw a picture of her on Facebook smiling and having a good time on vacation, Associated Press.

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Study Says 70,000 Die Yearly from Unsafe Abortions

A new survey from the Guttmacher Institute estimates that 70,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions and millions more are injured. The study found that official laws or regulations prohibiting abortion does not stop the practice from occurring but rather that it only makes the procedure more dangerous and unsafe. The abortion rate is the lowest in the Netherlands (10 in 1000) where most young people report they use two forms of contraception, BBC News.

British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today that he will send an additional 500 troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 9,000 British troops already fighting there, Guardian.

The government of Iraq has released new figures on the number of deaths in the country since the U.S. invasion in 2004. The human rights ministry of Iraq says that at least 85,000 have been killed by bombs, murders, and fighting. The number is based on death certificates issued by the health ministry through 2008, Al Jazeera.

Human rights groups are calling on Israel to release 335 Palestinians being held without a trial. International law allows for detentions without charge or trial only in extraordinary circumstances in which the security of the state is at risk, CNN.

Residents of coastal Indonesia took part in a tsunami drill earlier today. The UN-backed initiative tested warning systems and helped residents learn what to do in the event of a tsunami warning. On December 26, 2004 the region suffered one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history when a massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed 230,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, Reuters.

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Eight U.S. Troops Killed in Afghanistan

Eight U.S. troops and two members of the Afghan National Security Force were killed yesterday in eastern Afghanistan in a large battle against thousands of militants. The NATO-led forces were attacked as tribal militants surrounded two security outposts. A U.S. official says the country will abandon the base, CNN.

The island of Sumatra in Indonesia has been devastated by massive mudslides after last week’s 7.6 magnitude earthquake killed over 600 people. The mudslides have wiped out an entire valley of villages on the island and officials say more than 200 people are trapped in the mud, Wall Street Journal.

More militants in Nigeria are laying down their guns. Militant commanders Akete Tom and Farah Dagogo and their fighters handed over their weapons yesterday and rebel faction leader Government Tompolo says he will disarm today, shortly before the expiration of the amnesty period that offers pledges of cash and jobs for disarmament. Rebel groups have been fighting the government over oil profits since 2006, BBC News.

A White House official says President Obama will take on overturning the controversial ‘Don’t ask, don’t tell’ policy “at the right time.” The policy prohibits gays and lesbians from openly serving in the military, New York Times.

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Romania’s Government Collapses After PSD Resignation

A second major earthquake struck Indonesia yesterday, only a day after a 7.6 magnitude quake that killed at least 770 people. Yesterday’s earthquake, a magnitude 6.8, is reported to have caused damage, but no fatalities have been reported so far. Hundreds of people are still believed to be trapped in the rubble from the the first quake. The death toll from the earthquake and tsunami that hit the islands of Samoa, American Samoa, and Tonga has reached 150, AP.

The Romanian government has collapsed after the resignation of the Social Democrat Party (PSD). The party resigned as a protest against the firing of Dan Nica, the interior minister, after he expressed concern about possible fraud in next month’s elections, BBC News.

An inquest into the death of a 14-year-old girl after receiving a cervical cancer vaccine shows the vaccine did not cause her death. Experts say the HPV vaccine is safe for girls and only one in a million may have a life-threatening reaction to the vaccine, Sky News.

Hot Topic: Unity Is Rallying Cry Ahead of Iraq Elections.

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US Scraps European Missile Defense Shield

In a reversal of an agreement made by the George W. Bush administration, the White House announced today that the U.S. will not go ahead with European missile defense plans. Plans for missiles that were to be put in Poland as well as a radar station station in the Czech Republic have been scrapped. The administration says that Iran’s missile system, which the Bush administration had insisted the installations were designed to counter, is not sufficiently developed to pose a threat, Reuters.

Suicide bombers on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan targeted two NATO vehicles earlier today. At least 6 Italian soldiers were killed as well as 10 Afghan civilians, CNN International.

Indonesia is reporting that a raid has resulted in the death of Islamic militant Noordin Top who is thought to have been the mastermind behind last summer’s bombings of two luxury hotels in Jakarta as well as multiple past bombings. Top had been hunted for the past 9 years, Reuters.

Raymond Clark III, 24, has been arrested in connection with the murder of Yale graduate student Annie M. Le. Police said DNA evidence linked him to the crime scene, New York Times.

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U.S. Economy Shows Signs of Strengthening

A new report shows the U.S. lost fewer jobs in the month of July than expected, possibly showing that the country’s economy is on the rebound. The Dow Jones rose over 113 points today and the unemployment rate dropped .1 percent, shocking analysts who had predicted a .1 percent increase, USA Today.

Police in Indonesia have killed two people who are believed to have planned last month’s hotel attacks in Jakarta. Five others were arrested and explosives were seized. Reports suggest Malaysia’s Noordin Mohammad Top, considered the mastermind, may have either been arrested or killed, but police have not confirmed this, AP.

As it’s August, the Perseid Meteor Shower will be in the skies this month, with the peak being seen on the 11th and 12th, SPACE.

Hot Topic: Sea change in store for supermarkets?

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Live Post: Deadly Bomb Blasts at Two Jakarta Hotels

Two upscale hotels in Jakarta, Indonesia have been the sites of bombings in the last few hours, and doctors say at least nine are dead. The Marriott and the Ritz-Carlton hotels were both attacked. Reports say the second explosion occurred five minutes after the first and that the Manchester United football team was scheduled to stay at the Ritz-Carlton on Sunday, BNO.

One of the at least 50 people injured (11 foreigners) is Toh Shin-woo, a popular South Korean fashion model, Yonhap. Four of the dead are foreigners. New reports from eyewitnesses are saying at least one bomb was the work of a suicide bomber and that the bombs went off inside the hotels.

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China Sends 1000s of Troops to Urumqi to Quell Unrest

Thousands of paramilitary police troops have been sent to the capital city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province in China in an effort to stop the violence that has erupted between ethnic Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs. 156 people died in riots on Sunday. In addition to the huge show of force, China has also imposed a curfew in the city. President Hu Jintao left the G8 summit early yesterday to deal with the situation from Beijing, Associated Press.

You can read about the riots, which the Chinese government blames solely on the Uigurs, from the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua. For the Uighur perspective, see World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and, for excellent video, Uighur News.

The G8 (Group of 8: US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) summit is underway in L’Aquila, Italy. L’Aquila, the site of devastating earthquakes last April that killed 300 people and left 45,000 homeless, was chosen as the venue as a show of support and a promise of rebuilding. Topics will include the current economic crisis, the environment, and the situation in Iran, CNN.

Researchers in England say they have made human sperm out of stem cells. BBC News has a video tour of the Newcastle lab with an explanation of how the process works.

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Costa Rica will play host to talks to end the current coup/political crisis in Honduras starting on Thursday, AFP.

Results from this week’s elections in Indonesia are expected on July 25th. Exit polling indicates that President Yudhoyono should handily win reelection. Yudhoyono’s goals include continuing economic growth and stamping out corruption. Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world after India and the US. It is comprised of 17,000 islands and is a Muslim majority country.  In a huge electoral operation, more than 176 million people were eligible to vote at 450,000 polling stations. Voting is said to have gone smoothly, Reuters.

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