Tag Archives: Italy

Fire at Russian Nightclub Kills 101

American Amanda Knox, 22, has been found guilty for the murder of her British roommate Meredith Kercher by an Italian jury. The case has garnered worldwide attention, in part due to Knox’s optimism that she would be acquitted of all charges. Her former boyfriend was also found guilty and Knox has been sentenced to 26 years in prison, CNN.

A fire at a Russian club has killed over 100 people. The fire occurred in the city of Perm and is believed to have by caused by fireworks, which were set off inside the club, BBC News.

Two Rwandan peacekeepers have been killed in Darfur by Sudan rebels. The peacekeepers were a part of the group Unamid, which have seen 19 of their workers killed in the area in the last two years, BBC News.

The opening matches and groups were set for the 2010 World Cup earlier today. Group G is largely considered the “Group of Death,” with Brazil, Portugal, and Ivory Coast all in the group. The U.S. and England will play a heavily anticipated match on June 12, CDB.

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Americans Sentenced to Prison in Italy Abduction Case

The Israeli Navy said today that it has seized an Iranian container ship carrying weapons. The large array, which included 600 tons of rockets, guns and other weapons, was expected to be shipped to the militia of the Islamist Hezbollah movement, Washington Post.

Officials have confirmed that a cat in Iowa has contracted the H1N1 virus, making it the first known case of swine flu in a feline. The cat has recovered, but two ferrets in Nebraska and Oregon have died from the virus. Many other kinds of influenza strains have seen human to cat transmission, and officials say it would be wise to take precautions around pets if infected with H1N1, AP.

Almost two dozens Americans have been sentenced to five years in jail by an Italian court on charges of seizing a suspected terrorist in Italy. The man, Abu Omar, says he was nabbed off the streets in Milan in 2003 and then sent to Egypt where he was tortured. Most of the convicted are suspected by Italy of being CIA agents. None of the convicted were arrested or stood trial, making them essentially international fugitives and unable to ever return to the country, CNN.

The trial of Amanda Knox, the American woman accused of murdering her British roommate as they studied abroad in Italy, is nearing its end. Knox has maintained her innocence, and what once looked like a slam dunk conviction is now not so clear. The prosecution’s biggest piece of evidence against Knox was a knife found with her DNA on it, but supporters say the scene was too distorted by police for a conviction. The jury will begin deliberations on December 4, CNN.

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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.

Coming Up:

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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Ahmadinejad and Mousavi Both Declare Victory in Iranian Election

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi have both declared victory after Friday’s presidential elections, but election officials say Ahmadinejad is currently leading with almost 70% of the vote. Mousavi, who is popular in the cities and with students, says there are irregularities in the results, AP.

Two climbers have fallen to their deaths on Alaska’s Mt. McKinley. John Mislow, 39, of Newton, Mass., and Andrew Swanson, 36, of Minneapolis were roped together and officials say there are still not sure what events caused the fall, but they did fall at least 2,000 feet. Rangers noted that the two were experienced climbers, AP.

Amanda Knox, the American woman accused of killing her British roommate in Italy in 2007, took the stand today to prove her innocence. Knox says she was beaten by Italian police and that they tried to force her into a confession. Meredith Kercher, who was studying abroad in Italy, was found dead with her throat slashed in their shared apartment, BBC News.

Hot Topic: CNN has an interesting article with seven stories of the Civil War that few Americans are taught in school. Read the article here.

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Captain Attempts Escape from Pirates; US Warships en route

Drama continues on the Gulf of Aden. Captain Richard Phillips tried to escape by jumping from the lifeboat where he has been held captive by Somali pirates. He was recaptured. Additional pirates with hostages are heading toward the area in hope of having more negotiating power when the U.S. military forces action. The USS Bainbridge has been in the area since yesterday and additional US warships are en route, USA Today. CNN Video.

Vice President Joe Biden will take the lead in the drive to persuade the US Senate to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, Washington Post.

A suicide bombing at a police headquarters in Mosul killed 5 American soldiers and 2 Iraqi police, New York Times.

State funeral for more than 200 victims of Italian earthquake, Telegraph.

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U.S. Navy Ship in Standoff with Somali Pirates

U.S. Navy destroyer, the USS Bainbridge, has reached the Maersk Alabama, the cargo ship that was attacked by pirates yesterday. The pirates were fought off the ship yesterday by its American crew but are holding the ship’s captain hostage, CNN.

Britain speeds up raids after top counterterrorism chief accidentally reveals details of the plan. Bob Quick was exciting his car when news photographers took pictures of a plan for raids he held in his hand. The raids, which were planned for this morning, had to be moved up to yesterday afternoon. 12 men are currently being held and Quick has resigned, Guardian.

Death count in Italy’s earthquake reaches 279. The rescue search has been extended until Sunday. Italy will observe a national day of mourning tomorrow, Associated Press.

Protests over the recent election continue in Georgia. 60,000 protesters gathered outside Georgia’s parliament in Tbilisi to call for the resignation of Georgian president Mikheil Saakashvili, New York Times.

Tamils continue their protests throughout the world. In Ottawa, Tamil supporters have blocked off roads surrounding Parliament causing major delays throughout the city. Tamils are a minority in Sri Lanka and have been in conflict with the Sri Lankan government for 30 years. The Tamil Tigers have ruthlessly emerged as the representative of Tamils in Sri Lanka by eliminating other Tamil protest groups. The Tamil Tigers are an internationally recognized terrorist organization. Sri Lanka has stepped up its attacks on the group and, because media access is extremely limited, the extent of the violence is unknown. Tamils in Ottawa are demanding to meet with officials from the Canadian government before they will end their occupation of the roads, CTV.

Tamil Protesters Shut Down Ottawa Streets

Tamil Protesters Shut Down Ottawa Streets

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Somali Pirates Hold Hostage American Ship Captain

A U.S. boat captain is being held hostage by Somali pirates in the waters off the coast of Africa. The pirates attacked the Maersk Alabama, an American ship, over 12 hours ago. There were early reports that the Americans on board had taken back the ship, but the pirates still have the boat’s captain hostage in a separate lifeboat. A U.S. warship has reached the scene and many more are expected to follow. To date, no hostages have been harmed by Somali pirates and all previous ransoms have been paid, CNN. For more information, look at the ICC Commercial Crime Service’s site, which includes a live piracy map, ICC-CSS.

The death toll from Italy’s earthquake early Monday morning has risen to 272. There was some good news for workers relentlessly digging through the rubble – a woman was found alive today after surviving for 2 days in the wreckage, NPR.

The U.S., Russia, Great Britain, China, France, and Germany have agreed to invite Iran for a talk about their nuclear program. The six countries are hoping to find a diplomatic solution to the growing problem of Iran’s nuclear program, which Iran claims is being developed for “civilian purposes.” The inclusion of the U.S. in the talks signals a new approach from the country, as opposed to Bush’s response in the past, BBC News.

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100,000 Red Shirt Protesters March in Bangkok

Somali pirates hijacked a Danish-owned container ship with 20 American crew members aboard. This is the sixth hijacking this week. Somali pirates target the Gulf of Aden which connects the Red Sea with the Arabian Sea and the Indian Ocean. Over 21,000 ships pass through the Gulf of Aden a year. Most of the pirates are based in Somalia which currently has no real government. Because most of the traffic is commercial, the pirates have been very successful in getting millions of dollars in ransom in exchange for release of the ships. In this case, the Maersk Alabama was carrying aid to Mombasa, Kenya, MSNBC.

100,000 protesters in Thailand called for the resignation of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva. The protesters, who wear red shirts, are  supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. Thaksin was overthrown in a military coup in 2006. Thailand’s government has been in turmoil since then. In 2008 anti-Thaksin protesters, wearing yellow shirts, took control of government buildings and shut down Thailand’s airports. Their demands were met when two pro-Thaksin prime ministers were removed from office. Prime Minister Abhisit came into power last December, but the red shirt supporters say he was not democratically elected. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy under King Bhumibol Adulyadej who has been ruling since 1946. The King has played a role in Thai politics and is credited with helping Thailand’s transition to democracy in the 1990s, Associated Press.

The Moldova uprising we reported on earlier was in large part composed of students who organized via Facebook and Twitter, or as CNN ominously puts it, were “summoned by Facebook or Twitter.” BBC News slideshow documenting the destructive and violent turn of the protests.

Official death toll from Monday’s earthquake in central Italy rises to 260, Fox News.

Soyuz, a Russian spacecraft carrying two cosmonauts and Richard Garriott, an American space tourist back to Earth from the International Space Station, landed safely in Kazakhstan yesterday, Space.com. Richard Garriott’s website with mission updates.

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