Tag Archives: Japan

Aftermath of the earthquake in Chile

A deadly 8.8 magnitude earthquake struck Chile Saturday morning. More than 24 hours later, 300 are dead in Chile as a result of the quake and damages are expected to total into the tens of billions of dollars. Some residents in the town most affected by the quake, Concepcion, are still trapped under rubble, BBC News.

The earthquake will also effect global markets because Chile’s copper mines and oil refineries have been shut down, Reuters.

A tsunami alert that was issued for the entire Pacific has been lifted. Japan is maintaining a tsunami alert and has evacuated residents of coastal areas but the danger has mostly passed, Vancouver Sun.

Recent major earthquake timelines, Al Jazeera.

Photos of the quake, CNN.

Maps and info on the earthquake from the U.S. Geological Survey, USGS.

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Suspects in Coptic Christian murders arrested in Egypt

3 suspects have been arrested in Egypt in connection with a drive-by shooting that killed 7 people leaving a service at a Coptic Christian church last week, BBC News.

A Japanese whaling ship collided with a U.S.-based anti-whaling activist ship in waters near Antarctica earlier this week, Al Jazeera.

Discussion of the lapses in security leading to the Christmas Day terrorist attempt on a Detroit plane, PBS Newshour.

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Suicide Car Bomb Kills 17 in Kabul

17 people were killed after a car bomb exploded in a suicide attack near the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Al Jazeera. India’s influence in Afghanistan, BBC News. A Pentagon military task force will look at reforming prisons in Afghanistan to end the influence of al Qaeda on inmates, New York Times.

In a video message, an al Qaeda official calls for ethnic Muslims in China, known as Uighurs, who live mostly in China’s western province of Xinjiang, to wage holy war against the Chinese government. Tensions have been rising in the region as more ethnic Han Chinese move to the area looking for work, CNN.

Typhoon Melor hit Japan yesterday, killing 3 and injuring at least 64, Japan Times.

Herta Mueller was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Mueller’s work depicts the harsh conditions of life under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, BBC News.

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Japan’s Ruling Party Falls in Polls

Japan will hold elections this weekend. Economic conditions, including unemployment which is at a 60 year high, have damaged the popularity of Japan’s ruling party- the Liberal Democratic Party. Polls favor the Democratic Party of Japan which is more environmentally friendly and less responsive to business needs than the LDP, New York Times.

In what was said to have  been a heated discussion just a day after the Afghan election last week, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke brought up the question of ballot-stuffing and fraud with current president Hamid Karzai. Karzai is leading with 17% of the ballots counted. If Karzai does not receive more than 50% of the vote, a run-off election will be held. Holbrooke said that a run-off would help to legitimize the election. Final results are expected to be in by September 17, Times Online.

North and South Korea will restart family reunions of families who were separated when Korea was split at the 38th parallel in 1953, Yonhap.

A 13-year-old Dutch girl, Laura Dekker, who wants to sail around the world solo has been placed in temporary custody as a ward of the state until the court makes its final decision as to whether she will be allowed to go, Voice of America.

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U.N. General Says Darfur War Is Over

A California woman who was kidnapped in 1991 when she was 11 has been found alive. Jaycee Lee Dugard was abducted 18 years ago at a bus stop, and police say she lived with her abductors, Phillip and Nancy Garrido, this whole time. Phillip Garrido is a convicted sex offender and was imprisoned for rape. Police say Garrido fathered two children with Jaycee, with the first being born when she was only 14. Garrido also apparently kept Jaycee and her children hidden in tents in his backyard, Reuters.

The UN’s military commander in Darfur says the war in the region is over. Gen. Martin Agwai insists the violence between the government and rebel groups is over and the remaining violence and crime is due to “banditry, localized issues, people trying to resolve issues over water and land at a local level. But real war as such, I think we are over that.” Gen Agwai believes the current problems in the country are political, and many in the country are agreeing with him, BBC News.

Richard Holbrooke, the U.S.’ envoy to Afghanistan, and current President Hamid Karzai reportedly had an “explosive” meeting on August 21 in which Holbrooke questioned the president about election fraud in last Thursday’s elections. Holbrooke raised the possibility of a second round run-off to legitimize the results, after which Karzai become angry and ended the meeting early, BBC News.

Japan’s unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent last month, which is a record for the country, Bloomberg.

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Pakistani Refugees Return to Swat Valley

2 million refugees are returning to Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Swat Valley residents were evacuated from the area while the Pakistani military conducted an intensive fight against the Taliban. The area is safe for families to return to but many homes have been destroyed, Voice of America.

Unrest continues in the Chinese city of Urumqi between Muslim Uighurs and the Chinese government. Two Uighurs were shot and killed by police today. The police were trying to prevent the men from attacking another Uighur, according to official reports, BBC News .

The Prime Minister of Japan is expected to call an election on August 30. His party, the LDP, which has been in power in Japan for most of the past 30 years, suffered losses in recent Toyko elections prompting a vote of no confidence, Reuters.

Suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk has been charged with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder for his alledged involvement in the gassing of prisoners at a concentration camp in Poland during World War II, Associated Press.

The spaceshuttle Endeavor is set for another launch attempt this evening. This will be the fifth try on this go round, Associated Press.

South Korean media reports that Kim Jong-il is suffering from pancreatic cancer, Christian Science Monitor.

Sonia Sotomayor, US President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, will begin her Congressional confirmation hearings today at 10am EDT. USA Today is live blogging the hearings. Watch live on CSPAN.

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Japan Mobilizes Missile Defense Shields

Japan has mobilized its missile defense capabilities in response to satellite images showing the continuation of launch preparations by North Korea. North Korea claims it plans to launch a rocket carrying a communications satellite into space, but intelligence experts believe North Korea will instead test a ballistic missile. If the missile is shot down by Japan’s Self-Defense Force, North Korea may argue it is an act of war by Japan, Asia Times.

The International Olympic Committee announced that the Olympic torch will no longer be relayed around the world prior to the Olympic Games. Protests of China’s human rights abuses plagued the relay in 2008. The ban officially begins for the 2014 games in Sochi, Russia but both the 2010 winter games in Vancouver and the 2012 summer games in London will feature home country-only relays, New York Times.

According to a publicly released report, Russia plans to create a permanent military force in the Arctic to patrol disputed lands and protect Russian interests in natural resources, including oil and natural gas. Global climate change is predicted to make new areas of the Arctic accessible over the next few decades. Disputes over control of the region are expected to arise amongst Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark and the United States all of which have borders touching the Arctic, BBC  News.

An editorial in the British medical journal, The Lancet, condemns Pope Benedict XVI’s comments concerning condom use. In an interview with a French journalist while visiting Africa, the Pope said the problem of AIDS in Africa “cannot be overcome by the distribution of condoms: on the contrary, they increase it.” The Lancet editorial responded that the Pope’s statement is “outrageous and wildly inaccurate,” United Press International. The Lancet (subscription required).

Next week: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), a military alliance of  democratic states in North America and Europe, meets on April 3rd and 4th in Baden-Baden and Kehl, Germany, and in Strasbourg, France, NATO homepage.

London hosts world summit of the Group of 20 countries (G20) beginning on April 2. The summit will be held in London’s financial district and is expected to draw protests. The G20 is made up of the finance ministers and central bank governors of 19 countries: Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States of America, and also the European Union who is represented by the rotating Council presidency and the European Central Bank, G20 homepage.

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