The likelihood of a clear winner in the Iraqi election for Prime Minister is decreasing. Votes were cast on Sunday and are still being counted. Current Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki currently has a slight lead. He is working to build a coalition to stay in power, Associated Press.
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said that the timing of Israel’s announcement that it will continue construction of homes in a disputed area East Jerusalem on the first day of Vice President Joe Biden’s visit was “insulting.” The U.S. supports a two-state solution but Israel and Palestine must be able to engage in talks and negotiations over borders before a Palestinian state can be formed, CNN.
45 people were killed in attacks targeting the military in Lahore, Pakistan, Al Jazeera. More on militants in Pakistan, New York Times.
Gunmen raided a Christian aid agency in the Oghi village in Mansehra district in Pakistan. They reportedly singled out 6 Western workers of the U.S.-based World Vision office to kill before blowing up the building, Reuters.
U.S. Vice President Joseph Biden, who is currently in Israel working to jumpstart the Mid-East peace process, said Israel is undermining the effort by continuing to build new settlements in disputed areas, Al Jazeera.
Disputes over borders and settlements are a major block to even starting discussions for the peace process. Background and history on settlements and borders, BBC News.
The stories of Palestinian families evicted from their homes, New York Times.
A U.S. family is calling for Israel to answer for the death of a U.S. activist in Israel in 2003. 23 year-old Rachel Corrie stood in front of a bulldozer as it was moving to raze Palestinian-built homes in a disputed area in Gaza. She was killed by the bulldozer. The Israeli military conducted an invesitgation, but did not find anyone to be at blame. The soldier driving the bulldozer has not been identified, CNN.
Ethnic violence has once again broken out in the troubled city of Jos, Nigeria. 100s may have been killed. Violence has been traded among Muslims and Christians in the region for several years. Nigeria’s government has sent security forces into the town and the violence appears to have abated, BBC News.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden has gone to Israel in an effort to restart Mid-East peace talks, BBC News. One of the major blocks is Israel’s insistence on continuing to build settlements in disputed areas, Al Jazeera.
Votes are still being counted from yesterday’s election in Iraq. Violence did not stop Iraqi citizens from going to the polls. 36 people died in attacks yesterday, Associated Press.
New Haven authorities say that an animal research lab technician may have had a role in the death of Annie Le, a Yale grad student whose body was found stuffed in a crawl space inside a research lab. A source says Le was asphyxiated and that the murder was not random. No arrests have been made so far, Hartford Courant.
An United Nations panel has reported that they have evidence of war crimes committed by both the Israeli army and armed Palestinian groups in Gaza. The panel suggests crimes against humanity may have been committed and that if the situation doesn’t change in six months, they will refer the case to the International Criminal Court. The panel found Hamas was guilty of firing rockets into Gaza, but mostly reprimanded Israel for their behavior, accusing the army of “an overall and continuing policy aimed at punishing the Gaza population.” The group found many instances when civilians were targeted and killed by soldiers, New York Times.
Several mortar or rocket attacks hit the Green Zone in Baghdad where U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is currently visiting, but officials confirm Biden is safe. The mortars hit near the U.S. Embassy and there is no word so far on causalities, BBC News.
A new report say some of the nine arrested British embassy staffers in Iran will be put on trial by the Iranian government. The workers were arrested during protests in Tehran for “helping to incite some of the post-election protests that swept through the country.” Iran says all but one reporter have been released from police custody, but British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said, “We remain deeply concerned about the two members of our staff who remain in detention in Iran,” CNN.
Niger, Nigeria, and Algeria have agreed to begin building an oil pipeline that will move gas through the Sahara, from Nigeria to the Mediterranean. The project will cost $13bn and France’s Total, Anglo-Dutch firm Shell, and Russia’s Gazprom are all reportedly interested in the pipeline. Analysts are worried that significant attacks on the pipeline will occur from Al-Qaeda and rebel groups, BBC News.
26 Pakistani soldiers may be dead after their helicopter crashed on the border of the Khyber and Orakzai tribal region. Officials believe the crash was a result of a technical failure, BBC News.
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden landed in Iraq yesterday in a surprise visit to meet top Iraqi officials and the American troops, USA Today.