Tag Archives: L’Aquila

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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Update: Death Toll from L’Aquila Earthquake 295

On April 5, 2009, Citizen’s Daily Brief provided live reports of the tragic earthquake in central Italy. Thousands were injured and many buildings in the ancient city of L’Aquila were destroyed. Pope Benedict XVI recently went to the devastated area to comfort the victims, Reuters. The death toll from the earthquake is 295. In mid-April a 19 year-old names Tonino Colonna died in hospital from injuries sustained during the quake, Times Online.


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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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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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Breaking: 5.6 Magnitude Aftershock Rocks Already Devastated Central Italy

At 7:47 pm local time, central Italy experienced a 5.6 magnitude aftershock. The epicenter of the earthquake was 55 miles from Rome. According to Twitter reports, the strong aftershock was felt in Rome. The Telegraph reports that an Italian geologist, Giampaolo Giuliani, predicted months ago that the region was due for another strong earthquake, but he was reported to the police for scaremongering. Tremors have been experienced in L’Aquila, near the epicenter of the earthquakes, and surrounding areas since January. How Stuff Works has more information about the warnings and about the geological causes of earthquakes.

Donate to the NIAF/Abruzzo Relief Fund. | Red Cross Donation Site.

UPDATE: ANSA reports fresh building damage in L’Aquila.

ANSA has reported at least once causualty due to the aftershock.

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Death tolls rises to 179 in Italian Earthquake

Rescue workers continue to search for survivors in the rubble caused by an earthquake yesterday that hit the mountainous central region of Italy yesterday. Hardest hit was the medieval town of L’Aquila where even the town’s hospital was demolished, forcing doctors and nurses to treat patients outside in the cold and rain. At least 1,500 are injured and more than 17,000 have been left homeless, Guardian.

Up to 3,000 Tamils participate in ongoing protest at London’s Parliament. many have threatened to jump into the Thames. The protesters are asking Britain to demand the UN Security Council issue a resolution calling for a ceasefire in Sri Lanka, where military forces have fought the Tamil Tiger rebel group for three decades. This may be the final push in the conflict. According to UN figures, 2,800 have been killed and thousands more injured in the increased fighting of the past two months, BBC News.

Michigan State loses to North Carolina in the NCAA basketball tournament, Voice of America.

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Workers Continue to Search for Survivors in L’Aquila

The death toll from last night’s earthquake in central Italy has risen to over 150 people and workers are still searching through the rubble for survivors. 60 people have been rescued so far, BBC News.

U.S. officials say a serious plot to assassinate President Obama in Turkey has been foiled. Details are scarce, but a Syrian man was arrested last week in connection with the plot, CNN.

Somalian pirates have hijacked 3 ships in the last 2 days, including a Taiwanese war ship. The other two ships were from Yemen and Great Britain. According to analysts, these hijacks further suggest that the pirates are now targeting war ships farther out from the African coast, MSNBC.

On Monday, senior administration officials told the New York Times that the United States will engage in more drone attacks in Pakistan. These attacks have caused much uproar in the Asian country and the Taliban has retailated against them. A Taliban leader claimed that last month’s attack on a Lahore police academy was in response to the drone attacks. Leaders have also threatened two suicide bombings a week if the attacks continue, NY Times.

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