Tag Archives: Mahmoud Abbas

President of UN Climate Change Talks Replaced

Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen has replaced his climate minister Connie Hedegaard as President of the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen. Hedegaard has been criticized by African nations for favoring richer countries in the agreement negotiations. However, Hedegaard described the move as “procedural” as the talks head into their final days, BBC News. Heads of state will arrive in Copenhagen soon to carry out final negotiations but there is currently not even a preliminary draft proposal t0 be debated. Key areas of the agreement under dispute, Al Jazeera.

Police used tear gas to push protesters away from the conference center in Copenhagen where climate change talks are being held. About 250 people were arrested. A group of delegates who sought to meet with protesters were also pushed back by police, New York Times.

The PLO has extended Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas’ term after negotiations to hold new elections as scheduled in January stalled.  The militant political group Hamas which controls Gaza vowed to not accept new elections. Abbas’ group Fatah controls the West Bank, Al Jazeera.

50,000 people have been evacuated in the Philippines from the area surrounding the Mayon volcano.  The volcano is expected to erupt in the next few days or weeks, CNN.

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Ft. Hood Shooter Alive and in Custody

The death toll from this afternoon’s shooting at a U.S. Army base is believed to have risen to 12, but reports are conflicting. The shooting, which took place at Fort Hood in Texas, is believed to have been carried out by one gunman, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, who is alive and in custody (contrary to previous reports). Hasan, 39, is an Army psychiatrist and had recently been transferred to the base from Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Reports say Hasan was being deployed to serve in Iraq.

The soldier opened fire at the base’s military processing center where a graduation ceremony was set to take place. At least 10 of the dead were soldiers, and one killed was a civilian police officer who was reported to dead is not believed to be alive, but in critical condition. 30 are said to be wounded, CNN International.

An Azerbaijan court has sentenced 26 people to prison in connection with an attack on a mosque last year in Baku. Two worshipers were killed at the Abu Bakr Mosque when grenades were thrown into the building. Sentences ranged from two to 15 years, BBC News.

President of Palestine Mahmoud Abbas says he will not run for re-election because of lack of American support, New York Times.

Hot Topic: Hard Choices in Afghanistan: What’s Next?

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Trilateral Mid-East Peace Talks Have Modest Goals Today

U. S. President Barack Obama will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas today, first with each separately then with both as a group. The most pressing issue is whether Israeli will continue building settlements on disputed lands in the West Bank, Al Jazeera.

World leaders are gathered in New York City for a meeting of the General Assembly at the United Nations, Key Issues, BBC News.

Chinese President Hu Jintao is expected to announce an ambitious new climate change plan. the plan will include voluntary reduction targets. China is currently the world’s largest producer of greenhouse gases. China may also introduce an international carbon-trading system, New York Times. Representatives of the airline industry will also announce that they intend to cut emission by 50% by 2050, BBC News. Watch President Obama’s opening remarks on climate change, MSNBC.

An illegal immigrant camp, known as the “Jungle” in Calais, France was destroyed by riot police earlier today. Up to 1,000 people had been living at the camp which is used as a staging ground for people to go to Britain. Many of the immigrants left in the previous few day. Only 278 were evicted today, 132 of which were minors. The immigrants came mainly from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Eritrea. Those picked up will be processed and sent back to their home countries, CNN International.

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President Obama Pushes for Mideast Peace Deal

US President Barack Obama met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Whitehouse yesterday. Obama reiterated his call for a two state solution and asked Abbasto try to limit inciteful speech against Israel in mosques and elsewhere in Palestine. After the political party Hamas was elected to a slight majority in 2006, Abbas lost power. He now controls only the West Bank with Hamas effectively controlling the Gaza Strip, Boston Globe.

As South Koreans mourn former President Roh Moo-Hyun who committed suicide earlier this week, North Korea shoots another short-range missile off its east coast. The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for UN member nations to enforce existing sanctions against North Korea and is working on further resolutions in hopes of containing North Korean aggression, Xinhua.  China has recalled fishing boats that were in the Yellow Sea off the coast of North Korea, BBC NewsBBC News also has a chart comparing military strengths of North and South Korea. See also the Associated Press for a timeline of North Korea’s nuclear program.

An off-duty New York City police officer was killed by “friendly fire” when he was  shot by a plainsclothes officer as he chased a man who broke into this car. Officer Omar Edwards, 25, is black while the officer who shot him is white. New York City has a history of racially-tinged shootings, Newsday.

13-year-old Kansan Kavya Shivashankar won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night in Washington, DC. Shivashankar won on the word Laodicean, which means halfhearted in respect to religion or politics, Philadelphia Inquirer.

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