Ri Gun, a North Korean diplomat, will be allowed to visit the United States later this month where he will discuss the country’s nuclear program, BBC News.
Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe has announced that he and his party will boycott cabinet meetings and not work with President Robert Mugabe’s party. Mugabe is a very controversial figure and has been condemned internationally for his policies. Tsvangirai says the catalyst for this move was the jailing of Roy Bennett, his deputy agriculture minister-designate, New York Times.
Talks in Honduras remain deadlocked as de facto leader Roberto Micheletti resists reinstating President Manuel Zelaya, the man ousted during a military coup in June. Zelaya says he will give the interim government two days to reach an agreement, Reuters.
Hot Topic: In Mexican Drug War, Investigators Are Fearful.
Gunmen from a suspected drug gang shot and killed 17 patients, believed to be members of a rival gang, at a drug rehabilitation center in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The slayings show similarities to an attack in March at a drug rehab center that left 20 dead. Since President Calderon entered office in late 2006 and created a war on drugs, 11,000 people have died in the country due to drug-related violence, CNN.
The United States has suspended all aid to Honduras because of the Latin American country’s lack of action after the June coup. Honduras is expected to lose $30m in aid, New York Times.
The body of Alec MacLachlan, a British security guard seized by terrorists in 2007 in Baghdad, has been recovered. Five men were taken at the same time and two bodies were returned in June. Authorities believe one man, Peter Moore, is still alive, BBC News.
A Russian journalist who was aboard the Arctic Sea, the ship that disappeared last month, says he was forced to flee to Istanbul after reporting the ship may have illegally transported weapons. The Arctic Sea disappeared in late July, but was found on August 17th, creating speculation on what the ship was doing and where it was during those missing weeks. Russian officials say the ship was hijacked off the coast of Sweden, NPR.
A 59-year-old American soldier has been killed in Afghanistan, the oldest casualty in the Afghan war so far. First Sgt. Jose San Nicolas Crisostomo, a Vietnam War vet, was killed by a roadside bomb in Kabul. The two-time Bronze Star recipient had volunteered last year to return to military service, CNN.
Mexico has eased drug laws in the country. New law decriminalizes small amounts of certain drugs, including heroin, methamphetamine, and cocaine. A big problem for the country in the past has been police officers accepting bribes in return for allowing drug possessors to go free, and the new law aims to combat that, BBC News.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America has voted to allow gay and lesbian ministers in the church. The new policy states all homosexual clerics hired must be in a committed relationship. A previous policy had allowed homosexual ministers, but required that they remain celibate, AP.
Hot Topic: Swine Flu Vaccine Shortage Looms For Developing World.
Human Rights Watch reports that gay Iraqis are being systematically killed by Iraqi militia, BBC News.
Red Shirt supporters of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra are protesting in Bangkok today, Voice of America.
700 customs inspectors in Mexico have been replaced in an effort to stamp out corruption and stop drug smuggling, Associated Press.
The motive behind this weekend’s tent fire at a wedding in Kuwait has been discovered. The ex-wife of the groom confessed to setting the fire that killed 43 women and children and injured 90, Sky News.
59 civilians were killed in Iraq this week. A U.S. soldier shot and killed a civilian driver yesterday after the driver did not stop when he was signaled to. In a separate incident, a driver was killed in a head-on collision with an U.S. Army Stryker vehicle, CNN.
An Italian Red Cross worker that was held hostage for six months in the Philippines has been released. Eugenio Vagni, 62, was being held by Muslim rebels who called for an end of military operations in the area and a withdrawal of troops. A ransom was requested in exchange for Vagni, but officials say no ransom was paid, BBC News.
Gunmen have killed five federal agents and two soldiers in Mexico in retribution for the arrest of a prominent member of the La Familia drug cartel. The gunmen threw grenades and shot at police stations in the town of Morelia and in five other cities, New York Times.
Thousands of Bosnia Muslims remembered today the events the took place in Srebrenica in 1995, when what is believed to be 8,000 men and boys were killed by Serb forces. The killings were “Europe’s worst massacre since World War II,” Sky News.
A mortar bomb blast at a mosque in Somalia has killed at least 10. The blast occurred in the capital city of Mogadishu where fighting between pro-government forces and Muslim extremists have overtaken the city for the past few weeks. Over 250 people have been killed in the violence, BBC News.
Iran’s opposition leader, Mirhossein Mousavi, has called for protests tomorrow to call against Friday’s election and the deaths of protesters since the election results were announced. In a World Cup qualifying match today against South Korea, some Iranian footballers wore green to show their support for the revolution, Sky News.
Rep. Nita Lowey of New York announced yesterday on MSNBC’s Hardball that the House’s Appropriations Committee would increase the proposed budget of the Peace Corps to $450M. The Peace Corps, started by President Kennedy, suffered under the Bush administration from poor funding. But this year applications are up 40% for 2008 and Obama hopes to double the size of the organization. 20 countries that do not have any Peace Corps volunteers currently have expressed need for PC volunteers in their countries, MSNBC.
Hot Topic: NPR examines Mexico’s seemingly never-ending drug war here.
Nine policeman in Peru have been killed by Amazonian indigenous protesters during a rescue operation at a petroleum facility. Protesters had kidnapped 38 officers, of which 22 were rescued and seven others are still missing. The protesters were angry with the government for drilling for oil and gas on ancestral land. Fighting in Bagua, Peru began Friday, killing 22 tribesman and 11 officers. 5 civilians were also killed. The violence was the worst in the country since the 1990s, BBC News.
Juarez, Mexico seemed to be recovering from their deadly drug wars, but violence is spiking again. Officials say the amount of executions performed in broad daylight is much higher than at this time last year. Two drugs cartels in the city are fighting for control of the drug trafficking routes that enter the U.S. Juarez is just across the border from El Paso, Texas, NPR.
Longshot Summer Bird won today’s Belmont Stakes race, denying jockey Calvin Borel the chance to be the only jockey in history to win all three Triple Crown races on different horses. Borel rode Mine That Bird, the horse he rode in his Kentucky Derby win, and placed third, SI.
Svetlana Kuznetsova easily defeated #1 ranked Dinara Safina in the women’s finals of the French Open. Kuznetsova won in only 74 minutes, winning the frist two sets 6-4 and 6-2. Tomorrow, Roger Federer will play Robin Soderling in an attempt to win the only Grand Slam title that has alluded him in his career, ESPN.
U.S. President Obama spoke at Omaha Beach in France today to commemorate the 65th anniversary of D-Day. Read a summary and quotes from his speech here.
In a country where women have only had the rights to vote and run for public office since 2006, Kuwait has elected 4 women to its national parliament, CNN International.
Tamil Tiger rebels have called a ceasefire, effectively surrendering to the Sri Lankan army and ending the intense conflict of the past month. The Sri Lankan government claims that all civilians were rescued from the war zone before it began its final push. Media are not allowed in the area so it is impossible to verify reports from either side. It is estimated that 70,000 have been killed in the conflict since it began 26 years ago, BBC News.
Pakistan claims that it has killed 1,000 militants since it stepped up attacks on Taliban rebels earlier this year. A massive civilian evacuation is underway in northwestern Pakistan along the Afghanistan border, Xinhua.
Men in Mexico dressed as police freed 53 prisoners from a Mexican prison. Mexico is in the middle of a tough fight against drug gangs, New York Times.