Tag Archives: NATO

Fierce fighting continues in Marja

NATO troops continued their push into Taliban strongholds in Afghanistan, centered on the city of Marja, PBS Newshour. Map of the area, New York Times. Some civilians have been killed in the fighting, Associated Press.

2 trains collided in Belgium today, killing 18 and injuring many more, CNN. Train crash in pictures, BBC News.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is in the Middle East. Clinton said she is concerned that Iran’s Revolutionary Guards have supplanted the government of Iran, leading it in the direction of a military dictatorship, New York Times.

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Ukraine says election results valid

Election officials in Ukraine have rejected complaints by Yulia Tymoshenko, the country’s current prime minister, of election fraud. Tymoshenko lost the election by 3 percentage points but has yet to concede, Associated Press.

NATO has launched a major offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan, BBC News.

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NATO Pledges More Troops to Afghanistan

NATO has pledged an additional 5,000 troops to be sent to Afghanistan. U.S. President Barack Obama announced yesterday that the U.S. would be sending 30,000 additional troops. 42,000 NATO personnel are currently in Afghanistan, CNN. Map of forces in Afghanistan, BBC News. The Taliban has vowed to fight the surge, BBC News. Live blog of the U.S. Senate hearings on Afghanistan, New York Times.

The 5 British sailors who were picked up by Iran after allegedly straying into Iranian waters have been released, BBC News.

More than 1,000 police officers were removed from their posts in the province of  Maguindanao where 57 people were massacred on November 23 in a pre-election power struggle. Those killed were family members and supporters of Esmael Mangudadatu who were on their way to register his name for the race for governor of the province as well as journalists covering the event. Andal Ampatuan, Jr., son of the current provincial governor, has been charged with 25 counts of murder and is suspected of arranging the massacre. The federal government removed the police officers, who are suspected of helping or allowing the violence, prior to a full investigation of the massacre. They will be replaced with officers from other parts of the Philippines, Al Jazeera.

In an effort to stamp out free market trade, North Korea is revaluing its currency, the won. Citizens must exchange their cash and there will be an exchange upper limit of 100,000 won (about $700 USD) per family. This will virtually wipe out any wealth an average North Korea has managed to accumulate. Shops will be closed until next week when the new currency becomes valid, Times Online.

Thierry Henry, the French football player responsible for the handball that led to France advancing to the World Cup over the Republic of Ireland, will be investigated by FIFA’s disciplinary committee, BBC Sport.  World Cup seeding announced, New York Times.

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General McChrystal Calls for More Troops in Afghanistan

U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, the head of NATO and U.S. operations in Afghanistan, has issued a new report calling for more troops, Associated Press. Q & A on troops in Afghanistan, BBC News.

Leaders from all over the world are in New York City this week for the annual meeting of the United Nations General Assembly. President Obama will chair a special Security Council session on nuclear nonproliferation, Chicago Tribune.  President Obama will appear on the ‘Late Show with David Letterman’ tonight at 11:35pm EDT.

A charity organization in Iran is marking the end of Ramadan by bailing out 21,000 poor prisoners who had been jailed for money problems such as unpaid debts, Voice of America.

‘Mad Men ‘and ’30 Rock’ took the top Emmy’s for best drama and best comedy in last night’s 61st annual Primetime Emmy Awards, New York Times. Full list of winners, Associated Press.

Hundreds of thousands enjoyed a free “Peace Without Borders” concert in Havana, Cuba on Sunday, Miami Herald.

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Red-Shirt Protests in Bangkok in Support of Thaksin

Massive crowds of red-shirt protesters gathered in Bangkok, Thailand on the third anniversary of the coup that took former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra out of power, BBC News. Anti-Thaksin groups (known for wearing yellow shirts) are also holding demonstrations at a temple that is at the heart of a dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. The temple, a UNESCO world heritage site, is currently within the borders of Cambodia and Cambodia officials have said military guards will fire on anyone from Thailand who crossed into Cambodia territory. Thai military and police have condoned off the area and are using checkpoints to keep people away from the border, Al Jazeera.

The head of NATO suggested that Russia, NATO, and the United States link their missile defense shields. Secretary-General Anders Fogh Rasmussen called for increased cooperation between NATO and Russia, Associated Press. Factbox on missile defense, Reuters.

The Federal Communications  Commission will propose new rules, known as net neutrality, about the free flow of information online. The rules would prohibit internet providers from doing such things as blocking sites that use a lot of bandwidth, Associated Press. FAQ on net neutrality, CBC.

In his weekly address, U.S. President Barack Obama discusses the global economic situation ahead of next week’s G20 summit in Pittsburgh. Transcript.

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US Scraps European Missile Defense Shield

In a reversal of an agreement made by the George W. Bush administration, the White House announced today that the U.S. will not go ahead with European missile defense plans. Plans for missiles that were to be put in Poland as well as a radar station station in the Czech Republic have been scrapped. The administration says that Iran’s missile system, which the Bush administration had insisted the installations were designed to counter, is not sufficiently developed to pose a threat, Reuters.

Suicide bombers on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan targeted two NATO vehicles earlier today. At least 6 Italian soldiers were killed as well as 10 Afghan civilians, CNN International.

Indonesia is reporting that a raid has resulted in the death of Islamic militant Noordin Top who is thought to have been the mastermind behind last summer’s bombings of two luxury hotels in Jakarta as well as multiple past bombings. Top had been hunted for the past 9 years, Reuters.

Raymond Clark III, 24, has been arrested in connection with the murder of Yale graduate student Annie M. Le. Police said DNA evidence linked him to the crime scene, New York Times.

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NY Times Journalist Rescued in Afghanistan

A British journalist working for the New York Times, Stephen Farrell, who was captured by Taliban militants while he was reporting on the airstrikes that struck two fuel tankers outside Kunduz in northern Afghanistan earlier this week, has been rescued in a dramatic mission by Nato forces. Mr. Farrell’s translator Sultan Munadi, an Afghan journalist, was killed during the rescue as well as a British Nato soldier. Farrell had previously been kidnapped in 2004 in Fallajuh, Iraq, New York Times. Stephen Farrell’s NY Times Blog. A moving essay by Sultan Munadi on his committment to Afghanistan, Hell? No. I Won’t Go.

The U.S. Supreme Court is hearing a case involving the release of a documentary about Hillary Clinton. Filmmakers attempted to release “Hillary: The Movie” during Clinton’s 2009 primary run for the Democratic nomination but were blocked because of campaign finance laws. The decision of the Court will have far-reaching implications, including whether political speech by unions and corporations is protected, Associated Press. Video is not allowed in Supreme Court arguments, but C-SPAN will have audio. Oral arguments are scheduled to start at 11:30 am EDT. C-SPAN’s Supreme Court Homepage. Discussion of the case and its significance, Bill Moyers Journal.

Heavy rains have caused intense flooding in Istanbul, Turkey. 28 people have died, CNN International.

NASA is considering supplementing its budget with private funds, BBC News.

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NATO to Investigate Yesterday’s Deadly Airstrikes

A NATO team has arrived in Kunduz province in Afghanistan to investigate the airstrike that blew up two hijacked fuel tankers and killed 90 people (Taliban militants and civilians) yesterday. A German commander authorized the strike early Friday morning but a German patrol didn’t reach the area until 10 hours later, CNN International.

Al Jazeera has video of the aftermath of the incident.

After recent months of unrest and rioting, the head Communist Party official and the police chief of the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region in China have both been fired, Xinhua. It is rare that Chinese officials are removed from power. Q & A: China and the Uighurs, BBC News.

UK Justice Secretary Jack Straw has admitted that oil was a factor in the deal to release Lockerbie bomber Abdelbeset Ali Mohmed al Megrahi. al Megrahi is dying of cancer and was released from prison in Scotland to go home to Libya on “compassionate grounds.” The move was met with sharp disapproval by the U.S. as there were many American victims on Pan Am Flight 103, the plane the al Megrahi is convicted of bombing in 1988, CNN.

Amazon has apologized for deleting content its Kindle e-book device without user permission. In July Amazon deleted the George Orwell books “1984” and “Animal Farm” because the company discovere it did not have authorization to publish the books. The move sparked outrage and brought up questions of whether digital content is actually owned or just rented by the consumer, CNET.

President Obama’s Weekly Address looks forward to Labor Day (next Monday) and focuses on economic challenges ahead.

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