- Negotiations for an agreement for action on the problem of global climate change began as a UN-led summit opened in Copenhagen, Denmark this week. The summit will continue until December 18. At issue is how much financial support wealthy developed countries should give to developing nations to aid their efforts and what the target reduction of greenhouse emissions should be. Summit homepage.
- Debate continued in the U.S. Senate over a healthcare reform bill. Opponents of healthcare reform tried to insert a provision that would prevent public funds from being used for pregnancy termination but it was defeated, Christian Science Monitor. The Senate will continue debate as they try to get a bill that can be passed. The Senate bill will need to be reconciled with the bill from the House of Representatives and then that bill must be signed by President Barack Obama to be put into law.
- Students used the occasion of a scheduled state-sponsored day of demonstration to protest the current government on college campuses in Iran on Monday. The protests are usually brief, but they show that support for he reform movement is still strong, Times Online.
- Iraq’s government moved to go forward on planning elections for 2010. Opponents of the current government, staged a massive attack on Tuesday, using car bombs to strike 5 sites in Baghdad, including government and military buildings. 127 people died in the bombings and hundreds were injured. Lieutenant General Abboud Qanbar, Baghdad’s security chief, was removed from his position after the attack, Times Online. Who is counting the bodies in Baghdad?, BBC News.
- In a small bit of uplifting news, the story of a dog that survived Tuesday’s attack despite being chained to the roof of one of the buildings that was bombed, Daily Mail.
- U.S. President Barack Obama picked up his Nobel Peace Prize on Thursday, despite criticism that he had not done enough to earn it. Obama accepted the prize with “humility” and used the occasion to defend war as an instrument in the pursuit of peace. Transcript of Obama’s speech, Associated Press.
- Thursday, December 10, was Human Rights Day, a day that marked the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. A look back at human rights in 2009 from Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera.
- After violent protests, India announced that it will separate part of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh into a new state to be called Telangana. Calls for Telangana to become its own state date back 50 years, BBC News.
In a formal ceremony at the Olso City Hall in Norway, U.S. President Barack Obama picked up his Nobel Peace Prize. Defending his involvement in the war in Afghanistan, Obama said, “the instruments of war have a role to play in preserving peace,” AFP. Transcript of Obama’s speech, Associated Press. In pictures, BBC News.
Dozens of villagers are being held hostage in the village of San Martin in Agusan del Sur province in the southern Philippines. The gunmen responsible are former members of a government-sponsored militia who are wanted by police for their involvement in violence related to feuds between local family clans. All children initially taken as hostages, as well as an elderly woman, were released last night. Negotiations resumed this morning for the remaining hostages. The gunmen are seeking to have their arrest warrants overturned, Associated Press.
After several days of violent protests, India has announced that it will separate part of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh into a new state to be called Telangana. Calls for Telangana to become its own state date back 50 years, BBC News.
Today is Human Rights Day, a day that urges people to get involved in stopping discrimination and raising awareness about human rights, Voice of America. Today, December 10, is the 61st anniversary of the adoption of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. How to get involved, UN. A look back at human rights in 2009 from Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera.
11 people were killed today as their plane crashed into a mountain in Haiti. The dead were all peacekeepers and a part of an United Nations peacekeeping mission, BNO News.
President Obama said he was “humbled and deeply surprised” by the Nobel committee’s decision to award him the 2009 Peace Prize. Obama says he believes the prize will be a great motivator to help aid the international peace process, BBC News.
Burmese dissident Daw Aung San Suu Kyi was allowed by the Burmese government to meet with foreign diplomats today. The meeting suggests a possible détente between the junta and Western governments, New York Times.
Nathan Daniel Larson, 29, of Boulder, Colorado has been sentenced to 16 months in a federal prison for making threats against the U.S. President, but it is not clear if those threats were made against Presidents Bush or Obama. Larson sent an e-mail in December to the Secret Service announcing, “I am writing to inform you that in the near future, I will kill the President of the United States of America,” BNO News.