Troops have been deployed to stop looting following Saturday’s massive 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile, Al Jazeera. More on Concepcion, the city hardest hit by the earthquake, BBC News. First hand accounts from earthquake survivors, CNN. Earthquake factbox, Reuters.
President Obama is evaluating a new strategy that could drastically reduce the nuclear arsenal of the United States, New York Times.
Voters in Honduras are at the polls today to select the country’s next president. According to polls, conservative candidate Porfirio Lobo of the National Party is in the lead while the Liberal Party candidate, Elvin Santos, trails behind. Both Manuel Zelaya, the former Honduran president who was deposed in June after he tried to change the country’s constitution so that he would be eligible to run for a third term in office, and Roberto Micheletti, the man who has been acting president since then, are members of the Liberal Party, Christian Science Monitor.
Pakistan’s President Asif Ali Zardari has given up some of the presidential power that was expanded when his predecessor was in office. Presidential power was greatly expanded under President Pervez Musharraf who was a military general. Zardari moved control of the civilian seat on the National Command Authority which controls Pakistan’s nuclear arsenal to the office of the Prime Minister, New York Times.
The state news agency of Iran reported that the Iranian parliament has approved the construction of 10 new uranium enrichment nuclear facilities. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency has called for Iran to halt production of a recently discovered nuclear facility at Qom, CNN.
Rwanda has become the 54th country to be admitted to the Commonwealth of Nations and the second to be admitted without a British colonial past. The Commonwealth is a voluntary intergovernmental organization of member states that developed as former members of the British empire developed their own governments, BBC News.
A new confidential report by the UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency says that Iran has the information necessary to make a nuclear device. However, the agency has also cautioned that it has no proof Iran has started the complicated physical process of making a weapon, New York Times. Leaked excerpts of the report, Institute for Science and International Security.
Rescue experts from Rapid UK and International Rescue Corps have arrived in Indonesia to help search for victims of a massive earthquake that occurred on Wednesday. 1,100 people have already been declared dead and rescuers fear that another 3,000-4,000 may be trapped under rubble. The earthquake was centered near the city of Padang, BBC News. In pictures, BBC News.
Ousted Honduran President Manuel Zelaya and defacto President Robert Micheletti have agreed to talks, though it is unlikely the two will meet in person. President Zelaya was forced to leave the country in June after a coup by military leaders. Opponents of President Zelaya claim that he was trying to change the country’s Constitution so that he could serve a longer term as President. The President of the Honduran Congress, Robert Micheletti, was sworn in as the new president in June. However, world leaders have not accepted his presidency and have stated that Mr. Zelaya needs to be reinstalled as president. Mr. Zelaya returned to Honduras in late September and is currently living in the Brazilian Embassy. Soldiers are stationed outside the Embassy ready to arrest Mr. Zelaya if he leaves, Voice of America.
140 people are dead and 1,000 wounded after members of the Uighur ethnic group, a predominantly Muslim minority group in China, clashed with Chinese security forces in the capital city of Urumqi in the province of Xinjiang. The victims have not been identified and it is unknown if the majority of the victims were Uighur activists, Chinese security forces, or civilians. It is also unknown exactly what sparked the riot but the unrest follows an incident at a toy factory in south China in which two Uighurs were killed, Voice of America. The protest in pictures, BBC News.
Xinjiang is an autononmous region similar to Tibet. Uighurs, who have no ethnic or historical relation to the Han Chinese that make up 80% of China’s population, say they are persecuted by the Chinese government. China has encouraged people who are ethnically Han Chinese to move into the Xinjiang where Uighurs are currently the majority. Some Uighur activist groups have been labeled terrorist groups and about 20 Uighurs who were living in Afghanistan after the September 11 attacks were picked up by US forces and sent to Guantanamo Bay. The US is currently in negotiations to release the men to countries other than China where they say they will be executed.
Former Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara has died at the age of 93. A member of President Kennedy’s team of Harvard-educated “best and the brightest,” McNamara attempted to apply corporate business models and academic methods of analysis to the Vietnam War, Washington Post. McNamara defended his involvement in the Vietnam War and outlined lessons he had learned from its conduct in Errol Morris’s excellent documentary “The Fog of War,” IMDB.
Following up on the outcome of the events we chronicled in last night’s live post, Honduran President Zelaya was not permitted to land in Honduras and was diverted to Nicaragua instead. The internim government has declared that if Zelaya lands on Honduran soil, he will be arrested, CNN International. The Organization of American States has suspended Honduras until Zelaya is reinstated, Washington Post.
US President Obama meets with Russian President Medvedev in Moscow today. The US aims to reach a deal with Russia to reduce nuclear stockpiles, BBC News. They will hold a press conference today at 10:30am EDT, Whitehouse.gov [live audio].
Iran says they will no longer allow the EU to take part in talks about the Iranian nuclear program. Iran blames European countries for helping to cause unrest in the country after the controversial June 12th election results. Numerous EU countries are considering withdrawing their ambassadors from the country, BBC News.
The Organization of American States (OAS) has pledged support for the ousted president of Honduras, Manuel Zelaya. The OAS says they will give coup leaders, who overthrew the president and took control of the government, 72 hours to reinstate Zelaya before they expel the country from the group, NPR.
Oscar-winning actor Karl Malden has died at the age of 97. Malden was known for his roles in A Streetcar Named Desire, On the Waterfront, and Gypsy, among others, CNN.
American author J.D. Salinger has won a lawsuit against a Swedish author attempting to publish what Salinger felt was a “The Catcher in the Rye” rip-off, entitled “60 Years Later: Coming Through the Rye.” Salinger, who has stayed almost entirely out of the public eye for the last few decades, was not present at the hearing, Reuters.
Hot Topic: A 12-year-old girl, the only suvivor from the Yemenia plane crash, tells how she survived here.
In a major victory for the Pakistani army, Taliban fighters have fled Mingora in the Swat Valley after intense fighting. Officials hope this is a turning point in a fight to rid the country of the terrorist group. The 20,000 civilians trapped in the area are being given supplied, but power in the area will not be restored for an estimated two weeks. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani has said cash payments will be given to affected residents and massive reconstruction will occur, AP.
England’s Prince Harry landed yesterday in the U.S. for his first official visit to the country. The prince has played in a charity polo match in New York City, visited Harlem, met with Gov. Patterson, and honored September 11th victims, CNN.
After North Korea’s dismemberment of the Korean Armisitice, American officials have been cautioning the country against taking any militay action. Defense Secretary Robet Gates said today: “We will not stand idly by as North Korea builds the capability to wreak destruction on any target in Asia — or on us. He went on to say he didn’t believe Korea was, right now, a direct threat, NPR.
Following the condemnation of North Korea’s launch of a ballistic missile earlier this month by the UN Security Council, North Korea has cut off its involvement in international talks concerning its nuclear program. North Korea has restarted a nuclear reactor and has vowed to never engage in nuclear negotiations again, Fox News.
1 Canadian soldier killed and 4 Canadian soldiers injured in roadside bomb in Afghanistan, CNN International.
Redshirt protests end in Bangkok after military and police surround protesters. 2 died in the protests and at least 120 were injured, Bangkok Post.
Music producer Phil Spector is found guilty in the 2003 murder of an actress in Los Angeles, NME.
Children in Peru die in the collapse of a foot bridge in the Andes, Time.
Amazon apologizes for delisting of books by gay authors. A hacker has claimed credit, PC World.
Iranian journalist on trial in Iran accused of spying for the US, Bloomberg.
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.