Sri Lanka’s government says that tens of thousands of people who have been held in camps since the end of the conflict with Tamil rebels will be released. Sri Lanka had been fighting the rebels since the mid-1970s and made a final push to stop the hostilities earlier this year. Information from Sri Lanka is very limited so it is unknown how many were killed in the most recent fighting, BBC News. Q & A on the conflict, BBC News.
A gas explosion at a Chinese mine has killed 42 people and trapped over 60 underground. China has the most dangerous mining industry in the world, Reuters.
Russia and Ukraine have agreed to a deal that will keep natural gas flowing through this winter. Due to a pricing dispute last winter, Russia cut off gas which flows through Ukrainian pipelines to Europe, Christian Science Monitor.
Paul and Rachel Chandler, the British couple captured by Somali pirates during a sailing vacation in October, have released a new video saying the pirates are losing patience and will kill them soon if a $7 million ransom is not paid, CNN.
A journalist describes living in Jerusalem’s Old City which is home to Muslim, Christian, and Jewish religious sites, BBC News.
As was rumored yesterday, Afghan run-off presidential candidate Abdullah Abdullah has withdrawn from the November 7 run-off election against incumbent president Hamid Karzai. Abdullah claims that there is no way that a free and fair election can take place, Bloomberg.
More information is now available about last week’s militant attack on a United Nations guest house in Kabul, Afghanistan. The UN says that it took over an hour for security forces to reach the area after the house was attacked, Associated Press.
Somali pirates who kidnapped British tourists Paul and Rachel Chandler have moved the couple onto land. The pirates are demanding a $7 million ransom from the British government, New York Times.
Anthony Sowell, the resident of the Cleveland, Ohio home where the bodies of 6 women were found last week, has been taken into custody. Sowell was released from prison 4 years ago after serving a 15-year sentence for rape. Sowell was a registered sex offender and was required to meet regularly with local police. Police discovered the bodies when they went to Sowell’s home to arrest him for sexual assault. The 6 bodies found in the house were all female and all died violently, CNN. Stories of women who said they were attacked by Sowell, including one who was held captive in his home before escaping, Fox News.
Today is the 40th running of the New York City Marathon. Watch live online at NYCmarathon.org. Many of the runners are running for charity this year. Watch for actor Ed Norton who is running the race with 3 Maasai warriors to raise support for the Maasai Wilderness Conservation Trust, maasaimarathon.com.
11 high ranking security officials and 50 police officers have been arrested in Iraq on suspected involvement in last Sunday’s devastating double bombings in Baghdad. Those arrested include guards at the 15 checkpoints the bombers had to pass to gain entrance to the high security zone where the bombings took place, Reuters.
U.S. President Barack Obama met the returning coffins of 18 service members killed this week in Afghanistan at Dover Air Force Base in Delaware last night, Times Online.
Manfred Nowak, the U.N.’s special envoy for torture investigation, was denied entrance into Zimbabwe yesterday despite an invitation from Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai. Control of the country is currently shared by Prime Minister Tsvangirai and President Robert Mugabe. Nowak was going to Zimbabwe to investigate reports that President Mugabe’s Zanu-PF party has begun to use violence against members of Prime Minister Tsvangirai’s MDC (Movement for Democratic Change) party, BBC News.
The yacht belonging to Paul and Rachel Chandler, a British couple on a sailing holiday in the Indian Ocean, has been found. The couple sent out a distress signal before they were picked up by pirates and are now being held on a boat off the coast of Somalia, AFP. Q & A on Somali Piracy, BBC News. The Prime Minister of Somalia met with relatives of the captive couple in Britian, ITN. Transcript of Paul Chandler’s call to ITV news, Telegraph.