Tag Archives: Riots

September 11, 2001 Remembered

Today is the 8th anniversary of what is now known as the “September 11th” attacks in which extremists connected to al Qaeda crashed hijacked airplanes into the World Trade Center towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. A third plane was hijacked but passengers were able to over take the hijackers before it reached its intended target. The plane crashed in a field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Memorials are taking place today at all three sites. Vice President Joe Biden will be in New York City at the World Trade Center site and President Barack Obama will be at the Pentagon memorial, Associated Press. Life after 9/11, New York Times. A firefighter recalls losing his sons, NPR. Live coverage of the memorials, C-SPAN. Video library of the attacks, C-SPAN.

Taiwan’s former President Chen Shui-bian has been sentenced to life in prison on charges of fraud and embezzlement, New York Times.

Riots have continued for a second day the Ugandan capital of Kampala. Supporters of one of the regions ethnic kings have clashed with police backed the military and the central government, Al Jazeera.

Details are surfacing about the whereabouts of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu who was out of public view on Monday. Sources now say Netanyahu was in Russia possibly meeting with Vladamir Putin concerning the cargo ship Arctic Sea that disappeared last month for several weeks. The ship may have been carrying missiles to Iran, 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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Dozens Killed in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan

NATO airstrikes killed at least 80 people, including civilians, this morning. The target was two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by Taliban insurgents on a highway outside the northern city of Kunduz, Afghanistan. The tankers were driven to the small village of Omar Kheil where civilians were said to be siphoning fuel from the tankers at the time of the airstrike, New York Times.

Warning: Graphic video of the airstrike victims from Al Jazeera.

Protesters and police have once again clashed in the western city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province in China. The province is home to a ethnic Uighur population which is predominately Muslim, but ethnic Han Chinese have been encouraged by the Chinese government to move to the region. Tensions have exploded this summer after 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed in riots. The current unrest follows charges by Han Chinese that they are being stabbed with hypodermic needles, BBC News.

A 12-minute report from France 24 with interviews with citizens of Urumqi.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, North Korea says it has almost completed uranium enrichment, which means the state may be close to having nuclear capabilities, Yonap News.

Today’s Big Picture features stunning photographs of the California wildfires, Big Picture. The U.S. Forest Service now says that arson was the cause of the fires. Officials are looking for clues in the area where the fire was started. If a suspect is arrested, they will likely also be charged with murder of the two firefighters who have died fighting the blaze, CNN.

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Netanyahu Proposes Nine Month Settlement Freeze

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has offered a nine month freeze on constructing settlements in the West Bank. The proposal is seen as a good step for peace in the Middle East and the U.S. will respond to his offer when Israeli officials visit D.C. next week, Haaretz.

Three people were seriously injured last night in England during a riot outside a West Ham versus Millwall football match. 13 people have been arrested and the Football Association is calling for life bans for all involved, Sky News.

American author and Vanity Fair contributor Dominick Dunne died today of cancer. Dunne was 83 and known for his crime novels and essays, CNN.

Hot Topic: Echoes of Kennedy’s Battle With Nixon in Health Care Debate.

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July Deadliest Month for U.S. Troops in Afghanistan

U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates has announced the country plans to add 22,000 more troops to the army over the next three years. The extra troops will be used for the offensives in Iraq and Afghanistan. Gates is also proposing to end the use of the F-22 by the military, saying the plane is no longer useful, BBC News.

The AP reports that the fight in Iran over last month’s disputed election results is deepening, but between religious leaders instead of street protesters. Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the country’s supreme leader, had backed the results, but has seen opposition from inside the government, including from cleric Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani. The cleric’s support “gives the movement new life and an advocate within the clerical power structures,” AP.

Four more U.S. soldiers have died in Afghanistan, making this the deadliest month for troops since the war began in 2001. The troops were killed by a roadside bomb in the eastern part of the country. With 11 days left in the month, over 30 U.S. soldiers have been killed so far in July, AP.

Hot Topic: Harvard University staggers as endowment shrinks.

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Suspect Sought in Jakarta Terror Attacks

A key suspect is being sought in the Jakarta terror attacks. Noordin Mohamed Top, a Malaysian extremist associated with known terrorist groups, is already wanted for his connection to the Bali bombings of 2002 and 2o05. Security officials believe he is the mastermind behind the attacks, CNN. Profile of Noordin Mohamed Top, BBC News.

The House Intelligence Committee has opened an investigation into whether the Bush administration hid details about CIA programs from Congress. Current CIA Director Leon Panetta recently informed Congress of a canceled CIA Program to assassinate al-Qaeda leaders that was hidden from Congressional review under orders from Vice President Dick Cheney, New York Times.

Members of a sect of Ultra-Orthodox Judiasm in Jerusalem have been protesting and rioting for three days since the arrest of a woman accused of starving her 3-year-old child to death. A Magistrate Court decision, expected to be handed down today, will allow the woman to serve time under house arrest rather than in prison, CNN International.

Voting begins in elections in Mauritania today. General Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz led a coup against the civilian government in 2008. General Aziz resigned from his military position in order to run for president in today’s election, Xinhua.

Today is Nelson Mandela’s 91st birthday. People around the world are celebrating the anti-apartheid leader by doing good deeds, Associated Press. Watch Will.I.Am, Stevie Wonder, Aretha Franklin, and Josh Groban live at tonight’s (8pm EDT) Mandela Day concert in New York City, MandelaDay.com.

President Barack Obama called on Congress to pass healthcare reform in his Weekly Address.

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Uighurs Defiantly Worship at Mosques

Uighur muslims in the Chinese city of Urumqi defiantly attended evening services at mosques last night despite a warning from the Chinese government that the mosques should remain closed. China has reinstituted a curfew, Bloomberg.

Leaders at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy have reached an agreement to provide an aid package to Africa that will focus on improving agricultural practices and improving food security. The goal is to move away from providing food aid in the form of food from western countries which often only floods the local market with cheap food and is also diverted from those who really need it, Wall Street Journal.

The trial of Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has resumed after a six week break. She is accused to breaking the terms of her house arrest after an American man came to her Rangoon home uninvited. It is expected that Suu Kyi will be on trial or in prison until after the upcoming elections in Burma, Voice of America.

The ruins of the city of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, have been damaged due to use and neglect by Saddam Hussein, and later US troops who established a military base there, according to UNESCO. UNESCO is considering declaring the ruins a World Heritage Site in hopes of preventing further damages, AFP.

US President Barack Obama will make his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa today when he lands in Ghana. Ghana is considered one of the most successful states in Africa and has a functioning democracy, CNN International.

A 27-year-old man was gored to death by a bull during the running of the bulls in Pamlona, Spain. This is the first fatal goring since 1995, Associated Press.

London’s Big Ben is 150 years old today, BBC News.

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China Sends 1000s of Troops to Urumqi to Quell Unrest

Thousands of paramilitary police troops have been sent to the capital city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province in China in an effort to stop the violence that has erupted between ethnic Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs. 156 people died in riots on Sunday. In addition to the huge show of force, China has also imposed a curfew in the city. President Hu Jintao left the G8 summit early yesterday to deal with the situation from Beijing, Associated Press.

You can read about the riots, which the Chinese government blames solely on the Uigurs, from the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua. For the Uighur perspective, see World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and, for excellent video, Uighur News.

The G8 (Group of 8: US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) summit is underway in L’Aquila, Italy. L’Aquila, the site of devastating earthquakes last April that killed 300 people and left 45,000 homeless, was chosen as the venue as a show of support and a promise of rebuilding. Topics will include the current economic crisis, the environment, and the situation in Iran, CNN.

Researchers in England say they have made human sperm out of stem cells. BBC News has a video tour of the Newcastle lab with an explanation of how the process works.

Coming Up:

Costa Rica will play host to talks to end the current coup/political crisis in Honduras starting on Thursday, AFP.

Results from this week’s elections in Indonesia are expected on July 25th. Exit polling indicates that President Yudhoyono should handily win reelection. Yudhoyono’s goals include continuing economic growth and stamping out corruption. Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world after India and the US. It is comprised of 17,000 islands and is a Muslim majority country.  In a huge electoral operation, more than 176 million people were eligible to vote at 450,000 polling stations. Voting is said to have gone smoothly, Reuters.

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