US President Barack Obama met with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas at the Whitehouse yesterday. Obama reiterated his call for a two state solution and asked Abbasto try to limit inciteful speech against Israel in mosques and elsewhere in Palestine. After the political party Hamas was elected to a slight majority in 2006, Abbas lost power. He now controls only the West Bank with Hamas effectively controlling the Gaza Strip, Boston Globe.
As South Koreans mourn former President Roh Moo-Hyun who committed suicide earlier this week, North Korea shoots another short-range missile off its east coast. The UN Security Council has passed a resolution calling for UN member nations to enforce existing sanctions against North Korea and is working on further resolutions in hopes of containing North Korean aggression, Xinhua. China has recalled fishing boats that were in the Yellow Sea off the coast of North Korea, BBC News. BBC News also has a chart comparing military strengths of North and South Korea. See also the Associated Press for a timeline of North Korea’s nuclear program.
An off-duty New York City police officer was killed by “friendly fire” when he was shot by a plainsclothes officer as he chased a man who broke into this car. Officer Omar Edwards, 25, is black while the officer who shot him is white. New York City has a history of racially-tinged shootings, Newsday.
13-year-old Kansan Kavya Shivashankar won the Scripps National Spelling Bee last night in Washington, DC. Shivashankar won on the word Laodicean, which means halfhearted in respect to religion or politics, Philadelphia Inquirer.
Two men were convicted of killing Suzanne Tamim, a Lebanese pop singer, last July. Real estate mogul and member of the Egyptian parliament Hisham Talaat Moustafa paid former officer Muhsen el Sukkari $2 million to kill Tamim because he wanted to take her as a second wife but could not because his family objected. It is expected that the men will receive death sentences when they on sentenced on June 25, CNN.
First reported last night, former South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun’s death has been ruled a suicide. Roh was accused of accepting $6 million in bribes during his time in office, BBC News.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was permitted to tour a camp for Tamils displaced in the conflict in Sri Lanka, Voice of America.
2 people died and 4 were injured when a tunnel used for smuggling collapsed in Gaza. The tunnels are used by Palestinians to bring goods into Gaza from Egypt because Israel has blocked the borders, Jerusalem Post.
Former South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun has died from severe injuries sustained after falling off a mountain, reports say. Roh apparently fell off of the mountain and into a ravine. Police are looking into if it was a suicide or an accident. He was South Korea’s president from 2003 until 2008, BNO. Update: BNO reports a suicide note written by President Roh was found.
A U.S. appeals court has ruled against tobacco companies, finding that major companies deceived the public by marketing their cigarettes as healthier than others. Cigarettes with the labels “low tar,” “mild,” “light,” and “ultra light” are now banned and companies must publish “corrective statements,” NPR.
Heavy fighting in Somalia’s capital city Mogadishu has killed at least 36 people. Pro-government forces are fighting Muslim extremists who have taken control of the city. The fighting has lasted ten days and over 100 people have been killed. Over 50,000 citizens are said to have been displaced, BBC News.
A panel of scientists have named the top 10 species discovered in 2008, with the pygmy seahorse topping the list. Other new species include the Tahina spectablilis, which is a plant that dies under its own weight, and a bacteria found in hairspray, CNN.
An AP photograph of a U.S. soldier fighting the Taliban in pink boxers has become iconic in conflict in Afghanistan. U.S. Army Specialist Zachary Boyd was asleep when Taliban fighters began fighting upon the soldiers and didn’t have time to don his pants before engaging the enemy force. The picture became famous after it graced the cover of the New York Times, AP.