Pakistan’s former president Pervez Musharraf has been called to court in Islamabad to explain himself in an investigation of his removal of 60 judges. In 2007, Musharraf suspended the constitution, declared a state of emergency and sacked the judges who he feared might rule against him, IBN.
The Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague has ruled to redefine a disputed area in Sudan. The Abyei region has rich oil deposits and is fought over by the Muslim north and the Christian south. Both sides have said they will respect the ruling which sought to divide access to the area’s resources equally. South Sudan will hold a vote in 2010 on whether to become a separate country. The violence in Darfur, which is in a separate region, will not be effected by the court ruling, Associated Press.
Amnesty International has released a new report about human rights abuses in Saudi Arabia, Los Angeles Times.
Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki will meet with US President Barack Obama today. The pair will hold a joint press conference at the White House today at 3pm EDT. Watch live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
President Obama will also hold a primetime press conference tonight at 8pm EDT. It will be carried on the networks as well as live at Whitehouse.gov/live.
Millions turned out in Asia to catch today’s solar eclipse, the longest eclipse of this century, CNN. Images of today’s solar eclipse: Xinhua, IBN.
Stunning video of the eclipse from all across Asia from BBC News.
A key report on the closing of the Guantanamo prison has been delayed. A Justice Department-led task force was charged with figuring out how the detainees remaining in Guantamo prison will be tried, charged, or released, but the group is not ready with that information. The Obama administration says they are still committed to closing the prison by the deadline of January 2010, Voice of America.
Two cities in eastern Afghanistan were hit by suicide bombers and armed gunmen yesterday. Militants in Gardez attacked the governor’s compound as well as a police station and an intelligence directorate. In Jalalabad, militants attacked an air force base. Attacks are expected to increase in anticipation of the upcoming August 20 elections, BBC News.
The US military is targeting poppy seeds in Afghanistan in hopes of reducing the country’s drug crops. 300 tons of poppy seeds in a field in Helmand province were destroyed by bombs yesterday. Poppies are used to make heroin and opium and the profits often are used to fund the Taliban. Aid agencies are trying to encourage Afghan farmers to grow wheat instead, CNN.
Japanese Prime Minister, Taro Aso, has dissolved the lower house of Japan’s Parliament and has scheduled new elections to be held on August 30. Polls show that Aso and his party are expected to lose, Japan Times.
Politicians in California have come to an agreement over the state’s budget. Democratic legistalors agreed to $15.5 billion in program cuts to make up part of the $26.3 billion budget shortfall, but Republicans have steadfastly refused to consider raising taxes on individuals or corporations. The state will also borrow money from local governments and the corrections and education systems will face cuts, Mercury News.
Sky watchers in Asia will get a chance to witness a solar eclipse tomorrow, July 22. In a solar eclipse, the moon passes between the sun and the Earth, Space.com. Maps of the zone of visibility. China’s coverage of the eclipse, Xinhua.