The central Iraqi city of Baquba has been hit by three suicide attacks, killing at least 31. The bombings come just days before Sunday’s parliamentary elections. Iraqi police and military are on high alert before the elections and plan operations to prevent more attacks, BBC News.
The death toll from the 8.8-magnitude earthquake that rocked Chile on Saturday has reached almost 800, but officials say most of the deaths may have been caused by a tsunami. Many of the dead lived in coastal villages that were swept away by a tsunami that occurred as a result of the powerful earthquake, NPR.
Police have arrested three Spaniards believed of infecting 13 million computers with “the world’s biggest network of virus-infected computers.” The program allowed the suspects to steal personal and financial data from computers in over 190 countries, CNN.
The Greek government has approved more tax increases in the country, as well as pay cuts for government employees. The measures are expected to generate the financially strapped country $6.54 billion this year, NY Times.
Guinea’s military leader, Capt. Moussa Dadis Camara, was shot and wounded by one of his aids today. Aboubacar “Toumba” Diakite is believed to be responsible for the attack and is said to have been arrested. Officials say Camara is doing well, BBC News.
The death toll from this morning’s bomb attack in Somalia has risen to at least 19. Four government ministers were killed in the suicide attack, which has been condemned worldwide. Government officials say they believe Islamist militants al-Shabab are responsible, BBC News.
Jewish organizations are siding with the Muslim world over the outrage caused by the Swiss ban on constructing minarets (architecture commonly seen on mosques). The ban was passed after 57 percent of the Swiss population voted in favor, but the country is receiving worldwide heat and many are saying the ban is discriminatory. Italy is also considering introducing a ban on minarets, Jerusalem Post.
The U.S. Senate has passed an amendment to the health care bill that expands women’s access to things such as mammograms, which are preventive services, CNN.
15 people, including 3 cabinet ministers and 3 journalists, are dead after a suicide bomber struck a university graduation ceremony in Mogadishu, the capital city of Somalia. The suicide bomber was dressed as woman. No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombing, but the militant Islamic group al-Shabab is suspected. Islamic militants control much of central and southern Somalia. The capital is protected by African Union peacekeepers who have nearly daily skirmishes with militants, Associated Press.
India’s Minister of State for the Environment has announced that the country will not sign any legally-binding emission reduction agreements at the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen, Times of India. Residents of Shishmaref, Alaska fear climate change could destroy their town, CNN.
Israeli settlers protest a 10-month ban on new settlement construction. East Jerusalem is not included in the ban. Settlements are illegal under international law, but continue to be built by Israelis in disputed lands as a way of bolstering their claims on the land, CNN. The story of a Palestinian farmer whose grove of olive trees has been vandalized by nearby Israeli settlements, BBC News.
The New York State Senate did not approve a bill that would have legalized same-sex marriage, New York Times.
Following yesterday’s withdrawal of challenger Abdullah Abdullah from the Afghan run-off presidential election, the election was called off and the Afghan Election Committee declared incumbent President Hamid Karzai the winner, BBC News.
34 people have died in a suicide bombing attack near Pakistan’s Army headquaters in Rawalpindi, Voice of America. Pakistan is offering rewards totaling $5m U.S. for information that leads to the capture or killing of Hakimullah Mehsud, the top Taliban commander in Pakistan, and his 18 lieutenants, AFP. Reports from the field with the Pakistan Army’s mission in South Waziristan, CNN International.
BBC News has the story of a 14-year-old b0y whose family was visiting Peshawar for a wedding last week. He lost nine family members who had gone to the market where suicide bombers detonated a bomb that killed over 100, watch his story.
Voters in Maine will have a say on whether gay marriage will continue in the state. A no vote on Question 1 will allow gay marriage to continue, Bangor Daily News.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said that the U.S. healthcare reform bill will include a public option. The option of a government-run health insurance plan seemed to be dead in the water months ago, but is gaining more momentum, Wall Street Journal.
The death toll from yesterday’s suicide bombing in Baghdad has risen to 160, including 30 children who were on a bus. At least 540 were injured after the two car bombs detonated around 10:30 am local time, CNN.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai and challenger Abdullah Abdullah are at odds over the country’s election commission chief. Abdullah wants the chief fired, but Karzai has refused. The two will partake in a runoff election on November 7th after the UN issued a report stating they believed Karzai had not legally won the August presidential election, BBC News.
South Korea is offering to ship 10,000 tons of corn to North Korea. It would be the first government aid sent to the communist country in almost two years, but far less than the amount of aid South Korea has exported previously, New York Times.
Iran has accused Pakistani agents of aiding a suicide attack in Sistan-Baluchistan that killed at least 35 people. The attackers targeted a group of Revolutionary Guards and at least six officers were killed, BBC News.
Colorado officials have confirmed that they believe the story of a six-year-old being trapped in a runaway balloon was indeed a hoax. The boy was found safe in his home hours after a desperate search and rescue operation was launched. Authorities say they realized the story was false while watching the boy’s family on Larry King Live, where the boy said “You guys said we did this for the show.” Sheriff Jim Alderden of Larimer County called the story a “publicity stunt,” CNN.
Two aid workers from the Irish agency Goal have been freed after being kidnapped in Darfur over 100 days ago. The conflict in Darfur began in 2003 and has claimed more than 300,000 lives, Reuters.
NASA says it has discovered a stripe of hydrogen that surrounds our solar system. Much about the ring is a mystery, such as why it’s there and what it does, NPR.
Hot Topic: How easy is it to target the Taliban?
Taliban militants bombed a military convoy in northwestern Pakistan killing 41. Attacks have increased in recent days, including an attack on Pakistan’s military headquarters where militants were able to hold hostages for more than 24 hours this weekend, Bloomberg. Q & A on the army HQ attack, Reuters. Militant groups including the Taliban and al Qaeda are spreading into parts of Pakistan that were previously peaceful, BBC News (warning: link inncludes emotional account of a man who lost his family in a bombing.)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed members of the Northern Ireland Assembly today urging leaders to reconcile their differences and work together in compromise. A key dispute involves the transfer of police powers from London to Belfast, New York Times.
Elinor Ostrom, a professor at Indiana University, and Oliver Williamson, a professor at the University of California at Berkeley have won the Nobel Prize for Economics. Ostrom is the first woman to win the prize for economics, Voice of America.
A power company in Mexico has been taken over by the Mexican government. Luz y Fuerza del Centro supplies power to Mexico City and four central states. Officials said the decentralized public company was not financially stable. A new government owned company will take over, CNN.
17 people were killed after a car bomb exploded in a suicide attack near the Indian Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, Al Jazeera. India’s influence in Afghanistan, BBC News. A Pentagon military task force will look at reforming prisons in Afghanistan to end the influence of al Qaeda on inmates, New York Times.
In a video message, an al Qaeda official calls for ethnic Muslims in China, known as Uighurs, who live mostly in China’s western province of Xinjiang, to wage holy war against the Chinese government. Tensions have been rising in the region as more ethnic Han Chinese move to the area looking for work, CNN.
Typhoon Melor hit Japan yesterday, killing 3 and injuring at least 64, Japan Times.
Herta Mueller was awarded this year’s Nobel Prize for Literature. Mueller’s work depicts the harsh conditions of life under Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceausescu, BBC News.