Massive celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China have begun in China where it is Thursday, October 1. Full round-up and coverage of the celebrations, Xinhua. Live video, Xinhua. Heavy security will be in force in Tiananmen Square where a large military parade will highlight China’s position as a world power, Voice of America. Live Blog from Reuters reporter Lucy Hornby at Tiananmen Square, Reuters. Memories of Chairman Mao’s declaration of a new China from those who witnessed the event in Tiananmen Square, AFP. China before Mao, ABC Radio National Rear Vision, Transcript and Audio.
Workers at France Telecom has been committing suicide, sometimes at work, at what some have said is an alarming rate. Since France Telecom was privatized a decade ago, workers have complained about the conditions. 24 workers have committed suicide in the past 18 months, including 8 since this summer alone, NPR.
Members of the Forbes 400, the 400 wealthiest individuals in America, collectively lost $300 billion last year. Microsoft founder Bill Gates is #1 on the list with assets worth $50 billion, CNN Money.
A two-day Distracted Driving Summit sponsored by the U.S. Department of Transportation is taking place in Washington, D.C. today and tomorrow. Speakers at the summit called for all states to ban texting while driving, Christian Science Monitor. Summit homepage, DOT. Twitter username DistractedDriving.
U.S. Army statistics show that the suicide rate among soldiers is rising at a record pace. 17 soldiers were either confirmed or believed to have committed suicide in the month of May. So far this year, there are 82 suspected/confirmed cases, which will most certainly pass last year’s 133 deaths, the most ever, CNN.
Sudan is allowing four aid agencies back into the country after ousting them from Darfur in March. Care International, Save the Children, Mercy Corps, and Padco will be allowed back in to help, as long as they slightly change their names and use different logos. The move is seen as a good sign for improving relations between aid agencies and the Sudanese government, BBC News.
Football club Real Madrid has paid a record-breaking 80M pounds to Manchester United in a transfer fee for star Cristiano Ronaldo. The fee is by far the highest in history. Man U. accepted the bid, allowing Real to begin talks with Ronaldo about a trade, BBC Sport.
American officials are reporting that they now have evidence that some al-Qaeda fighters are moving into Yemen and Somalia. Reports say leaders are among militants who have moved, and that they are in close contact with al-Qaeda members in Pakistan. The precense of the group especially in Somalia is troubling, as an Islamic militant group, the Shabab, are already threatening to topple the government, New York Times.
Voting begins in South African elections. The African National Congress (ANC), which has been the majority party for the 15 few years, is expected to be challenged by a new political party, Congress of the People (COPE), which is targeting younger voters. ANC leader Jacob Zuma is expected to win the presidency. BBC News has a live blog of the election. South Africa’s official election site has a list of all parties and candidates.
Sri Lanka says its military has broken into a warzone held by the Tamil Tigers and that people who were trapped inside are streaming out. Media has not been allowed near the disputed zone or allowed to interview civilians, Guardian.
Freddie Mack CFO David Kellermann was found dead in his Fairfax County, Virginia home this morning. Police did not find any evidence of foul play and suspect suicide. Freddie Mac is a company that provides financing for mortgages. The company was taken over by the federal government last year after the sub-prime mortgage crisis spiraled out of control, CNN.