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.
70 years ago today Germany invaded Poland. Britain and France declared war on Germany two days later. Remembrances are being held throughout Poland today. Polish officials have called for Russia to acknowledge its role in the start of World War II which includes signing a non-aggression pact with Germany. Poland has also asked for an apology for the Katyn massacre in which the entire Polish officer corps was killed. After the war, it came to light that Stalin had ordered the massacre, Reuters. Archive of memories of the war, BBC.
The Dalai Lama is in Taiwan for five days of mass prayers for the victims of Typhoon Morakot. He says his visit is not political but China has cancelled planned visits of Chinese officials to Taiwan, CNN. Slideshow of the typhoon’s destruction, CNN.
Fiji has been suspended from the Commonwealth, a group of 53 former British colonies and possessions, for refusing to call elections next year. Fiji is ruled by a military dictatorship who seized power in 2006, BBC News. An investigation of the relationship between the bottlers of Fiji water and Fiji’s ruling dictators, Mother Jones.
Today marks the 40th anniversary of the coup that brought Moammar Gadhafi to power in Libya, Voice of America.
Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, now says that he does not think foreign agents played any role in fomenting the protests that followed the reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in June, Guardian.
Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu wrapped up his 4-day European tour today with a visit with German Chancellor Angela Merkel where he asked for help in pressuring Iran to end its nuclear program, Reuters.
Over the objections of China, the Dalai Lama has been issued a visa to go to Taiwan to comfort victims of the recent typhoon. The Buddhist leader had been denied entry to the country last year, BBC News.
Amnesty International is calling for a panel to investigate the violence in East Timor by the Indonesian troops and militia that killed up to 100,000 people a decade ago, Jakarta Post.
U.S. President Barack Obama will deliver the eulogy at the funeral of Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston, Massachusetts on Saturday, Associated Press.
A 17-year-old, Mike Perham, from England has circumnavigated the globe solo becoming the youngest person to do so. In the Netherlands, a 13-year-old girl, Laura Dekker, is bidding to smash the new record but is engaged in a court battle with welfare services as to whether she is allowed to sail by herself and miss two years of school, CNN.
1,000 people believed lost following typhoon Morakot in Taiwan have been found. However, hundreds more are still missing. Rescue efforts are underway, Associated Press. Amazing photos of the storm, the destruction and rescue efforts, The Big Picture.
Officials have confirmed that the person killed in last weekend’s raid was not Indonesia’s most wanted terrorist Noordin Mohammed Top. DNA evidence shows instead the man was Ibrohim, who was also wanted in connection with last month’s Marriott and Ritz Carlton bombings in Jakarta. Ibrohim had worked as a florist in the hotels since 2005 and was able to bypass security to bring in explosives, Voice of America.
China has issued a statement on the conviction of pro-democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi. A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said “international society should fully respect Myanmar’s judicial sovereignty,” Reuters.
Schools have closed on Mumbai, India on fears of spreading swine flu, BBC News.
Khmer Rouge jail chief Comrade Duch, while still denying the extent of his involvement in war crimes in Cambodia in the 1970s, says he will accept the decisions of the UN backed tribunal and “the strictest level of punishment” for his crimes, AFP.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin announced Russia will spend $500 million on military bases in Abkhazia, a disputed area of Georgia that Russia has declared to be an independent state, BBC News.
It is believed that hundreds of people have been killed in Taiwan due to a mudslide, which was caused by Typhoon Morakot. 600-800 are missing in the village of Shiao Lin and many of the missing are children and elderly people, BBC News.
Up to 40 people in Japan where injured by today’s 6.6 magnitude earthquake. There have been no reports of damage or injuries from the 7.6 earthquake that struck off the coast of India, BNO News.
More than 100 people have been killed in Iraq in the last four days. Officials are worried confidence in the Americans’ decision to retreat from the area may be waning in the face of increased violence. The death toll stems mostly from deadly bombings, most of which have been aimed at ethnic minorities, AP.