A new survey from the Guttmacher Institute estimates that 70,000 women die every year from unsafe abortions and millions more are injured. The study found that official laws or regulations prohibiting abortion does not stop the practice from occurring but rather that it only makes the procedure more dangerous and unsafe. The abortion rate is the lowest in the Netherlands (10 in 1000) where most young people report they use two forms of contraception, BBC News.
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown announced today that he will send an additional 500 troops to Afghanistan, in addition to the 9,000 British troops already fighting there, Guardian.
The government of Iraq has released new figures on the number of deaths in the country since the U.S. invasion in 2004. The human rights ministry of Iraq says that at least 85,000 have been killed by bombs, murders, and fighting. The number is based on death certificates issued by the health ministry through 2008, Al Jazeera.
Human rights groups are calling on Israel to release 335 Palestinians being held without a trial. International law allows for detentions without charge or trial only in extraordinary circumstances in which the security of the state is at risk, CNN.
Residents of coastal Indonesia took part in a tsunami drill earlier today. The UN-backed initiative tested warning systems and helped residents learn what to do in the event of a tsunami warning. On December 26, 2004 the region suffered one of the greatest natural disasters in recent history when a massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean killed 230,000 people in Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India, Reuters.