Iceland has officially submitted an application for membership in the European Union. Albania, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro and Turkey also have applications to the EU in consideration. However, the applications have been held up because France and Germany objected that the EU cannot contain more than 27 states without a treaty amending some of the rules is ratified, Reuters.
Two light rail trains crashed yesterday in San Francisco, injuring dozens, Associated Press.
A helicopter carrying civilians crashed while attempting to take off at the Kandahar Air Base in Afghanistan. 16 people were reportedly killed and at least 5 injured. The helicopter was Russian-made and belongs to a company that is a military contractor, but no details about the identity of the victims has been released. This incident follows a helicopter crash near the Sangin military base in which insurgents are suspected of shooting down the helicopter. 6 Ukrainian crew died as well as 1 Afghan girl who was on the ground, BBC News.
With the Chinese government cracking down hard on Uighurs, a Muslim ethnic group predominantly living in the Western Chinese province of Xinjiang, Western media is increasingly connecting Uighurs with terrorism. CNN reports today that Chinese police killed 12 Uighurs who were said to be rioting and “using iron rods, stones and bricks to kill innocent residents.” Compare the CNN article with the article by Chinese state media, Xinhua. In a situation like this, similar to the conflict in Sri Lanka earlier this year, it is extremely difficult to discern what is really going on when most of the information is coming from state media.The last six paragraphs of the CNN article attempt to link the Turkistan Islamic Party, a group that claimed credit for bus bombings in China last summer, with the Uighurs. The organization has released videos condemning actions of the Chinese government, but there is no evidence the the group speaks for the Uighur people. There are about 8 million Uighurs in Xinjiang making up 40% of the province’s total population.
Al Jazeera has a video report with an overview of the situation and interviews and images from Xinjiang.