Tag Archives: Uighur

Blair defends Iraq War decision

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair is testifying on his decision to partner with the United States to take Great Britain into the Iraq War in 2003 today, Voice of America. Key points of Blair’s testimony, the Guardian. Guide to the inquiry, BBC News.

Members of the Uighur ethnic group living in China who fled to Cambodia after riots caused by ethnic unrest last July were forcibly returned to China in December. Their whereabouts now are unknown, Human Rights Watch says. HRW is calling for the Chinese government to say where they are being held and to give those detained fair trials, BBC News.

Aid is still not reaching many of the needy in Haiti, even 2 weeks after the earthquake that reduced the capital city of Port-au-Prince to rubble, Al Jazeera.

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Americans Charged with Spying in Iran

3 American tourists who were arrested after they illegally crossed the border from Iraq into Iran have been charged with espionage. Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Joshua Fattal have been held in Iranian prison since July 31. They were hiking in the Kurdish region of Iraq and are said to have accidentally crossed a poorly marked border into Iran, BBC News.

9 men were executed in China for their alleged involvement in the July  riots in Xinjiang Province that led to the deaths of 200 people. Those executed are said to be 8 ethnic Uighurs and 1 Han Chinese, New York Times.

Today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, BBC News. The East German news conference that as an after-thought announced the end of travel restrictions to West Germany, Reuters.  Walls remain standing in many other parts of the world, BBC News.

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Climate Change Makes Ethiopian Food Crisis Worse

25 years after a major food crisis in Ethiopia, an Oxfam International report finds that many in the country still lack regular access to food and that international food aid, while saving lives, does not provide Ethiopia with the tools to prevent future food shortages, Report: Band Aids and Beyond.  The UN’s World Food Program has called for emergency food aid to prevent mass starvation in Ethiopia. The country has suffered from four years of drought and experts fear that global climate change will only make the situation worse, BBC News.  Scientists are working to increase food production as populations increase, New York Times.

The pay czar for the Obama administration, Kenneth Feinberg, is expected to call for 175 top executives at U.S. banks that received bailout funds earlier this year to receive pay cuts of about 90%, CNN.  The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will undertake measures to increase small business stability, including allowing small local banks to qualify for loans at lower interest rates, New York Times.

Human Rights Watch reports that dozens of Uighurs are still missing after months of ethnic conflict in western China, Al Jazeera.  Report: We Are Afraid to Even Look for Them.

Social media service Twitter has announced that tweets will appear in both Google and Microsoft search results, Associated Press.

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Suicide Car Bomb Kills 17 in Kabul

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.

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Dozens Killed in NATO Airstrike in Afghanistan

NATO airstrikes killed at least 80 people, including civilians, this morning. The target was two fuel tankers that had been hijacked by Taliban insurgents on a highway outside the northern city of Kunduz, Afghanistan. The tankers were driven to the small village of Omar Kheil where civilians were said to be siphoning fuel from the tankers at the time of the airstrike, New York Times.

Warning: Graphic video of the airstrike victims from Al Jazeera.

Protesters and police have once again clashed in the western city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province in China. The province is home to a ethnic Uighur population which is predominately Muslim, but ethnic Han Chinese have been encouraged by the Chinese government to move to the region. Tensions have exploded this summer after 200 people, mostly Han Chinese, were killed in riots. The current unrest follows charges by Han Chinese that they are being stabbed with hypodermic needles, BBC News.

A 12-minute report from France 24 with interviews with citizens of Urumqi.

In a letter to the U.N. Security Council, North Korea says it has almost completed uranium enrichment, which means the state may be close to having nuclear capabilities, Yonap News.

Today’s Big Picture features stunning photographs of the California wildfires, Big Picture. The U.S. Forest Service now says that arson was the cause of the fires. Officials are looking for clues in the area where the fire was started. If a suspect is arrested, they will likely also be charged with murder of the two firefighters who have died fighting the blaze, CNN.

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Pakistani Refugees Return to Swat Valley

2 million refugees are returning to Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Swat Valley residents were evacuated from the area while the Pakistani military conducted an intensive fight against the Taliban. The area is safe for families to return to but many homes have been destroyed, Voice of America.

Unrest continues in the Chinese city of Urumqi between Muslim Uighurs and the Chinese government. Two Uighurs were shot and killed by police today. The police were trying to prevent the men from attacking another Uighur, according to official reports, BBC News .

The Prime Minister of Japan is expected to call an election on August 30. His party, the LDP, which has been in power in Japan for most of the past 30 years, suffered losses in recent Toyko elections prompting a vote of no confidence, Reuters.

Suspected Nazi John Demjanjuk has been charged with 27,900 counts of accessory to murder for his alledged involvement in the gassing of prisoners at a concentration camp in Poland during World War II, Associated Press.

The spaceshuttle Endeavor is set for another launch attempt this evening. This will be the fifth try on this go round, Associated Press.

South Korean media reports that Kim Jong-il is suffering from pancreatic cancer, Christian Science Monitor.

Sonia Sotomayor, US President Barack Obama’s nominee to replace David Souter on the Supreme Court, will begin her Congressional confirmation hearings today at 10am EDT. USA Today is live blogging the hearings. Watch live on CSPAN.

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Uighurs Defiantly Worship at Mosques

Uighur muslims in the Chinese city of Urumqi defiantly attended evening services at mosques last night despite a warning from the Chinese government that the mosques should remain closed. China has reinstituted a curfew, Bloomberg.

Leaders at the G8 summit in L’Aquila, Italy have reached an agreement to provide an aid package to Africa that will focus on improving agricultural practices and improving food security. The goal is to move away from providing food aid in the form of food from western countries which often only floods the local market with cheap food and is also diverted from those who really need it, Wall Street Journal.

The trial of Burmese democracy activist Aung San Suu Kyi has resumed after a six week break. She is accused to breaking the terms of her house arrest after an American man came to her Rangoon home uninvited. It is expected that Suu Kyi will be on trial or in prison until after the upcoming elections in Burma, Voice of America.

The ruins of the city of Babylon, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, have been damaged due to use and neglect by Saddam Hussein, and later US troops who established a military base there, according to UNESCO. UNESCO is considering declaring the ruins a World Heritage Site in hopes of preventing further damages, AFP.

US President Barack Obama will make his first visit to sub-Saharan Africa today when he lands in Ghana. Ghana is considered one of the most successful states in Africa and has a functioning democracy, CNN International.

A 27-year-old man was gored to death by a bull during the running of the bulls in Pamlona, Spain. This is the first fatal goring since 1995, Associated Press.

London’s Big Ben is 150 years old today, BBC News.

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China Sends 1000s of Troops to Urumqi to Quell Unrest

Thousands of paramilitary police troops have been sent to the capital city of Urumqi in Xinjiang province in China in an effort to stop the violence that has erupted between ethnic Han Chinese and Muslim Uighurs. 156 people died in riots on Sunday. In addition to the huge show of force, China has also imposed a curfew in the city. President Hu Jintao left the G8 summit early yesterday to deal with the situation from Beijing, Associated Press.

You can read about the riots, which the Chinese government blames solely on the Uigurs, from the official Chinese news agency, Xinhua. For the Uighur perspective, see World Uyghur Congress, the Uyghur Human Rights Project, and, for excellent video, Uighur News.

The G8 (Group of 8: US, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and Russia) summit is underway in L’Aquila, Italy. L’Aquila, the site of devastating earthquakes last April that killed 300 people and left 45,000 homeless, was chosen as the venue as a show of support and a promise of rebuilding. Topics will include the current economic crisis, the environment, and the situation in Iran, CNN.

Researchers in England say they have made human sperm out of stem cells. BBC News has a video tour of the Newcastle lab with an explanation of how the process works.

Coming Up:

Costa Rica will play host to talks to end the current coup/political crisis in Honduras starting on Thursday, AFP.

Results from this week’s elections in Indonesia are expected on July 25th. Exit polling indicates that President Yudhoyono should handily win reelection. Yudhoyono’s goals include continuing economic growth and stamping out corruption. Indonesia is the third largest democracy in the world after India and the US. It is comprised of 17,000 islands and is a Muslim majority country.  In a huge electoral operation, more than 176 million people were eligible to vote at 450,000 polling stations. Voting is said to have gone smoothly, Reuters.

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