Today marks the 8th anniversary of the U.S. and NATO- led mission in Afghanistan. The anniversary comes amid questions about the future of the mission. The top U.S. general in Afghanistan has requested an additional 40,000 troops. The U.S. led the invasion in 2001 after the country refused to turn over al Qaeda leaders suspected of plotting the September 11 attacks. Though much of the al Qaeda network was forced out of the country, violence has spread to areas that were once peaceful. The Taliban mainatins that there is no justification for the invasion of Afghanistan. The Taliban said in a statement on the group’s website, “We had and have no plan of harming countries of the world, including those in Europe … our goal is the independence of the country and the building of an Islamic state,” Reuters.
After rescue effort failed, more villages on the Indonesian island of Sumatra have been declared mass graves. Last week a 7.6 magnitude earthquake triggered mudslides that buried entire villages. Over 1,000 have been declared dead, Australian Broadcasting Corporation. Images of the destruction, the Big Picture.
The 2009 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists, Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath, for their study of the ribosome which translates genetic code into proteins. Their research has been instrumental in creating new antibiotics by blocking new creation of proteins in ribosomes so that they cannot survive, BBC News.
Pirates off the coast of Somalia mistakenly fired on a French Navy vessel. After they realized the vessel was not a commercial ship, they tried to flee and 5 pirates were captured, CNN.