Thousands of Yemeni troops are battling Al Qaeda strongholds in Yemen, Al Jazeera. A number of recent incidents, including the recent Christmas Day attempted bombing in Detroit by a man who said he was trained in Yemen, have increased concern about the presence of Al Qaeda in Yemen. Yemen was the site of the attack on the USS Cole in 2000, PBS Newshour. The U.S. embassy in Yemen has reopened, Los Angeles Times. Profile of Yemen’s president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, New York Times.
Burj Khalifa Tower in Dubai has taken over the title of world’s tallest building. The tower was recently renamed after Abu Dhabi’s ruler, Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, gave Dubai $25 billion when Dubai announced that it would not have enough cash to repay debts on construction of the tower. Dubai is one of the 7 emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates. Its economy, which is largely based on real estate and tourism, suffered in the recent economic downturn, Voice of America.
The World Health Organization warns that the threat from the H1N1 virus is not over and is urging people to continue to get the vaccine. WHO’s director-general, who said she had been busy with travel commitments, was finally vaccinated this week, Reuters.
The U.N.’s World Food Programme has had to suspended distribution of aid in Somalia due to security concerns, Al Jazeera. Rebel groups, including the militant al-Shabab group, now control most of Somalia.
The U.N. will host a summit on world hunger next week in Rome. The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation says that over 1 billion people go hungry every day. The world produces enough food, but high prices for commodities such as wheat and rice and unfair trade practices limit access to food for the poor, Reuters. The FAO has called for a world hunger strike on Saturday to highlight the issue, FAO. Follow on Twitter: @faonews. Sign a petition to stop world hunger, 1 billion hungry.
UNICEF has issued a new report says that poor nutrition kills children around the world, CNN International. Report: Tracking Progress on Child and Maternal Nutrition, UNICEF [pdf].
Overweight children in the United States are at increased risk of developing heart disease, CNN.
In an annual state-of-the-union address, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev said that he wants to modernize Russia’s economy, Bloomberg. Profile: Dmitry Medvedev, BBC News.
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.
One year after the collapse Lehman Brothers, the tipping point that led to the collapse of the financial market, U.S. President Barack Obama will address the world’s economic situation today. He is expected to call for more regulation, BBC News. Aftershock: complete coverage of the financial collapse, BBC News.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel debated Vice Chancellor Frank-Walter Steinmeier last night. 40% of Germans are unsure which party they will vote for in the upcoming September 27 election, Associated Press.
Venezula has made a deal to buy a significant quantity of military equipment from Russia, including 92 T-72 tanks and sophisticated air defense system components. Venezula has spent more than $4 billion on Russian military equipment in the past several years. Russia is also helping Venezula develop a nuclear energy program, Christian Science Monitor.
Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden released a new audio message on September 13, two days after the eighth anniversary of the attacks on New York and Washington, D.C., New York Times.
18 women and children were killed in a stampede yesterday as they waited for flour and other supplies in Karachi, Pakistan, Reuters.
The UN reports that world hunger is at an all time high, thanks in part to the economic slowdown. 1.02 billion people worldwide are malnourished, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.
Iranian football players who wore green armbands in protest of the recent presidential election results during a World Cup qualifying match in Seoul last week have “retired.” An Iranian newspaper reports that the four players who wore the armbands have received a life ban from playing for the national Iranian team, CNN.
Former US detainees are speaking out about the abuse they endured while held at the Bagram Airforce Base in Afghanistan. The BBC, based on interviews with 27 former inmates, says the inmates were subkected to extreme temperatures, denied sleep, threatened with death at gunpoint, and were forced to remove clothes in front of female soldiers. The Pentagon denies the allegations, BBC News.