Recently in International News Category

Two Top-Level Al-Qaida Leaders Killed in Raid

According to U.S. and Iraqi officials, two leaders of the al-Qaida movement were killed in an air strike on Saturday, UPI said.
The top commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, Gen. Ray Odierno, issued a statement identifying the dead as Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the leader of al-Qaida in Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, believed to have led al-Qaida's Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq. The two bodies were found dead in a ditch.
The death of al-Masri could cause havoc in a connection between the leaders of al-Qaida and the radical Sunni Muslim group, however, the Miami Herald says the identity of al-Baghdadi is not 100 percent clear.
If his identity is confirmed, the deaths of these two men, Vice President Joe Biden said they are, "potentially devastating blows," but also important to Biden, "is this action demonstrates the improved security, strength and capacity of Iraqi security forces." Biden is quoted as saying that the Iraqi army led the operation.
An American soldier was killed during the operation and three others were injured when their helicopter crashed during the raid. The U.S. military stated that the aircraft was not brought down by enemy fire, and it is investigating the cause of the crash, the Miami Herald said.


Security Tightens in Bangkok Before Protest

The Thai military has placed about 1,500 troops along a Bangkok road where a protest is expected to take place on Monday morning, CNN said. The protesters are demanding that the prime minister dissolve the government, have new elections, and leave the country so that they can form a democracy.
The protesters are group of people called, "Red Shirts," led by Nattawut Saikua, who announced that the group will hold a protest on Tuesday near the road. The group is named after their red clothing. The road which will be the location of the protest is where offices of some of Thailand's largest companies are located. It is considered a financial center.
The troops are "vowing to punish protesters if they march there," reaffirm fears of more violence. Last week 24 people died in clashes with the government, Reuters said

Double Suicide Blasts Kill 43 in Pakistan

At least 43 people were killed and 100 wounded after two suicide bombs went off Friday in the city of Lahore, Pakistan in the 5th terrorist attack this week, the Miami Herald said.
The attackers detonated themselves in a bustling market, appearing to target passing military vehicles, but mostly striking civilians. About ten soldiers were killed in the blasts.
The Associated Press said that the bombings are a clear sign that insurgents have the power to kill despite the continued efforts of army offensives and U.S. missile strikes.
A series of small explosions created panic in another Lahore neighborhood late Friday. There were five low-intensity blasts that resulted from loose explosives scattered throughout a residential area. The damage from those blasts has been reported a minor, the Associated Press said.
During the insurgency last year, 3000 people were killed, with the last major attack taking place in December, the Miami Herald said.

Deadly Attacks Hit Iraq During Election

At least 35 people have been killed in Iraq's first parliamentary elections since the 2003 invasion, BBC said. Even so, many people turned out to vote at polling stations, in which President Barack Obama called, "an important milestone in Iraqi history," and congratulated Iraqis for their courage.
The Los Angeles Times said that the first explosions occured before 7 a.m. and continued until noon. There were as many as 100 mortar round and 35 bombs in Baghdad during the election.
Some of the worst attacks occured in the Ur neighborhood of eastern Baghdad, where two apartmenet buildings were brought down by explosions before 8 a.m. the Los Angeles Times said.
While there were attacks in other cities, including Mosul, Falluja, Baquba and Samarra, Baghdad was the hardest hit, BBC said.

Roadside Bomb Hits Coach Bus, Kills 11

The Taliban claims to be behind a roadside bomb that hit a coach bus and killed 11 civilians in Afghanistan Sunday, Yahoo News said.
The attack occurred in the Nazwad District of Afghanistan's southern province of Helmand, the provincial administration said.
On Feb 13, thousands of US, NATO, and Afghan troops began a major offensive against the Taliban, called Mushtarak, in Helmand, Yahoo News said. BBC News said that the bomb exploded to the north of where the major offensive is taking place. The Taliban has responded to increased pressure from Afghan and foreign forces with increased bombings and suicide attacks, including a bomb placed on a bicycle that exploded on Tuesday, killing 7 civilians.
Yahoo News reported that there are about 121,000 troops stationed in Afghanistan to fight the Taliban.

Team USA Shocks Canadians in a Huge Upset Over Team Canada

ESPN called it the "biggest upset in Olympic hockey since Miracle on Ice." NHL.com called it an "American Beauty." In a shocking upset over the Canadian National Team on Sunday night, Team USA pulled off a 5-3 victory on Canadian soil, their first victory over Canada since 1960. Ironically, Team USA was wearing throwback jerseys from 1960, the NHL said.
ESPN said that Brian Rafalski had two goals, Chris Drury had one goal, and Jamie Langenbrunner had one as well. The star of the game, however, was undoubtedly Team USA goalie Ryan Miller, who is perhaps the NHL's best goaltender this season, the NHL said. ESPN reported Miller made a whopping 42 saves, in "the victory of a lifetime." Team Canada was expected to coast through to the medal round, but was nearly beat by Switzerland and clearly out-played by Team USA Sunday night. They could still win a gold medal, but they must win on Tuesday and have a difficult journey ahead. Team USA is undefeated.

Team USA Devours China

The final score for the opening game of the U.S. woman's hockey team in Vancouver on Sunday was a whopping 12-1, the Wall Street Journal said.
Forward Jenny Potter lead the scoring with a hat trick, followed by Meghan Duggan with two goals of her own. The Wall Street Journal reported Team USA had a total of 61 shots on goal, while Team China a meager 7 for the entire game.
The Vancouver Sun said that the total number of spectators was 5,278, including Vice President Joe Biden, and Mike Eruzione, the captain of the famous 1980 gold medal-winning men's hockey team.
China's lone goal was scored by Fengling Jin during a power play, the Vancouver Sun said. The crowd rewarded her with cheers, and Jin called scoring the goal, "an honor."

President Karzai Contemplates Draft

President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan told a summit of world leaders in Germany that he may introduce a draft in order to build an army and police force of 300,000 by 2012, the BBC reported.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the resown for the draft would be so Afghanistan may fully undertake the responsibilities of the war against the Taliban within five years.
Karzai said that several communities leaders are supportive of the draft idea.
The comments were made amid disapproval from Western leaders of the Afghan forces; they think it may take up to a decade before the Afghans are ready to assume responsibility on their own.
Their worries were made clearer on Sunday when the deputy police chief of a central Afghan province was arrested for aiding insurgents in placing roadside bombs aimed at coalition troops.
This is not the first time the idea of a draft in Afghanistan has been suggested, as a draft was used in that country until 1992, the BBC reported.


International donors approved of a ten-year rebuilding plan for the devastated nation of Haiti at a meeting held in Montreal last week, promising to be "partners rather than patrons."
Al Jazeera reported that the country's Prime Minister, Jean-Max Bellerive, said that his country would need at least five to ten years to reconstruct the damage caused by an earthquake earlier this month. The meeting was held to determine the country's immediate needs and being mapping out a plan for recovery.
The New York Times reported that donors have concerns about writing a "blank check," as the Haitian government has a history of mismanaging funds. Concerns were also expressed by foreign governments about the ability of Haiti's government to direct a massive reconstruction project, as most government buildings have been flattened by the quake.
Al Jezeera reported that U.S. Secretary of State Hilary Clinton attended the meeting, stressing the importance of finding the correct method for rebuilding. ""We actually think it's a novel idea to do the needs assessment first, and then the planning, and then the pledging," Clinton said.
The Haiti director for the United Nations program, Eric Overest called the earthquake an opportunity to rebuild a better Haiti.

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