Recently in International News Category

Twin of Poland's Former President To Run For President

Jaroslaw Kaczynkski, the twin brother of Poland's former President Lech Kaczynki, has named himself a candidate for president.

Lech Kaczynki died in an April 10 plane crash in Russia, along with many other senior members of Poland's government., the BBC said.

Jaroslaw Kaczynkski served as Prime Minister to Polan, and has been expected to follow in his brother's footsteps following the crash, The Independent said.

The brothers were the founding members of the Law and Justice party in 2001, the BBC reported. Jaroslaw Kaczynkski wants to continue his brother's presidential mission.

Acting President Bronislaw Komorowski is currently favored to win the election, with Jaroslaw Kaczynkski expected to receive no more than 25 percent of the country's vote, The Independent reported.

Iran Dubs U.S. 'Atomic Criminal'

The Supreme Leader of Iran, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, called the U.S. an "atomic criminal" at a Tehran conference on nuclear disarmament.

Ayatolla Khamenei said the U.S. is the world's only atomic criminal in a message that was read by an aide at the conference, the BBC reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad then called on the International Atomic Energy Agency, a UN division, to suspend the country, the BBC reported.

He told the conference that the use of nuclear weapons is prohibited by Islamic law, the BBC reported.

Ahmadinejad also argued that the U.S. has taken no significant measures to disarm itself of nuclear weapons, despite being against weapons proliferation, the China Post reported.

President of Poland Dies in Plane Crash

President Lech Kaczynsk and many Polish political figures died Saturday in a plane crash in Russia.

Officials in Poland and Russia say there are no survivors from the plane wreck that killed Poland's president, army chief, members of parliament and other government officials and historians, according to a BBC article.

The plane and over 80 passengers were headed to Warsaw for an event marking the 70th anniversary of a WWII massacre of thousands of Poles in Katyn Woods, reported the BBC.

The crash was caused when the plane missed the runway though thick fog, and instead snagged treetops and tore apart, the New York Times reported.

The New York Times quotes former President Lech Walesa as calling the crash the biggest disaster since Katyn.

9 Trapped Chinese Workers Rescued

9 workers trapped in a Chinese coal mine for over a week have been rescued.

The workers were some of the 155 who were trapped after the Wangjialing coal mine flooded, reported the BBC.

3,000 rescue workers are working around the clock in an attempt to rescue the remaining miners, said the BBC. The last sign of life was Friday when tapping was heard on metal pipes.

The mine state-owned and was not yet in operations, reported the Xinhau news agency.

Chinese mines are among the most dangerous in the world, and there are reports that country officials ignored leaks in the mine earlier last week, reported the BBC.

Bush and Clinton Visit Haiti to Support Fund

Former presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton visited Haiti last week to raise awareness of their fund-raising efforts.

The pair met with the country's leaders, visited displacement camps, and toured small businesses, reported CNN.

The two were asked by President Obama to lead the US fundraising program for the earthquake-stricken country. They created the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund in response, which has since raised over $37 million, the BBC reported.

A major goal of the Clinton Bush Haii Fund is to help the country reestablish themselves in textile training, CNN reported. Clinton explained to the news outlet that Korean businesses have already expressed interest in investing in textile exportation

Government officials expect that $11.5 billion will be needed to rebuild the country, the BBC said.

European Union Considers Bail-Out Package for Greece

The E.U. is expected to reach an agreement on a potential package to help Greece recover from its economic crisis.

Finance ministers from 16 European counties will meet Monday to continue discussion of the bill, the New York Times reports.

The bill will be available if Greece asked for help. So far it has not, the BBC reported.

A majority of the aid would most likely be through loan guarantees or bilateral loans, said the New York Times. The E.U. prohibits a straight bailout.

Greece has reached a national debt of $419 billion. This deficit is about four times higher than allowed by euro zone standards, the BBC said.

Africa Launches Effort to Eradicate Polio

Heath care workers and volunteers in Africa began an effort to eradicate polio in west and central Africa over the weekend.

The joint effort between the Red Cross and the United Nations will vaccinate 85 million children when 400,000 workers go door-to-door orally vaccinating all children under the age of five, said BBC News.

The plan is modeled after efforts in Nigeria which have been successful in nearly eradicating the disease from the country, said Reuters Africa. About 80% of Nigerian children have been vaccinated, and the number of cases and since collapsed.

The virus spreads in areas with poor sanitation and affects the nervous system of the host, often causing paralysis, explained Reuters Africa.

Religious groups in Africa are supporting the mass vaccination, and analysts are optimistic that the efforts will prove to be successful in lowering the transmission of the virus, said BBC.

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Chile

Chile was hit Saturday morning with one of the most powerful earthquakes in the last century.

The earthquake registered 8.8 in the Richter scale has displaced over 2 million people, reported the Associated Press.

The death toll on Sunday evening was more than 700 and was expected to rise, reported the Washington Post.

The damage is nowhere near as severe as what Haiti sustained during their January earthquake. Paul Caruso, an earthquake geophysicist is quoted in the Washington Post as saying "We would have expected that an 8.8 earthquake would have done a lot more damage. The people in Chile have experience with earthquakes that saved hundreds if not thousands of lives."

As search and rescue efforts continued into Sunday, about 30 aftershocks hit the area, some registered a magnitude of 6.0, reported the Associated Press.

Lufthansa Pilots Begin Strike

Pilots of the German Airliner Deutsche Lufthansa AG began a four-day strike Monday.

The strike began after final efforts on behalf of the Lufthansa's almost 4000 pilots and airline to negotiate pay and job security failed, reported CNN.

The airline has already canceled a majority of it's flights over the strike's time frame and the cost of 25 millions euros a day, says the Wall Street Journal.

Lufthansa has been rebooking patients on other carriers as well as trains, reports the Wall Street Journal.

CNN estimates that the strike will effect more than two dozen partner airlines around the world.

Clinton Calls for Increased Action on Iran's Nuclear Programs

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called for increased action too be taken against Iran for it's nuclear programs when she spoke at the US-Islamic World forum earlier in the week.

Clinton's call to action comes after an announcement from Iran that it has stepped up production of highly enriched uranium, reported CNN.

Clinton said that she was hoping to begin diplomatic relations with Iran, but that they will not be able to begin until Iran ends it's nuclear programs, said the BBC.

The BBC article said that while Iran claims it's nuclear program is for electricity generation, western countries believe that Iran is creating nuclear weapons. The article quotes Clinton as saying "The evidence is accumulating that that's exactly what they are trying to do."

CNN says that Clinton's speech and trip to the conference is Qatar is part of efforts on behalf on the United States to improve relations with Arab nations.

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