April 26, 2007

Boris Yeltsin received Orthodox funeral

Boris Yeltsin dead
By Candice Dehnbostel

Former Russian President Boris Yeltsin died of heart failure Monday, reported The Associated Press. He was 76.

Yeltsin was buried with Russian Orthodox rites that have not been used in more than a century for a deceased head of state, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Yeltsin, the first freely elected president of Russia, turned the country into a democracy after decades of Communism, reported The Associated Press.

Five babies die in Bosnian orphanage

By Candice Dehnbostel

At least five babies died and over a dozen others were injured in a fire Sunday at a Sarajevo orphanage, reported Reuters.

The fire started on the third floor of the Bosnian Ljubica Ivezic orphanage about 6 a.m., according to The Associated Press. The fire spread to three rooms where the babies were sleeping.

Firefighters put out the blaze in around 10 minutes, reported The Associated Press.

Over 20 children were rescued by firefighters, according to Deutsche Welle, and it is believed several of the injured are in serious condition. The cause of the fire is being investigated.

April 25, 2007

Red Cross says suffering in Iraq worsening

By Candice Dehnbostel

The International Committee of the Red Cross Wednesday released a report describing deepening poverty and “immense suffering� experienced by Iraqi civilians, reported the Guardian Unlimited.

Medical professionals are fleeing the country after colleagues were killed or abducted, according to The Associated Press. Hospitals and other key services are desperately short of staff, said Pierre Kraehenbuehl, director of operations of the Red Cross.

Bodies numbering into the thousands lay unclaimed in mortuaries, because family members either do not know they are there or the families are too scared to retrieve them, Kraehenbuehl said, reported The Associated Press.

April 6, 2007

Former leader pardoned by Rwandan president

By Candice Dehnbostel

Rwanda's ex-president was freed from jail Friday after a surprise presidential pardon of convictions that included inciting ethnic strain, according to The Associated Press.

Pasteur Bizimungu was imprisoned in 2004 after a trial that rights groups said was politically motivated, reported Reuters. He had been sentenced to 15 years in prison for forming a militia, embezzling state funds and creating ethnic violence in a nation just starting to recover from genocide.

Bizimungu, a member of the country's Hutu majority, was accused of supporting hostility toward the Tutsi minority, reported Agence France-Presse.

March 30, 2007

Captured British soldiers shown on Iranian broadcast

By Candice Dehnbostel

The 15 British sailors detained by Iran were shown Wednesday on Iran's Arabic language satellite television station, Al-Alam, reported The Associated Press

The sailors were apprehended March 23 in the Persian Gulf by Iranian forces who claimed British patrol boats carrying the service members diverged into Iranian waters, according to CNN.

Vice Admiral Charles Style, deputy chief of defense staff, said the incident took place 1.7 nautical miles inside Iraqi waters, reported the Chicago Tribune, but Iran released satellite coordinates that placed the patrol boats in Iranian waters.

March 23, 2007

U.S. plans on Iraqi prison expansion

By Candice Dehnbostel

The United States will expand its major detention centers in Iraq to house more prisoners expected from the security crackdown in Baghdad, reported AlJazeera Publishing.

Camp Bucca, in southern Iraq, currently holds 13,800 Iraqi detainees, reported the Washington Post. Camp Cropper, outside Baghdad, has 3,300 prisoners. Camp Cropper is expected to grow to 5,000 in 12 months, according to the Washington Post.

New prisons will be built as a part of the expansion, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The expansion will cost $30 Million for Camp Cropper and $12 million for Camp Bucca, reported the Los Angeles Times.

March 16, 2007

Coroner rules 'Friendly Fire' death unlawful

By Candice Dehnbostel

A British soldier's death by friendly fire from a U.S. warplane in 2003 was ruled criminally unlawful Friday by a British coroner, reported the Washington Post.

Oxfordshire Assistant Deputy Coroner Andrew Walker said the death of Lance Cpl. Matty Hull was avoidable, according to CNN, because coordinates and identification of the British armored convoy could have been checked, but were not.

A U.S. investigation concluded the pilots were not to blame because of the “complex combat environment� and the belief that enemy targets were being engaged, reported The Guardian Unlimited.

March 1, 2007

S. Africa considers reducing elephant populations by culling

By Candice Dehnbostel

Elephants in South Africa may be killed as a part of a population control plan, according to the Associated Press.

Authorities said there are 20,000 elephants in South Africa and they can consume up to 660 pounds of foliage a day. The large number of elephants wreaks havoc on vegetation and other animals, reported the Associated Press.

Alternative options to culling include contraception, relocating herds and increasing parks for the elephants, according to BBC News.

Culling elephants entails killing entire family groups, reported Reuters, which strikes conservationists as cruel. Supporters say culling preserves diversity of plants and animals.

February 23, 2007

UK begins withdrawal from Iraq

By Candice Dehnbostel

Iraqis began to command their main army unit Tuesday in Basra, after United Kingdom troops are being cut back, according to Reuters.

Prime Minister Tony Blair plans on withdrawing 1,600 troops over the coming months, but likely keeping British troops in the Basra region until 2008, reported the Associated Press.

Remaining British troops will train Iraqi police and soldiers so more Iraqi units can patrol the Basra area, according to CNN.

February 15, 2007

Nuclear programs to shut down in North Korea

By Candice Dehnbostel

North Korea’s nuclear program will be halted in exchange for fuel and financial aid, according to the Associated Press.

Nuclear inspectors need to be admitted to the Yongbyon complex in Pyongyang and must take inventory of its plutonium stockpile for North Korea to receive 50,000 tons of heavy fuel oil, reported CNN.

North Korea could receive another 1 million tons of fuel or economic aid of equal value if it permanently shuts nuclear operations down, but Pyongyang did not comment on ultimate disarmament, according to BBC News.

February 9, 2007

Helicopter crashes cause questions of tactics, security

By Candice Dehnbostel

In the past three weeks six helicopters in Iraq have gone down, causing concern over insurgents’ tactics. One of the copters belonged to a private security firm.

The latest crash killed seven people Wednesday. Some witnesses say the helicopter appeared to be shot down, according to the New York Times.

Pilots have tried flying low and fast to protect the helicopters, but insurgents fired high-caliber machine guns and rocket-propelled grenades. The helicopters then tried flying higher, but insurgents countered with surface-to-air missiles, reported the Pioneer Press.

The crashes were followed by tightened security in Bahgdad, according to Major General William Caldwell, a US military spokesman, as stated in The Gaurdian Unlimited.

February 2, 2007

Report connects humans, global warming

By Candice Dehnbostel

A new report that will be released today from leading climate scientists states global warming is "very likely" due to human activities.

Hundreds of scientists from more than 130 countries were involved with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report. The language used in the report is stronger than in previous research. The term "very likely" means that global warming has a probability greater than 90 percent of being man-made, according to the BBC.

The Associated Press is reporting the panel agreed global warming is due to burning fossil fuels and is contributing to stronger tropical storms. Hurricane Katrina is included in this statement.

The 20-page report covers changes in sea level and climate, stating it is a global issue. Scientists are estimating a 3.6 to 8.1 degree Fahrenheit increase in the global average temperature by 2100, according to Reuters.

January 28, 2007

Asteroid causes some scientists, astronomers concern

By Candice Dehnbostel

A group of scientists and astronomers believe a 25 million ton, 820 ft. wide asteroid could pass close to Earth on April 13, 2029, according to

The website states that the asteroid, named Apophis, carries the energy of 65,000 Hiroshima bombs. The asteroid will pass Earth at a distance of 18,800 to 20,800 miles, according to scientists in the article.

These scientists believe that people in Europe, Africa and parts of Asia will be able to see the asteroid in the sky after dusk on April 13.

The asteroid's potential impact would occur somewhere along a 30 mile wide path from Russia to the Pacific Ocean into Central America and then across the Atlantic, according to the website. The asteroid could destroy a small country or cause an 800 ft. high tsunami, stated the article.

Former Apollo 9 astronaut Rusty Schweickart said NASA should begin preparations to do something about the asteroid.

Steven Chesley of the Near Earth Object program at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, CA stated in an analysis there is no cause for alarm yet.