Recently in International Category

According to the New York Times, a vote by the Afghan Parliament Sunday authorized the dismissal of two powerful security ministers from the team of President Hamid Karzai.

Lawmakers said the decision was aimed at ending corruption within the government, and that the ministers did not do enough to protect the nation from recent rocket attacks from Pakistan.

Since U.S. officials have had a long history of interaction with the ministers, the change in authority could threaten stable U.S. relations with the Afghan ministry. The U.S. has been preparing to leave the nation, and this sudden change may put U.S. officials as well as the Obama Administration in a difficult position.

According to CNN, the two men, Defense Minister Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak and Interior Minister Gen. Besmillah Mohammadi will remain in their current positions until replacements are named.

Julian Assange's mother will meet with authorities in Ecuador Monday to ask for her son's political asylum plea to be granted, according to CNN.

After losing an appeal to the United Kingdom Supreme Court on counts of sexual assault in Sweden, the Wikileaks founder fled to the Ecuador embassy to file for asylum under the UN Human Rights Declaration, according to WebProNews.

Assange thinks his extradition to Sweeden has political motivation, and is looking for protection from such attacks. Assange remains under protection of the embassy while the request is being processed. According to an embassy statement, Equador officials do not wish to interfere with the judicial process of Sweden or the United Kingdom.

Christine Assange has traveled to Quito and said she trusts the Ecuador authorities will make the right decision. She intends to highlight the human rights issues in her son's case.

Christine Assange also said if her son is sent to Sweden, he could be handed over to U.S. authorities, where he could face the death penalty or years of torture in a U.S. prison.

Dozens Killed in Bejing Floods

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37 people have been killed by massive flooding in Bejing, according to CNN. The floods are the heaviest recorded in the area in 60 years.

The storm lasted for 10 hours, and left many pedestrians and drivers stranded. Over $1.5 billion worth of damages were caused by the storm, 2 million people have been effected, and thousands were evacuated.

The government has predicted more upcoming and potentially dangerous storms in provinces throughout China, according to National Public Radio.

Disney Performance in North Korea

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A show played on state TV in North Korea featured performers dressed as Disney Characters, according to BBC.

The concert was staged for Kim Jong-un, the young leader who took power of the nation after the death of his father in 2011. This performance marked a drastic difference from former philosophies in North Koerea banning any Western based media.

Mr. Kim has stated that he wants to make changes in the nation's leadership profile, and bring about a dramatic turn in literature and arts.

Although the U.S. and North Korea do not currently have diplomatic relations, the nation's embrace of popular American characters is part of an attempt to reflect Kim's increased acceptance of modernity, according to the Guardian.

Media Outlets in Iraq Ordered to Shut Down

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Iraqi officials were given orders to close down numerous local and international media outlets throughout the nation, Russia Today reported.

Iraq's Communications and Media Commission reportedly issued an official document to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory requiring that 44 media outlets be closed.

A statement by the Society for Defense of Press Freedom claimed the law is unconstitutional, and is in violation with international laws and regulations agreed to by the Iraqi government. A lawsuit against the Iraqi government opposing the law was filed by a group of journalists, demanding the legislation be overturned.

Most of the outlets asked to be shut down are local, but the news sources BBC and Voice of America have been targeted as well, CBS News reported. Iraq's Media Commission said it will only require unlicensed outlets to be shut down; yet U.S.-based Radio Sawa has also been asked to close despite having a license and operating under all Iraqi regulations.

No media closures have been forced at this point, but the future of the law remains uncertain.


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