Recently in International news Category

Climate deal announced

After weeks of deliberation, a deal was reached in Copenhagen to combat global climate change Friday, but leaders recognized that it is only a first step and falls short of some expectations, according to the New York Times.

President Obama said,"It is going to be very hard, and it's going to take some time" to get to a legally binding treaty.

The agreement drops a goal of having a legally-bound treaty by 2010. This leaves the future specifics of the plan undecided.

A final deal reached by the 193 nations involved is likely to have a $100 billion long-term financing arrangement and a deal for all countries to keep their temperature rise no more than 2 degress Celsius, according to the Toronto Star.




FBI questions Americans detained in Pakistan

FBI investigators have detained five Muslim American men in Pakistan, according to the New York Times.

The men, who are from the suburbs of Washington, are suspected of jihadist training with Al Qaeda and the Taliban in Pakistan to fight American troops in Afghanistan.

Although the men have not been charged with anything in Pakistan, American officials said they want to bring them back to the U.S. to be charged.

Officials said the men used internet sites like Facebook and Youtube to link up with extremists in Pakistan, according to NPR.

A search of the suspects' computers showed they had watched Youtube videos with U.S. troops fighting in Afghanistan.

"Basically most of the noise on the Internet are the clarion calls to battle from the jihadis, the inspirational and motivational messages that they communicate," said Bruce Hoffman, a terrorism expert at Georgetown University. "And there has really been almost no concerted, systematic and strategic effort to counter those messages."

NATO to pledge additional troops

NATO leaders said 25 countries will back the U.S. escalation in Afghanistan with at least 7,000 troops Friday, according to the Washington Post.

The promise comes after President Obama's announcement on Monday that the U.S. would commit an additional 30,000 troops to Afghanistan, and had been looking for 10,000 troops from the international community.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said she was "encouraged" by the news.

"Today, our people are weary of war. But we cannot ignore reality," she said.

The top NATO and U.S. commander in Europe said he expects several thousand more to be added to the 7,000, according to NPR.


Coal mine blast kills 42 in China

A huge blast in a coal mine in northern China has killed 42, and has left 66 trapped a third of a mile underground Saturday, according to the Associated Press.

The State Administration of Work Safety said there were 528 miners underground at 2:30 a.m., the time of the explosion, and 389 were able to escape. Rescuers are currently trying to find the survivors

The mine is in the Heilongjiang province, which borders Russia, and is larger than most mines where accidents take place, according to Reuters

China has some of the deadliest mines in the world, where more than 3,000 people died in mine accidents in 2008.

Pentagon to ask for additional funding

The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday he expects the Pentagon to request Congress for additional funding for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to the New York Times.

Adm. Mike Mullen didn't give a figure for how much he expects to be requested, but it is rumored by defense budget analysts to be about $50 billion.

This amount would be in addition to the $130 billion Congress approved just last month.

Any additional funds would depend in large part to how many additional troops President Obama decides to send, according to Reuters.

The president is expected to complete reviewing his war strategy within the coming weeks.

Political crisis in Honduras nearing end

The de facto government of Honduras agreed to a deal Thursday that would allow the desposed president Manuel Zelaya to return to office, according to the New York Times.

The agreement is still pending legislative approval.

Zelaya was originally deposited in Costa Rica, then sneaked back into the country on Sept. 21 and has been living in the Brazilian Embassy since. The de facto government had said it would arrest him if he tried to leave.

Zelaya was deposited after disregarding orders from the Supreme Court to abandon a referendum that would rewrite the constitution, according to USA Today.

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton called the deal "an historic agreement."

The agreement would create a power-sharing government and bind both sides to recognize the presidential elections that will be held Nov. 29.



NATO Endorses More Troops

Defense ministers from NATO endorsed a proposed plan by Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal that would send more troops into Afghanistan Friday, according to the New York Times.

Defense leaders meeting in Bratislava, Slovakia rejected competing proposals to narrow the military efforts to fight the remnants of Al Qaeda.

"The only way to ensure that Afghanistan does not become once again a safe haven for terrorism is if it is made strong enough to resist the insurgency as well, " said Anders Fogh Rasmussen, the NATO secretary-general.

The leaders did not discuss specific troop levels, but the NATO endoresment is likely to add impetus to McCrystal's request for 40,000 additional troops, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The Obama administration has been reviewing strategies for the last six weeks, and specific options would be discussed within the next two to three weeks.


Car Bomb Kills 41 in Pakistan

Taliban militants attacked a market using a car bomb in the northwest region of Pakistan Monday, killing at least 41 people, according to the New York Times.

The attack was the fourth against strategic targets across the country in the past week.

The Pakistani military declared that the region, the Shangla District, had been cleared of militants after an offensive this summer.

"This was our first small effort and a present to the Pakistani and American governments," said Azam Tariq, a Taliban spokesman.

Militants also siezed Pakistani army headquarters on Saturday, killing 20 people, according to USA Today.

The standoff ended 22 hours later, when rescuers were able to free 42 hostages.

The attacks show the enduring strength of insurgents in the area, forcing the military to go on the defense.

Socialists are victorious in Greece

The Greek socialist party has defeated the center-right government in national elections in a landside Sunday.

With 88 percent of the vote counted, the Socialist Pasok party was leading  the New Democracy party 44 percent to 34 percent, which will give them a comfortable majority in Parliament, according to the New York Times.

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has also stepped down as leader of the New Democracy Party after suffering the worst defeat in the party's history.

New Prime Minister George Papandreou was sworn in Tuesday, according to the Associated Press.

The new leader's main concern will almost certainly be fixing an ailing economy, using a proposed stimulus package of euro3 billion.

Iran Tests New Mid-Range Missiles

Iran's Revolutionary Guard tested missiles with capability to strike Isreal, parts of Europe, and American bases in the Persian Gulf Sunday, according the New York Times.

The tests came only days after President Obama and the leaders of Britain and France criticized that Iran's previously secret nuclear plant breached UN regulations, and only two weeks after President Obama canceled former President George W. Bush's plan for missile defense systems in the Czech Republic and Poland.

Iran said that its nuclear program is for peaceful purposes, but many leaders said they developing a nuclear weapon.

Iran is to hold talks with the UN security council and Germany on Thursday concerning its nuclear program, according to the BBC.



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