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December 7, 2008

Rioters protest police shooting

The New York Times reported Sunday that riots broke out in Athens, Greece over the police shooting of 15-year-old boy.
Two police officers have been arrested in connection with his death, one with manslaughter and the other with aiding him.
The boy was shot in a confrontation with police Saturday night.
After the shooting, hundreds of teenagers rioted in the streets, burning cars and businesses.
Six people were arrested for stealing from stores and boutiques.
Police countered the rioters with teargas, and the Athens police spokesperson said that dozens of officers had been injured in the riots.
Witness accounts differ about the shooting, but some say that about 30 teenagers mobbed a police car throwing stones, which caused the officers to fire shots.

November 23, 2008

Iran executes spy, and blogger arrested

The New York Times reported Saturday that Iran executed a man accused of spying for Israel.
Ali Ashtari was executed Monday by hanging, according to the article, and was said to have confessed to spying in his June trial after being arrested in 2006.
Newspapers reported that he was the manager of a company which sells communication and security equipment to Iran.
An Israeli official denied the country's knowledge of the spying.
The tension between the two countries stems from Iran's nuclear program, and Iran does not recognize Israel as a state.
Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has spoken out against Israel since his election in 2005.
A blogger, Hossein Derakhshan, was also arrested this month accused of spying.
An Israeli journalist, Abraham Rabinovich, defended Derakshan and said that he was just trying to give both countries a different perspective on each other.

November 17, 2008

Russia hopes relations with U.S. will get better because of Obama

The New York Times reported Sunday that Russia's president hopes that relations with the U.S. will get better when Obama becomes president, but that he would not change his mind on certain issues.
President Dmitri A. Medvedev came to Washington spoke of Russia's opposition to NATO and would not change its recognition of two separatist regions in Georgia.
He also repeated his threat to deploy missiles in Kaliningrad if the U.S.builds missile systems in Poland and the Czech Republic, but was willing to discuss the issues.
He also said that the relations between the U.S. and Russia lacked trust, and hoped that could change once Obama is president.
This could put Obama in a difficult position because if he decided not to go ahead with the plans to build the missile systems, it could look like he is backing down from Russia.
Mr. Medvedev said he does not have anti-American sentiments and that it was "nothing personal."

November 9, 2008

Doctors struggle to contain cholera outbreak in Congo

The New York Times reported Sunday that an an outbreak of cholera is spreading through a refugee camp in Congo.
Doctors fear that the outbreak could spread if people leave the camp.
Thousands of people gathered in a church to pray for peace after the recent execution of civilians.
The fighting began because of the killing of 500,000 people in Rwanda in 1994.
Fighting continues between rebels and soldiers, and the United Nations is struggling to try to keep peace.
50,000 refugees have come to Kibati, some of whom sleep in shacks and some sleep outside huddled together.
There have been 45 cases of cholera reported since Friday, and the outhouses are especially dangerous places.
Doctors have had to transfer patients to the hospital at night because fighting does not allow doctors to treat patients at night.
Other cholera outbreaks have reported elsewhere in Congo.
The UN is also investigating other war crimes in the country in which many people have been killed execution style.

November 2, 2008

Pakistani Civilians fight back against Taliban

The New York Times reported Saturday that a group of Pakistani civilians killed 6 militants from the Taliban who shot eight Pakistani police officers in Buner.
The group went on a five day hunt for the militants and took a cell phone video of blood gushing from their wounds.
The police in Pakistan have been overwhelmed by the Taliban, and have been encouraged citizens to form their own "posses."
They said they hope that this will be a deterrence for the Taliban, but many police officers have already been killed.
Many of the police officers are underpaid and are not as well armed as the Taliban.
The people of Buner said that they want to avoid civil war, and have seen surrounding towns engulfed in conflict between the army and militants.
AThey said they would rather handle the militants themselves than have the army come in.
This conflict has caused many people to become refugees.
The police also found a suicide vest equipped with explosives, and other extremely lethal items.

October 26, 2008

Melamine found in Chinese eggs

The New York Times reported Sunday that an illegal amount of the chemical melamine was found in Chinese eggs.
There was a reported 4.7 parts per million of melamine found in the eggs produced by a division of China's Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group, and the legal limit is 2.5.
Hong Kong Secretary for Food and Health York Chow said that experts thought the melamine may have come from the chicken feed.
This relates to the larger scandal in China regarding other dairy products contaminated with melamine.
So far, 3,600 children are reported sick due to the contamination, and 4 have died.
Farmers reportedly added the melamine after dilluting it with water.
They added the melamine so that it would test higher for protein.
Calls to Dalian Hanwei Enterprise Group were not answered.
Health experts say that melamine is not a danger in small doses, but in larger doses it can be.
They also said that infants are particularly vulnerable.

October 19, 2008

Taliban kills and beheads dozens of bus passengers

The New York Times reported Sunday that the Taliban is responsible for a bus ambush Thursday in which they killed 30 people.
Afghan officials said that of the 6 bodies they have retrieved so far, all 6 have been beheaded, and they have received information that there are 24 more victims.
The attack took place in the Maiwand District, where Taliban attacks are frequent and the insurgency is the strongest in the country.
Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a Taliban spokesman, said that they had evidence that the bus passengers were with the Afghan National Army. He also said that the victim's families had been contacted to be informed that the men would be killed.
Afghan officials denied that the victims were with the National Army, and said that they were just civilians looking for work.
The Taliban tried to stop two different buses, but was not able to get the first one to stop, so they opened fire on it, killing a baby and wounding a man inside. The second bus did stop, and 10 people were released but 40 people are unaccounted for.

October 12, 2008

Toronto lawn signs lead to vandalism

The New York Times reported Saturday that Toronto residents who put signs in their yards supporting the Liberal Party were the targets of vandals.
Many residents now feel the need to check underneath their cars before leaving to make sure that they have not been tampered with.
Last weekend, over 30 Toronto residents with lawn signs promoting this party had their brakes cut, cable television or phone lines cut, or their cars or homes sprayed with graffiti.
It happened in an upper-middle class neighborhood, where there is normally a low amount of crime.
Police said that the attacks all fit a similar pattern, but some were more dangerous than others.
One resident realized there was a problem before he left his driveway, but another nearly collided with a bus in a major intersection after his brakes had been cut.
Police do not believe that the opposing campaign is involved with the acts.
Only about 14 residents decided to remove their signs, while over 100 residents have decided to put up a sign to challenge the vandals.

October 5, 2008

Gay Senegal man fears for his life, immigrates to New York

The New York Times reported on Sunday that a gay man from Senegal immigrated to the United States because he feared for his life.
Pape Mbaye is a flamboyant singer from Senegal who was persecuted for being gay.
Pictures were posted of him at a "gay wedding" which he said was just a party, and caused an outrage in his country.
Because there are laws against homosexual relations in Senegal, he was taken into custody and questioned.
Usually, gays are tolerated silently in Senegal, but the public display of pictures was too much.
The police told Mbaye that he should go into hiding because the public would attack him.
When he got out of detention, his apartment had been vandalized, so he did flee.
After being attacked on several occasions, he was allowed to immigrate to New York.
Now that he is in America, he is still trying to avoid the Senegal community because he fears that they will harass him here as well.
He is looking for a job as an entertainer, and wants to work in a hotel, restaurant, or club but is finding it hard because he does not yet know fluent English.

September 28, 2008

Car Bomb in Syria kills 17 civilians

The New York Times reported that a car bomb in Syria exploded Saturday morning killing 17 civilians.
The bomb shattered glass and damaged dozens of cars and buildings on the city block.
It exploded near one of Syria’s highly secretive security services.
The bombing followed two political assassinations within this year, as well as a massive prison riot.
Interior minister, Gen. Basam Abd al-Majid, said the bomb was the work of terrorists.
Marwan Kabalan, a political science professor at Damascus University, said the attacks are becoming more frequent.
It is the deadliest attack since the 1980s.
In the 1980s, Syria battled Sunni Islamist rebels, which left tens of thousands of people dead.
Syria has been accused of transporting Islamist fighters across its eastern border into Iraq, even though it has a long history of fighting Sunni Arab militants.

China Investigates Contaminated Infant Formula

The New York Times reported on Friday that China will be investigating infant formula that was contaminated with melamine and is linked to the death of one baby and at least 50 cases of kidney problems in other babies.
The producer of this formula, Sanlu Group, recalled 700 tons of the formula after finding out it was contaminated.
However, there are many questions regarding this incident and the Sanlu would not answer phone calls from the New York Times regarding the incident.
Chinese officials say they have interviewed almost 80 dairy farmers and milk dealers and suspect that some milk may have been diluted with water and then had melamine added to mask the dilution.
Officials promise severe consequences for people who are found responsible.
This is not the first case of contamination of Chinese products. Last year, pet food with contaminated Chinese ingredients killed thousands of pets, after which China promised no people foods would be contaminated with melamine.

Al Qaeda may be behind Bomb of Marriott in Pakistan

The New York Times reported that a bomb that killed 53 people at a Marriott Hotel located in Pakistan may be the work of Al Qaeda.
Pakistani and U.S. officials think that the terrorist group bombed the hotel in an attempt to disrupt the country, democracy, and the already suffering economy in Pakistan.
Over 260 others were wounded in the blast, including foreigners and Americans.
A truck, which was said to be carrying 1320 lbs. of explosives, tried to get past security and blew up, causing a 24 foot deep crater.
Yahoo News reported that the truck was burning at the hotel gate for 3 1/2 minutes as guards tried to put out the fire.
Not only was the hotel damaged, but so were nearby cars as well.
Security tried to move many people to the back of the hotel before the truck exploded, so many people were able to flee the hotel before the explosion.
President Asif Ali Zardari said the bombing was a cowardly act, and left for the United States on Sunday.
The United States said it will assist the country with their investigation.