Recently in International News Category

Pakistan Supreme Court frees 5 accused of gang rape

The Pakistan Supreme Court on Thursday freed five men accused of gang-raping Mukhtar Mai, the woman who emerged as a symbol of the opressed Pakistan women, on the orders of a village council, reported the New York Times.

The Supreme Court, led by Justice Shakirullah Jan, came to the judgment on the account of perceived flaws in Mai's account of the rape and other discrepancies in statements, which she said during initial investigations, reported the New York Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, because of the severe social stigma associated with rape in Pakistan, many victims commit suicide or do not even file complaints about incidents.

Mai has won international recognition for going public with her case, which in turn helped to illuminate the discrepancy in the conservative Muslim nation of how disturbingly low conviction rates are with cases of rape and domestic violence, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The renowned Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei's detainment on April 3 at the Beijing International Airport while passing through immigration to board a Hong Kong flight, still has no clear answers as to the reason why it happened, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times the artist has no doubtedly ruffled the feathers of the Chinese authorities, but authorities in light of his detainment have failed to notify his family of his wherabouts or disclose the charges against him, even though there is a law that they must do so within 24 hours.

The New York Times reported that throughout his 30-year career, he has become an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, and has sent his most powerful messages through risky rebukes from within the country itself.

Aftershocks in Japan are leading to "phantom quakes"

With all the aftershocks that have been hitting Japan, Doctors in Tokyo are saying that they have been seeing many people experiencing phantom quakes, where they think that things are shaking but in reality are not, reported the New York Times.

Tokyo and the region northeast of the city, have been getting continuous aftershocks ever since the magnitude 9.0 earthquake hit over a month ago, that was accompanied by a horrific tsunami. According to the New York Times two earthquakes were felt in Tokyo on Wednesday, three on Tuesday, and a large one on Monday.

According to the Los Angeles Times, 36 temporary homes were built in Rikuzentakata Japan on the playground of a junior high, to serve as part of a public-private disaster relief effort for the survivors from the northeastern region communities .

The temporary homes are the first newly constructed units in that region ever since the March 11 disaster, and cost hundreds of millions of dollars, reported the Los Angeles Times.

Japan coast rattled by 7.1 magnitude earthquake

A strong 7.1 magnitude aftershock and as issued tsunami warning rattled Japan Thursday night, almost a month after the horrific earthquake and tsunami that left huge amounts of destruction along the northeastern coast, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Los Angeles Times, officials said that this aftershock was a 7.4 magnitude that hit 25 miles under the water, but after analyzed by a seismologist was downgraded to a 7.1 magnitude by the U.S. Geological Survey.

There were no immediate reports of serious injuries or impending damage, and the operator at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant said that there was no indication that the aftershock caused any new problems, reported the Star Tribune.

According to the Star Tribune, Japan's nuclear safety agency said that power plants serving the northeastern coast were in order after the backup generators kicked in.

The brutal struggle for control between forces in support of the Ivory Coast's rival presidents took a horrific turn, as the Red Cross reported that a massacre of up to 1,000 civilians took place in a western town, reported the Los Angeles Times.

The killings in Duekoue reportedly happened over the course of three days last week, when forces supporting the presidential candidate, Alassane Ouattara, took control of Duekoue, according to the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, United Nations Chief Ban Ki-moon has ordered that Ouattara take action against the followers who were involved in the massacre, a UN spokesperson said Sunday.

The Sydney Morning Herald reported, that Ouattara said he had ordered an investigation and would welcome an international inquiry into the matter.

Higher radiation levels are found at plant

Extremely high radiation levels were found at the devastated Fukushima nuclear plant in Japan on Thursday, which slowed down work on the facility and again put into question the containment vessels that hold the fuel rods, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to Tokyo Electric Power Co. officials, the levels of radioactive iodine in the water at the plant jumped to levels 10,000 times the normal limit, and ultimately prohibited workers from getting near the water, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the New York Times, the nuclear plant crisis only adds onto the list of challenges facing Japan, a country with a death toll of over 11,000 people, with tens of thousands of people displaced, and wide-spread destruction from the earthquake and tsunami that hit three weeks ago.

The workers at Fukushima nuclear plant are doing everything in their power to avoid full nuclear meltdowns, but the floods of dangerously contaminated radioactive water have, to say in the least, complicated their efforts, according to the NY Times.

The damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex in Japan showed elevated levels of radiation on Sunday, which raised the possibility of spreading contamination and lead to a forced emergency evacuation for a section of the plant, reported the New York Times.

According to the New York Times, after a worker, attempting to measure radiation levels in water puddles, saw his dosimeter jump to the highest reading of radiation levels, he left the scene immediately, said the operator of the Fukushima plant.

The Los Angeles Times reported, that officials at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant late Sunday took back the announcement that puddles at the No. 2 reactor contained 10 million times more radioactivity, compared to the normal amount in water in a normal functioning reactor.

According to the Los Angeles Times it was not immediately clear what lead to the misreading of the radiation level in the water, or even what the real level is.

U.S. fighter jet crashed in Libya

According to the Los Angeles Times, two American Air Force crew members were rescued before their fighter jet crashed in Libya late on Monday, from what the U.S. military said was a mechanical malfunction.

The LA Times reported that one crew member was safely found by LIbyan rebels, and that the other was found by a U.S. search and rescue team.

The New York Times reported that ground fighting continued on Tuesday, and that the jet crash was the first evident setback for the international Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi supporter forces.

According to the NY Times, a British news channel reported that six villagers were shot during the plane crash rescue operation. None were reported killed, but the U.S. military said they were investigating the reports.

Yemen's leader proposes to shift power

President Ali Abdullah Saleh proposed on Thursday to shift more power to Parliament, trying to calm down the challenges aimed at his 32-year-old rule, but doubted that the opposition would accept his offer, reported the New York Times.

The announcement Saleh made on Thursday was notoriously vague, and gave no real indication how much power he would actually shift to the Parliament and the prime minister, according to the New York Times.

On Tuesday, witnesses said that dozens of people were injured after Yemen security forces opened fire on demonstrators demanding that Saleh step down from power, reported the Los Angeles Times.

According to the protesters, the officers used live ammunition and tear gas, when protesters tried to non-violently stake new territory for a massive sit-in close to Sana University, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Christian Dior to fire designer John Galliano

Christian Dior, the French fashion house, said on Tuesday that it started the process of dismissing John Galliano, the chief designer, after an online video showed him praising Hitler, according to the New York Times.

Sidney Toledano, Dior Couture's chief executive, said in a statement that the words and actions of Galliano were in complete contradiction with the essential values of the Christian Dior house, reported the NY Times.

The Los Angeles Times reported that the dismissal of Galliano raises questions of which direction Dior will turn to next, being one of the world's top talents in a high-pressure industry.

According to the LA Times, the Dior house is scheduled on Friday to present its fall-winter 2011-2012 ready-to-wear show, and that Galliano was scheduled to present his own signature line on Sunday.

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