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December 9, 2007

Canadian pig farmer found guilty

According to MSNBC, a Canadaian pig farmer was found guilty Sunday on six counts of second-degree murder, which carries a mandatory sentence of life in prison. It is said that he is country's worst serial killer.

Robert "Willie" Pickton's verdict ended the trial of the six of 26 murders of women, who were mostly prostitutes and drug addicts from a Vancouver neighborhood.

The remains of the bodies were found Pickton's farm but he denied that he killed them.

The jury was compromised of seven men and five women and had the option of charging him with first-degree murder, but didn't. The murders were not premeditated.

Pickton, 58, will serve life in prison and will not to be able to appeal for ten years.

Prosecutors said he will be tried for the other 20 murders but a date has not yet been set.

According to the Star Tribune, if Pickton is charged with the other 20 murders, he will become Canad's most prolific serial killer.

Police are investigating the missing of 40 other women.

Pickton listened to the verdict being read with his head down and witnesses said he smirked at one point.

He will be sentenced on Tuesday after the judge decides when exactly he will be eligible for parole.

It took the jury 10 days to reach a verdict.

December 2, 2007

British teacher offends Islam

According to MSNBC, a British teacher was convicted of insulting Islam in Sudan letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and the teacher's lawyer expects his client to be pardoned.

Two British Muslim politicians visted Khartoum on Saturday to try and get the teacher released.

Labour peer Lord Ahmed and Baroness Warsi, arrived in Sudan a private meeting and met with Sudanese officials about the case of Gillian Gibbons.

“I would not be surprised if president of the republic will tell delegation we have dropped this charge,? defense attorney Kamal al-Gizouli told The Associated Press, explaining that only the president has the power to lift Gibbons’ 15 day sentence.

Gibbons' sentence ends on Dec. 9 and was moved Friday from the women's prison after thousands of Sudanese, burned pictures of her and demanded that she be executed.

According to CNN, Gibbons, 54, was sentenced on Thursday and received a credit for time served. As of Sunday, she only had eight days left in her sentence.

She did apologize to a faculty member that was offended by the toy's name and she still wishes to stay in Sudan and continue teaching.

However, she will be deported immediately after she is released.


November 18, 2007

Iraqi children and American soldiers die in roadside bomb in Iraq

According to CNN, three Iraqi children died and seven others are injured after a roadside bomb went off Sunday as the children gathered around U.S. troops that were handing out toys.

Three American soldiers also died in the explosion in Baquba, located 12 miles north of Baghdad.

According to MSNBC, Sundays attack along with several others occurring in the same area, raises questions of Iraqi security, even though the American military said that violence is down 55 percent since a troop buildup began this year.

Police said the troops were handing out toys such as sports equipment in a playground, 35 miles northeast of Baghdad.

Deaths have raised to at least 3,870 of members of the U.S. military since the Iraq war began in March 2003.

November 11, 2007

5 Russian ships sink causing environmental catastrophe

According to MSNBC, waves in a bad storm split a Russian oil tanker in two spilling at least 560,000 gallons of fuel into a strait that leads to the Black Sea and officials are saying its going to take years to clean up.

The 18-foot waves also sank two Russian freights that were nearby and eight people were reported missing from one freighter but all were captured on the other.

The two ships combined were carrying over 7,150 tons of sulfur and could lead to significant environmental damage.

According to CNN, at least two sailors died and 23 were reported missing after five ships have sank in both the Black Sea and the Azov Sea.

Twenty-foot waves and over 78 mph winds made the task of rescuing crew members and cleaning up the spills extremely difficult.

"At the moment specialists are trying to work out the size of the oil spill and the direction it's heading," he said. "We will alert the respective Ukrainian services if the spill moves in their direction."

November 4, 2007

Mexico flood

According to the MSNBC, a Mexico flood Saturday left 800,000 people homeless and has citizens sleeping on the roofs of their homes waiting for help to arrive.

Almost the entire state is under water and the destructive weather has effected more than half of Mexico's entire population.

Pregnant women and children held signs up on their roof pleading for safety, citizens fight for the limited food and water supply, and livestock swim neck-high in murky, muddy water.

More than 28,000 people have been rescued by army and navy teams despite the foggy weather conditions and people hovering helicopters trying to grab on.

Elelectricity and drinking water has been shut off as well as power and phone lines leaving limited necessities to the people.

According to CNN, eight people have died in the widespread flood, but officials say rivers receded slightly on Saturday and will continue to.

Over 69,000 people are staying in shelters and many others are fleeing the state as water, food, and electricity become scarce.

Officials are saying that with so many people packed together in the area, a spread of disease is very likely.

October 28, 2007

80 Taliban fighters killed in battle

Forces that were led by the U.S. coalition killed 80 Taliban soldiers in a Taliban-controlled city in Afghanistan Saturday during a six-hour battle and is part of a series of fights in that region.

This fight is reportedly one of the worst fights since the September 11 attacks, with all five battles killing over 250 Taliban fighters.


October 19, 2007

Nobel prize winner suspended after submitting racial comments

According to CNN, James Watson, a Nobel-prize winner was suspended Friday from his research laboratory and has cancelled his British book tour after making comments that black people are not as smart as white people.

Watson, 79, won the 1962 Nobel prize after co-discovering the double-helix structure of DNA. He has apologized for his comments.

The controvery started Sunday when Watson was being interviewed by the Sunday Times, which quoted him saying he was "inherently gloomy about the prospect of Africa" because "all our social policies are based on the fact that their intelligence is the same as ours, whereas all the testing says not really."

The biologist couldn't believe the words that were being attributed to him. "I cannot understand how I could have said what I am quoted as having said," Watson said during an appearance at the Royal Society in London. "I can certainly understand why people, reading those words, have reacted in the ways that they have."

The board of trustees at New York's Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory revoked WAtson's responsibilities while they review his comments.

According to MSNBC, calls to Watson's book publisher and his New York office have not been immediately returned.

This is not the first time the biologist has astonished the public about his controversial comments.

In 2000 Watson shocked an audience at the University of California, Berkeley, when he advanced a theory about a link between skin color and sex drive.

He has also said women should have the right to an abortion if tests could prove they would have a homosexual baby.


October 14, 2007

Suicide bombers attack near Baghdad

According to MSNBC, nine people were killed after a car bomb exploded in Baghdad on Sunday next to a parked minibus waiting for worshippers to board to travel to s Shiite shirine in the Iraqi capitaal.

Immediately following the blast, police officials had cleared the area and had forced vehicles off the roads.

Earlier Sunday, police found a parked booby-trapped minibus in the same area and detonated it without casualties, added the officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to release the information.

Also, it was reported on Sunday that a suicide truck bomber launched an attack on a police station north of Baghdad that killed eight Iraqi civilians. The bomber was being followed by dozens of gunmen.

Police shot and killed the suicide bomber a tanker full of explosives blew up near police headquarters in Samarra. Beside the eight fatalities, four other were injured in the late Saturday attack.

According to CNN, a suicide bomber on a motorbike detonated his explosives in a crowded marketplace near Afghan police Saturday, killing nine people and injuring at least 29.

Eleven of the injured victims were transported in helicopters to a nearby hospital. The rest were were taken to the Spin Boldak hospital.

Over 600 police officials have been killed this year as they have been a consistent target for the Taliban suicide bombers.

October 7, 2007

Typhoon Krosa disrupts over 1.4 million people

According to the New York Times, Typhoon Krosa swept southeast China Sunday killing five people on Taiwan and forcing more than 1.4 million others to evacuate on the mainland. In Vietnam, a separate storm killed 55.

The typoon came through China's Zhejiang and Fujian provinces and quickly weakened, lowering it to tropical storm status.

More than 1.4 million people were evacuated in the coastal areas, including 500,000 tourists who were at beach resorts celebrating the National Day holiday week.

75,000 fishing vessels in the two provinces were ordered back to port and trips by ferries and sightseeing boats were canceled.

Over 2 million houses lost power and it soaked the entire island.

According to the Star Tribune, mainland China prepared for the storm with authorities ordering people to go to safer grounds.

As of 4 p.m. local time, Krosa, just 18 miles away, sustained winds over 114 mph.

The island's capital, Taipei, was rather quiet prior to the storm as shops and businesses closed early and people stayed inside their homes. The storm uprooted more than 200 trees and had flooded a suburban neighborhood knee-deep in water.

Cathay Pacific Airways canceled flights from Taipei to Hong Kong, Japan and South Korea. Dragon Airlines also canceled flights between Taiwan and Hong Kong.

September 23, 2007

Iraqi government plans to file charges against Blackwater employees

According to CNN.com, the Iraqi government does plan to file charges against the U.S. security company Blackwater, after a shooting last weekend that left 20 Iraqi civilians dead.

Iraqi government disputes the U.S. contractors statement that the event was provoked and they've got a videotape to prove it. Iraqi officials haven't confirmed how they're going to bring files against them.

Word that charges would be filed came as no surprise. One day after the shooting, Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki said his government would punish those responsible.

According to MSNBC, 11 people are dead and the case has been turned over to the Iraqi judiciary.

Interior Ministry spokesman Maj. Gen. Abdul-Karim Khalaf said Iraqi authorities had completed an investigation into the Sept. 20 shooting in Nisoor Square in western Baghdad and concluded that Blackwater guards were responsible for the deaths. He also said they're looking into six other cases involving Blackwater and says that they have an extensive criminal record.

The Blackwater is currently allowed to have contractors on Iraqi territory due to keeping the balance of security equal.

September 16, 2007

Thailand plane crash, 87 dead and counting

According to MSNBC.com, a passenger plane crashed Sunday in Thailand as it tried to land in rainy weather conditions on the island of Phuket. The plan split in two and burst into flames leaving 87 dead so far.

The plane was filled with 123 foreign tourists and seven crew members and belonged to the One-Two-Go Airlines. Phuket, an island tourists seem very attracted to, was also one of the areas that was hardest hit by tsunami in 2004, killing over 8,000 people.

“I saw passengers engulfed in fire as I stepped over them on way out of the plane,? Parinwit Chusaeng, a survivor who suffered minor burns, told the Nation television channel. “I was afraid that the airplane was going to explode so I ran away.?

According to the Star Tribune, 88 people were found dead. Although the cause is currently unknown, officials say the bad weather could definitely have something to do with it.

"The visibility was poor as the pilot attempted to land. He decided to make a go-around but the plane lost balance and crashed," said Chaisak Angsuwan, director general of the Air Transport Authority of Thailand. "It was torn into two parts."

Passengers say visibility was poor, but the pilot attempted to land anyway. The plan lost balance and crashed.