Recently in International News Category

US Soldier kills Japanese man in hit-and-run

An American soldier admitted that he may have hit and killed a Japanese man in southern Okinawa, the New York
times said.

James Woodward, the commander of the U.S. base in Okinawa informed Japanese police that a soldier was arrested in connection with a hit-and-run that killed a 66 year old man, ABC News said.

Japan's Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama demanded that the U.S. military hand the suspect over to Japanese police, ABC News said.

The U.S. does not have to hand over American personnel accused of a crime that occurred off-base unless they are charged, the New York Times said.

Several crimes, including rapes by U.S. personnel, have sparked protest in Okinawa for years, ABC News said.

Turkey expands Kurdish rights

ISTANBUL, Turkey -- The Turkish government announced Friday its plan help end the quarter-century-long conflict with a Kurdish separatist movement, the New York Times said.

Turkey's plan to end the conflict, which has led to over 40,000 deaths, will include the expansion of Kurdish rights and the inclusion of the Kurdish language in Turkey media, the Daily Star said.

The plan will be debated in Parliament, where some opposition exists from the Republican People's Party, the Daily Star said.

For decades, Kurdish political parties were banned and the Kurdish ethnic identity was unacknowledged by the government, even though Kurds make up 15 percent of the nation's population, The New York Times said.

Last year, Parliament approved a democracy package that included approved private Kurdish language classes and a public Kurdish television channel, the NEw York Times said.

Storm in Vietnam kills 107 people

HANOI, Vietnam -- Flooding due to tropical storms in Vietnam killed at least 107 people by Friday, the Press Trust of India said.

The storm, which struck on Monday, brought 13 inches of rain, killed at least 107 people, destroyed hundreds of houses, and stranded tens of thousands of people, BBC News said.

The nation has initiated a rescue effort with 2,000 soldiers, BBC News said.

The storm struck the Phu Yen province, in eastern Vietnam, the worst by killing 72 people, the Press Trust of India said.

According the BBC News, this storm was "the most devastating flooding in more than 30 years," the Phu Yen province disaster committee said.

Fifteen shot dead at Mexico ranch

HORNOS, Mexico -- Fifteen men, a prominent union leader among them, were found Friday shot and killed in northern Mexico, BBC News said.

Margarito Montes, a union leader for farming laborers, was one of fifteen bodies found in an isolated ranch in Hornos, a town in Sonora state Friday, the Irish Times said.

The killing had characteristics of a drug cartel shooting, which often involves automatic weapons to murder groups, but an official link has not been made, the Irish Times said.

More than 15,000 people have been killed due to drug-related violence since Felipe Calderon, president of Mexico, launched military forces to attack cartels in 2006, BBC News said.

Many farmers in the northern Mexico area are often coerced or pressured into drug-farming, the Irish Times reported.

Earthquake near Indonesia

SAUMLAKI, Indonesia - A strong earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia Saturday, BBC News said.

The 7.3 magnitude earthquake hit at a depth of 92 miles off the coast Saumlaki, Indonesia, BBC News said.

This earthquake was the second to hit Indonesia in two days, Fox News said.

Indonesia is located on one of the most active strings of earthquakes and volcanoes, BBC News reported.

The Indonesian government issued a tsunami alert but later withdrew it when they discovered the earthquake was too deep to pose a risk, BBC News said.

Central Americans fall target to kidnappings

Central American migrants have been a frequent target for kidnappers this year, the Huffington Post said.

Mexico's National Human Rights Commission

 conducted a survey in June that estimated 9,758 migrants were kidnapped between September and February in Mexico while on their way to the United States, the Huffington Post said.

These kidnappers released their victims for ransoms ranging from $1000 to $5000, the Huffington Post said.

The victims are forced to call their relatives in the United States for ransom money.

"They beat me and kept beating me until I handed over my telephone numbers," a Salvadoran immigrant told the New York Times.  The Salvadorian man was held captive with many others until 37 days after he was kidnapped, the Mexican Army raided the house, the New York Times said.

Former Brazilian state legislator and TV host turns himself in

A former Brazillian state legislator and television host turned himself in Friday after he disappeared Monday when a warrant was issued for his arrest, CNN said.

Wallace Souza turned himself in to accusations of homicide, drug trafficking, witness tampering, possession of illegal firearms and forming gangs, CNN reported.

Authorities became suspicious when the crew of Souza's television show "Canal Livre" arrived at crime scenes before police did, BBC News reported.  Authorities claim that these deaths removed Souza's drug-trafficking rivals and boosted the ratings for his television show, BBC said.

Souza's political status gave him legislative immunity from prosecution, making it difficult to investigate suspicions, CNN said.  The state congress expelled Souza last week, removing his immunity and allowing authorities to investigate claims of wrong-doing, CNN said.

Souza said the accusations are rivals' attempts to smear his reputation, BBC News reported.

A police chief and several police officers are among fifteen others who have been arrested in connection with Souza, CNN said.

Slow relief for earthquakes in Indonesia

Government disaster relief was tardy for a series of major earthquakes that hit the Sumatran district in Indonesia Wednesday, BBC News said.

The 7.6-magnitude earthquake is estimated to have killed over 1,100 people Wednesday evening, the New York Times said.  A 6.6-magnitude aftershock hit 16 hours later.

On Friday, in the town of Padang Pariaman, officials counted up to 80 percent damaged buildings and 207 deaths, the New York Times said.  Officials estimated that over 282 people lay trapped under landslides, but no police officials were seen until later in the day.

The Department for International Development team from the United Kingdom was delayed in its rescue efforts due to technical issues, BBC News said. The DfID is sending aid, though, with material goods, medics, and humanitarian experts.

No authorities have come to help, Sutan Maskuri, 55, told the New York Times 44 hours after the disaster.  Maskuri sent his sister to a regional hospital after no aid appeared for a landslide that killed five siblings.

Another Mao emerges

Mao Xinyu, grandson of Mao Zedong, is rising this year to high ranks in the Chinese Army.

The People's Liberation Army promoted Xinyu, 39, recently, making him the youngest major general in the army, the Changjiang Daily reported.

Mao's promotion has not been announced by the army but has been reported by the state-run Chinese paper, the New York Times said.

Mao is the only grandson of four grandchildren of the older Mao. He is a strong defender of the late Mao's reputation, the Washington Post reported.

Trade tensions rise between China and US

Trade tensions rise between China and the United States's trade as both nations announced trade tariffs this weekend. 

On Friday, President Barack Obama announced a plan to impose tariffs of up to 35 percent on tires from China.  This move is an attempt to enforce strict trade laws as promised to the labor unions, said the New York Times.

On Sunday, the Chinese Ministry announced its plan to put tariffs on automotive and chicken products from the U.S.  Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, told the Washington Post that Obama's plan "sends the wrong signal to the world."

This tension rises in the midst of the two nations' attempts to work together in order to save the global economy and fight security threats.

Although fears on a downward relationship are rising, the Obama administration "[does] not think it will have an impact on the broader relationship," the Washington Post said.  On Monday, the Chinese Ministry requested talks with the U.S., during which the U.S. plans to avoid disputes while complying with World Trade Organization rules.

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