Recently in International News Category

Japan Plans to Enforce Nuclear Evacuation Zone

Japanese officials will administer an evacuation order within 12 miles around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant damaged in the March 11 earthquake.

Almost all of the 78,000 residents who live in the 12 mile area around the plant evacuated after the quake, but some occasionally stop back to check on homes and retrieve belongings, the Seattle Post Intelligencer reported.

Officials will now close out the zone to protect people from what they consider to be dangerous radiation, CNN reported.

Evacuations are very difficult to enforce and usually vary between officers positioned at checkpoints leading into the area.

Ivory Coast Conflict

Forces of Ivory Coast's elected president, Alassane Ouattara, captured Laurent Gbagbo on Monday, the former president who lost the November election but refused to step down.

French forces arrested Gbagbo and then handed him over to forces loyal to Ouattara, the Wall Street Journal reported.

However, the French embassy in the Ivory Coast and Ouattara's representatives in New York said Ouattara's forces captured Gbagbo, Voice of America News reported.

Either way, Gdagbo was taken to the Golf Hotel.

Gdagbo lost the November elections but refused to step down because he said the votes were irregular.

Three People Die in Yemen Protests

At least three people died Tuesday in Sanaa, Yemen when violence erupted between security forces and other armed men.

On Monday, at least 15 people died due to violence in the city of Taiz, BBC News reported.

Protests began in February for the president, Ali Abdullah Saleh, to step down, the New York Times reported.

Since February, more than 100 people have died and more have been injured from protests.

Explosion in Yemen Factory Leaves Many Dead

At least 78 people died Monday in an explosion that destroyed a southern Yemen weapon factory.

The factory was taken over Sunday by Islamic militants. Residents looted cars, trucks and ammunition, the Associated Press reported.

After looting the ammunition, the residents left piles of gunpowder on the floor. The next day, kids rummaging around set off the explosions, the National Yemen reported.

Officials believe a cigarette triggered the explosions.

Libyan Rebels Continue Fighting with U.S. Backing

Fighting continues in Libya as rebels attacked Monday, in an attempt to regain control of Ajdabiya.

The United States backed the Libyan rebels with airstrikes that helped them siege Benghazi, the Washington Post reported.

The supporters of Moammar Gaddafi retreated from Benghazi into Ajdabiya, but do not plan to give up, the New York Post reported.

Rebels regained control of an important oil terminal, Zuwaytinah, which had been captured by the government last week.

Earthquake, Tsunami Devastate Japan

A devastating 8.9-magnitude earthquake struck Japan Friday that killed hundreds of people and set off an enormous tsunami with 30-foot waves.

The earthquake was the strongest to ever hit Japan, and the world's fifth-strongest on record, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, the Los Angeles Times reported.

About 400 people have been confirmed dead so far, and the number is only expected to rise.

The quake destroyed buildings and caused fires in oil refineries around Japan, the Christian Science Monitor reported.

President Barack Obama warned the Libyan government Monday that he and NATO allies are considering military options to stop the ongoing violence in Libya.

Obama said supporters of Moammar Gadhafi will be held responsible for their choices and violent actions, KSTP reported.

The president also considered issuing a no-fly zone and added $15 million in humanitarian aid to the people of Libya, Voice of America reported.

Rebels Fight Off Qaddafi

Libyan rebels successfully fought off an attack of government loyalist's artillery and war planes on Wednesday after the rebels gained control of a coastal oil facility.

The attack happened on the port of Brega and was the first major attack on the eastern half of Libya.

Six people were confirmed dead and 16 were injured. The death toll is expected to rise, the New York Times reported.

Muammar Qaddafi said that the government still has control over the oil fields although the rebels drove them away, Bloomberg reported.

Qaddafi referred to the rebels as terrorists and said loyalists would not back down in their fight.

Earthquake Devastates New Zealand's Second-Largest City

A 6.3 magnitude earthquake struck Christchurch, New Zealand Tuesday, killing 65 people and injuring many more.

This earthquake was reported to be part of an aftershock from a 7.1 magnitude quake that hit the same area in September, the New York Times said.

Two aftershocks, magnitudes 5.5 and 5.6 respectively, shook the city following the initial quake, destroying roads, houses, and buildings, ABC News reported.

Christchurch Mayor Bob Parker estimated that 100 people are still trapped underneath the rubble.

Protests in Bahrain Continue for Third Straight Day

Pro-democracy protests in Bahrain have carried over to a third day in the nation's Pearl Square on Wednesday, following the lead of recent successful Egyptian protests.

Two protesters have been killed in the previous two days and Bahrain's king, Hamad bin Issa al-Khalifa promised to investigate the deaths, Voice of America News reported.

Protesters are demanding the resignation of the king along with Prime Minister Khalifa bin Salman al-Khalifa.

The demonstrators want the political prisoners released, a more empowered Parliament and a new constitution written by the people, among other things, the New York Times reported.

Shi'ite Muslims represent the vast majority in Bahrain, and do not feel they are treated equally by their Sunni Muslim king and ruling elite.

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