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April 26, 2009

Italian cruise ships fights of Somali pirates

According to BBC News, Capt Ciro Pinto said six pirates in a speedboat approached his ship, and fired, but then fled after security guards fired shots in the air. He also told BBC that the crew sprayed the pirates as they tried to climb the site of the ship with latters. Around 1,500 people were on the ship, but no on was hurt on Saturday. The captain said the pirates fired around 200 rounds of shots on the vessel. According to USA Today, six men in a small, white Zodiac-type boat approached the ship. Of the 1,500 on board, 1,000 were passengers and 500 were crew members.

April 5, 2009

Pirates take over German cargo ship

According to BBC news, Somali pirates hiijacked a German cargo ship in the Indian ocean. Kenya-based East African Seafarers' Assistance Program told BBC News, that there is believed to be 24 crew members on the ship. The names of those on board are being verified. The ship was about 400 nautical miles from the southern Somali port of Kismayu, between Kenya and the Seychelles, Andrew Mwangura, of the Kenya-based East African Seafarers Assistance Program told Al Jazeera. Al Jazeera said that Germany's foreign ministry said it was looking for "concrete evidence" that a German-flagged vessel had been captured. They said that dozens of ships have been taken by pirates and been released after owners paid tens of millions of dollars in ransom.

March 28, 2009

Madonna to adopt a Malawian child

Officials told the Associated Press Thursday that Madonna is planning on adopting a second Malawian child, Madonna, 50, is single and Malawi does not approve adoptions for single or divorced parents. the Malawi welfare official told AP that each case is considered on its merit. The adoption of her first Malawian child was not finalized until May 2008. According to BBC News, Madonna will arrive in Malawia this week to adopt a child called Mercy James. BBC said Madonna took her first adopted child to the UK from Malawi in 2006. The adoption was finalized two years later. They said In 2006, critics accused the Malawian government of ignoring laws banning foreign adoptions in order to allow the celebrity to take David home with her. When the adoption was legalized Madonna told BBC News, "this adoption essentially was the beginning of the creation of adoption laws in Malawi". "

March 15, 2009

Bomb attack in Afganistan kills four U.S. soldiers

BBC said Sunday that four United States soldiers died when a bomb went off as a convoy was passing. BBC said Taleban insurgents reportedly took responsibility for the bombing. Confirmation has come from Nato-led Isaf peacekeeping force. According to BBC, more than 60 foreign soldiers have been killed in the country this year, many of the deaths claimed by the Taleban. According to Yahoo News, a U.S. statement indicated the troops were based in Jalalabad. "The spike in violence along the border is an early indication that roadside bombs and other ambushes are likely to surge as thousands of new U.S. forces arrive in Afghanistan this year." Yahoo News said. Offcials told Yahoo news that a suicide bomber attacked a NATO convoy in Kabul on Sunday but instead killed two passers-by. 18 people were killed Sunday.

Nine bodies found in grave near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico

According to CNN, nine bodies were found in a common grave near Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. Police have not identified the seven men and two women found in the grave. The police have not released information about how long the bodies have been there or how they were killed. According to CNN Juarez is one of the major battle grounds in the drug cartel. BBC news said that the bodies were burned and show signs of torture. Since 2006 the Mexican government has had a total of about 40,000 troops and police to fight the country's drug cartels BBC said.

March 8, 2009

Police break up protest in Malaysia

Police dispersed a protest in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Saturday. Thousands of people protested in front of the National Palace. They demanded removal of phantom voters from electoral rolls, a crackdown on government workers using absentee ballots, access to state-controlled media by all political parties, and an end to vote-buying and other irregularities, according to msnbc
According to BBC, the reason for protest was to protest the use of English in public schools. Officials told BBC that math and science have been taught in English since 2003 to improve poor language. BBC said protesters chanted "Long live the Malay language!"

CEO buys Gandhi's items

The chairman of India's UB Group won an auction selling some of Gandhi's items, according to CNN.com. The winning bid was for $1.8 million. There was controversy surrounding the items among them his metal-rimmed glasses, pocket watch, sandals, bowl and plate. The controversy caused the seller, James Otis, to remove the items from the auction. India's Ministry of External Affairs told CNN the bidding would "commercialize and thereby demean the memory of the Father of the Nation and everything that he stood for in his life, beliefs and actions." On Tuesday, a New Delhi court issued an injunction to stop the sale. According to BBC News, Otis' discussion to withdrawl Gandhi's items from the auction was only after the winning bid. Vijay Mallya was the Indian businessman who won the auction. Mallya's agent told BBC that he plans to return the items. "Basically he was bidding for the country," said Tony Bedi who was bidding on Mallya's behalf. The Antiquorum auction house in New York told BBC that the sale will not be final for two weeks to allow any legal issues to be resolved.

March 1, 2009

U.S. aid in Mexico drug war

More than 1,000 people have been killed so far in 2009 related to drug trafficking in Mexico. Defense Secretary Robert Gates told BBC News that he wants to increase the amount of military help that the U.S. gives Mexico. The drug related violence in the past year, "has left a path of death and destruction in its wake." BBC News said.
Around 6,000 people were killed in the violence last year.
Monte Alejandro Rubido Garcia, executive secretary for the National System for Public Safety told CNN that killings related to drug cartels are at a record high because, "Mexico all of a sudden stopped being a drug-transit country and became a drug-consuming country."

Footprints in Kenya

According to CNN.com footprints were found in Kenya that show proof that 1.5 million years ago humans had feet similar to the feet we have today. CNN said that other fossil footprints from 3.6 million years ago were discovered by Mary Leakey in Laetoli, Tanzania in 1978. The site where the footprint was found had been excavated from 2006 to 2008 by anthropologist Professor John W.K. Harris and an international group of colleagues. According to BBC News, the footprint found has a pronounced arch and short aligned toes, in comparison to older footprints. The footprint also shows that 1.5 million years ago the human walked very similarly. According to BBC news, the 3.7 million-year-old Australopithecus afarensis prints found in Laetoli, Tanzania, in 1978 are the oldest footprint of human lineage. That foot however, show signs of a foot still adapted to grasping. the footprints were found around Ileret in northern Kenya.

February 22, 2009

Australian writer set free

An Australian writer, Harry Nicolaides, was sentenced to three years of jail in January, but has now been pardoned by the king of Thailand, according to BBC News. The charges were because of a novel he wrote in 2005, the Australian government lobbied Thailand’s royal family for his release. In his book Nicolaides wrote about an unnamed prince that caused “dishonor to the royal family. Although Thailand is a constitutional monarcy, they have strict lese majeste laws. According to the New York Times, Nicolaides book sold less than 12 copies. Nicolaides was held in jail for five months by the Thai government. Nicolaides was in Thailand teaching English, when he was boarding a plane back to Australia on Aug. 31; he did not know there was a warrant out for his arrest.

Bomb in Cairo kills tourist

In an open-air cafe in the Khan al-Khalili area a bomb exploded. Police say it was thrown from a balcony but conflicting reports say that the bomb was left under a bench. One victim, a 17-year-old girl from France died and 8 French nationals were also injured in the attack. More than 20 people were injured by the bomb exploding. According to BBC News the area was targeted in 2005 when a bomb exploded and killed three people, two of which where tourists; one from America and one from France. According to the Star Tribune, the bomb exploded on Sunday, injuring 21 people. The bomb was said to be homemade. Police found a second bomb but detonated it safely. Security officials told reporters that three people were in custody. An expert on Islamic extremism told the reporters that it could be a response to incidents in Gaza.

February 16, 2009

Venezuelan's uplift term limit for Chavez

Venezuelans voted to uplift the limits on the number of terms for an elected official, which will allow President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election.
The President of Venezuela told BBC News that he needs to stay in power in order to secure that Venezuela becomes a socialist state.
Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez told BBC News that the election campaign was unequal and abusive. The president was limited to two-six year terms before the removal of that restriction.
According to the Star Tribune Chavez vowed to stay in power for at least another decade. While addressing a crowd outside of Miraflores Palac, Chavez said, “"Those who voted 'yes' today voted for socialism, for revolution." According to National Electoral Council chief Tibisay Lucena, with 94 percent of the vote counted, 54 percent had voted for the amendment. Opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez to told BBC that the election campaign was unequal and abusive. Supporters told AP that Chavez given the poor food, health care, and free education.
Under the old amendment Chavez would have been barred from the 2012 election. Voters rejected amendment in Dec. 2007

February 10, 2009

Indian women protest with underwear

A Facebook group of more than 5,000 men and women that call itself the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women were blamed for a bar attack in Mangalore last month.
The group will give Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram) pink underwear on Valentines Day to retaliate the bar attack and . The plan is alsp for women to go to pubs on Valentine's Day and buy a drink. The Ram Sena's head, Pramod Mutalik, does not believe that it is acceptable for women to drink in bars.
According to the New York Times the attacks were at Amnesia: The Lounge by Hindu extremists.

Indian women protest with underwear

A Facebook group of more than 5,000 men and women that call itself the Consortium of Pub-going, Loose and Forward Women were blamed for a bar attack in Mangalore last month.
The group will give Sri Ram Sena (Army of Lord Ram) pink underwear on Valentines Day to retaliate the bar attack and . The plan is alsp for women to go to pubs on Valentine's Day and buy a drink. The Ram Sena's head, Pramod Mutalik, does not believe that it is acceptable for women to drink in bars.
According to the New York Times the attacks were at Amnesia: The Lounge by Hindu extremists.

February 9, 2009

Fires in Australia likely to take more lives

Wild fires in Victoria, Australia have already taken the lives of 128 people, and the number of lives lost is said to rise Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told BBC News. An area of 1,200 sq miles has been affected by the wild fires. According to BBC, officials believe that some of the fires may have been started on purpose. The worst bush fire previous to this was in 1983, and took 75 lives. Australians refer to it as Ash Wednesday.
The New York Times reported that on Saturday at least 14 people were killed in the southern state of Victoria. According to the Times, the bushfire had burnt about 7,500 acres that were mostly national park.

February 2, 2009

Iceland Gets a New Prime Minister

According to The New York Times Iceland now has a new prime minister. Johanna Sigurdardottir is the first woman prime minister for Iceland. She is also said to be the first openly gay head of a government. She is taking over after the resignation of Prime Minister Geir Haarde. According to the Times, Iceland is the first country to change its government because of the global finincial crisis. Before becoming prime minister of Iceland she was a union organizer for the airline that is now Icelandair.
BBCNews considers the naming of Sigurdardottir as prime minister to be a gay milestone. The article concludes that she is the first head of a government not to conceal the fact that they are gay. The financial crisis in Iceland is not mentioned. According to Juris Lavrikovs of the International Lesbian and Gay Association, there is a divide between eartern and western Europe when it comes to tolerance for homosexuality.
Leaders such as Roger Karoutchi of France have recently openly admitted to being homosexual after hiding it from the public and although the Spanish Socialist Party supports gay rights, there are no gay members in the government.