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November 17, 2008

Argentine President visits North Africa

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez started her mission to strengthen economic ties with North Africa with a visit to Algeria. (CNN.com)

The President will visit Tunisia, Libya and Egypt in addition to Algeria in order to reassure that Argentina is conscious of developing nations and their significant role in global economics.

Last year, trade between Argentina and Algeria reached $874 million. A large phosphate export deal was signed prior to Fernandez's visit and meeting with President Abdelaziz Boutefilka, according to Algeria's official news agency.

November 10, 2008

70th Anniversary of Kristallnacht Acknowledged Sunday

Germans and Israelis acknowledged the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht Sunday with various events and ceremonies. (CNN.com) The Nov. 9, 1938 riots and violence received by Jews from Nazis marked the instigation of the greater Holocost effort that ultimately killed 6 million Jews.

Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel, Israel's Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Israeli President Shimon Peres, German-born Pope Benedict XVI, and Charlotte Knobloch, head of Germany's Central Council of Jews and a survivor of Kristallnacht, all offered statements and gestures commemorating the significant day.

November 2, 2008

New President in Zambia Sworn In

Seventy-two-year-old Rupiah Banda was sworn in as Zambia's new president Sunday after serving as interim president since the death of President Levy Mwanawasa in August. (CNN.com) The veteran ruling-party member promised to continue the governmental free-market policies that influentially expanded trade between China and one of the world's top copper producers.

Sworn in immediately after election results were published, Banda is challenged by his opposition rival's intention to contest the vote. The rival alleged irregularities such as the printing of extra ballot papers, although foreign observers of the election expressed satisfaction with the conduct of the poll.

According to official poll results, Banda won 40 percent of the vote and opposition leader Michael Sata, 38 percent, with two other candidates trailing far behind.

Banda intends to deal with the collapse in the price of copper, Zambia's main export, and to maintain strong links with China as his top priorities. No foreign-policy declarations have been made thus far.


October 20, 2008

47 Convicted in Relations to Bombing in Casablanca

Forty-seven people were convicted for contributing to a suicide bombing in March 2007 at an internet cafe in Casablanca, according to Morocco's official news agency. (CNN.com)

Of the convictions, the lengthiest sentence was 30 years, handed to Abdelkrim Aot Ougard. His involvement concerning the bombing is not specified. Twelve others were sentenced from 6 to 15 years in prison, while another four were acquitted.

The internet cafe's owner caught Abdelfettah Raydi surfing an extremist Islamist Web site. Raydi detonated his charge and an altercation ensued.

The suicide bombing resulted in three persons injured in addition to the death of the bomber.

Police investigations triggered by the bombing led to the discovery of the group, which reportedly harbors intentions of a series of attacks in Morroco using home-made explosives.

October 5, 2008

Polish Troops Leaving Iraq

Poland transferred control of an aea south of Baghdad to American troops Saturday. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) Polish forces have been involved in Iraq since the initial 2003 invasion, and proceeded to take the lead in an international coalition of more than 20 countries at one point that oversaw five provinces south of Baghdad.

What started as 2.500 Polish soldiers in Iraq gradually dwindled to 900 before Poland decided to entirely remove forces from Iraq and end their mission.

As Polish troops are pulled out of Iraq, though, Poland is increasing its number of troops in Afghanistan from 1,200 to 1,600.

"Completing our mission doesn't mean we finish our engagement with this country," said Polish Defense Minister Bogdan Klich. Klich said there is still hope for building the rewarding economic ties with Iraq that some Poles were concerned would be a missed opportunity by removing troops as conditions are improving.

The initially supported Polish involvement in Iraq faded after the search for Saddam Hussein's alleged weapons of mass destruction was unproductive, as well as after observing that Poland's actions were reaping no benefits. Poles had expected vast economic opportunities for business in Iraq.

Despite those disappointments, Polish-U.S. ties are at their strongest. Poland agreed to allow the U.S. to place a missile defense base on its territory that is part of a European system aimed against potential future missile attacks from Iran.

Military and political leaders of ex-communist Poland credited the Iraq mission with long-untested military valuable combat experience that has shaped its transformation into a modern force that can hold its own in NATO. Poland joined NATO in 1999.

September 29, 2008

Tainted Milk from China

The number of companies recalling products due to a tainted milk scare rooted in China is growing. (AOL News) An industrial chemical responsible for four infant deaths and the sickening of 54,000 children, called melamine, was found to have contaminated certain Chinese food production.

"Any processed food with milk or protein in it" is a potential cause for concern, according to James Rice, an experienced veteran of the food industry.

This is not China's first offense of dangerous contributions to the global food market; last year, some companies felt the negative effects of contaminated foods, toothpaste, and melamine-laced pet food.

"I don't think much was learned from the recalls of a year ago," said Jeremy Haft, author of All the Tea in China and a businessman who runs factories in numerous industries in China.

Major companies recalling their products include the Tokyo-headquartered Lotte Group, a well-known snack maker, and a Shanghai-based manufacturer of vanilla toffee candies known as White Rabbit. The candies had been found to contain over six times the legal limit of melamine, according to the Hong Kong government's Center for Food Safety. White Rabbit candies had already been recalled in Australia, Singapore, New Zealand, and Britain.

September 22, 2008

"At Least 40 Are Killed in Blast at Pakistan Hotel"

After a truck bomb exploded in front of a Marriott Hotel in Islamabad Saturday, 100 people were wounded in addition to at least 40 being injured. (New York Times, Associated Press) Government leaders were dining at the Prime Minister's house only a few hundred yards away.

It is reported that there are still many bodies inside the six-story hotel. The explosion left a giant crater, mounds of rubble, and the hotel engulfed in flames.

A guard of the hotel said "there were very few people injured...they were all dead."

September 15, 2008

Hundreds of Deaths Result from China Landslide

After illegal operations of the Tashan Mine during torrential rains, 254 people were killed in northern China, according to CNN.com. Authorities detained 13 people, including the board chairman of the mining company, the mine manager, and a vice manager and accountant. Later, the head of the county and Communist Party chief of Xiangfen were suspended from duty, according to the China Daily Newspaper.

The torrential rain "triggered a flow of mud and rocks," damaging homes and cars.