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November 30, 2008

Thailand to negotiate with airport protesters

According to the BBC, thousands of anti-government protesters who continue to occupy two airports in the Thai capital, Bangkok, kept an estimated 100,000 passengers stranded.

The Thai government says it will spend some $30 million over the next month to help stranded tourists, including giving them free hotel rooms and daily expenses, said the BBC.

According to an AP article, the protesters, belonging to the People's Alliance for Democracy, won't give up until the government of Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat steps down.

Government spokesman Nattawut Sai-Kau said police would avoid violence and attempt to negotiate with the protesters the AP article said.

November 23, 2008

Venezuela Votes

As Venezuelans began to vote on Sunday, reported the New York Times, President Hugo Chávez told his followers and opponents to respect the outcome of the races across Venezuela.

“We are prepared to recognize any result,? Chávez said in televised comments after voting.

The BBC reported that last year President Chavez had his first electoral defeat in almost 10 years, losing a referendum that would have let presidents seek indefinite re-election.

His government's failure to control crime and inflation are voters' main concerns said the BBC.

November 10, 2008

China's new stimulus plan

The New York Times reported that China announced an economic stimulus plan on Sunday to help its weak economy.

The $586 billion plan could also help fight the effects of the global slowdown, the Times said.

The money is to go into housing, infrastructure and post-earthquake reconstruction in China over the next two years, said the BBC.

China's markets have already risen a day after they announced the investment plan to kick-start its slowing economy.

October 19, 2008

Chinese oil workers kidnapped!

Nine Chinese oil workers along with their two Sudanese drivers were abducted in the southern Kordofan state of Sudan on Saturday afternoon according to BBC News.

The kidnappers released one of the drivers with a note saying they wanted a share in the region's oil wealth.

It was the third attack on Chinese targets in the past year said an AP article on Yahoo News.

October 13, 2008

Turkish jets bomb Kurds in Iraq

Turkish warplanes bombed 31 Kurdistan Workers' Party positions in Iraq, according to the Middle East Online.

This was the sixth Turkish air raid in Iraq since October 3, 2008.

According to the BBC, the jets targeted the base that had "a PKK group which included high-level members."

The BBC stated that the PKK is designated a terrorist organization by Turkey, the US and EU and that more than 30,000 people have been killed since thy started their armed campaign in 1984.

September 29, 2008

China's first spacewalk

According to an AP article in the Daily Vidette, China's first spacewalk team returned safely to Earth on Sunday.

The group of three landed safely in Siziwang Banner in North China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region.

According to the BBC, the men conducted experiments said to be crucial to China's space program while in orbit.

"It was a glorious mission, full of challenges with a successful end," Mission leader and fighter pilot Zhai Zhigang told the BBC.

The Chinese space program is looking to launch a new orbiting vehicle and set up a space lab by 2011, the Daily Vidette said.

September 20, 2008

Bomb destroys hotel in Pakistan

A truck bomb exploded in the entrance of a Marriott Hotel in Islamabad on Saturday, killing at least 40 people and wounding more than 150, according to the New York Times.

The New York times stated that the blast was one of the worst acts of terrorism in Pakistan’s history.

The six story hotel was a few hundred yards from the prime minister’s house, where all the leaders of government were eating.

The BBC stated that the explosion destroyed the entire front section of the hotel.

The explosion is suspected to be a suicide bombing.

President Asif Ali Zardari said he will "continue to fight terrorism and extremism".

September 14, 2008

Ferry sinks off Turkey's Coast

A ferry leaving Bandirma for Istanbul sank in the Sea of Marmara on Sunday, killing at least one person, according to the New York Times.

There were approximately 100 people on board along with 73 trucks and 2 taxis.

“It completely sank in about half an hour,? Bulent Gun, a guide captain at the Bandirma Public Transportation Agency, told a private CNN Turk network, according to the New York Times.

The ferry sank right off the Bandirma harbor.

The coast guard and fishing boats pulled 72 people out of the sea, according to Yahoo News.

"The search and rescue mission is going on, but the dark of the night is making it difficult," Bandirma Gov. Selahattin Hatipoglu told private NTV television, according to Yahoo News.

The ferry is thought to have sank due to faulty loading or balance issues because of rough seas.