Recently in International News Category

Chile Responds to Earthquake

Aftershocks, damaged roads, fallen bridges and downed telephone lines have hampered rescue efforts in Chile, according to the New York Times.
The BBC reports that the Chilean military has been deployed to restore order, quell looting, and distribute aid in the most ravaged areas. 160 people were arrested in Concepcion, one of the hardest hit cities. One man was killed.
"We need food for the population. We are without supplies, and if we don't resolve that we are going to have serious security problems," said Mayor Jacqueline van Rysselberghe.
The New York Times reports the nation-wide death toll at 711, the BBC at 723.
According to both publications, the Chilean government has requested aid from the United Nations.

Obama Plans to Reduce Nuclear Arsenal

President Barack Obama plans to make dramatic reductions to the U.S.'s nuclear arsenal, according to an administration official in this New York Times article.
The United States will develop no new nuclear weapons, and would eliminate "redundant" weapons by removing stored warheads from service.
The number of reductions would be "in the thousands," according to a senior administration official.
The plan will be contained in the Nuclear Posture Review, undertaken by each president to determine nuclear policy.
Mr. Obama outlined his nuclear vision last April, calling for the world to stop the spread of nuclear weapons and to abandon cold war thinking, according to the BBC.

Afghan Civilians Killed in NATO Strike

A NATO helicopter attack killed 30 Afghan civilians, along with 69 Taliban fighters, according to an Afghani government official quoted in Al Jazeera.
The New York Times places the number of civilians killed at 27.
Afghan president Hamid Karzai condemned the attack. "The repeated killing of civilians by NATO forces is unjustifiable," he said.
General Stanley McChrystal, commander of the International Security Assistance Force, apologized for the attack and promised to redouble efforts to avoid civilian casualties.
NATO officials have not revealed the nationality of forces involved, according to the New York Times.

Top Taliban Commander Captured

The top Afghan Taliban military commander Mullah Abdual Ghani Baradar has been captured in Pakistan, U.S. officials said in this BBC report.
Baradar reportedly manages all long-term strategic planning for the Afghan Taliban. U.S. officials believe his capture could have a large effect on the Taliban insurgency's operations.
The capture is part of a NATO offensive against the Taliban in Afghanistan's south.
The New York Times reports that analysts believe the arrest is a strategic coup for Pakistani intelligence forces, positioning Pakistan for a more involved role in dealing with the Taliban.
The Taliban have denied the arrest.

Iran To Create Higher-Grade Nuclear Fuel

Iran informed the International Atomic Energy Agency Tuesday that it will enrich nuclear fuel to a higher grade, reports Al Jazeera.
According to the BBC, Iran plans to enrich fuel to 20 percent, giving it the capability to produce medical isotopes. Iran currently enriches fuel to four percent, which is suitable for energy generation. A nuclear weapon requires 90% enriched fuel.
According to David Albright of Washington's Institute for Science and International Security, the step to 20% enrichment "would be going most of the rest of the way to weapon-grade uranium."
The United States and France are alarmed by this action and have called for new sanctions on Iran, says Al Jazeera. "The only path that is left to us at this point, it seems to me, is that pressure track but it will require all of the international community to work together," Said U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates.

Blair Accused of Lying to Cabinet Ministers on Iraq War

Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair "misled" his cabinet over the Iraq War, according to an ex-member of his cabinet quoted in this BBC article. Former International Development Secretary Clare Short, who resigned two months after the March 2003 invasion over post-war planning , has charged that Blair misrepresented advice from Attorney General Lord Goldsmith over the legality of the invasion, and leaned on the Attorney General to change his advice.

Clare's testimony stands in contrast to that of Blair, who said he had no regrets about his handling of the war, calling Saddam Hussein "a monster," reports the New York Times.

Mr Blair is unpopular at home, accused with blindly following the U.S.'s lead into an illegal war and with profiting from his stature as a former prime minister, according to the Times.

The inquiry's mission is to examine events between 2001 and 2009, including the decision to go to war, preparation of troops, conduct of the conflict, and planning for the aftermath, according to the BBC.

At Least 18 Killed in Baghdad Car Bombing

A car bomb attack on the government forensics headquarters in Baghdad killed at least 18 people, reports Al Jazeera. The attack Tuesday follows a string of bombings of hotel buildings in the Iraqi capital Monday that left 36 dead and 71 wounded. Terrorist attacks are expected to increase in frequency as parliamentary elections in March draw closer.

BBC News reports that the building was severely damaged and that a rescue effort to located trapped survivors are ongoing. The BBC quotes Hassan al-Saidi, a local mechanic, as saying "I've heard many explosions in the past but nothing like this."

The forensic center has been the target of two bomb attacks in the past.

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