December 8, 2007

Iran Formally Accuses U.S. of Espionage

Iran's Foreing Minister Manouchehr Mottaki has sent a formal protest letter to the United States which accuses them of spying on "Iran's nuclear activities," according to the BBC.

"Seventy percent of the US intelligence report is true and positive and the remaining 30%, in which they claim that Iran had a nuclear weapon program before 2003, is wrong," Mottaki said (courtesy of the BBC).

The letter holds evidence that the United States used surveillence satellites and "other espionage operations," according Ynetnews.

November 28, 2007

British Teacher Arrested Over Teddy Bear Name in Sudan

A British grade school teacher in Sudan has been charged with “insulting religion, inciting hatred and showing contempt of religious beliefs�, according to the BBC. Gibbons was arrested in Khartoum, Sudan because she allowed her students to name a teddy bear “Muhammad�, according to the BBC.

According to Secretary General, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Bari, “"This is a disgraceful decision and defies common sense. There was clearly no intention on the part of the teacher to deliberately insult the Islamic faith.� (quote courtesy of the BBC)

Gibbons could face six months in jail, 40 lashes or a fine if she is convicted, according to the BBC.

Muhammad is the name of Islam’s prophet and founder and Gibbon’s student’s parents complained that they were insulted by the naming of the teddy bear, according to MSNBC.

November 18, 2007

Cyclone Sidr's Death Toll Rises

Tropical cyclone Sidr, that ravaged Dhaka, Bangladesh, last Thursday has claimed at least 2,206 victims, according to MSNBC.

Over 1 million people have been relocated from the coast to inland shelters and are receiving emergency help, according to MSNBC.

Many of the people that are in areas that are near impossible to get to, due to uprooted tres and flooded roads, are feeling abandoned, according to the BBC.

Local Government Official, Rafiqul Islam, has told the BBC, “"We do not have enough food, our houses and shops have been wiped out and there is no-one to help us.�

November 12, 2007

Oil Spill In California Under Investigation

According to CNN, the San Francisco oil spill that occurred on Wednesday is now under a federal, criminal, investigation. According to the news organization the spill happened when a container ship hit the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge in the fog and 58,000 gallons of oil were spilled in the water.

According to the Imperial Valley News, out of California, the San Francisco Animal Care and Control department was rescuing and cleaning wildlife on Saturday.

November 4, 2007

King Tut Shows His Face

King Tuttankhemum, the famous ancient ruler of Egypt, showed his face for the first time to the public, Sunday in Luxor Egypt, according to the BBC. The King was on display in a climate controlled case, in his tomb in the Valley of the Kings.

Until now only 50 people had seen the King’s face. The public reveal and move of the body was to protect the King’s remains from Egypt’s heat and humidity, according to the BBC.

Scientists began restoring the decaying body over two years ago, according to CNN.

October 27, 2007

Sudan calls for Darfur Truce

Saturday Sudanese leaders said they would call for a ceasefire in Darfur, while they participate in peace talks with Libya in the city of Sirte. The fighting and war began in Darfur in 2003 and a 2006 peacetalk treaty had failed to create a ceasefire, according to the BBC. Sudanese presidential adviser Nafie Ali Nafie said: "We announce a ceasefire from this moment, and we will respect it unilaterally." (BBC)

According to The Star, (a Malaysian newspaper) two main rebel groups-The Justice and Equality Movement and The Sudan Liberation Army, have opted out of the talks leaving many to believe they will end up like the 2006 talks, unsuccessful.

October 21, 2007

S. Africa Wins the Rugby World Cup

On Sunday England lost to South Africa, 15-6, in the rugby union World Cup Finals in Paris France according to the New Zealand Herald. An England fan said, "I'll be fair and say that I think the best team won," said Peter Hargreaves, 52, from Greenwich. "We never looked like scoring a try and we really needed to get those points." (New Zealand Herald).
According to the BBC, when the game was done millions of fans across South Africa cheered and sang the traditional zulu shosholoza, a song the represents a spontaneous collection of joy. At one point Nelson Mandela appeared on his balcony, over looking a square in Johannesburg, before the match was over. The square was filled with fans, watching the game on a large screen, set up for the public. The crowd took Mandela's appearance as a good sign with one fan saying, "Nelson Mandela is the father of the nation, so when we saw him we said: 'Oh my goodness, it's in the bag." (BBC)

October 14, 2007

Putin Heads to Iran

Russian president Vladimir Putin will be taking a trip to Iran later this week. According to the Associated Press, Russia has been building a nuclear reactor for Iran. The United States is hoping Putin’s trip will verify where the Kremlin stands in Iran’s nuclear issues.
Putin has been warned of an assassination plot against him when he visits Iran. Russian Special Services had gotten word of a gang of suicide bombers planning an attack on Putin when he would be in Tehran according to the BBC.
Putin is the first Russian president to visit Iran since Joseph Stalin visited in 1943. (BBC)

October 8, 2007

A Monet is Vandalized in Paris

Early Sunday morning, four or five intruders broke in the Musee d'Orsay; a museum specializing in Impressionist works of art; in Paris and punched a 4-inch hole in Claude Monet's "Le Pont d'Argentevil" according to the International Herald Tribune.
According to the BBC a surveillence camera caught the group trying many doors before successfully breaking into the back one. An alarm did sound but as the group fled one person managed to damage the painting. The Culture Minister, Christine Albane, said the painting could be restored and called the vandalizim an attack on French heritage. Ironically the break-in took place on Paris's Nuit Blanch, an annual all-night festival that celebrates music and culture.
The painting was painted in 1874 and features a view of the Seine with a bridge and boats, click here to see the painting (courtesy of interagir).

September 27, 2007

Shutting Down the N. Korea Nuclear Program

In February of this year North Korea agreed to end it's nuclear program in exchange of aid for the country. According to The Hankyoreh five of the nuclear facilities have been shut down. Talks about shutting down the remainder of the facilities and reaching denuclearization have started again because of suspicions that have risen over North Korea's nuclear cooperation with Syria. According to the BBC North Korea is denying any nuclear association with Syria.
According to ITAR-TASS the six way talks will begin on September 27 in Beijing. The head of the Russian Delegation is expecting many problems to arise due to limited success of previous talks. Although, according to the BBC the US chief negotiator and his North Korean counterpart appear "very much on the same wavelength." The talks are expected to be finished by September 30.

September 24, 2007

Thailand Plane Crash Kills Many

According to the CBBC at least 87 people were killed in a plane crash in Thailand on Sunday September 16. The plane was attempting to land in heavy rainfall and skidded off the runway apon landing. This is the deadliest crash Thailand has had since December of 1998 when 101 people were killed in a plane crash. According to The Times of India 88 people were killed total and the plane crash was on the resort island of Phuket. There were passengers on the plane from many countries including: Australia, France and Europe.

September 15, 2007

Vladimir Putin Not to Run 3rd Term

Vladimir Putin, Russia's current president, has said he will not be running for a third term according to The Gaurdian Unlimited. He is endorsing a former coworker, Viktor Zubkov. According to the BBC News, Zubkov is a virtual unknown candidate and currently works as a financial crime investigator for Russia's Federal Financial Monitering Service. The Russian presidential election is scheduled for March 9th, 2008.