Recently in International News Category

Al Qaeda Leader Killed by Drone

A U.S. drone strike fired near a Pakistani tribal area near the Afghan border killed a senior al Qaeda officer this week, U.S. and Pakistani officials said Friday.

U.S. officials said it was likely that Saleh al-Somali was killed in the strike Tuesday. Somali was on the Central Intelligence Agency's list of the top 20 al Qaeda targets, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Pakistani officials said the drone strike also killed Abu Yahya al-Libi, another top al Qaeda leader, but American officials disputed the claim, the New York Times reported.

Though little is known about Somali, it was likely that he was involved in attacks against the U.S. and Europe, the New York Times reported.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Somali maintained relationships with al Qaeda's East African affiliates, such as al Shabaab, a Somalian terrorist group.

The Obama administration recently approved the expansion of C.I.A. operations inside Pakistan, which includes increasing drone aircraft flying in the country. The plan has yet to be approved by Pakistan's government, the New York Times reported.

Alleged Former Nazi Guard Goes on Trial

The New York Times reported that John Demjanjuk, a retired American autoworker, was put on trial Monday when he was accused of aiding in the murders of 27,900 Jews during the Holocaust.

German prosecutors said that Demjanjuk, 89, worked as a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943. Sobibor was an extermination camp rather than a concentration camp, which meant that Demjanjuk would have been involved in mass murder, prosecutors argued.

Demjanjuk appeared in court in a wheelchair with his eyes closed and covered in a blanket. Family members said he was too sick to stand trial. However, doctors deemed him fit enough to stand trial, but only in two 90-minute sessions per day.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Demjanjuk was previously convicted in 1988 of war crimes and crimes against humanity. He spent seven years in prison until his conviction was overturned in 1993, when Israel's Supreme Court found that Demjanjuk had been mistakenly identified as someone else.

Though there are no living witnesses to testify against Demjanjuk, prosecutors say they can convict Demjanjuk using an SS identity card and orders sending him to Sobibor from the Trawniki training camp for Nazi guards. However, defendants question the authenticity of the documents.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Demjanjuk has been stripped of his U.S. citizenship and was deported from the country in May.

If convicted he could face up to 15 years in prison. The trial will resume Tuesday.

Peruvian Gang Killed for Human Fat

Police charged Thursday that a gang in the Peruvian jungle has been killing people to harvest their fat so that they could sell it on the black market for use in cosmetics.

Three suspects confessed to killing five people for their fat, the Huffington Post reported. They told police that a gallon of fat was worth $60,000 and was being sold to intermediaries in Lima, Peru's capital.

According to the New York Times, suspect Elmer Segundo Castillejos, 29, confessed to killing, decapitating, and gutting victims before fat was collected from the torso carcasses.

The gang may be involved in more killings, Peruvian officials said. Castillejos said that the gang's leader, Hilario Cudena, had long been killing to extract fat for more than 30 years.

Authorities suspected that the fat was sold to cosmetic companies in Europe, though there has been no confirmation, the New York Times reported. Medical experts said that fat had cosmetic uses, but doubted that a black market existed for human fat.

Police arrested two more suspects in early November, Serapio Manos Veramendi and Enedina Estela. All three have been charged with homicide, criminal conspiracy, illegal firearms possession and drug trafficking.

Obama Seeks to Build Stronger Ties to Asia

President Barack Obama declared on Saturday that, despite the rising power of China, the U.S. would become a more export-driven nation by strengthening ties with Asian allies, the New York Times reported.

In a speech delivered at Suntory Hall in Tokyo, Obama said that the United States is not threatened by China's increasing status as a global power. It would continue to maintain good relationships with Asia even if it seemed preoccupied with conflicts in the Middle East.

Obama also urged that the U.S. and Asia must move away from the "imbalance" of Asian reliance on the U.S. as an export market.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Asia has grown nervous about American trade policy, and are skeptical about Obama's support of free trade. So far, Obama's most significant actions regarding trade have been enforcing tariffs on Chinese tires and steel pipe imports.

Obama also addressed human rights, but never mentioned rights concerning the conflict in China and Tibet, where Beijing authorities have restricted religious freedom.

Two Arrested for Murders of Russian Lawyer and Reporter

Two alleged neo-Nazi activists were charged with the murders of a human-rights lawyer and a reporter on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The accused, Nikita Tikhonov and Yevgenia Khasis, both in their 20s, were arrested for the January killings of Stanislav Markelov, a lawyer who had defended victims of nationalist violence, and journalist Anastasia Baburova who had been interviewing Markelov.

Chief of Russia's Federal Security Service, Aleksandr Bortnikov, said one of the killers confessed to the crime after they were identified during an extremist group crackdown in Moscow.

Tikhonov was a suspect in a 2006 murder of an antifascist youth in Moscow, but was never caught, the Wall Street Journal reported. Less is known about Khasis.

Russia's president, Dmitri A. Medvedev, was pleased that the case was solved so quickly, but was also criticized for not addressing the issue promptly.

Clinton Challenges Pakistanis, Pakistanis Challenge Clinton

While visiting Pakistan to improve relations with the country, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton suggested Thursday that Pakistani officials were responsible for allowing Al Qaeda terrorists to operate safely in the country.

Pakistanis were upset with Clinton's comments, because they had seen hundreds of soldiers and civilians killed from militant groups that threatened the country.

The comments expressed the frustrations of American officials who believe the Pakistani government may not be working hard enough to find Al Qaeda and other dangerous militant groups.

Mrs. Clinton also addressed issues like security and poor tax collection, which resulted in Pakistani defiance and aggressive questioning, especially from university students from the Government College in Lahore.

Clinton listened patiently to questions and criticism, the New York Times reported, but insisted that in order to cultivate a better relationship between Pakistan and the United States, the relationship had to be a "two-way street."

Protesters Breach Security at BBC Show

Protesters broke into the BBC's west London headquarters Thursday ahead of a white-supremacist party leader's appearance on a political debate show.

Protesters gathered outside the BBC Television Center in a rally against British National Party leader Nick Griffin, who was scheduled to appear on BBC's "Question Time" program, the Wall Street Journal reported.

25 people breached a police cordon and ran into the broadcast's lobby. Three officers were injured, and six people were arrested, the New York Times reported.

Many politicians condemned the appearance of Griffin on the show, saying that his far-right group was undeserving of an aura of political respectability. Protesters said that it gave racist people confidence and would encourage acts of violence and hatred toward minorities.

Griffin and the BNP opposes immigration, fights for "indigenous" Britons and denies the Holocaust. According to the New York Times, the party has tried to clean up its image so it can enter the political mainstream.

China Sentences Six More to Death Over Riots

Six people were sentenced to death Thursday for committing murder in an ethnic riot in western China in July, the New York Times reported.

Three other convicts involved were given life in prison, while five received lighter sentences. Seven of the convicts had Uighur names, and two of them had Han names, the New York Times reported.

Nearly 200 people were killed during the riots, which took place in the capital of Urumqi. Muslim Uighurs attacked people of Han descent, China's dominant ethnic group. It was China's worst ethnic conflict in decades, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The riots erupted on July 5 in the Xinjiang region in far western China, where tensions have mounted between Uighurs and Han. Uighurs said their cultural and religious traditions were being threatened by the large amount of Han in the region.

The Chinese government blamed the rioting on groups overseas protesting for increased Uighur rights in Xinjiang, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Three American Scientists Awarded Nobel for Medicine

The Nobel Prize in medicine was awarded Monday to three American scientists who discovered an enzyme relevant to cellular health and aging, the Wall Street Journal reported. The prize includes a shared cash amount of $1.4 million.

The discovery involves the workings of telomerase, an enzyme that enables cell division and determines a cell's life span.

The winners are Elizabeth H. Blackburn of the University of California, San Francisco; Carol W. Greider of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine; and Jack W. Szostak of Massachusetts General Hospital.

Though telomeres were discovered some 20 years ago, the scientists' findings create a new line of research into possible treatments for ailments like cancer, blindness and cardiovascular disease.

Scientists hope to use their knowledge of telomerase for many things, such as prolonging life, slowing down the aging process and fighting cancer, the Wall Street Journal reported. 

Roadside Bomb Kills 30 Civilians in Afghanistan

A bus filled with Afghan civilians struck a roadside bomb near the southern city of Kandahar Tuesday, killing 30 people and wounding 39.

According to The Wall Street Journal, militants are planting more bombs than ever. The mines are intended to kill U.S., NATO and Afghan troops but end up killing more Afghan civilians instead.

The bus had been traveling on a dangerous road from the western city of Herat to Kandahar, when it encountered a NATO roadblock run by soldiers clearing the road of bombs.

The bus was then told to drive along the dirt next to the road. However, that was where the bomb was hidden.

No one claimed responsibility for the attack, but U.S. and NATO troops and Afghan officials blamed the Taliban.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries in the International News category.

Analysis is the previous category.

Local News is the next category.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


Powered by Movable Type 4.31-en