Recently in International News Category

Hot air balloon crash kills 2 near Dubai

Two people were killed after a hot air balloon carrying 14 people crashed Sunday morning in the desert in Dubai, the Associated Press reported.
Authorities said the accident happened at 6:45 a.m. near a pair of villages surrounded by farmland and about 45 miles south of Dubai.
At least two other people were injured in the crash, including a ground crew member from Tanzania, who is in serious condition.
The identities of the victims have not been released, but they are of Indian and French nationality, the New York Times said.
The other passengers were taken to a hospital in Al Ain, a nearby oasis city on the border of Oman.
The balloon was operated by Balloon Adventures Emirates, and a representative for the company said a sudden change of wind struck the balloon as it was landing. The balloon took off despite light winds, but gusts picked up greatly after takeoff, forcing an emergency landing.
The company has suspended flights for the coming days, and authorities are investigating the crash.

Pope meets with abuse victims in Malta

Pope Benedict XVI met privately with a group of victims of sexual abuse by priests in Malta, the BBC reported.
The Pope expressed "shame and sorrow" over their plight, and had tears in his eyes during the emotional meeting.
The meeting took place at the end of the Pope's visit to Malta, and he met with eight Maltese men who said they were molested by priests as youth in the 1980's and 1990's in an orphanage.
"He prayed with them and assured them that the church is doing, and will continue to do, all in its power to investigate allegations," the Vatican said.
The church has recently come under scrutiny over allegations that it covered up sexual abuse of children by priests and failed to punish pedophile priests and removed them from working with children, the New York Times said.
This was the first time the Pope had met with alleged victims since the allegations came out this year.

Missing journalist found with throat slit

The body of a kidnapped Mexican journalist was found with his throat slit, the Associated Press reported.
Enrique Villicana Palomares, a columnist for the The Voice of Michoacan newspaper, was reported missing by his family last week after not showing up to a writing class he taught.
Federal prosecutors said in a statement his body was found Saturday in Morella after a ransom was demanded. It was unclear whether the ransom was paid.
Investigators did not know if Palomares was targeted because of his job as a journalist, but his family said Palomares had written columns about attacks by armed groups, the New York Times reported.
Palomares is at least the fifth reporter killed in Mexico this year. His employers had notified state authorities a few weeks ago about threats made against him.

Officials fear ship will break apart on Great Barrier Reef

A ship carrying coal in Australia that strayed from its shipping lane was leaking oil on the Great Barrier Reef and was in danger of breaking apart, the Associated Press reported.
The Chinese Shen Neng 1 ran aground on Douglas Shoals, a part of the reef that is protected and where shipping is restricted.
Authorities are scared an oil spill will damage the world's largest coral reef, and a police boat was standing by in case the ship broke apart to evacuate the crew.
Some oil was seen near the ship, which hit the reef at full speed, early Sunday but there was no major oil loss reported, the BBC said.
A salvage contract had been signed, but authorities worry the operation could spill more oil. Other options are being considered, and state authorities were assessing the effect the coal could have on the reef environment if the ship broke before the cargo could be removed.

123 trapped in coal mine in Northern China

At least 123 people were trapped underground in a coal mine Sunday in northern China, the Associated Press reported.
The Wangjialing coal mine was flooded by underground water as over 200 miners were working. The State Administration of Work Safety said 138 of the miners were rescued and lifted safely to the ground, but the others remained trapped.
Rescue work was under way, and the cause of the flood was being investigated. Calls made to the mine were not answered.
The mine covers an area of 70 square miles, and is located by the city of Heijn in Xiangning county.
China's mines are among the deadliest in the world, even with significant improvements in safety made in recent years. It was reported 2,631 people died in coal mine accidents in 2009 in China, Reuters reported.

American consulate staff killed by gunmen in Mexico

Three people linked to the American consulate were killed in a drive-by shooting in the Mexican city of Ciudad Juarez, a U.S. official said Sunday.
An American woman working at the consulate and her American husband were shot by a suspected drug gang hitmen while leaving a consulate social event Saturday afternoon. In another part of the city, the Mexican spouse of a consulate employee was killed around the same time after he and his wife left the event, the Associated Press reported.
The U.S. Embassy in Mexico City has advised American citizens not to travel to parts of Mexico, including Durango, Coahuila and Chihuahua, unless necessary.
The State Department also authorized government employees at six U.S. consulates in northern Mexico to send family members out of the area due to drug-related violence. Family members were allowed to leave border cities of Tijuana, Nogales, Ciudad Juarez, Nuevo Laredo, Monterrey and Matamoros.
President Obama expressed sadness and outrage over the deaths. At least 18,000 people have been killed since an offensive against drug traffickers began in 2006.

Dozens killed in Nigeria after religious clash

Over 100 people were killed after suspected religious clashes near the central Nigerian city of Jos Sunday, the BBC reported.
Corpses were piled up in the village of Dogo-Nahawa after a conflict between Islamic pastoralists and Christian villagers erupted. Victims were said to have been cut by machetes and burnt, Reuters reported.
The clash comes after hundreds of people were killed in riots in the city of Jos. The city sits in the middle of the country, between the Muslim north and the Christian south.
Villagers said Hausa-Fulani's from the surrounding area attacked at 3 a.m., shooting in the air to lure people out of their houses before cutting them with machetes.
"The shooting was just meant to bring people from their houses and then when people came out they started cutting them with machetes," said Dogo Nahawa resident Peter Jang.
The attack comes at a difficult time in Nigeria, as acting President Goodluck Jonathan attempts to settle into power after leader Umaru Yar'Adua grew too ill to govern.

Tsunami warning lifted as waves pass lightly

The tsunami expected from Chile's 8.8 magnitude earthquake hit Japan and other Pacific islands only lightly, causing little damage, the New York Times reported Sunday.
The tsunami struck Japan, Hawaii, and other Pacific Islands, but brought smaller-than-expected waves, causing the tsunami warning to be lifted by officials.
In Japan, hundreds of thousands of residents were evacuated after the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center in Hawaii warned 53 countries and territories of the possible tsunami. However, the highest wave was reported at four feet, and there were no immediate reports of damage.
The center lifted its warning Sunday, but some countries kept their own warnings in place as precautionary measures, the Associated Press said.
The tsunami caused concern that a similar situation would occur as the tsunami in Indonesia of 2004, where 230,000 people were killed after little warning. In this situation, officials overestimated the size of the waves by nearly 50%.

Abu Sayyaf commander killed by Philippine troops

A top Islamic militant was one of six killed in an attack by troops by Philippine Troops in the island of Jolo on Saturday, the BBC reported.
Commander Albader Parad of Abu Sayyaf was killed after a marine special operations platoon raided a camp on the island, following reports that two wanted leaders were there. Parad was wanted for the abduction of three Red Cross volunteers, as well as several bombings, beheadings and kidnappings. The radical group has been linked to al-Qaeda, the Star Tribune said.
Gen Benjamin Dolorfino said the death was a huge loss for the group, after confirming Parad was one of the six bodies found.
One marine was killed and three others were wounded in the attack. The 30-man platoon was backed by other troops to ensure the militants could not escape from their camp on the island. The group has operated there for years, even through a United States military campaign against them. campaign against them.

Whistler track reopens after death of luger

Luge training resumed Sunday in Whistler after the fatal crash of Georgian luger Nodar Kumaritashvili, the BBC reported.
After investigations by the Province of British Columbia and the International Luge Federation (FIL), the track reopened with new safety measures, the Christian Science Monitor said.
The men's event was lowered to the women's starting point, cutting speeds by over six mph. Furthermore, the walls at the end of curve 16, where Kumaritashvili went off the track and hit a steel pole, have been raised. Finally, the ice profile will be changed to make the track less dangerous.
The investigation also found that the crash was not a result of the track, but mistakes made by the driver.
A statement by the FIL said "after a routine run, the athlete came late out of curve 15 and did not compensate properly to make correct entrance into curve 16," resulting in the athlete losing control of the sled.
The track is known for its speed and difficulty, and has caused other accidents.

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