Recently in International Category

Chilean prison fire kills 81, "inhumane" conditions

A prison fire in Chile's capital of Santiago left 81 dead Wednesday, raising the issue of the prison's "inhumane" conditions.

"The conditions that existed at the prison were inhumane," Chilean President Sebastian Pinera said. "Chile does not deserve a prison system as we have. This is a problem that has dragged on for a long time," said CNN.

Reports said that two inmates set mattresses on fire, triggering the blaze. The BBC's Gideon Long in Santiago said that the fire is under control but there is havoc among the roughly 5,000 people outside of the prison waiting to hear more news of the inmates, said BBC.

Obama announces "win-win" trade agreement with South Korea

President Barack Obama tied loose ends on the "essential" free trade agreement with South Korea on Saturday.

Obama said the deal is expected to increase U.S. exports by $11 billion and support 70,000 American jobs, CNN said.

The Bush administration first proposed the agreement in 2007 but it has been left at a stand-still since, according to BBC.

The agreement still requires parliamentary approval in both countries, yet if passed, "it's a win-win for both countries," Obama said in CNN.

Mine explosion in New Zealand, 27 still missing

Twenty-seven miners are missing after an explosion at a remote coal mine on New Zealand's South Island on Friday.

"They don't even know at what depth of the mine it is. It's too early to make any calls, but it's not good news at the moment," Tony Kikshoom, New Zealand's Grey District mayor, said in ABC.

Police spokeswoman Barbara Dunn said rescuers are still assessing the ventilation system of the mine as there might be a build-up of methane gases inside. It could take several days to rescue the remaining few, said BBC.

Six people killed in Mexico resort explosion

Six people were killed and 20 were injured, including two Americans, in an explosion at a Playa del Carmen resort on Sunday, reported CNN.

There were no gas lines located in the area of the explosion and investigators think that it could have been from a mix of gases from a nearby swamp and from sewage, said Quintana Roo state Attorney General Francisco Alor, reported the Associated Press.

"I looked and you could see that the roof (of the restaurant) had collapsed. There was a large crater in the area, debris," James Gaade, a resident of St. Catharines, Ontario, said. He was walking on a nearby beach when he heard the explosion and saw smoke. He guessed that over half of the guests at the hotel were Canadian, said the Associated Press.

Former al-Quada member confesses to plane bomb plot

The successful interception of parcel bombs in two cargo planes on Oct. 29 is attributed to the confession from a former al-Quada member, officials told the BBC.

Jabr al-Faifi handed himself in to Saudi Arabian authorities two weeks ago allegedly because he wanted to return to his homeland, officials said. Faifi was first detained in a U.S. military prison in Cuba, attended a rehab program in Saudi Arabia, and rejoined al-Qaeda's militant front in Yemen right before he turned himself in to the authorities, reported the New York Post.

One of Saudi Arabia's most wanted men, who has been described by the Saudi government as an explosives and poison expert, is suspected to be at the head of the plot to send the bombs from Yemen to the U.S., said CNN.

Suicide bomber injures 22 in Istanbul

A suicide bomber set off an explosion in Istanbul's main square on Sunday injuring 22 people.

The bombing took place at the central Taksim Square of the city, injuring 12 civilians and 10 policemen, Istanbul Governor Avni Mutlu said in the Thaindian News.

Riot police were stationed near the square in case of demonstrations before the explosion. Police have marked off the area and medics attended those hurt, reported the Associated Press.

Ethnic violence contributes to nearly 90 deaths in Pakistan

Up to 90 people have been killed in Karachi, Pakistan as of Wednesday from ethnic violence relating to a provincial by-election.

The violence began Oct. 16 and has been linked to the assassination in August of Imran Farooq who was a well-known member of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) Party, reported CNN.

The MQM holds a the majority of political influence over the city and consists of Karachi's dominant ethnic "Mohajjir" population. The Awami National Party (ANP), which represents the city's Pashtun population, are "aiming to confine the MQM so they can rule Karachi with their gangsters," said Izhar ul-Hassan, a senior member of parliament in the Sindh Assembly, reported the Christian Science Monitor.

British aid worker possibly killed by US forces

A British aid worker died Oct. 8 while being held hostage during a rescue mission in Afghanistan. Linda Norgrove was thought to have originally died from her captors but Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, said on Monday that a grenade thrown by U.S. Special Forces could have been the cause of her death, said CNN.

Norgrove, 36, was kidnapped in the Dewagal valley in the Kunar province on Sept. 26. She was released last week along with three other staff. She died approximately around the same time that U.S. forces had reached the compound where she had been held, said BBC.

British officials will conduct an autopsy to determine her real cause of death. British Prime Minister David Cameron said in a statement Saturday that Norgrove "was doing valuable work for the Afghan people," reported CNN.

Chinese political prisoner wins Nobel Peace Prize

Liu Xiaobo was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday despite his current imprisonment for pushing pro-democracy issues. He was awarded the prize for his "long and non-violent struggle for fundamental human rights in China," said a press release by The Nobel Peace Prize 2010.

He protested in Tiananmen Square in 1989 and assisted in the writing of Charter 08, which promotes political reform and democratization in China.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry is upset with Xiaobo's international recognition stating that he is a criminal who violated Chinese law, said BBC.

Death toll rises to 32 from Mexico landslide

Several landslides in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca have killed at least 32 people since Tuesday, said the Associated Press.

Several have been injured, 11 still remain missing, and roughly 300 homes remain buried, police reported.

The remnants of a hurricane and a tropical storm has caused heavy rains in the days leading up to the landslide, said MSNBC.

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