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October 29, 2009
Today: Iran, Zimbabwe and overcrowded cemeteries

Stories compiled by Mohammad al-Kassim, Channtal Fleischfresser, Connie Kargbo, Ivette Feliciano, Christine Kiernan and Gizem Yarbil and edited by Rebecca Haggerty.

JAPAN: A Japanese navy ship intercepted a medium-ranged ballistic missile in a test off the coast of Hawaii. Japan has been investing in U.S.-developed ballistic missile defense systems since North Korea test fired a long ranged ballistic missile over northern Japan in 1998.

MALAYSIA: Malaysia’s Islamic party has called Muslim men in the country to marry single mothers as their additional wives instead of “young, virgin girls.” Men in Malaysia are allowed to marry up to four women under the approval of the Islamic courts. Government officials said this will “ease the burden” on the single mothers as they need support to take care of their kids.

INDONESIA: Authorities in Indonesia said they might expel the 78 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers if they fail to cooperate with them over identity checks. The ethnic Tamil refugees were intercepted in international waters near Indonesia 11 days ago while trying to reach Australia.

ZIMBABWE: Al Jazeera English is reporting that  UN special rapporteur on torture Manfred Nowak was denied entry to Zimbabwe.

SUDAN: African Union leaders are discussing various proposals to resolve the ongoing crisis in Darfur, reports Al-Arabiya.

UK: The biggest cemetery in London is getting crowded, and it is trying to encourage residents to be buried in graves that already have tenants.

GERMANY: Unemployment figures showed improvement this month, down to 7.7% from 8.0% in September.

UK: The yacht belonging to the missing UK couple off the east coast of Africa has been located by the British navy. The couple has been missing since last Friday

U.S. National Security Adviser James Jones is in Moscow for talks on arms reduction with his Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov. They are attempting to negotiate a replacement to the 1991 START treaty, which expires in December.

The Russian Health Ministry has confirmed the country’s fifth death from H1N1.

Russia’s top epidemiologist Gennady Onishchenko says Russia will continue to follow an abstinence-based strategy for curbing the spread of HIV and will refuse to implement methadone therapy for drug users. He made the remarks the third UNAIDS conference on HIV/AIDS in Eastern Europe and Central Asia currently ongoing in Moscow.

Georgia is honoring Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya, who was murdered three years ago, by naming a street in the capital Tblisi after her.

The Washington Post, in an editorial today, decries the lack of accountability following several recent murders of activists in Russia. Human rights campaigner Maksharip Aushev of Ingushetia became the latest victim when he was shot in broad daylight this past Sunday.

The Financial Times writes about the dilemma Russia’s one-company towns are posing to the state. The government has launched a review of some 400 towns where inhabitants are dependent on a single industry such as cement, cars, steel, and trucks.

Ukraine has refused to allow the CIS Anti-Terrorist Center to hold exercises on its territory, saying that the country’s constitution forbids foreign military units from operating inside Ukraine.

MEXICO: The U.S. consulate in Mexico has issued an alert warning citizens that drug cartels in the border town of Ciudad Juarez may be planning random attacks on cars to distract police.

HONDURAS: A delegation of U.S. officials arrived in Honduras yesterday in an attempt to resolve the 4-month long political conflict in the country.

IRAN: Iran’s Islamic Students News Agency is reporting that Iran’s ambassador to the IAEA Ali Asghar Soltanieh has delivered his country’s response to the IAEA. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said  the West is moving from confrontation to cooperation on the issue, and the United Nations watchdog agency says it is hopeful an agreement can be reached.

According to the Middle East online news site, more than 60 Iraqi security force members have been arrested following the two bombings in Baghdad that killed more than 150 people. The New York Times is reporting on corruption on Iraq.

PAKISTAN: Pakistan Dawn TV reported on US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s town hall meeting where she told a Pakistani audience that Pakistan was not alone in its fight against militants and reiterated strong U.S. support for its ally.

ISRAEL: In Israel today, Haaretz is covering that country’s observation of the 14th year anniversary — according to the Jewish calendar — of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin.

PALESTINE: Palestinian Ma’an news agency said that Hamas’s Prime Minister in Gaza Ismail Haniyeh has told an American delegates on a medical mission in Gaza that he welcomes the U.S. change of language on the Middle East conflict.

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1 comment


It is a finger in the eyes of those who thought Mugabe had changed his stripes. I have always known that he was looking for a little breathing space. He is still the same crook, the same tin pot dictator.

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