November 18, 2009
Today: Somali pirates, German troops and obese kids

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

CHINA: Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with US President Barack Obama in Beijing, where they discussed a range of issues of common concern to both countries. China made few concessions to the U.S.

INDIA: Ahead of India’s Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Washington, the U.S. is asking Pakistan to take actions against the groups allegedly responsible for the Mumbai attacks.

SOUTH KOREA: Legislators of South Korea’s National Assembly were in favor of the government’s latest decision to dispatch military forces to protect civilian aid workers in Afghanistan.

SOMALIA: Late Tuesday a woman accused of committing adultery was stoned to death in Somalia. A judge working for the militant group Al-Shabaab said the women had given birth to a stillborn baby. Her boyfriend was given 100 lashes.

Pirates on Wednesday attacked the US flagged ship Maersk Alabama for the second time. Just seven months ago the ship was attacked and the captain taken hostage, though he was eventually rescued. This time the ship was able to repel the attack.

ITALY: The UN Food and Agriculture Summit ended Wednesday with little progress in the way of a new strategy to combat hunger, as aid agency Oxfam said the effort offered little more than “crumbs” to the one in six people who do not have enough to eat.

GERMANY: Chancellor Angela Merkel said Wednesday that German troops would stay in Afghanistan for another year, though she would not commit additional troops to the region.

UK: Queen Elizabeth II laid out new plans for financial regulation in her speech at the opening of Parliament on Wednesday.

LATIN AMERICA: Analysts say that the number of people per household in Latin America will drop by 18% in 2020.

EL SALVADOR: The government in El Salvador estimates $880 million worth of damage due to flooding and mudslides in the country in early November.

MEXICO: Experts in Mexico say that the epidemic of obesity in children could reduce life expectancy rates in the country.

IRAQ: Preparation for Iraq’s January general elections are on hold because Iraq’s Sunni Arab vice president vetoed part of an election law.

ISRAEL: The United States, in an unusually strong criticism of Israel, voiced dismay at the approval of new Jewish housing in annexed east Jerusalem.

A charity linked to the militant Hamas group offered $1.4 million dollars for anyone who takes an Israeli soldier hostage.

UAE, DUBAI: American talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey apologized to her followers for an episode of her show featuring women from around the world in which a guest from Dubai gave false information about life in Dubai.

PALESTINE: Israeli bulldozers demolished a two-family Palestinian home in the town of Al-Isawiya in occupied East Jerusalem today, the second home demolition in two days.

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