KOREAS: A disgraced cloning expert who falsely claimed major breakthrough in stem cell research was convicted Monday for embezzlement and other charges but not fraud connected to the scandal. His prison sentence was suspended.
South Korea offered a small amount of food aid to North Korea on Monday. The offer of 10,000 tons of corn was the first direct assistance to the impoverished North in nearly two years of strained relations between the two countries. However, it will fall short of addressing North Korea’s food shortage.
JAPAN: In his first policy speech to the parliament, Japan’s new prime minister declared Monday that reviving the nation’s sluggish economy is top priority for his government and also stressed he was seeking “close and equal” ties with the U.S.
SIERRA LEONE: The UN-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone handed down its last three verdicts on Monday. Charles Taylor, the former Liberian President, is the only remaining person on trial for war crimes committed during Sierra Leone’s civil war, which ended in 2002. His case is being handled in The Hague.
SOMALIA: Hundreds gathered on Sunday to watch the executions of two Somalians accused by the militant group, Al-Shabaab, of spying for the government. The militant group ordered schools closed and demanded that locals attend the public executions.
NIGERIA: Rights groups in Nigeria are urging the government to arrest Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir should he attend an African Union summit being held in the country this week.
GERMANY: The trial of a man who allegedly stabbed a pregnant Egyptian woman to death in a Dresden courtroom in July began Monday. The woman had originally sued the Russian-born man for defamation over an incident in 2008.
NETHERLANDS: Radovan Karadzic’s war crimes trial, set to open Monday in the Hague, was adjourned after he failed to show up for the proceedings. He claimed he was not given enough preparation time.
GERMANY: Germany has begun mass vaccinations against the H1N1 virus. People who work in safety professions, such as health workers and police, will be vaccinated first, along with people who suffer from chronic conditions.
In a case of reverse migration, Poland is looking to attract Danish builders. Poland’s construction industry is booming, but there’s a lack of skilled workers to do the job, whereas in Denmark, unemployment in the construction industry has hit an all time low of this decade.
RUSSIA AND CIS:
Opposition campaigner Maksharip Aushev was killed yesterday when his car was fired upon as he drove to visit relatives in Kabardino-Balkaria. Some 30,000 people gathered in Ingushetia for his burial today. Aushev had campaigned against alleged abductions by security forces in the increasingly violent Northern Caucasus.
The Baghdad office of television company Russia Today was badly damaged in yesterday’s suicide bombing. Here’s their report on the incident.
The Aral Sea–once the world’s fourth largest-body of fresh water until it shrank by 90 percent–is coming back to life. Water is returning to the port of Aralsk, thanks to construction of a concrete dam, and the fishing industry is reviving.
The pro-Kremlin Nashi youth group is suing four foreign newspapers for libel. Nashi is bringing the case against The Independent, Le Monde, Le Journal du Dimanche and Frankfurter Rundshau for articles comparing the youth group to Hitler youth, “bandits” and “nationalists.”
COLOMBIA: Ten members of an amateur Colombian soccer team were found dead in Venezuela along the Colombia/Venezuelan border. The motive remains unclear.
CUBA: Fidel Castro’s sister said in an interview with a Spanish-language news network that she cooperated with the CIA in the 1960s, before leaving the Cuba.
President Barack Obama asked the Spanish government to pass along a message to Cuba in order to improve hostile relations between the U.S. and the caribbean country.
IRAQ: Twin suicide car bombs ripped through the Iraqi capital of Baghdad on Sunday killing at least 155 and wounding hundreds more. Iraqi daily Arabic newspaper Azzaman said that rescue efforts were taking place well into the late hours of the night.
TUNISIA: Tunisia Online news site reports that incumbent Tunisian President Zein al-Abidin bin Ali was re-elected with 89.62 percent of the vote in Sunday’s elections for a fifth term in office after two decades in power.
LEBANON: Lebanese chefs will be in the Guinness book of world records for his massive servings of tabbouleh. This follows on the heels of Lebanese record-setting for quantities of hummus and kebbe earlier this year.