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October 30, 2009
Today: Honduras, Pakistan and new domains on the Web

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

SOUTH KOREA: The non-profit body that oversees Internet addresses approved on Friday the use of non-Latin scripts like Hebrew, Hindi, Korean and Arabic in Internet domain names at the conclusion of a week-long meeting in South Korea’s Seoul. The regulatory body ICANN (the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers) says the decision is “the biggest change” to how the Internet works since its invention 40 years ago.

South Korea says it will deploy troops to Afghanistan to protect the country’s civilian aid workers.

CHINA: A U.S. Navy admiral expressed concern over China’s rapid military build-up and urged Beijing to be more transparent about its intentions. Rear Admiral Kevin Donegan told reporters on a visit to Hong Kong that with China’s military growing at an “unprecedented rate,” the U.S. wants to know how China will deploy its new power.

SOMALIA: In what is being hailed as a first, debit cards were introduced this week to Somalia. Customers will be able to use their cards at hotels, stores, ATM’s and other businesses that accept them.

UGANDA: A bomb attack was foiled on Friday in Uganda’s capital Kampala. The bomb was discovered wrapped up in newspaper by a security guard. Earlier in the week, a Somali militant group, Al-Shabaab threatened to attack Uganda’s capital.

NIGERIA/SUDAN: On Thursday in Nigeria the African Union backed the proposal for the establishment of a hybrid court to try crimes committed in Darfur.

NETHERLANDS: A Dutch court has deemed Laura Dekker, a 14-year-old Dutch girl who had hoped to become the youngest person to sail solo around the world, unfit to undertake the trip.

E.U.: Unemployment in the 27-country EU bloc rose to 9.2%, with Spain’s unemployment rate at 19.3%.

FRANCE: Former French President Jacques Chirac will be prosecuted for corruption charges stemming from his time as mayor of Paris. While he was President he had judicial immunity from prosecution, but he no longer does.

HONDURAS: A breakthrough agreement will allow deposed president Manuel Zelaya to return to power before elections in late November.

NICARAGUA: The government of Nicaragua is accusing the United States of being interventionist after the U.S. ambassador to the Central American country criticized a ruling allowing the current president to run for re-election.

ARGENTINA: The Argentinian Congress began debating proposals to legalize gay marriage.  No Latin American countries currently allow gay marriage, although Uruguay does permit same-sex civil unions.

COLOMBIA: The U.S. and Colombia have signed a controversial agreement that will expand the U.S. military presence in the South American nation.

UN: Al Arabiya is reporting that the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has warned that his organization is vulnerable to more attacks in Afghanistan.

ISRAEL: The U.S. envoy to the Middle East, George Mitchell,  is back in the Middle East two days ahead of the arrival of Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Al Jazeera English is reporting on the U.S. quest to persuade Israeli and Palestinian leaders to restart the Middle East peace negotiations.

IRAN: The New York Times is reporting that Iran will reject a draft proposal by the U.N. watchdog agency on its nuclear program, despite encouraging words by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on Thursday. Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nevertheless called the proposed agreement a “positive first step.” 

IRAQ: Middle East Online news site reports that U.S. Major General John D. Johnson is warning of more attacks like the deadly bombings in Baghdad last week ahead of the January election.

PAKISTAN: Pakistani forces continue their offensive in South Waziristan. Aaj TV is reporting that the Pakistani army is closing in on a major Taliban base and has killed 14 insurgents over the last 24 hours.

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It is laughable of Leo to call World Focus “right wing ” and “jewsish slanted” (I presume Leo means Jewish).

World Focus runs Al Jazeera non-stop, and that is a predominantly Arab perspective on everything. World Focus doesn’t run items from Israeli TV – except for very rare items from non-mainstream sources like Channel 10.

I guess “Leo” wants a 100% Arab perspective all the time.


are you a right wing backed ??? everything is war mongering and jewsish slanted ?

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