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November 9, 2009
Today: Salvador mudslides, the Berlin Wall and eco-buses

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

Remains of the Berlin Wall Photo: via flickr by riotcitygirl

SOUTH KOREA: As Germany celebrates the 20th anniversary of the Berlin Wall’s fall, South Koreans reflect on their own version of the wall, which represents the last Cold War frontier – with communist North Korea. Editorials in South Korean newspapers urge the country to contemplate their own division and be seriously prepared for a possible re-unification of the Koreas.

CHINA: China blocked a website that displays twitter messages with thoughts on the fall of the Berlin Wall after nearly 2000 Chinese web users in the country posted their tweets on the site. The Berlin Twitterwall is supported by Reporters without Borders and has displayed more than 6000 messages so far.

JAPAN: President Barack Obama will visit Japan, Singapore, China and South Korea later this month.

SUDAN: Sudanese President Omar al Bashir will not attend the Organization of the Islamic Conference meeting held in Turkey on Monday. Turkey was experiencing pressure from the European Union over its decision to invite Bashir to the conference with an warrant out for his arrest for war crimes in Darfur.

SOMALIA: Two Kenyans working at a printing business in Somalia were kidnapped on Sunday in the capital Mogadishu. The kidnappers are now demanding a ransom.

ZIMBABWE: A top aide to Zimbabwe’s Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai went on trial on Monday on charges of terrorism. Roy Bennett’s case has caused serious friction within Zimbabwe’s unity government with Tsvangirai saying the case is politically motivated.

UK: Britain is taking new steps to create eco-friendly public transportation. An airport bus at East Midlands Airport will be run on fuel produced from decomposing organic waste.

Gordon Brown apologized to the mother of a soldier who was killed in Afghanistan to whom he had sent a handwritten condolence note on which he misspelled both the family name and her son’s first name.

GERMANY: As the world marks the 20th year anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, many Berlin residents celebrated the event. Yet others marked the 71st anniversary of Kristallnacht, known as the Night of Broken Glass, during which Jewish business were ransacked in 1938.

EL SALVADOR: Mudslides in El Salvador have left 124 dead and dozens missing.

VENEZUELA: President Hugo Chavez has warned the Venezuelan military to be prepared for a possible war with Colombia.

LEBANON:Lebanon’s opposition has agreed to a proposed national unity government, paving the way for Prime-Minister designate Saad al-Hariri to form a government.

SAUDI ARABIA: Saudi Arabia announced that its forces regained control of territory seized last week by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

SYRIA: During Monday’s meeting in Istanbul of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, Syrian President Bashar Assad warned that the failure of the Middle East peace negotiations will lead Arabs to turn to resistance as an “alternative solution.”

IRAN: Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is also in Istanbul for a one-day Islamic summit, while international pressure is increasing on Iran to agree to United Nations agreement on its nuclear program.

ISRAEL: US President Barack Obama will meet with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu during the Israeli leader’s trip to Washington amid growing tension over the stalled peace process and Israeli settlement policy.

PALESTINE: Hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Ramallah marching towards the Palestinian presidential compound in an attempt to persuade President Mahmoud Abbas to reconsider running for reelection. Also, Palestinian protesters managed to remove a segment of the Israeli-built wall in the West Bank village of Qalandiya today.

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