Petraeus reviews directive meant to limit Afghan civilian deaths
By Rajiv Chandrasekaran
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, July 9, 2010
To the U.S. soldiers getting pounded with thunderous mortar rounds in their combat outpost near Kandahar, it seemed like a legitimate request: allow them to launch retaliatory mortar shells or summon an airstrike against their attackers. The incoming fire was landing perilously close to a guard station, and the soldiers, using a high-powered camera, could clearly see the insurgents shooting.
Newly discovered dinosaur is ‘Mojoceratops’
Name comes from heart-shaped frill around dino’s head
by LiveScience Staff.
A newly-discovered dinosaur with a heart-shaped frill around its head got its name from a combination of its flamboyant noggin and a round of beers.
The now officially-named Mojoceratops was discovered and named by paleontologist Nicholas Longrich, a postdoctoral associate at Yale University. Longrich had wanted a moniker that matched the outlandish head of the beast, and he came up with it over a few beers one night with fellow paleontologists.
“It was just a joke, but then everyone stopped and looked at each other and said, Wait that actually sounds cool,'” Longrich said.
Arizona immigration law unlikely to survive federal lawsuit
Legal experts cite the longstanding principle that the federal government has exclusive control over immigration.
By David G. Savage, Tribune Washington Bureau
July 9, 2010
Reporting from Washington – Arizona’s law giving local police immigration enforcement powers is likely to be struck down, most legal experts predict, now that the Obama administration has gone to court asserting that it conflicts with federal law.
They cite the longstanding principle that the federal government has exclusive control over immigration and that “no state can add or take away” from the policy set in Washington.
Study: Marijuana tax could breed new illegal market
By Peter Hecht | Sacramento Bee
Legalizing pot may drop the price of a marijuana cigarette to as little as $1.50 in California, but taxing weed may create a whole new black market, according to a new RAND Corp. study.
The six-month study, released Wednesday by the renowned Santa Monica-based think tank, provides fuel for both sides of the debate over whether California should legalize marijuana for recreational use.
The study said legalizing marijuana in California would drop the price of pot by more than 80 percent and increase consumption.
Europe’s fishing industry ‘unsustainable’ as stocks drop
Today marks ‘fish dependence day’ – where our appetite for seafood means we have to deplete other countries’ resources
guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 July 2010 06.00 BST
Europeans are eating more fish while stocks in their own seas continue to deplete, according to a new analysis that highlights the unsustainable nature of the industry. A report from the New Economics Foundation (NEF) names today as the point at which Europe has nominally consumed all its own fish, and needs to bring in stocks from elsewhere. The thinktank says this “fish dependence day” comes earlier than in previous years, which it says shows that policy changes are needed.
The report, Fish Dependence: The Increasing Reliance of the EU on Fish From Elsewhere, maps marine resources onto a calendar year, and finds the day when the EU effectively starts to live off the rest of the world. This point now arrives a month earlier than when the group performed a similar analysis in 2000.
Norway claims al-Qa’ida cell had links to New York subway bomb plot
Alleged operatives were arrested earlier than planned for fear of the investigation being revealed in the media
By Patrick Cockburn Friday, 9 July 2010
Three suspected members of al-Qa’ida were arrested in Norway and Germany yesterday in connection with what Norwegian police said was a bomb plot organised by the same planners behind attempts to target the New York subway and a shopping centre in Manchester.
Police believe that the suspects were intending to use bombs made out of peroxide to produce a powerful explosive that could be easily carried to a target. Officials would not say what the suspected target was.
Smugglers in Iraq Blunt Sanctions Against Tehran
By SAM DAGHER
Published: July 8, 2010
PENJWIN, Iraq – Even as the United States imposes new sanctions on Iran, one of the biggest gaps in the American strategy is on full display here in Iraq, where hundreds of millions of dollars in crude oil and refined products are smuggled over the scenic mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan every year.
Day after day, without formal authorization from Baghdad, more than a thousand tankers snake through this town on Iraq’s border with Iran, not only undercutting recent American sanctions but also worsening tensions with the Iraqi government over how to divide the country’s oil profits.
Iran woman escapes stoning death for adultery
The authorities in Iran have announced that a woman convicted of adultery will not be stoned to death.
The BBC Friday, 9 July 2010
But it is not clear whether they have lifted the death sentence against Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, who has been in prison in Tabriz since 2006.
The 43-year-old had already been punished with flogging for an “illicit relationship” outside marriage when another court tried her for adultery.
There has been an international campaign to prevent her being stoned.
UN security council condemns sinking of South Korean warship
Statement expected to stop short of directly blaming North Korea for torpedo attack on sea border which killed 46 sailors
guardian.co.uk, Friday 9 July 2010 09.24 BST
The UN security council is set to approve a statement condemning a deadly torpedo attack on a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors, but will stop short of directly blaming North Korea, say diplomats.
The council scheduled a meeting this morning where the statement is expected to be read.
After more than a month of closed-door discussions, the US announced yesterday that the five permanent council members – the US, Russia, China, Britain and France – as well as South Korea and Japan had reached agreement on the text.
US man ‘attempts suicide’ in North Korean jail
The North Korean government says that an American detained for illegal entry has tried to commit suicide.
The BBC Friday, 9 July 2010
Aijalon Mahli Gomes, 30, had acted out of frustration and guilt at his wrong-doing, state media reported.
Mr Gomes was sentenced to eight years’ hard labour in April after being found guilty of illegally entering the country in January.
He had been working as an English teacher in South Korea, and reportedly crossed the border from China.
“Driven by his strong guilty conscience, disappointment and despair at the US government that has not taken any measure for his freedom, he attempted to commit suicide,” the North’s KCNA news agency said.
“He is now given first-aid treatment at a hospital.”
Millions face starvation as Niger prays in vain for rain
Urgent aid is needed to avert a catastrophe in west Africa, reports Alastair Stewart
Friday, 9 July 2010
To the north of Niger, the creeping Sahara; to the south, oil rich and agriculturally lush Nigeria – this nation straddles the Sahel – dry, hot and cruel. It has suffered catastrophic droughts – 1974, 1984 and 2005. And now, another.
Five times the size of the United Kingdom, Niger is one of the poorest nations on earth with child mortality worse than Afghanistan. The absence of regular rainfall throughout 2009 has led to poor harvests, lack of grazing for animals and food reserves exhausted.
At last, a court to try Somali pirates
Most navies catch and release Somali pirates. But Kenya’s new pirate court, funded by the UN, aims to bring legal clarity to a complex international crime.
By Mike Pflanz, Correspondent / July 8, 2010
On a busy road within sight of the white sands of Kenya’s Indian Ocean beaches, a stone’s throw from luxury tourist hotels, a tall, black, barred gate is guarded by a man with an automatic rifle.
Beyond it, up a short driveway, stands the imposing breeze-block building that is now the focus of international efforts to prosecute Somalia’s pirates. It is Shimo la Tewa maximum-security prison, 10 miles north of the coastal city of Mombasa.
Last week, the first hearings were held in a courtroom designed to ease the immense pressure on a country leading the way in bringing pirates to justice.