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April 27, 2009

International News for April 11 - 24

by Alisa Lu, Online News Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from CNN, BBC and Xinhua. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

April 23 - The International Monetary Fund (IMF) predicted that the world economy will recover from the recession in 2010 after continued shrinking in 2009. Originally, the IMF had predicted that the world economy will grow in 2010 by almost 3.3 percent but it has since downgraded that prediction to 1.3 percent. Although the Chinese and Indian economies are predicted to grow 6.5 percent and 4.5 percent respectively, the economies of Western Europe and North America are expected to contract 3.8 percent to offset the gains in Asia. The report also predicts that unemployment levels will rise around the world before receding in 2010.

Somalia
April 12 - A team of United States Navy SEALs shot and killed three Somali pirates who were holding Maersk Alabama Captain Richard Phillips captive. On April 8, four pirates boarded the Maersk Alabama, a container ship operated by an American shipping company, 280 miles from the Somali coast. A majority of the 21-member crew had locked themselves in the engine room but Phillips surrendered himself to protect his crew. The crew then revolted and took back the ship, but three of the pirates escaped to a covered lifeboat while holding Phillips hostage. After a three-day standoff, SEAL snipers shot and killed the three pirates and freed Phillips. Somali pirates have vowed revenge and promised to attack other American ships in the region.

China
April 13 - The Chinese government published a document regarding human rights in China. In the 54-page paper, China guaranteed more rights to numerous groups including women, children, the disabled, the elderly and ethnic minorities. The paper, written by the Information Office of the State Council, is formally titled "The National Human Rights Action Plan of China" and includes a two-year plan that will help China improve its human rights record. The document was released on the 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square incident, when government forces killed hundreds of student protesters. It also contains a section on the treatment of prisoners and transparency in the jail system - two points often criticized by the international community. The government has promised to give more rights to detainees, inform the detainees' families of their whereabouts and prohibit the abuse of detainees.

North Korea
April 14 - North Korea walked away from international talks regarding its nuclear program after the United Nations (UN) Security Council condemned its recent rocket launch and accused North Korea of trying to test long-range nuclear missiles. The six-party talks include North and South Korea, China, Japan, Russia and the U.S. and were started five years ago in an attempt to curtail North Korea's nuclear program. The UN Security Council also ordered the UN to start enforcing embargos and financial sanctions against North Korea. In response, North Korea pledged to restart its nuclear program and even restore the now defunct nuclear reactor at Yongbyun. The government disabled the nuclear reactor in 2008 after the international community pledged to give aid if North Korea would stop its nuclear program. China and Russia have attempted to act as peacemakers and coax North Korea back to the talks with no success at the current time.



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