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Nov. 29, 2009

International News for Nov. 16 - 29

by Rose Wynn, Online Sports Editor
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post and USA Today. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Russia
Nov. 16 - Tax lawyer Sergei Magnitsky died in Moscow's Butyrskaya Prison after a one-year incarceration for his discovery of police participation in a $230 million burglary of government funds. Interior Ministry spokesperson Irina Dudukina claimed the lawyer died of heart failure. Jamison Firestone, Magnitsky’s partner, insisted that paramedics at the prison failed to administer appropriate treatment for Magnitsky’s illness to conceal the crime evidence he publicized. Magnitsky was initially jailed for tax evasion from Hermitage Capital Management, a large overseas shareholder in Russia’s stock market. William Browder, a co-founder of Hermitage who was expelled from the country after campaigning against state corruption in 2005, claimed that government officials fabricated the evidence against Magnitsky.

Sierra Leone
Nov. 19 - Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair urged investors to transform resource-rich Sierra Leone into a center of tourism, farming and iron ore mining. Blair believes the country’s cultivatable land and clear shores offer an opportunity to bring prosperity to lands that were once the site of civil war. Blair also commended President Ernest Bai Koroma for taking action against government corruption. He views Bai Koroma as an emblem of a reliable government that will cooperate with British efforts to produce economic change.

China
Nov. 23 - A coal mine explosion in northeastern China on Nov. 21 killed 104 workers. Four miners are still shut in the mine shaft more than 1,700 feet under the surface, raising concerns that the total death toll may surpass that of a similar Shanxi province mining incident two years ago. Despite greater government efforts to improve safety within the mining sector, China’s government still relies extensively on coal for energy. Mine blast control regulations have made little progress in the National People's Congress, China's legislative body.

Iran
Nov. 28 - A board of United Nations (U.N.) officials from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) voted Friday to reprimand Iran for violating U.N. nuclear weapon development regulations. The Iranian government concealed its plans to create a second uranium enrichment plant southwest of Tehran, near the city of Qom. These reproaches mark the beginning of the Obama administration’s more pro-active strategy for confronting Iran on nuclear projects, which may include a U.S.-backed movement to curtail Iran’s international economic connections. President Obama has made several attempts to discuss the breach with Iranian officials, but the country has been generally unresponsive. Tehran officials insisted that their nuclear program was created solely to produce electricity and resent the IAEA criticism.



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