Silver Chips Online

International News for April 25 - May 8

By Julia Wynn, Online Connections and Food Editor
May 9, 2009
This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post, the New York Times and CNN. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.

Iraq
May 4 - Iraqi government officials refused to extend the June 30 withdrawal date outlined in a mutual security agreement for U.S. troops in urban areas. Recent bombings in the region have prompted U.S. forces to question the readiness of Iraqi troops to take over security measures. However, the Pentagon has declared that it is content to go along with the agreement unless Iraqi forces need further support. In addition to requiring the withdrawal of troops in urban areas by this summer, the agreement binds the U.S. to a complete pull-out by 2011.

Mexico
May 6 - Restaurants and bars in Mexico reopened 12 days after health officials ordered the closure of many public places to halt the spread of H1N1 (swine) flu. Other businesses and schools previously shut down by the decree will follow suit within the next few days, some with limitations on how close people can sit to each other. Public health officials expressed concerns over the lingering effects of the virus, stating that the epidemic has not yet subsided. Health Minister José Ángel Córdova declared that there are now 1,112 afflicted people in Mexico, where the virus has claimed 42 lives. On April 25, at the beginning of the outbreak, Mexican President Felipe Calderón approved a law giving him the right to cancel public events, inspect swine flu victims' homes and quarantine those afflicted. That same day, the United States sent representatives from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta to help investigate the virus.

Somalia
May 3 - The French navy captured 11 alleged Somali pirates 600 miles off the coast of Somalia after the group approached a French ship with the intention to attack what they thought was a commercial vessel. In the three small boats, French commandos found guns and rockets. This attack is one of many recent assaults in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden, which altogether have accounted for hundreds of kidnapped hostages, numerous stolen vessels and millions of dollars in ransom money.

Pakistan
May 3 - Armed Taliban fighters in the Swat Valley district killed two Pakistani security workers. The acts of violence violated a peace agreement between the Pakistani government and Taliban forces created in February that is upheld throughout Swat Valley and other parts of the Malakand region. In response, the government established a curfew and ordered all area inhabitants to evacuate. Residing in natives' homes and taking over government buildings in the center of the city, the Taliban have caused massive destruction during the past two weeks. Pakistani troops are currently bombing the terrorist forces from the air, but may soon introduce ground troops to facilitate a quicker victory.

http://silverchips.mbhs.edu/story/9203