International News Briefs

Obama vows to avenge Libyan ambassador’s death

BENGHAZI: United States president Barack Obama has vowed “justice will be done” after Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, was killed along in an attack on the ambassador’s convoy in Benghazi, which also took the lives of several other U.S. diplomats. Protests across the Middle East, fuelled in part by a controversial American amateur film mocking the prophet Muhammad, have prompted the U.S. to order the evacuation of all non-essential staff stationed in the country. As part of the ongoing search for those who perpetrated the attack on the U.S. convoy, the U.S. has dispatched the FBI to the country as well as 50 marines to help strengthen security at the U.S. embassy in Tripoli.

Exiting euro would be “catastrophic,” says Greek prime minister

GREECE: In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras stated that leaving the euro and returning to an independent Greek currency would result in “catastrophe” for the economically beleaguered country. He stated that Greece should be given more time — four years rather than two — to implement the tough austerity measures imposed on the country by partners in a multi-phased bailout package for the country. Greece is currently attempting to approve $11.5 billion euros of spending cuts over the next two years in order to qualify for the next installment of a $130 billion euro bailout. “Greece was given a 110bn-euro package in May 2010 and a further 130bn euros in October 2011, along with a 100bn-euro debt write-off,” reported BBC World News.

NATO airstrike kills eight women civilians in Afghanistan

AFGHANISTAN: A NATO airstrike on Laghman — an eastern, remote province of Afghanistan — has resulted in the death of eight women civilians. The airstrike had targeted 45 Afghan insurgents believed to be training and hiding in the remote region. The civilians are believed to have been in the area “to collect wood and nuts from a forest in the Noarlam Saib valley, a common practice in the area,” reported BBC World News. Earlier on Sunday, Sept. 16, four U.S. soldiers were killed in Zabul province, bringing the number of NATO troops killed in “insider attacks” to 51 this year alone. The attack was believed to be the work of Afghan police forces.

Nancy Pelosi says Medicare will help Democrats win U.S. congressional elections

UNITED STATES: Democratic powerhouse Nancy Pelosi, the House of Representatives minority leader, recently told a CNN panel that the Democrats will win the presidency — and reclaim a majority in the 435-member House of Representatives — on the strength of their resolve when it comes to Medicare, the United States entitlement program that ensures access to affordable healthcare for all seniors 65 and older. The issue has come to the fore, according to Pelosi, because Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney chose congressman Paul Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate. Ryan is famous for a controversial budget plan that would fundamentally alter the nature of entitlement programs like Medicare and Social Security in order to bring down American debt. The Democrats argue that Medicare should be retained in its current form and that president Barack Obama’s healthcare reforms will help ensure its financial sustainability.

Published in Volume 67, Number 3 of The Uniter (September 19, 2012)

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