International News Briefs

Al-Shabab presents slain enemies to local Somalis

SOMALIA: Al-Shabab, the Somalia-based cell of al-Qaeda, launched an attack in the town of Afmadow on Friday, Aug. 31, Africa’s Mail & Guardian reported. The militants transported four of their slain enemies to display to locals in the town of Kismayo, located some 120 kilometres away. A local man, Hassan Abdi Mohamud, identified the slain as two men who were Somalis “fighting for the transition federal government and the other two were Kenyan soldiers.” Last fall, the Kenyan army entered Somalia with the intent of quelling the Al-Shabab militants. That assault has yet to come to fruition.

Hong Kong scraps mandatory classes after protests

HONG KONG: Protests in Hong Kong have led Chinese officials to abandon plans of implementing new mandatory courses identified as “Moral and National Education,” according to Protesters claimed the courses, purportedly meant to educate and enhance national identity across the country, were pro-mainland Chinese propaganda intended to brainwash young citizens. The protests included a 10-day hunger strike on the steps of government headquarters and a crowd of an estimated 100,000.

Cameron shuffles cabinet

LONDON: This past Tuesday, U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron ushered change with his first cabinet shuffle since his government came to power, the Globe and Mail reported. Culture Minister Jeremy Hunt was promoted to health minister. Transport Minister Justine Greening was removed from her portfolio and moved to international development, with chief whip Patrick McLoughlin taking her place. Paul Deighton, chief executive of the Olympic organizing committee, was appointed minister for infrastructure and economic delivery in treasury.

Japan investing in new land

SEOUL: Japan’s government has recently closed a deal to purchase uninhabited islands in the East China Sea, which is privately owned by a Japanese family, reports the Washington Post. However, a government spokesperson declined to validate these claims. The purchase comes amid increasing tension as the islands were also claimed by China and Taiwan. Taiwan was outbid by Japan, and a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson declared the lands as “China’s inherent territory since ancient times.” The lands were originally incorporated by Japan until the United States attained the land after the Second World War. The land was returned to Japan in 1971.

U.S. sanctions hurting Iranian healthcare

TEHRAN: Increased security around U.S. banking sanctions due to Iran’s nuclear program has had adverse effects on Iran’s health sector, according to medical experts in Iran. It is progressively more difficult for doctors to deliver adequate care to their patients as deliveries of medicine and raw supplies for pharmaceutical companies are becoming more scarce, the Washington Post reported. Health analysts claim the percentage of imports affected by the sanctions is small in scale; however, the medicine in question is necessary for chronic patients, with no domestic equivalent available.

Published in Volume 67, Number 2 of The Uniter (September 12, 2012)

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