International News Briefs

Hurricane Sandy ravages America’s East Coast

Late Monday, Oct. 29, Hurricane Sandy was in the process of ravaging America’s East Coast, with president Barack Obama declaring emergencies in Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, according to the Globe and Mail. As of early evening that day, both Democratic president Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney had suspended their campaigns a week before the presidential election and the federal government in Washington, D.C. had ground to a halt. Hundreds of thousands of people had been instructed to leave low-lying coastal areas including 375,000 in lower Manhattan, which contributed to the first full-scale closure of Wall Street financial activities since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Former Gaddafi stronghold shelled by government militiamen

A former stronghold for dictator Muammar Gaddafi was the site of heated conflict last weekend, as government-affiliated militiamen shelled Bani Walid - a town that retains pockets of Gaddafi support - severely threatening its population of 70,000. The conflict at Bani Walid is seen as a sign that tensions in the region still linger, despite a year having passed since a NATO-assisted revolution in the country resulted in Gaddafi’s death. Many of the militiamen, who are now responsible for 14 deaths and 200 injuries in the town, are from the Misrata region, which faced its own attacks from Bani Walid during last year’s war. The shelling from Misrata militiamen is in part sparked by the death of rebel Omran Shaban, a Misrata native who was detained (and many believe tortured) by Gaddafi supporters in Bani Walid, according to the Mail and Guardian. Shaban was the man who found Gaddafi hiding in drain pipe in Sirte on Oct. 20, 2011. The dictator was killed shortly thereafter.

Former BBC governor speaks out about alleged pedophile Jimmy Savile

Another voice has been added to the plethora of outraged Brits and victims speaking out against former BBC television personality Jimmy Savile’s alleged sexual victimization of children. Sir Roger Jones, a former BBC governor for Wales and chairman of the Children in Need charity, said he had suspicions about television personality Jimmy Savile and would not permit him to become involved with the children’s charity. Savile was the host of two popular BBC television programs, Jim’ll Fix It and music chart show Top of the Pops. He died at age 84 in October of last year before the recent raft of sexual abuse allegations surfaced. He is currently the focus of a police investigation that will determine whether he abused up to 300 people over the course of a 40-year career with the British public broadcaster, according to BBC World News

Somali general killed by Al-Qaeda affiliated group

The al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for another death in an ongoing civil war that has gripped the east African country of Somalia since 1991. Top Somali military commander Mohamed Ibrahim Farah was killed in an Al-Shabab ambush near Merca, a strategic town captured by the terrorist militants in August. The Somali government army and African Union troops have been at war with Al-Shabab for several years. In recent months, the group has withdrawn from several key areas but still maintains control of much of the countryside, according to BBC World News.

Published in Volume 67, Number 9 of The Uniter (October 31, 2012)

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