Five of the nine Chinese oil workers who were kidnapped on Oct. 18 in the Kordofan region of Sudan, which is adjacent to Darfur, were killed on Monday. There are conflicting reports on how the Chinese were killed, with China asserting that they died in a failed rescue attempt and the Sudanese government stating that they were executed by their captors. Of the remaining four hostages, two were injured and escaped and two remain with the unidentified kidnappers. Accor-ding to the Associated Press, the Sudanese Foreign Ministry, who reported the executions, has blamed Darfur rebels from the Justice and Equality Movement. The organization has denied any involvement, and tribal chiefs in the area are currently negotiating with the kidnappers.
Over the last three months, Wall Street has taken America on a wild ride, dragging the world along with it. Setting records for the lowest drops and highest rises, the unstable market has left the economy in disarray and many are wondering what will come next. From an imploded housing market, to the collapse of multi-national corporations like Merrill Lynch, the effects are being felt across the globe.
While Wall Street has been left reeling in the wake of plunging stock indexes, what caused the recession? Many have traced the collapse of banks and the subsequent economic decline to the stagnant credit markets generated by subprime loans.
Tensions are escalating in the Gulf of Aden off the Somali coast, where 20 Somali pirates have hijacked a Ukrainian vessel loaded with 33 Soviet-era tanks, rocket launchers and ammunitions on its way to Kenya. The pirates have demanded a $20 million ransom for the safe return of the cargo and 20 crewmembers. Somalia has authorized foreign powers to free the ship by any means necessary; currently six U.S. warships are monitoring the situation, and the European Union is staging an attack with help from over 10 countries, including Britain, Germany and Russia.
These piracy acts are not a new occurrence; over 26 ships have been hijacked in the last year, with ransoms totaling nearly $30 million according to the Associated Press.
In recent weeks over 53,000 children have become ill, 13,000 were hospitalized and four infants died due to kidney failure associated with consumption of tampered milk products in China. The nitrogen-rich chemical melamine was added to watered-down milk in order to mask the protein deficiencies created when cutting milk with water. The issue has rapidly expanded beyond China’s borders, with the European Union ordering rigorous testing of imports containing the contaminated milk products, such as cookies, toffees and chocolates. The U.S. is also enacting recall measures on products imported from China that may contain contaminated milk, including baby formula.
What is Being Done:
After nearly 15 years of planning and construction, the world’s most powerful particle accelerator — the Large Hadron Collider — successfully completed its first experiment last Wednesday.
Amidst a flurry of media attention, a beam of protons thinner than a human hair was steered around the 16.8-mile ring hundreds of feet below the Alps along the Franco-Swiss border. This initial success marks the beginning of a ground-breaking scientific endeavor to prove or disprove the Standard Model of creation on which particle physics currently operates.
Last Tuesday, Asif Ali Zardari, the widower of former Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto was sworn in as president of Pakistan, just nine months following his wife’s assassination.
Amidst a growing economic crisis and the rising death toll from the War on Terror, Pakistan’s political unrest seems to be far from over. Zardari’s landslide election has caused a stir in the international arena, but for some, Zardari’s rise to power is a cause for suspicion. According to Wasif Syed grad, who lived in Pakistan, it was the result of a well-planned strategy on Zardari’s part.
In an unprecedented political move, Italy has agreed to pay $5 billion in reparations to Libya for its 32-year occupation of the country over half a century ago. According to the BBC, Libya is the first African country to be compensated for colonial rule.
Libya, which seceded to the Italians in 1911 from the Ottoman Empire, became a unified Italian colony in the early 1930s. Italy relinquished claims to the country in 1947, and Libya officially declared independence in 1951.
Cornell boasts of having one of the most diverse student and faculty populations in the world. With undergrads, grads and professors from over 120 countries, few are better suited to keep you up-to-date and informed on rapidly changing world events. This weekly section will highlight prominent global issues through a Cornell perspective.
Last Saturday, hundreds of Georgians in T-shirts emblazoned with the red crosses of the Georgian flag linked hands along New York City’s Fifth Avenue to protest the Russian attack on Georgia.
“During this academic year, we have more total international students than we have ever had in history,” said Brendan O’Brien, Cornell’s director of the International Students and Scholars Office.
Though over a third of the nation is seeing a significant decline in international graduate student applications, Cornell appears to be dedicating itself to diversity, with an above-average number of applicants.