International / National / News / February 18, 2010

News Briefs: Feb. 10-17

WASHINGTON, D.C — President Barack Obama announced plans to invest $8 billion in building new nuclear power plants in the country, which would be the first plants to have been built in almost 30 years. Obama said lowering greenhouse gases and reducing dependence on foreign oil is more important than other environmental concerns. The money will go toward building two nuclear reactors in Burke, Georgia, where some nuclear facilities already exist. Obama also cited the large number of jobs that will be created by this investment as a benefit of the plan. (Source: Aljazeera,

VENEZUELA — Venezuela will soon begin developing oil fields in the Orinoco region of the country, near the Orinoco River Basin. It is the biggest development in the country’s oil investments in Hugo Chavez’s presidency. Venezuela is looking for partners in this new venture due to the recent fall of oil prices. (Source: Aljazeera,

UNITED STATES — A case against former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and officials of the U.S. Military has been dropped by a U.S. district judge. There has been recent debate as to whether or not the deaths of two Guantanamo Bay prisoners, Yasser Al-Zahrani and Salah Al-Salami, were a result of suicide or, as a recent Harper’s Magazine article has said, a result of torture and suffocation. The judge said the case has been dropped under the Military Commissions of Act of 2006. (Source: Democracy Now!,

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A judge in Haiti has freed eight of ten U.S. Baptist missionaries who were charged with kidnapping. The missionaries were charged with trying to take 33 Haitian children to the Dominican Republic without proper documentation. They were taken from the prison in Haiti to a hospital in a Haitian airport. They were scheduled to fly back to the U.S. on, Feb. 17. (Source: Associated Press,

MALAWI — There has been a recent surge in arrests of gays and lesbians in Malawi, partly due to several U.S. Evangelical Christian groups. While these Evangelical Christian groups have been working on the campaign to arrest gays and lesbians for over a year, the Malawi police have recently launched an official operation to specifically seek out gays and lesbians in the community. Uganda is still considering a bill that would give the sentence of life imprisonment for a person convicted of having gay sex. Also, if the person convicted of having gay sex is under the age of 18, that bill would also result in a death sentence. (Source: The Guardian,

Annie Zak

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