International / National / News / April 8, 2010

News Briefs: April 1-7

MOSCOW, Russia—The government of Kyrgyzstan, a Central Asian ally of the United States, was overthrown after massive public protests on Wednesday. President Kurmanbek Bakiyev, who initially took power in a 2005 revolution, has been increasingly criticized due to alleged civil rights abuses, although protests were directly triggered by his increasing utility prices. At least 41 people are estimated dead in clashes between protestors and police. According to the opposition, which says they will be setting up an interim government, Prime Minister Daniyar Usenov has officially resigned. President Bakiyev has not yet done so. (

WASHINGTON, D.C.—President Obama spoke with Mike Krzyewski, the men’s basketball coach at Duke University, over the phone to congratulate them on their March Madness victory. He invited the coach and his team to the White House and said he hopes he has a chance to play basketball with them. President Obama also had conversations with players from Butler University and congratulated them on a well-played game. (

NAOMA, WEST VIRGINIA—Four miners remain unaccounted for after an explosion at the Upper Big Branch South Mine in West Virginia this past Monday. Dangerous gasses have prevented potential rescuers from entering the area in which the miners were working. Of the 31 miners working when the explosion occurred, 25 were found dead and two were hospitalized in addition to the four that remain missing. The mine in question has received citations for over 100 safety violations this year alone. (

CHILE—The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) rebuked Chile’s Supreme Court for their decision to revoke a woman’s custody of her three daughters due to the fact she was living with her lesbian partner. The court argued that being raised in a same-sex household might have negative psychological implications for children. The IACHR recommended that Chile take steps to prevent further discrimination due to sexual orientation. (

IRAQ—WikiLeaks, a Web site that publishes anonymous documents, released a video on Monday that shows U.S. soldiers firing from a helicopter at Iraqi civilians, including children, who they apparently mistook as fighters. The shooting, which occurred in July 2007, resulted in 12 deaths, including two Reuters reporters. The Pentagon gave no reason to question the content of the video and the army has authorized payments to the victims’ families. The Pentagon conducted two investigations into the incident and cleared those involved of any wrongdoing. (

JAKARTA, INDONESIA– A 7.7 magnitude earthquake hit Sumatra, an island of Indonesia, early Wednesday morning. Five aftershocks were recorded and structural damage is still being determined. No deaths have been recorded but fears of tsunamis sent residents all across the coast scrambling for higher ground. (

Katy Sutcliffe

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