International / National / News / October 28, 2010

News Briefs: Oct. 22-27

UNITED STATES—Last week, the independent organization WikiLeaks released almost 400,000 secret reports on the war in Iraq. Among other things, the reports indicate that the Iraqi civilian death toll may be greater than the numbers reported during the Bush administration and that Iran played a greater role in supplying Shiite combatants than was previously thought. WikiLeaks did not say where it obtained the information, although an American army intelligence analyst has been arrested and accused of providing the reports. (

INDONESIA—A 7.7 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami killed at least 282 people on Monday. Over 400 remain missing. Continuing adverse weather conditions have made it difficult for international aid teams to reach the islands. The Indonesian government hopes that the quick provision of large quantities of aid will help avert another crisis like the December 2004 earthquake and tsunami, which killed 150,000 people. A volcano also erupted the same day. (

ARGENTINA—Nestor Kirchner, former president of Argentine from 2003 to 2007, died Wednesday of an apparent heart attack in El Calafate, a town in southern Argentina. Kirchner was credited with bringing Argentina out of an economic crisis, and his wife, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, took over the presidency after him and is the current president of Argentina today. (

UNITED STATES—The Food and Drug Administration is reviewing whether Four Loko, a beverage that includes both caffeine and alcohol, should be considered safe. The brand received national attention after dozens of students and adults ended up in emergency rooms after consuming the drinks. Doctors say the drinks are dangerous because the caffeine content makes it difficult for drinkers to tell how intoxicated they are becoming; however, Four Loko is becoming increasingly popular on college campuses because of its cheapness and potency. (

WASHINGTON, D.C.— Law enforcement authorities are investigating a plot to bomb stations along the Washington Metro system. Farooque Ahmed, a U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, is said to have completed video surveillance of the stations and attempted to order unspecified supplies. Ahmed does not appear to have any links to Al Qaeda. Authorities stress that Ahmed’s plans were incomplete and the public was never in any danger. (

UNITED STATES—James Cameron announced that he would begin writing two sequels to his blockbuster film “Avatar” in 2011, with the intent of releasing the second film in 2014. Cameron said the sequels will be self-contained stories that fit into a larger story arc and continue with the visual effects that made the first film famous. “Avatar,” which follows an expedition to mine minerals from the alien world Pandora, is the highest-grossing movie of all time, bringing in $2.8 billion. (

IRAN—Iran began loading fuel into its first nuclear power plant reactor on Tuesday, despite tightening sanctions from the United States, the European Union and the United Nations Security Council. Construction on the Bushehr reactor began back in 1976 with assistance from West Germany and is intended for energy purposes. Although Russia has agreed to accept any used fuel rods, several nations have expressed concern over Iran’s five other nuclear reactors, all devoted to research. Iranian officials iterated their commitment to their nuclear program. (

HAITI—A cholera outbreak in Haiti has killed 284 people and sparked riots as citizens protested the location of an emergency clinic, fearing it was positioned too close to a school and might spread illness further. Officials say the clinic is unlikely spread the disease and suggested that the epidemic is nearly under control. However, further worries have been sparked as a large number of people who drank only supposedly purified water have fallen ill. Almost 4,000 people have been affected by the outbreak and officials fear it could spread to refugee camps still housing 1.3 million victims of January’s earthquake. Cholera, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, results in dehydration and death if not treated. (

GALESBURG—SHARE Food of Central Illinois, a not-for-profit organization that offers groceries at reduced prices, will be closing in December. Increased fuel and food prices combined with a reduced number of customers have lowered the organization’s revenue. SHARE, which has been operating for twenty-four years, offered food items such as fresh fruits and vegetables, meat and fish. (

Katy Sutcliffe

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