International / National / News / November 18, 2010

News Briefs: Nov. 18

ISRAEL — On Wedneday, Israel approved a plan to move out of Ghajar, a village sitting on the borders of Israel, Lebanon and Syria. Israel hopes the move will prevent attacks by the Lebanese Shiite militia, who might have protested on the grounds that Israel occupied Lebanese territory. Half of Ghajar has technically belonged to Lebanon since 2000, but Israel took control of both parts during the 2006 war with Hezbollah and did not withdraw due do security concerns. The move raises concerns for the village’s inhabitants, most of whom consider themselves Israelis. (

IRELAND — Ireland’s banks have been struggling due to losses in property loans, forcing them to consider the possibility of accepting a financial aid package. Ireland is currently working with the European Union and the International Monetary Fund to explore potential funding options. The country’s finance minister said the country’s banks were not having funding problems and that all citizens savings were safe but that aid might be necessary if further complications arise. As a result, out of the country’s five lending groups, four are set to become government-run. (

HAITI — Protests have broken out in Haiti over the inability of the UN and the Haitian government to control a cholera outbreak. At least five people have been shot, although the UN denies the occurrence of any gunfire and suggests local gang warfare may be the true cause. So far, over 1,000 people have died in the outbreak; if current infection levels are maintained, that number could be 10,000 dead and 200,000 total cases in the next year. The disease has spread outside the country as well, with one confirmed case in Florida. (

WASHINGTON — Despite heavy losses in the midterm election, the Senate majority leader, Harry Reid, plans to continue pushing forward a bill that would repeal the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. An opposition group lead by Senator John McCain has continually threatened to block the bill but the White House repeated their dedicated stance toward ending the ban. A report on how the Pentagon would actually go about doing so is due on Dec. 1. Currently, a majority of active-duty forces indicate that they do not believe having openly gay men and woman serve would have any negative effects. (

NEW YORK — One day after the first installment of J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter and the Death Hallows” premiered in New York City, the first 36 minutes of the film were leaked and are now widely available on the internet. According to TorrentFreak, Warner Brothers feared just such a leak and so limited the amount of time movie screeners were in the theater. Back in 2007, the novel version was also leaked prior to release. (

WASHINGTON — Ahmed Ghailani, the first prisoner detained at Guantanamo Bay who was given a trial in the federal courts, was found guilty of the charge of conspiracy to harm U.S. property, but was acquitted of 284 other counts. The ruling was a surprise and potential problem to the Obama administration, which had hoped Ghailani’s conviction would make it easier for other detainees to be tried in federal court as well. Republicans indicated that the ruling suggested all similar cases should take place in military courts, which have less stringent rules. (

Katy Sutcliffe

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