DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A new international force to battle pirates off the Somali coast is being formed under American command in...
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – A new international force to battle pirates off the Somali coast is being formed under American command in a bid to focus more military resources to protect one of the world's key shipping lanes, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.
But the new mission, expected to begin operations next week, will have no wider authority to strike at pirate vessels at sea or move against havens on shore. That raises questions whether it can significantly curb pirate flotillas after more than 110 ships were attacked last year.
More than 20 nations are expected to take part in the new U.S.-led mission.
JERUSALEM — The United Nations halted aid deliveries to the besieged Gaza Strip on Thursday, citing Israeli attacks on its staff and installations hours after it said tank fire killed one of its drivers as he went to pick up a shipment.
The United Nations has already demanded an investigation into Israel's shelling of a U.N. school in Gaza that killed nearly 40 people earlier this week. Israel and residents said militants were operating in the area at the time.
For a second straight day, Israel suspended its Gaza military operation for three hours to allow in humanitarian supplies. Shortly before the pause took effect, however, the U.N. said one of its aid trucks came under Israeli fire, killing the driver.
MEXICO CITY – The country that gave the world chewing gum is getting gummed up: The average square meter of Mexico City sidewalk has 70 blobs of discarded chew. Now Mexico is responding with innovations ranging from expensive sidewalk steam-cleaners to natural chewing gum that breaks down quickly. It's even telling Meixcans (gulp!) to swallow their gum.
The general in the war on discarded chewing gum is Ricardo Jaral, Mexico City's director for conservation of public spaces. He bemoans the blackened gobs that mar the restored 700-year-old downtown area, whose rough, porous paving stones serve as stubborn gum traps.
CARACAS, Venezuela – President Hugo Chavez will keep donating heating oil for poor American families in a costly decision that suggests the Venezuelan leader wants to keep to his pledges — and buttress his image — in spite of falling oil prices.
Venezuela's Citgo Petroleum Corp. announced the aid program would continue on Wednesday, just two days after its partner nonprofit group, Boston-based Citizens Energy, said Citgo had halted the free fuel shipments due to the world economic crisis.
"Chavez decided that it was a mistake," said Larry Birns, director of the Washington-based Council on Hemispheric Affairs.