5 Minute International Update 02-11-2013

The pope resigns. First time in 600 years this has happened! The reason cited is poor health, but child sex abuse cases and a scandal by Benedict XVI’s personal butler to leak private papers plagued his papacy.

Over the weekend, the retaken city of Gao was lost to Islamic militants who invaded the city on Sunday. Suicide bombers and increased fire power marked the offense, but French and Malian forces took back control. Attacks concentrated on police HQ in the center of the city.

The King of Jordan, Abdullah II, inaugurated the country’s new parliament Sunday, hopefully a greater step towards democracy for the struggling country.

China surpasses US as largest trading company

Tunisia government in crazy struggle, President’s secular center-left party threatens to leave, then does if the Prime Minister’s Islamist party does not make changes

For the last 3 days there has been a curfew in the disputed Kashmir region, despite it, protests started after the execution of a man connected to an attack on India’s parliament in 2001 (possibly unfair), 2 are dead in the following clashes

At a religious gathering, Kumbh Mela at Sangam, 37 died in a stampede, this is not terribly uncommon for this kind of holy day – but witnesses claim police started it

Russia has put a ban on US meat, they claim is due to a food additive, but I bet political

Foreign Affairs Minister from Kenya rebuked US and EU for weighing on their elections, March 4th

2  daughters of leading opposition figure in Iran, have been detained, Presidential candidate Mir Hossein Musavi, the candidate who ran in 2009 claimed elections were rigged and are under house arrest; Iran held rallies for the 34th anniversary of the 1979 Islamic revolution – down with US and death to Israel

Russian region of Chechnya has called for a crack down on sorcery

US Marine Corps General Joseph Dunford has assumed command of NATO-forces in Afghanistan, expected to see the mission through til its end in 2014, US has begun using the route through Pakistan to remove troops from Afghanistan

Syrian rebels capture largest  dam, al-Furat on the Euphrates – supplies water/electricity

Georgian President Misha Saakashvili proposed “cohabitation” talks with PM Ivanishvili after violence

US and UN have condemned an attack on an Iraqi refugee camp that killed 6, wounded 40

Tribal violence over cattle killed 103 people in South Sudan this weekend

Yesterday was Chinese New Years, Year of the Snake – focus and discipline