Mahmoud Abbas, President of Palestine, has said that he will push for Palestinian statehood at the United Nations this week. This move is being strongly opposed by Israel and the United States, who see it as having the potential to greatly destabilize the Middle East.
Bahrain is the latest country to face civil unrest, as revolts and uprisings have swept across the Middle East. Calls were originally for constitutional reforms, but after the death of seven protesters, the public has begun to call for the removal of the monarchy.
Syrian government forces shot and killed another 29 protesters last week, adding to the already high death toll in that country. President Bashar al-Assad continues to refuse popular demands for reform. The six-month death toll, according to the United Nations, has now reached 2,600.
Violence in Libya appears to be on the decline, although Col. Muammar Qaddafi is still on the run from the Libyan revolutionaries. Last week, the revolutionaries were attempting to take one of the few remaining strongholds of the former dictator.
A California law passed last fall requires children in grades 7-12 be vaccinated against the Whooping Cough. Parents have the option to sign a waiver if they do not wish to vaccinate their children. Students will be turned away starting September 27 if they do not have the vaccine.
Japan felt another earthquake last week of 6.6 magnitude on the Richter Scale about 356 miles northeast of Tokyo. The earthquake did not cause any serious damage and no fatalities were reported. The US Geological Survey reported that the earthquake was shallow, only 22.6 miles deep. No tsunami was reported for the quake.
A “rogue trader” at UBS AG, a Swiss bank, allegedly lost $2 billion in unauthorized trading. This comes shortly after Oswald Gruebel, CEO of UBS AG, said that the bank had “one of the best” risk-management divisions among banks.
The release of the American hikers convicted of spying for the US government in Iran is in question again. Certain elements of the Iranian government appear to be trying to stop the release of the hiker’s for a $500,000 bail. The two hikers have been imprisoned in Iran for 26 months.