Globe at a Glance – July 4-10
The Taliban kidnapped and executed a British soldier in Afghanistan. The incident occurred during Prime Minister David Cameron’s unannounced visit, which was intended to highlight progress in Afghanistan and to prepare for British troop withdrawal. The soldier’s disappearance sparked a 12-hour search in an area riddled with insurgents and improvised explosive devices. Mr. Cameron was forced to cut his visit short so that all personnel and equipment assigned to the Prime Minister could be diverted to help with the search efforts.
Casey Anthony, accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, was acquitted by jury of all serious charges brought against her. Prosecutors portrayed Anthony as a mother who killed her daughter in cold blood, in order to free herself to party. After a month-and a-half- long trial, which had become a national sensation on TV, the jury took less than 11 hours to find Casey not guilty of first-degree murder; aggravated manslaughter; and aggravated child abuse. She was convicted of lying to police as to the whereabouts of her missing daughter, and was given the maximum three- year sentence – all of which time she had already served. Had she been convicted, Casey could have faced the death penalty.
A massive dust storm swept across Phoenix, reducing visibility to nearly zero and leaving a path of dust, debris and damage nearly everywhere in the city. The wall of dust, which rolled in and blanketed Arizona’s largest city was upwards of 10,000 feet high, moved between speeds of 50 and 60 mph, and appeared to be nearly 100 miles wide.
News of the World, Britain’s best- selling Sunday paper, abruptly closed down after 168 years of operation, amid an unraveling scandal over alleged illegal behavior by the paper’s editors. The scandal threatened to engulf the entire news empire of media mogul Rupert Murdoch, and his swift response caught many by surprise. The tabloid hemorrhaged advertising and alienated millions of readers as allegations multiplied that its journalists hacked the voicemails of thousands of people, from families of child murder victims; families of Britain’s was dead; up to high government officials, including Prime Minister David Cameron.
The State of Texas executed a Mexican national who was convicted in the killing of a 16-year-old girl in 1996. Governor Rick Perry rebuffed criticism from the United Nations, whose lawyers said the execution was a breach of international law because the convict was not informed that he could have sought legal help from the Mexican Government. The victim, Adria Sauceda, was killed in a gruesome attack in which her head was bashed with a 40-pound piece of asphalt and she was raped and strangled, then left nude on a dirt road with a piece of wood stuck in her. Mexico’s Government, President Barack Obama’s Administration and the State Department were among those asking the Supreme Court for a stay of execution of the former mechanic to allow Congress time to consider legislation that would require court reviews for condemned foreign nationals who weren’t offered the help of their consulates. The high court rejected the request 5-4.
A woman in Oak Park, MI was charged with a misdemeanor by the City for refusing to remove a vegetable garden she had planted in her front yard. The City is pointing to a code that says a front yard has to have suitable, live, plant material. According to the mayor, “If you look at the definition of ”suitable’ is in Webster’s Dictionary, it will say ‘common.’ So, if you look around and you look in any other community, what’s common to a front yard is a nice, grass yard with beautiful trees and bushes and flowers,” he said. The woman faces a maximum three months in jail if convicted.
In Malaysia, thousands of activists demanding electoral reform evaded roadblocks and barbed wire to hold a street protest against Prime Minister Najib Razak’s Government. Police fired repeated rounds of tear gas and detained over 1,400 people in the capital city of Kuala Lumpur. Over a dozen people were injured in the violence.
Legend New York Yankee Derek Jeter reached a career milestone of 3,000 hits as he stepped up to the plate for the second time in a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. “It is high, it is far, it is gone” yelled the announcer as the ball sailed over the field and into the hands of a lucky spectator. The Yankees won the game 5-4.
At least 64 people were killed after a train jumped the tracks in Uttar Pradesh State in Northern India. India’s massive rail network, used by hundreds of thousands of passengers daily, has a poor safety record. Only three days before, more than 30 people were killed when a train collided with a bus trying to cross an unguarded railroad, also in Uttar Pradesh.