World in brief: Feb. 16, 2011

CAIRO, Eygpt
After the removal of Hosni Mubarak as the prime minister of Egypt, the country’s military suspended the constitution and announced that they would be controlling the country for the next six months or until elections can be held. The military intends to appoint a counsel that will review the constitution and propose changes, which will then be presented to the voters of Egypt with the objective of making constitutional amendments. Mubarak, after a nearly 30-year rule, finally stepped down on Feb. 11 in response to 18 days of continuous protest by the Egyptian people.

WASHINGTON, United States
Federal agents in the United States have been able to find evidence that supports al Qaeda captive Keith Shaikh Mohammed’s claim that he was the one responsible for the slaying of journalist Daniel Pearl in 2002. Mohammed confessed to beheading Pearl after his 2003 arrest in Pakistan but there had not been evidence to support the claim. The CIA and FBI used stills from a video of Pearl’s killing to match the image of the veins of the hands of the killer to Mohammed. Mohammed is credited for having a major role in the planning of the 9-11 attacks and has not been charged with the death of Pearl for concern that it may complicate the former proceedings.

CONCEPCION, Chile
A 6.8 magnitude earthquake rocked the shorelines of Chile in the same place the 8.8 magnitude earth quake hit last year. The 2010 earthquake triggered a tsunami which ravaged communities along the coast. In response to this most recent earthquake, phone and electricity services were disrupted for thousands of people. There was no risk for a tsunami and the government acted quickly to calm the concerns of the public. According to Chilean President Sebastian Pinera there were no significant injuries or damages this time around but credited the people of Chile for being much more prepared for the earthquake.

WASHINGTON, United States
Confidential cables released by Wikileaks, a website responsible for publishing many secret government documents, revealed that the United States was spying on NATO’s top official. The information that was leaked said that American diplomats received conversations between NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen and an international NATO staff member. It is dated Sept. 10, 2009, just after Rasmussen’s plan to strengthen ties with Russia by negotiating contracts with a Russian security alliance. As of now there has been no comment from NATO or the United States. Fogh Rasmussen, formerly President of Denmark, became the top official in NATO when contributing to a team U.S. President Barack Obama developed to lead the war effort in Afghanistan.

Compiled by Ravi Balakrishnan

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