Wednesday, August 11, 2010

FP morning brief 8/11

Pakistan flooding deaths top 1,300

Top story: Pakistani authorities said that the country's worst flooding in years has claimed the lives of 1,313 people so far, and that the final figure could exceed 1,500. The flooding originated in Pakistan's northwestern regions, but has spread as far south as Karachi, affecting up to 14 million people. 1,588 people have been injured and 722,000 homes have been damaged, officials also said.

The international community is trying to rally assistance for the affected areas. The U.S. Agency for International Development has pledged $55 million to international organizations involved in the aid effort. The United Nations also plans to unveil its emergency response plan on Wednesday, injecting another $400 million of aid into the country.

The Pakistani government's response to the floods has been heavily criticized. President Asif Ali Zardari continued a visit to Britain during the height of the flood, raising charges that he was out of touch with the Pakistani people.

China growth slowing: The Chinese economy slowed during July after witnessing rapid growth during the first half of the year, according to Chinese government figures. Important economic indicators, such as the growth of retail sales and fixed asset investment, rose at a slower rate than they had earlier in the year.

  • New storms are threatening northwest China, which has already been the site of devastating flooding and landslides.
  • Soccer's international governing body, FIFA, has launched an investigation into claims that the North Korean team was punished and its coach was sentenced to hard labor after its performance at the World Cup.
  • A Thai court refused to hear an appeal from former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra challenging the seizure of $1.5 billion of his assets.
Middle East
  • Morocco will close 1,256 mosques due to safety concerns.
  • An explosion destroyed an oil pipeline in southeastern Turkey.
  • Eight Iraqi soldiers were killed when a house they were planning to raid exploded in the eastern province of Diyala.
  • Analysts expect Russia's heat wave and wildfires to cost the country $15 billion in economic growth.
  • Russia deployed the S-300 air defense missile system in Abkhazia, which it seized from Georgia in 2008.
  • The Bank of England lowered its economic growth projections to 3 percent.
  • The military trial of Guantanamo Bay detainee Omar Khadr began, making it the first case under President Obama's revised tribunal system.
  • A coalition of human rights groups is pressuring WikiLeaks to censor the names of Afghan civilians from the cache of documents it released related to the Afghan war.
  • Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos have restored diplomatic ties between their countries.
  • South African public workers held a march on government buildings to demand a wage increase.
  • Rwanda's election commission said that President Paul Kagame won 93 percent of the vote in the country's recent presidential election.
  • Gunmen in south Sudan killed 23 people in one of the country's most productive oil-producing regions.
-David Kenner
Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

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