KABUL, Afghanistan – During a closed-door meeting on Saturday, Afghan President Hamid Karzai threatened to resign from politics and join the Taliban if outside influences did not stop telling him to reform Afghanistan. “He said that ‘if I come under foreign pressure, I might join the Taliban’,” said Farooq Marenai, who represents the eastern province of Nangarhar. Lawmakers feel that Karzai really had no intention of joining the insurgency and was “pandering to hard-line or pro-Taliban members of parliament”. In response to Karzai’s threat, White House Press Secretary, Robert Gibbs, said, “On behalf of the American people, we’re frustrated with the remarks.”
QUEENSLAND, Australia – A stranded Chinese coal carrier was pushed by strong currents into Australia’s Great Barrier Reef on Monday. There have been reports of oil leaks from the ship and planes have dropped chemical dispersant on oil trails. The ship’s company and captain are to be investigated and severely penalized for breaching the restricted marine park reserve. The shipping company could be fined $1 million and the captain $250,000 for breaking the shipping laws. “One of the most worrying aspects is that the ship is still moving on the reef due to the action of the seas, which is doing further damage,” Maritime Safety General Manager, Patrick Quirk, said in a statement. If the ship were to rupture and break in half, more than 65,000 tons of coal and 300,000 gallons of heavy fuel oil would destroy the Great Barrier Reef. The freighter is still currently stranded and could take weeks to salvage.
MEXICALI, Mexico – A massive 7.2 earthquake shook up western Mexico Sunday, killing at least two people and destroying power lines and streets for miles. Hundreds have been injured in the quake and most of the city, housing nearly 1 million residents, is out of power. People living in Los Angeles, California and as far as Phoenix, Arizona felt the earthquake. With houses destroyed and roads cracked and broken, Mexicali has had two deaths accounted for, one death due to a house collapsing and another due to a car crash. This is the third largest recorded earthquake this year, accompanied by the recent quakes in Chile and Haiti.