News from around the World

Tuesday's World Events   —   Posted on January 25, 2011

CHINA – China seizes rare-earth districts 

The Chinese Ministry of Land and Resources has invoked a seldom-used law to take control of 11 rare-earth mining districts in southern China, the latest sign of Beijing’s efforts to manage more tightly the production and export of crucial minerals used in a wide range of technologies and products vital to the West.

BRAZIL – Government will try to harness floods 

Brazil will create a nationwide disaster-prevention and early warning system after recent floods and landslides that killed more than 750 people in mountain towns north of Rio de Janeiro, government officials said. The government also will invest $6.7 billion through 2014 in water-drainage and hillside-recovery projects across the country in an effort to prevent future flooding and slides, Planning Minister Miriam Belchior said.

LEBANON – Hezbollah gets support in Lebanon 

A potential kingmaker in Lebanese politics threw his support behind Hezbollah, a major boost to the Shiite militant group that brought down the country’s Western-backed government last week. Walid Jumblatt, the influential leader of the Druse sect, refused to say exactly how many lawmakers are with him, but his support is key ahead of parliamentary talks Monday to pick a new prime minister.

BELARUS – Government withdraws threat 

Authorities in Belarus have allowed the 3-year-old son of a jailed presidential candidate and opponent of authoritarian President Alexander Lukashenko to remain with his family after threatening to place him in an orphanage.

SUDAN – Southern Sudan votes for split 

Nearly 99 percent of southern Sudanese voters have chosen to split off from northern Sudan and form their own country, according to preliminary results of an independence referendum conducted this month. The commission that ran the referendum said Friday that 98.6 percent voted for secession, 1.4 percent for unity, according to more than 3 million votes cast, which brings the largest African country a step closer to splitting.

(The news briefs above are from World News Briefs posted at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch,, on Friday, Jan. 21 and Saturday, Jan. 22, 2011.  Reprinted here for educational purposes only. May not be reproduced on other websites without permission from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.)





Hezbollah, whose name means "party of God," is a terrorist group believed responsible for nearly 200 attacks since 1982 that have killed more than 800 people. It was founded in 1982 in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley by a Shia clergyman educated in Iran. Hezbollah's stated objectives include:

Hezbollah is an umbrella organization of various radical Islamic Shi'ite groups and organizations which receives substantial financial and philosophical support from Iran.

In 2006, Hezbollah fighters raided an Israeli border post and kidnapped two soldiers. This touched off a war between Israel and Hezbollah that lasted a month until the Israeli and Lebanese governments agreed to a cease-fire under a United Nations Security Council deal, resolution 1701. Resolution 1701 calls for the "full cessation of hostilities" between Hezbollah and Israel. It sketches a plan for the phased withdrawal of Israeli forces from southern Lebanon and calls for an expanded peacekeeping force there (of 15,000 U.N. troops).