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5 November, 2012


NY governor gives permission to vote anywhere in state

New York governor Andrew Cuomo, has signed an executive order giving people the option to vote in any state polling station if they can’t make it to the one where they’re registered. "You can go to any polling place, sign an affidavit and you can vote in that polling place," Cuomo said. This applies to all registered voters in Rockland County, Westchester, Long Island and New York City. Many of the ballots will be the same across election districts, but people who go to voting booths outside their districts will not have their votes counted towards the local elections also being held, Cuomo said. According to estimates from the Board of Elections, some 143,000 voters in NYC might need to use another station to cast their vote, as Hurricane Sandy destroyed a number of stations in the affected area.


Israeli vehicle comes under Syria fire in disputed Golan Heights

­An Israeli military vehicle has come under fire from the Syrian side of the occupied Golan Heights near the demarcation line, according to the Israeli army.  Earlier the chief of the army, Lieutenant General Benny Gantz warned that Israel might be drawn into the Syrian conflict after Syrian tanks entered the buffer zone on Sunday. Syria and Israel have never officially ended the 1967 Middle East War in which Tel Aviv captured part of the Golan Heights and annexed it in 1981. Since a 1974 disengagement agreement between the two countries, UN forces have patrolled a buffer zone on the Heights.


Pharmacies in Spain’s Valencia strike as government fails to pay

­Over one thousand pharmacies have closed their doors in Spain’s Valencia region in a strike demanding that the government repay their bills. Two thirds of the 2,200 pharmacies in the east of the country are demanding that the regional government pay the outstanding bill of 450 million euros for prescription drugs dispensed under the health system between May and September.  If the regional authorities fail to reimburse, a quarter of all chemists in the region would face closure. Since the collapse of Spain’s  real estate boom in 2008, the country and its autonomous regions, which control budgets for health and education, have seen their debts skyrocket- forcing Madrid to seek bailout funds for its banks.


British PM orders investigation into child abuse claims

British Prime Minister David Cameron has ordered an investigation into how claims of sexual abuse at a North Wales children’s home were handled. Cameron said the investigation would determine if the original 1996-2000 Waterhouse inquiry examining the pedophile ring was conducted properly. A second inquiry will determine why police did not pursue accusations of abuse more seriously at the time. A former Conservative politician has been implicated in the child abuse scandal which took place in the 1970s and 1980s.


Hundreds protest alleged Ukrainian election fraud

­Hundreds of people rallied in Kiev on Monday protesting alleged electoral fraud and demanding a recount of the Oct. 28 parliamentary election.The opposition threatened to boycott the new parliament. Western observers deemed the parliamentary election unfair, saying the process lacked transparency and was a step back for Ukrainian democracy. The Ukrainian Central Election commission, in charge of monitoring voting, is calling for a recount in five disputed districts.


Hearing begins of US soldier accused of killing 16 Afghan villagers

­A US army soldier accused of killing 16 villagers in Afghanistan while on a drunken rampage in March faced a preliminary hearing Mondayto determine if there is enough evidence against him to face a court martial. Witnesses will testify at the hearing via live video link with Afghanistan. Staff Sergeant Robert Bales is accused of leaving his base in the middle of night and opening fire on civilians as they slept in at least two villages. This was the worst civilian torture by US forces since the Vietnam War.


Police arrest 100 during Biafra independence rally in Nigeria

­At least 100 people have been arrested in south-eastern Nigeria during a march in support for the independence of the former breakaway state of Biafra. On Monday members of the Biafran Zionist Movement raised the Biafran flag and then marched through the town of Enugu. Activists claimed some 500 people were detained, but police say it was around hundred. In 1967 Biafra tried to break away from Nigeria due to economic, ethnic, cultural and religious tensions. The secession resulted in three-year conflict and over a million of deaths.


No secret talks on Syria – Lavrov

Russia and the US are not conducting any secret talks on the future of Syrian leader Bashar Assad, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov stated on Monday. Lavrov disregarded claims of Russian-American contacts on Syria and assured that Russia does not discuss any third country secretly. He added that the Syrian opposition should be urged to unite around the negotiation table, but not on the grounds of an armed conflict.


US-Japan sea drill plan changed to avoid tensions

The United States and Japan have commenced an 11-day joint sea drill in the East China Sea. The exercise dubbed Keen Sword involves 37,000 Japanese personnel and 10,000 US Navy forces, as well as an aircraft carrier. The perceived location of the drill being Senkaku Islands disputed between Japan, China and Taiwan, part of the operation was reportedly shelved for the fear of “aggravating ties with China.”


Palestinian shot on Gaza border

­Israeli forces shot dead a 23-year-old Palestinian man near the border fence of the Gaza Strip, a Palestinian hospital official anonymously reported. The area has a reputation of a place used by Palestinian militants to rocket nearby Jewish communities. Also speaking anonymously, an Israeli military spokeswoman said the dead person had ignored warning shots while trying to sneak towards the border.