1 | Washington
Turning the Page on Iraq
On the eve of the end of Operation Iraqi Freedom--the U.S.'s seven-year-long combat mission in Iraq--President Obama delivered an Oval Office address, praising the military and claiming that the nation had "met our responsibility." But 49,700 U.S. troops will remain in Iraq, a country still hobbled by insurgent violence and political instability. On Sept. 1, their mandate switched to an "advisory" role, under Operation New Dawn. Obama also promised to begin withdrawing troops from Afghanistan as early as July but cautioned that the speed of the drawdown would depend on conditions in the volatile country. More than 1 million Americans in uniform have served in Iraq; the last combat troops are scheduled to leave by the end of 2011.
2 | Congo
A U.N. Report Implicates Rwanda
A leaked draft of a U.N. report alleges that in the mid-1990s, Rwandan troops and their rebel allies committed war crimes, even genocide, by crossing into Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo, to carry out the "systematic and widespread" slaughter of tens of thousands of ethnic Hutu, including many civilian refugees. The Rwandan government, led by ethnic Tutsi, which has staked its reputation on having ended the 1994 genocide in Rwanda as well as initiating a process of reconciliation, reacted angrily to the findings, threatening to withdraw its peacekeeping forces from Darfur if the final report is published.
3 | Pakistan
Cricket Scandal Rocks A Beleaguered Nation
As if floods and insurgency weren't enough, allegations have surfaced that players on Pakistan's national cricket team colluded with gamblers in a match against England. The accusations provoked outrage among Pakistanis, who follow the sport with fervor, and led the Prime Minister to say his head was bowed "in shame." In Lahore, donkeys dressed as cricketers were pelted with tomatoes.
4 | Chile
Drilling Toward the Miners
On Aug. 30, a 31-ton drill began boring through the 2,200 ft. of rock that separates 33 trapped miners from the surface. By the end of that first day, the drill had broke through 50 ft. Rescuers must first dig a pilot hole, which will then be widened to a 26-in. opening through which the men will be hoisted out. The miners will play an active role in securing their rescue by removing up to 4,000 tons of rock and debris as it falls into the area where they are trapped.
[The following text appears within a diagram. Please see hardcopy or PDF for actual diagram.]
The San José gold-and-copper mine
The mine collapsed Aug. 5, burying the miners for 17 days without outside contact
Main mine pathway
Approximate trajectory of the boreholes that provide air, food, water and other supplies
SOURCE: BBC, SAN ESTEBAN MINING COMPANY
5 | Mexico