September 2011 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of September 2011.
Iran's President Calls for Syrian Leader to Back Down (Sept. 8): President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran joins other world leaders in calling for President Bashar al-Assad to end his crackdown on the uprising that is challenging his rule in Syria. Ahmadinejad's shift is unexpected because the two leaders have been allies for decades and Iran has recently been accused of funding Assad's crackdown.
Protesters Attack Israeli Embassy in Cairo (Sept. 9): Thousands of protestors attack the Israeli Embassy in Cairo, demolishing a protective wall while Egyptian security forces watched. Two dozen protestors break into the offices and throw documents into the street. The Israeli flag is ripped down. When riot police attempt to stop the attack, protesters fight back with Molotov cocktails and stones. At least two protestors die in the attack and at least 1,200 are injured. The attack in Egypt comes just one week after Turkey expels Israel's ambassador.
American Hikers Released From Prison in Iran (Sept. 21): Shane Bauer and Joshua Fattal, the two American hikers who were imprisoned on espionage charges in Iran for over two years, are released. They are taken by plane from Evin Prison to Oman where they are reunited with family members. Their release comes after a power struggle between Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who promised their release and Iran's judiciary which denied that the hikers would be freed. Bauer and Fattal have been in prison since they wandered over the border from Iraq by mistake with a friend over two years ago.
Palestinians Officially Request United Nations Membership (Sept. 23): Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas officially requests a bid for statehood at the UN Security Council. The request comes after months of failed European and U.S. efforts to bring Israel and Palestine back to the negotiating table. The Palestinian Authority is pursuing a Security Council vote to gain statehood as a full member of the UN rather than going to the General Assembly. One of the reasons for this is that the General Assembly can only give the Palestinian Authority non-member observer status at the UN, a lesser degree of statehood. In addition, the European states in the General Assembly have made it clear that they will support the proposal only if the Palestinians drop their demand that Israel halt settlement construction. The Palestinians have long insisted that Israel cease the settlement construction and deem the condition unacceptable. Therefore, the Palestinian Authority prefers to take its case to the Security Council even though the U.S. has vowed to veto the request.
Yemen President Returns From Saudi Arabia (Sept. 23): President Ali Abdullah Saleh returns to Yemen after spending almost four months in Saudi Arabia where he sought medical treatment after a bomb attack on his presidential palace back in June. Saleh calls for a return to negotiations and a ceasefire, but his return does not immediately stop the fighting between government forces and soldiers who are now siding with anti-government protesters. The fighting has killed more than 70 people since Sept. 18.
Saudi Arabia Grants Women the Right to Vote (Sept. 25): King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia grants women the right to vote and run for office in future elections. The new ruling will not go into effect until the next election cycle in 2015. Still, this is a big victory for women in a country where they are not allowed to drive and must have a male chaperone with them in public at all times.
American Born Al-Qaeda Leader Is Killed in Yemen (Sept. 30): A missile from an American drone aircraft in Yemen kills Anwar al-Awlaki, a radical, U.S.-born Islamic cleric and an influential figure in al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula. He is believed to have inspired Nidal Malik Hasan, the U.S. Army psychiatrist who is accused of killing 12 fellow soldiers and a civilian in a shooting spree at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009. As head of external operations of al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula, Awlaki is believed to have been involved in planning attacks against U.S. targets.