October 2012 Current Events: World News
Here are the key events in world news for the month of October 2012.
U.S. Begins Retaliatory Action against Embassy Attack in Libya (Oct. 2): The U.S. Special Operations Command prepares data to use in the capture of the militants suspected in the attack on its embassy last month in Libya. The suspects include members of Ansar al-Shariah, an Islamist militia group, and other militants with ties to Al-Qaeda. The suspects are wanted for the September 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, which resulted in the deaths of American ambassador Christopher Stevens and three other embassy officials. (Oct. 15): During an interview with CNN, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton takes responsibility for the security situation in the Libyan embassy attack last month. Clinton points out that she makes the final call on diplomatic security overseas, not President Obama or Vice President Biden. Clinton's interview comes one day before Obama's second debate with Mitt Romney. Clinton vows to improve security for diplomats, but also says, "We can't not engage."
Turkey Retaliates Against Syria (Oct. 3): Turkey hits four targets within Syria in retaliation over the mortar attack in Akcakale, Turkey, which killed five civilians, including three children. (Oct. 4): The Turkish Parliament authorizes further military action against Syria. Turkey continues to fire artillery into Syria. (Oct. 9): The U.S. military sends a task force to Jordan to assist armed forces with Syrian refugees and to be on hand in case the Syrian conflict continues to expand. (Oct. 10): Turkish warplanes force a Syrian passenger jet to land under suspicion that it is carrying military cargo. En route from Moscow to Damascus, the jet is forced down in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. Turkish television reports that inspectors find parts of a missile on board, but authorities in Turkey decline to comment on exactly what is found. Turkish civilian airplanes begin avoiding Syrian airspace. Both countries continue to fire artillery across the border. (Oct. 13): Syria bans Turkish flights from its airspace. Russia denies that any weapons were onboard the intercepted Syrian passenger jet. Meanwhile, the fighting in Syria continues. Human rights activists report that Syrian rebels are making progress in the Idlib district. (Oct. 14): Officials from the U.S. and the Middle East report that most of the arms shipped from Saudi Arabia and Qatar to Syrian rebels are falling into the hands of Islamic jihadists.
Hugo Chávez Wins Third Term (Oct. 7): Hugo Chávez wins the presidential election in Venezuela. He receives 54 percent of the vote. His opponent, Henrique Capriles Radonski, receives 45 percent. Even though it is the narrowest margin of victory, Chávez still wins easily. This will be Chávez's third six-year term as president.
Taliban Gun Down 14-Year-Old Girl Who Defied Them (Oct. 9): In Pakistan, Taliban members shoot 14-year-old Malala Yousafzai in the head and neck. The shooting occurs while Yousafzai is on her way home on a school bus filled with children. Two other girls are wounded. All three girls survive, but Yousafzai is in a Peshawar hospital in critical condition. Ehsanullah Ehsan, a Taliban spokesman, confirms that Yousafzai was the target due to her outspokenness against the Taliban and her determination to get an education. Ehsan says, "She has become a symbol of Western culture in the area; she was openly propagating it. Let this be a lesson." (Oct. 11): Yousafzai is transferred by air to an army hospital in Rawalpindi. The hospital is near the Pakistani Army Headquarters. (Oct. 15): Yousafzai is flown to Birmingham, Great Britain for specialized treatment to her skull which was fractured when the bullet passed through her head. She will also receive long-term rehabilitation there.
One Member of Russian Punk Band Goes Free (Oct. 10): A court in Moscow frees one of the three members of Pussy Riot, the punk band convicted of hooliganism for protesting in a cathedral last February. Yekaterina Samutsevich is released after judges accepte her new lawyer's argument that she played less of a role in the cathedral protest performance that landed her in jail with her band mates. The latest ruling maintains the guilty verdict against all three women on charges of hooliganism, but the judges order Samutsevich's release on the grounds that she had less of a role in the incident. The case continues to draw international attention and condemnation of Russia.
Lebanon Is Dragged into War in Syria (Oct. 19): A bomb explodes in Beirut's Christian section. Eight people are killed and at least 80 are wounded. The explosion kills intelligence chief Brig. Gen. Wissam al-Hassan, a top security official and an ally of the slain Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Hassan, a foe of Syria, had been a driving force behind the arrest of Michel Samaha, Lebanon's former information minister who had close ties to Syria, on charges of orchestrating attacks and assassinations of Sunnis in Lebanon.
Truce Announced in Syria for Muslim Holiday (Oct. 24): Lakhdar Brahimi, the Algerian envoy attempting to negotiate a peace deal in Syria, announces a cease-fire between the Syrian army and rebels during Id al-Adha, the most important Muslim holiday of the year. (Oct. 25): The Syrian Army agrees to cease all military operations from Oct. 26 to Oct. 29, during the holiday. (Oct. 26): A bombing in Damascus near a children's playground proves that the cease-fire is not being upheld. (Oct. 27): Each side accuses the other of breaking the cease-fire as fighting resumes in all major battlegrounds.