World population to hit 7B in 2012
The world's population will reach 7-billion in 2012, even as the global community struggles to satisfy its appetite for natural resources, according to a new government projection. There are 6.7-billion people in the world today. The United States ranks third, with 304-million, behind China and India, according to projections released Thursday by the Census Bureau. The world's population surpassed 6-billion in 1999, meaning it will take only 13 years to add a billion people. By comparison, the number of people didn't reach 1-billion until 1800, said Carl Haub, a demographer at the Population Reference Bureau. It didn't reach 2-billion until 130 years later. "You can easily see the effect of rapid population growth in developing countries," Haub said.
Rice delivers critical view of Zimbabwe
Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice told foreign diplomats Thursday that Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe's crackdown on opposition leaders had dashed hopes that the June 27 presidential runoff election would "be allowed to proceed in a free and fair manner." Rice's assessment came on a day the opposition said the bodies of four party activists were found near Harare, Zimbabwe's capital. Witnesses said the victims were taken away in trucks on Wednesday by militias chanting ruling party slogans. Rice accused Mugabe's supporters of killing at least 60 opposition figures, injuring thousands and confiscating food shipments for Zimbabweans dependent on food aid.
THE HAGUE, Netherlands
Mexico files appeal to stay U.S. executions
Mexico made an emergency appeal to the U.N.'s highest court Thursday to block the execution of its citizens on death row in the United States. U.S. lawyers cautioned that the court's interference could complicate Washington's efforts to save the lives of Mexicans condemned to death by state courts. Mexico contends the United States is defying a 2004 order by the International Court of Justice to review the cases of 51 condemned Mexican prisoners. Mexico's chief advocate, Juan Manuel Gomez-Robledo, told the court the cases had not been systematically reviewed and the United States was "in breach of its international obligations."
SEOUL, South Korea: South Korean President Lee Myung Bak pledged in a nationally televised address Thursday to keep U.S. beef out of South Korea unless Washington limits exports to cattle younger than 30 months, seeking to defuse a political crisis that has derailed his plan to boost U.S. ties and reinvigorate the economy.
LA PAZ, Bolivia: Bolivian President Evo Morales is stepping down as leader of the powerful coca growers' union that launched his political career. Morales told reporters Thursday he will resign as chief of the Six Federations of the Tropic of Cochabamba next month to make way for new leadership.
Tokyo: More than 33,000 people killed themselves in Japan in 2007, the 10th year in a row that the number of suicides exceeded 30,000, the National Police Agency announced Thursday. It was the second-highest rate since statistics were first kept in 1978.
BOGOTA, Colombia: Colombia's chief prosecutor ordered the arrest Thursday of cashiered Rear Adm. Gabriel Arango on charges he helped drug traffickers. Arango was fired in August over the accusations.
YANGON, Myanmar: Myanmar's military junta detained 13 opposition party members who called for the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi as she marked her 63rd birthday Thursday, witnesses said.
NEW DELHI: Floods sweeping across eastern India have led to the deaths of 35 people and left more than 2-million homeless, national radio reported Thursday.