November 30th, 2009
The Nevsky Express, an express train en route from Moscow to St. Petersburg, was derailed Friday night near the town of Bologoye by what is believed to be a homemade bomb.
As of Monday morning, there have been 26 confirmed deaths and more than 50 people are still hospitalized.
The explosion, which is reported to have been roughly the equivalent of 7kg of TNT, is currently under investigation by Russian officials as a terrorist attack.
November 10th, 2009
In the first naval clash since 2002, North Korean and South Korean military vessels exchanged fire near the disputed western sea border at 11:27 a.m. today.
While there were no casualties and relatively little damage on the South Korean side, a North Korean naval vessel was reportedly in flames as it retreated north.
The exchange lasted roughly two minutes in which the North Korean ship fired up to 50 rounds at the South Korean vessel at a distance of about two nautical miles.
Baek Seung-joo, a North Korea expert at Seoul’s state-run Korea Institute for Defense Analyses, said Tuesday’s clash would not have a big impact on inter-Korean relations.
Baek speculates that North Korea caused the incident, but that Pyongyang appears to want to create tensions and use them for domestic political consumption as U.S. President Obama prepares to visit Seoul next week.