Today’s World News: August 20, 2012

world_news Credit: alarabiya.net[/caption]

Today’s world news round-up. An independent breakdown of notable global developments in a news update.

Somalia swears in new parliament- Al Jazeera

The Horn of Africa nation has lacked a stable central government since the 1991 overthrow of dictator Siad Barre in 1991, which unleashed a civil war and two decades of chaos.

Ecology drones track endangered wildlife – Associated Press

Conservation is one of the latest roles for these multitaskers, either autonomously controlled by on-board computers or under remote guidance of a navigator. Ranging in size from less than half a pound to more than 20 tonnes, drones have been used for firefighting, road patrols, hurricane tracking, and other jobs too dull, dirty, or dangerous for piloted craft.

Cities of the Future: Made in China – Foreign Policy

With China now spending some $500 billion annually on infrastructure — 9 percent of its GDP, well above the rates in the United States and Europe — and with the country’s population undergoing the largest rural-to-urban migration in human history, the decisions it makes about its cities will affect the future of urban areas everywhere.

Russia: Syrian rebels “massively supplied” by West – Al Akhbar

Saudi Arabia and Qatar, two strong opponents of Assad, have announced they are funding a flow of weapons to rebels despite concerns that it will entrench the country’s civil war.

Rebels say Syrian vice president defects, regime denies claim – CNN

If al-Sharaa did defect, it would mark the highest-level departure from President Bashar al-Assad’s regime yet.

Eid ul-Fitr 2012 Muslims Celebrate Around the World [PHOTOS] – Huffington Post

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes.

Five Conflicts That Could Roil Global Markets – Wall Street Journal

Last month, the Turkish lira fell on concerns about the Turkish-Syrian border conflict. Last week it was the turn of the Israeli shekel, which came under pressure on concerns that Israel could attack Iran. And now the world’s eyes are on East Asia, where Japan has seen flare-ups in separate territorial disputes with both China and South Korea, prompting it to consider taking financial actions against the latter.