World Roundup – Nov 12, 2003

13 noiembrie 2003

Good morning/ evening , here is my World Roundup for November 12, 2003


fr = French language
it = Italian language
ro = Romanian/Moldovan language
es = Spanish language
de = German language
pt = Portuguese language
is = Icelandic language
su = Suomi language (Finnish)
nl = Dutch language

Everything else in English language

Note: That which you can see on your evening news will not be covered here.

Well, I’m sure you all know about the explosion at the Italian compound in Iraq. But what you can learn from the article is that the Italian government provided a telephone number for family members to call and find out the status of their loved ones. A telephone number which is published in the newspaper.

In the normally peaceful country of the Dominican Republic, eight dead and dozens more wounded as violent strikes paralyze the country. A number of protesters who were demanding lower gasoline prices, better state hospitals, and an end to foreign debt payments and IMF agreements were shot by armed forces in different areas of the nation. As usual, a better analysis of the situation here(es).

The AFP is reporting a disturbing allegation from Venezuelan Deputy Gladys Lange about sexual trafficking of minors from Latin America to the US. I don’t know how much of this is true but I don’t dismiss it off-hand either.

I’m sure many of you have seen the movie Black Hawk Down but did you know there are still US forces in Somalia? Doing what, you say? Buying Al-Qaeda suspects of course.

If it wasn’t so bizarre it would seem untrue but in Liberia a new police chief is set to lay down a little law and order, Mark Kroeker style. In case you don’t remember the name, Kroeker resigned as Portland police chief in August following controversy over a fatal police shooting and signs the city’s mayor had lost confidence in him.

For those of you with “tinfoil hats” on, here’s a little more news to frighten you. Rupert Murdoch is trying to expand his worldwide media empire by buying the Russian media firm NTV. A few months ago, Rupert Murdoch also bought controlling interest in a Romanian media company. I’ll do my best to get a full report of all of his companies.

Kofi Annan the UN Chief is in Peru but wanted to thank the Polisario Front for releasing its long-held hostages. You’ll remember from an earlier World Roundup that the chief negotiator was Colonel Muammar Qaddafi’s son.

More strong words from Kofi about the US embargo against Cuba. Did you know that Last week, the UN General Assembly approved a resolution calling for an end of the economic, financial and trade embargo kept by the United States against Cuba since 1960?

Bizarre news from Moscow after “unidentified” gunmen enters the office of a man running for mayor.

A group of gunmen are reported to have put under control the election office of National Reserve Bank Board Chairman Alexander Lebedev, who is running for Moscow’s Mayor. The office is located at Bolotnaya Street 10.

NRB press-service chief Vladislav Kuzmichev has told Prime-Tass it is unclear which of the law enforcement agencies the gunmen belong to. There is no communication with the office at the moment.

An update from Republic of Georgia:

It seems the pro-government bloc is leading in the ballot count.

A central election commission spokesperson told Itar-Tass on Wednesday that the pro-government bloc For a New Georgia, which is led by President Eduard Shevardnadze, is leading with about 22 percent of votes.

The Revival party headed by Aslan Abashidze, leader of the ethnic autonomy of Adzharia, is the second with 20 percent of votes.

The far right opposition blocs National Movement and Burdzhanadze-Democrats are trailing behind with 19.5 and 9 percent of votes.

Under the electoral code, results of voting must be declared not later than in 18 days after the elections, or before November 20.

Meanwhile, meetings of the opposition have been continuing near the building of the Georgian parliament for the straight fifth day.

Meanwhile, Shevardnadze threatens the protestors.

Georgian President Eduard Shevardnadze warned his opponents, who call for his resignation, they would have to answer for their actions before the law. “Those who have insulted our people will answer before the law. The radical opposition will answer for their actions”, he said at a meeting with leading businessmen on Tuesday.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that this is resolved peacefully.

I’m sure you all remember that Jalal Talabani, leader of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan in Iraq is a long-time ally of the Shi’ite SCIRI. Now he’s calling for an Iraqi government to be installed as soon as possible. Mr. Talabani is already the head of the Provisional Authority in Iraq. This is just a prediction but I think the Shi’ites and Kurds are going to make a major power play in about one month or whenever the Europeans leave, whichever comes first.

Something unusual is going with Iraq as Paul Bremer arrives in Washington “unexpectedly”. top US officials are considering changing the US-annointed Iraqi Governing Council and the timing of Iraq’s transition to self-governance, the Washington Post said. I’ve got an eery feeling about this.

Sad news from Romania as Iosif-Silviu Fogorasi is killed during an ambush outside Kandahar(ro). This is the first Romanian soldier killed in either Iraq or Afghanistan and if this continues it will cause a lot of political problems.

And on a happier note, more photos from Romania’s entry in the Miss World contest, Ms. Filomena Chifor.

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