November 9th, 2007 15:34 EST
November 9 - Around The World
MOGADISHU, Somalia. At least 50 people have been killed and 50 more have been wounded within 24 hours since the start of fighting between rebel groups and Ethiopian forces. According to witnesses, the fighting erupted when two Ethiopian soldiers had been killed and their bodies mutilated on the streets of Mogadishu.
The Somali government has been restored to power early this year, with the backup of Ethiopia. Addis Ababa provided thousands of soldiers and equipment and together with governmental forces managed to oust the Islamic rebels controlling the country since summer 2006.
Somalia has been without an effective government since 1991 when the long-time dictator, Siad Barre, was toppled by warlords. Two years later, the US marines arrived in Mogadishu to bring stabilization, but after heavy clashes with the warlords, US President Bill Clinton decided to withdraw the troops.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. It may take years until United Nations forces will withdraw from Haiti, admitted the mission’s new chief, Hedi Annabi. The Associated Press quotes him as saying: „The security situation is extremely fragile (…) You don't create a security force, a police force, in two or three years. ... It takes 10, 15, 20 years.” At present, the UN contingent consists of almost 8,000 soldiers, mainly from Asian countries.
The UN had to intervene when President Jean-Bertrand Aristide was disposed of his office by an armed uprising in 2004. Since then, the streets of capital and other cities have resembled war-shattered African countries then the second democracy in the Western Hemisphere.
Many Haitians blame for the present situation the United States, which had been trying to get rid of Aristide for a long time.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. A day after President Musharraf calmed the public saying that the 2008 February parliamentary election would not be postponed; Pakistan is still teetering on the verge of political collapse. Benazir Bhutto, the former prime minister and now opposition leader, found herself under house arrest today as dozens of police officers cordoned off her Islamabad mansion. Around 5,000 people gathered around Bhutto’s house to voice their support for her and try to remove the barbed wire, which had been set up earlier today. Twice the protesters clashed with police officers when Bhutto was attempting to leave for a rally scheduled for Friday. Both times the police managed to disperse the protesters and prevent the former prime minister from leaving her mansion.
Benazir Bhutto returned to Pakistan only last month after years of exile. Her political career was stopped when General Musharraf snatched power in a military coup.
Also today, six people were killed in two bombings in northern Pakistan. The first one took place in the city of Peshawar, near the home of a governmental official. In the other attack, two soldiers died when a bomb exploded at a military checkpoint.
Last Saturday President Pervez Musharraf announced in a televised address that the constitution was suspended and the emergency rule was introduced. Hundreds of people have been arrested on charges of breaking the ban of gatherings.
AMSTERDAM, The Netherlands. Although the Dutch people are used to the thought of being flooded - almost the entire kingdom lies under the sea level - the Friday tide has caused a true worry among residents of such cities as Rozenburg and Rotterdam. The latter, being Europe’s biggest seaport, has had to close its storm barriers for the first time since they were built in the 1990s. It is estimated that over 50 ships may be affected by the closure.
Dutch oil platforms in the North Sea are experiencing difficulties as most of their workers have been evacuated by helicopters. It was the inevitable move as weather forecasts predicted that the waves might reach the height of almost 70 feet.
In addition, Great Britain has closed a number of its storm barriers and flood defenses as the storm hit the south coast of the British Isles.
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