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Published:November 12th, 2007 13:29 EST
It Happened Monday, November 12

It Happened Monday, November 12

By Krzys Wasilewski

AFRICA

KAMPALA, Uganda-- For two decades, a civil war started by the Lord`s Resistance Army (LRA) and its prophetical leader, Joseph Kony, has shattered Uganda. Although the Ugandan government recently managed to engage the LRA into talks which could finally end the conflict, the country faces even a bigger problem: how to forgive and forget the atrocities?

It is estimated that about two million Ugandans have been affected by the LRA rebellion, including children and adolescents who were often drafted into the LRA army. Last week, some former rebels appealed to their victims for forgiveness in what seems to be"the beginning of a long and tortuous process of healing wounds. "Raise your hands if you can forgive what has happened," the Associated Press quotes one LRA leader saying at a meeting with villagers. Almost everyone raised his or her hand.

But what many see as a long-awaited reconciliation process, some perceive it as the LRA`s ploy to slip away from the trials they may face in the International Criminal Court.

The Lord`s Resistance Army began its rebellion in 1986 in northern Uganda. Its leader, Joseph Kony, claims to have received the word from God who told him to wage a war against the sinful Ugandan government.

AMERICAS

SANTIAGO, Chile-- Even monarchs can grow restive, especially if the honor of their subjects is questioned. King Juan Carlos of Spain told Venezuela`s president, Hugo Chavez, to "shut up," when the controversial politician called a former Spanish prime minister a fascist.

Although Chavez had made a number of barbed comments before, the king had remained patient until the Venezuelan started to interrupt Jose Luis Zapatero, Spain`s socialist premier. "Fascists are not human. A snake is more human," Chavez referred to Jose Maria Aznar, Zapatero`s conservative predecessor and a fervent supporter of US President Bush. The squabble took place at a summit of Iberian and American countries held this weekend in Chile.

President Hugo Chavez has a long record of similar comments. Last year he called George W. Bush a devil and compares the US president to Hitler and other dictators on almost any occasion.

ASIA

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan-- After President Musharraf`s first press conference since the introduction of emergency rule"November 3, the ambiguity has not left Pakistan. Although the president pledged to carry on parliamentary elections according to the plan" by January 9" he refused to say precisely when emergency rule would be lifted. "The emergency contributes towards better law and order and a better fight against terrorism," the Associated Press quotes the president.

Also on Sunday, former prime minister and opposition leader, Benazir Bhutto, was released from house arrest. Her mansion had been cordoned off by the police on Friday to prevent her from attending political rallies, which are banned by"emergency rule.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was quoted as saying, "We believe that, at a time like this, our best role is to counsel and, indeed, persuade that Pakistan has got to get back on the democratic path that it had established."

On Monday, some politicians urged opposition parties to boycott the elections.

EUROPE

ROME, Italy-- As a terrible mistake the Italian police authorities described the Sunday incident where a police officer shot a soccer fan. In the aftermath of a soccer game, two groups of young people took to the streets to fight and prove their loyalty to their clubs. One policemen who was intervening accidentally fired his gun and the bullet hit a Lazio Roma club fan in the neck. The Associated Press quotes the policeman as saying, "The first shot I fired in the air and the second went off as I was running. What a fool. Now I know what happened, I am devastated."

In the country where soccer enjoys the status of national religion, such meetings are nothing unusual. So are casualties among hooligans. But this time, the accident sparked a wave of protests that ransacked Italian cities last night. Thousands of shops and cars were devastated and dozens of people were"injured after soccer groups took to the streets to show their disapproval of the incident.

Lazio Roma is one of"Rome`s three soccer teams. Its fans are notorious for their fascism and racist views, shown at the stadium and on the streets.

BILISI, Georgia-- Georgia will hold an early presidential election on January 5, the incumbent president, Mikhail Sakaashvili, announced on Saturday. It was his official response to"more than a"week of protests against his political and economical reforms. At the same time, however, Sakaashvili buttressed his decision to introduce a state of emergency last week. What was supposed to last only 15 days and be restricted to the capitol, was extended Sunday to include the entire country.

The president also tamed independent television channels by freezing news broadcasts. Among them is the channel owned by Australian businessman, Robert Murdoch. In a telephone interview given to the Associated Press, Murdoch said, "We`re shocked and horrified that, in what was allegedly a democratic country, something like this could happen."

Four years ago Georgia was at the same point as it is today. Only actors were on different sides of the barricade: Sakaashvili was an opposition leader who led people against the incumbent autocratic president. Now, Sakaashvili is under pressure and will have to change his current politics rapidly if he wants to win the early election.

MIDDLE EAST

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip-- At least six people"were killed and 85 wounded when Hamas militiamen opened fire"into a demonstration of Arafat`s sympathizers. It is approximated that around 250,000 people thronged the streets of Gaza City to mark the anniversary of Yasser Arafat`s death. According to witnesses the peaceful marchers went on the rampage when Hamas gunmen started to shoot at random and first bodies fell on the ground.

Yasser Arafat was the leader of the Fatah movement, which is considered more moderate than Hamas. Since the death of Arafat, the two factions have been at odds with each other, fighting for power in the Palestinian territory.

Although President Abbas derives from Fatah, it is Hamas that controls hearts and minds of the Palestinians.