November 22nd, 2007 16:41 EST
World Chronicle: November 22
KHARTOUM, Sudan. A multinational peacekeeping force which is to be deployed to Darfur early next year is threatened by the lack of funds and equipment, the United Nations warns. A U.N. official responsible for peacekeeping operations, told the Associated Press that “there are enormous expectations for that mission. I am concerned that there could be a gap between the expectations and what the mission can really deliver.” Earlier this year, the United Nations and African Union pledged to equip and send a military contingent to Darfur, but so far only a half of the promised 26 thousand soldiers are ready. Also the Sudanese government puts the operation in question by refusing to accept the troops from non African countries when, according to U.N. officials, brigades from the Scandinavia, Thailand and Nepal are of crucial importance.
The European Union is ready to deploy 4,000 troops to neighboring Chad which hosts hundreds of thousands of refugees from Darfur.
BOGOTA, Columbia. The Columbian president, Alvaro Uribe, dismissed Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez from his role as a mediator between the Columbian government and left-wing rebels who hold hostage some 45 hostages. Among the abducted, there are three Americans. Chavez was fired after he talked to a Columbian general, breaching the deal which banned him from any contacts with the Columbian military.
The leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia are the biggest rebel force in Latin American and have been destabilizing the central government for many years.
WASHINGTON, DC, US. Next year's presidential election stands every chance to become the longest and most turbulent one in the country's political history. Answering the demand for early answers, New Hampshire set its presidential primary for January 8, the earliest ever in the state's history. As other states announced their plans to hold primaries as early as the third week of January, New Hampshire had to respond by organizing their event so soon. The Associated Press quotes New Hampshire's secretary of state as saying: “This tradition has served our nation well, as decades of candidates and presidents have said.”
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. Pakistan's Supreme Court has cleared the way for President Musharraf to begin his second term. The judges – all of them nominated by Musharraf – dismissed all six petitions saying that the incumbent president was allowed to take part in the presidential election even though he was serving as the army commander. The Pakistani constitution banns military people from running for offices.
Hours before the election, Musharraf resigned from the position of the chief of the army, at the same time remaining in charge of the military as civil commander-in-chief. Opposition politicians perceived it as the infringement of the law and filed protests to the Supreme Court. However, by introducing the emergency rule early this month, Musharraf acquired the right to dismiss the judges and fill the vacancies with his people.
General Pervez Musharraf seized power in 1999 in a military coup. Since the September 11 attacks, Pakistan has been an important American's ally and received billions of dollars in military aid.
LONDON, Great Britain. Although the British government has admitted loosing hard disks with financial date of millions of citizens, the Brits are more worried that their national soccer team did not qualify to the 2008 European Soccer Championships. In the last game with Croatia, the English needed a draw to win the qualification, but had to swallow the bitter taste of defeat, losing 2:3. For the first time in decades, the Proud boys of Albion will not participate in the continent's main soccer tournament – what in the country that claims to have invented soccer seems unimaginable. Even though coach Steve McLaren accepted the blame and was immediately fired, the police are considering whether not to provide him with a police entourage after some hot-blooded fans demanded McLaren's head, literally.
Also on Wednesday Her Royal Majesty Government revealed that it had lost hard disks with financial data of around 25 million Brits. Although none of the officials was able to explain how it could happen, it is supposed that the hard disks had been stolen during the transport. Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who succeeded Tony Blair in May this year, apologized for the mistake and pledged to do everything in his might to recover the lost data. Some experts say that with the hard disks, a skilled hacker could easily get the access to bank accounts and personal information of millions of Brits and their families.
BEIRUT, Lebanon. Lebanon is teetering on the verge of political collapse as two main parties are unable to choose a compromise presidential candidate. Neither pro-Western ruling party of Prime Minister Fuad Saniora nor Syria-backed Hezbollah has enough seats to choose the president on its own and needs the votes of the other side to push their candidate to the top post. On Friday the term of the incumbent president will expire and if no successor is picked, the country may plunge into the worst political crisis in almost two decades.
Lebanon was called the Switzerland of the Middle East because of its stability and relative prosperity. However, the situation began to deteriorate with the influx of Palestinian refugees. In 1975 a civil war broke out which claimed approximately 150,000 lives. It took 15 years to resolve the conflict but the animosities between Hezbollah and the central authorities have remained.