November 26th, 2007 14:20 EST
World Summary: November 26
KIGALI, Rwanda- A Rwandan Catholic priest, who is accused of participating in the 1994 genocide acts, faces life in prison. The prosecution office at the United Nations War Crime Court for Rwanda based in Tanzania argues that Father Athanase Seromba took an active role in the events that led to the death of more than 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutu. Father Seromba is Hutu. “The sentence is not proportional to the crime,” the Associated Press quotes a prosecution spokesman.
Father Seromba has repeatedly maintained that he never supported the mass murders.
CARACAS, Venezuela- For someone who pictures himself as a tough guy, Venezuela's president Hugo Chavez behaves more like a spoiled child than a world-class statesman. After the Columbian authorities dismissed Chavez from the post of chief negotiator between the Columbian government and left-wing rebels, the controversial president demanded Sunday an official apology from Bogotá. Chavez offered his mediation when the rebels had kidnapped more than 40 foreigners, including three American nationals. One of the conditions under which Columbia's president Alvaro Uribe accepted the offer was that Chavez would not talk with the Columbian military men, which Chavez breached by calling one general on Friday.
“I declare before the world that I'm putting relations with Colombia in the freezer because I've completely lost confidence with everyone in the Colombian government,” the Associated Press cites President Chavez as saying.
Last week Hugo Chavez demanded that King Juan Carlos of Spain apologize for telling the Venezuelan socialist president to “shut up” and threatened to nationalize Spanish-owned companies in Venezuela.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan- The January parliamentary election in Pakistan may look like a surprising repetition of history. After former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto came back from exile in October and announced her party would take part in the election, another top politician from the past returned to Pakistan. After five years of banishment in Saudi Arabia, former Premier Nawaz Sharif, who was ousted by a military coup in 1999 by General Musharraf, landed in Islamabad on Sunday and hopes to play a major role in January.
Hundreds of people greeted him at the airport, much as it happened during Bhutto's arrival in October. President Musharraf ordered 5,000 policemen to provide security and prevent bomb attacks which killed dozens of people at Bhutto's welcome party. Muslim extremists took the blame for the attacks.
SYDNEY, Australia- The era of Prime Minister John Howard came to an end on Saturday when the rival Australian Labor Party defeated Howard's Conservative Party which had ruled the country for 12 years. The defeat was even more painful for the conservatives when it turned out that the incumbent prime minister might have lost his district seat and may disappear from the Australian political scene.
Kevin Rudd, the leader of the Labor Party and premier-elect, is expected to continue the economic policy of his predecessor. However, he also intends to move Australia toward becomming more ecology-friendly, pledging to sign the Kyoto Protocol and working on considerable pollution reduction in Australia and elsewhere in the region.
MOSCOW, Russia- Less than a week before Russians cast their votes in a parliamentary election, the Kremlin once again accused the West of interfering with the Russian electoral process.
The comment comes as a response to the protests issued by the European Union and the United States following the arrest of several opposition activists, including former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. “[The West’s] aim is to deprive the elections of legitimacy, that is absolutely clear,” the Associated Press quotes President Putin speaking from his home in St. Petersburg.
The parliamentary election is scheduled for December 2 and is bound to be won by Putin's United Russia Party.
ZAGREB, Croatia- The first unofficial results show that the conservative HDZ party won the Sunday parliamentary election, scoring 61 parliamentary seats. As to exercise a stable majority with the need of at least 153 seats, it means that to govern for five more years, the conservatives will need to form a coalition cabinet with smaller parties. The main rival of HDZ-- the Social Democrats-- came second, with only five fewer seats.
Both main parties pledged to continue free-market reforms and finalize Croatia's membership in the European Union. The conservatives also want to see their country in the NATO-- a clear sign that Croatia is heading westwards. Many experts point at corruption and an ossified justice system as the most burning problems facing the new government.
JERUSALEM, Israel- The US-sponsored peace conference is threatened by the opposition from both Israeli and Palestinian politicians. The extremist Hamas militia group said today that everyone who would cooperate with the Israelis should be considered a traitor.
"Anyone who stands in the face of resistance or fights it or cooperates with the (Israeli) occupation against it is a traitor,” the Associated Press quotes one Hamas representative speaking in front of 2,000 people.
On the other hand, Israeli right-wing parties also call for boycotting the conference. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu highlighted the fact that the Palestinians had constantly been undercutting the peace process between the two nations.
In an interview given to an Israeli TV station, Netanyahu was to have said, “I see this summit as a continuation of one-sided concessions.”