January 30th, 2008 11:45 EST
World Chronicle: January 30
AFRICA: Either Unity or Nothing, Says Gaddafi
TRIPOLI, Libya. Libya's leader, Moamar Gaddafi, warned on Tuesday that if African states did not pursue greater unity, his country would reevaluate its foreign policy. Speaking two days before an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, the mercurial colonel told journalists that if the rest of the continent failed in meeting his expectations, Libya would “turn its back on Africa and reorient its foreign policy in other directions – Euro-Mediterranean or Arab-Mediterranean.”
Bordering both Arab and African countries, Libya is considered a crucial part of the entire continent. In the past it shuttled from being an ardent supporter of Arab nationalism to representing peaceful internationalism. According to Gaddafi, Libyan companies have invested millions of dollars in sub-Saharan Africa but could quickly withdraw their money, should the integration process be stopped.
The Libyan leader also said that “anyone who blocks the unity project is part of a conspiracy to sell Africa to the highest bidder.” African unity is the latest idea of Gaddafi's, Africa's longest ruling dictator. Gaddafi overthrew the royal family in 1969, pledging to turn the country into a socialist paradise, but his rule has resembled that of an absolute monarch rather than a people's man.
AMERICAS: Edwards and Giuliani Out of Race
WASHINGTON, DC. Neither Rudy Giuliani nor John Edwards could attract more attention during their run for presidency than when they announced their resignation. The former, having invested millions of dollars in Florida to score a big win before so called Super Tuesday on February 5, was routed in the Sunshine State primary, trailing far behind the winner, John McCain, and Mitt Romney, who came in second. The former New York mayor will surely support McCain, with who he remains on friendly terms.
John Edwards was expected to announce his decision today, at 1 p.m. ET, in New Orleans. It will be a symbolic place since Louisiana was the state where Edwards began his campaign over a year ago. And just like he did then, he plans now to focus on helping people affected by Hurricane Katrina.
It remains unknown which one of the two main Democratic contenders – Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton – will gain more on Edwards' decision. Some pundits believe the race issue may play a decisive role, and Edwards' former supporters will prefer to cast their votes for Clinton rather than the black senator of Illinois.
On February 5, twenty-four states will hold primaries and caucuses. At this time, Obama leads the Democratic contest with 63 delegates out of 2,025 needed to win the national nomination; Clinton is second with 48. In the Republican camp, it is John McCain who tops the race with 95 delegates. Mitt Romney has 67 and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee comes in third with 26 delegates. Rudy Giuliani had won only one. The candidate who scores 1,191 votes will be awarded the Republican nomination.
ASIA: China's Internet Not For Everyone
BEIJING, China. Chinese Internet users comprise roughly 210 million of the virtual world community, but the joys of YouTube and its clones are not for them. According to the latest bill introduced by the communist regime, only state companies are permitted to run video sites. Before they do, however, they will have to file for special permission, a move that is to stop private users from broadcasting negative pictures of China. The Chinese online video market is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars and grows every year. In December, the government issued a bill, eliminating foreign firms from the ever-spreading Chinese Internet market.
Although American YouTube is not subjected to the new law, its contents are highly restricted. Chinese censorship forbids the presentation of opinions and pictures that could be received as anti-governmental. With the Olympic Games approaching, the communist regime is working hard to make sure that the outside world will see nothing defamatory.
EUROPE: A Former Nazi Faces Trial
VIENNA, Austria. Erna Wallisch, a former guard at a Nazi concentration camp who is accused of killing at least one man, may finally be brought to justice. Austrian prosecutors have reopened her case after receiving new details from the Polish Institute of National Remembrance. The Institute, which was established in the late 1990s and investigates Nazi and communist crimes, said that it had uncovered some crucial evidence against Wallisch.
Wallisch, 85, is suspected to have beaten a man to death when she was serving as a guard at the Majdanek concentration camp. Located in Poland, the concentration camp became the gravesite for over one million prisoners – mostly Poles and Jews – until it was liberated by the Soviet Army in 1944. Wallisch faced charges in 1968, but was acquitted due to the lack of evidence. Since then, she has been living in Vienna untroubled.
Over sixty years after the end of the Second World War, not all Nazi war criminals have been caught. Some of them – like the notorious Adolf Eichmann, caught in 1960 – are reported to have found shelter in Latin America. Efraim Zuroff of the Simon Wiesentahl Center, which tracked down Eichmann, told the Associated Press on Tuesday: “What I want to happen is for this woman to be arrested, prosecuted and held accountable for her crime and sent to jail for the rest of her life.”
MIDDLE EAST: Army Silent Over Head Scarves
ANKARA, Turkey. As Turkish legislators quarrel as to whether or not the ban on head scarves at universities should be lifted, the future of the entire country may be at stake. So far, Turkey has managed to sustain its secular tradition, implemented by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk in the 1930s, but the past years have brought a high growth of Islamic sentiments.
The ruling conservative coalition intends to allow female students to wear head scarves at universities, a move that many consider to be the infringement of secularism. But the argument over scarves is yet another one in a year-long leadership challenge between Islamic conservatives and secular opposition supported by the army. Last year, amidst violent protests, Abdullah Gul – a strict Muslim – was elected president.
Turkey has a long tradition of military rules and, despite being democratic, generals still exercise great influence over domestic affairs. However, this time the army refrains from assuming the official position. One military representative told the Associated Press on Wednesday: “There's no one in all levels of the Turkish society who doesn't know what the military's views are. To say anything would be nothing more than stating the obvious. That is why I don't want to say anything.”