February 6th, 2008 11:20 EST
World Chronicle: February 6
NAIROBI, Kenya. A brief hiatus in fights in Kenya could be the calm before the storm as the opposition warns it is ready to take its supporters to the streets again. The spark for renewed actions is the Wednesday meeting between the Kenyan government and representatives of East African countries, scheduled without consulting the opposition. Fearing a new wave of violence, the U.S. Peace Corps withdrew its last 58 volunteers.
N'DJAMENA, Chad. The rebel groups, which waged heavy fights in N'Djamena last weekend, have left the capital, informed a top official in the Chadian government. However, the pull-out of insurgents seems to just be a military maneuver and, after regrouping, the rebels may resume their assault. On Wednesday the French defense minister arrived in N'Djamena, a move to bolster the position of President Idriss Deby. The minister said that France would not refrain from using force to keep Deby in power.
RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil. The famous Brazil carnival ended late Tuesday night with the first sunrays marking the arrival of Lent. Thousands of tourists from around the world thronged the streets of Rio de Janeiro to watch the rows of glistening lissome legs on high heels, covered only with a scarce piece of cloth, dancing to Abba's songs. It is becoming a tradition that the women-dominated carnival ends with a gay parade.
MANAGUA, Nicaragua. Nicaragua will cooperate with the United States to fight drug trafficking, President Daniel Ortega informed on Wednesday. The announcement was issued after his meeting with representatives of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration. As the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, Nicaragua is vulnerable to narcotic cartels.
BANGOK, Thailand. Thirty-six new ministers were sworn in today, forming the first democratically-elected government in Thailand in almost two years. The majority of cabinet members were designated by the People's Power Party which won a parliamentary election last December. Although the victorious party is a relatively new force on Thailand's political scene, the ministers belong to the inner circle of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in a military coup in September 2006.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. Eight Pakistani military men, including a top army commander, were killed on Wednesday in a helicopter crash near the Afghan border. The turbulent border is infested with Taliban-sponsored Islamic rebels, but according to the first reports, the cause was a technical glitch rather than an attack.
ROME, Italy. Italy will hold a parliamentary election on April 13 and 14, two years ahead of schedule. Earlier, President Napolitano dissolved parliament as none of the parliamentary factions were able to form a government. The crisis began in January when Prime Minister Romano Prodi's bickering coalition fell apart after a several-member center right party withdrew its support. A confidence vote that followed revealed that the government had lost the majority and Prodi handed in his resignation. According to the latest opinion polls, the next election will return the controversial media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi to power.
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip. Israel will cut down its supplies of fuel, food, and energy to the Gaza Strip, the vice prime minister said on Wednesday. It is a response to the latest wave of rocket attacks launched from bordering areas and a suicide bomb that killed one person on Monday. Having cordoned off the Palestinian territory, Israeli forces control almost the entire trade in and out of the Gaza Strip. Ehud Olmert's government hopes that by reducing crucial supplies, Hamas – the leading force in the Gaza Strip – will back off from attacks.
WASHINGTON, DC. With 613 delegates, Republican contender John McCain is bound to claim his party nomination. Mitt Romney trails behind him with only 269 delegates. Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee won five states yesterday and comes in third with 190 votes in the national convention. Super Tuesday disappointed Democrats who hoped they would have a clear front-runner. Although Illinois Senator Barack Obama won 13 states out of 22 that held their primaries and caucuses yesterday, Hillary Clinton scored more delegates. As for now, the former first lady commands 845 delegates, 80 more than Obama. Either candidate needs a total number of 2,025 delegates to win the national convention.