February 12th, 2008 17:30 EST
World Chronicle: February 12
NAIROBI, Kenya. Contradictory news flows from Kenya where the opposition and government are striving to strike a deal that could put an end to a two-month-long period of uncontrolled violence which has claimed over 1,000 lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes. The Associated Press quotes William Ruto, the opposition’s main negotiator, as saying that his camp is ready for a power-sharing deal that would last two years and end in new presidential and parliamentary elections. The government response is unknown as yet; however, President Mwai Kibaki and his ministers admitted earlier they could accept a similar solution. But the key figure involved in the dispute, Raila Odinga – who claims to have been robbed of presidency by Kibaki's people – repeats he will agree to nothing else but the immediate repetition of the election.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. The residents of the capital city of Port-au-Prince decided to take the law into their own hands last weekend, stoning one suspected criminal to death and severely hurting another. Both men were accused of kidnapping but the prosecution did not press for custody and they were allowed to await their trials at their homes. The two incidents are nothing unusual in Haiti – a country without a strong central authority for years – as often does it happen that the police encourage civilians to bring criminals to justice on their own, without respecting the country's legal system. According to the Associated Press, the number of kidnappings has soared this year to almost 40.
TOKYO, Japan. A 38-year-old Marine from an American military base on Okinawa Island, Japan, is accused of raping a teenage girl on Sunday. Staff Sgt. Tyrone Luther Hadnott is said to have offered a ride home to a 14-year-old girl but instead took her to his place and raped her in a parked car. Although the Marine was arrested and transferred to a U.S. military jail, the incident sparked an outburst of anger from Japan's highest officials. The prime minister said the crime was “unforgivable” while the minister of foreign affairs warned it could complicate diplomatic relations between Japan and the United States. American soldiers stationing in foreign countries are subjected to the U.S. law and as such cannot be prosecuted by local authorities.
LONDON, England. English Olympians who will be competing this summer in China are to remain silent on such sensitive issues as human rights and democracy in the host country, ordered the British Olympic Committee. Any sportsman or sportswoman who will break the order will be expelled from the national team and forced to return to England at once. The committee's announcement was issued shortly after the British prime minister visited Beijing.
MOSCOW, Russia. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said on Tuesday that a unilateral declaration of independence by Kosovo might incite similar moves from secessionist territories throughout Europe and endanger the continent's security. Russia – the long-time and sole ally of Serbia in Europe – is particularly at risk with many of its own provinces, such as Chechnya, expressing the will to secede and become independent countries. According to some news agencies, Kosovo, which, although governed by the United Nations, remains officially remains part of Serbia, may announce independence this weekend.
JERUSALEM, Israel. Iran still represents a serious threat to the Middle East and entire world, says Israel. Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who is visiting Germany, warned that even though American intelligence sources downplayed Tehran's capability to produce nuclear weapons in the foreseeable future, Jerusalem remained suspicious of President Ahmedinejad's policies. Speaking after a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the prime minister welcomed Germany's support for US-sponsored sanctions on Iran.
STATESBORO, GA. Two Georgia Southern University female students died and one was seriously wounded in a car accident on Sunday, near Statesboro, GA. Melissa K. Eustice, 20, and Jessica Lynn Fulmer, 21, were killed on the scene; the oldest girl, Jamie Lynn Carter, 22, was taken to a nearby hospital where she remains in critical condition. The three were one their way home from a weekend trip when an unknown car merged into their lane, pushing their four-runner off the road. It is unknown which girl was at the wheel at the time of the accident, but the quick maneuver caused her to lose control over her car, which bounced across the road, ejecting all the three to the ground. The coroner suspects none of the girls were wearing their seatbelts.
WASHINGTON, DC. For someone who was written off long before the presidential race even began, Mike Huckabee is surprisingly up-and-coming. The former Arkansas governor pledged to remain in the contest until his rival, John McCain, secures the 1,191 delegates needed for the Republican nomination. Having only 241 delegates – almost 500 fewer than McCain – Huckabee managed to cause the front runner some serious embarrassment by winning last weekend's primaries in Kansas and Louisiana. On Tuesday, Republicans will be choosing their favorites in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.