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Published:February 15th, 2008 10:52 EST
World Chronicle: February 15

World Chronicle: February 15

By Krzys Wasilewski

AFRICA

NAIROBI, Kenya. The first signs of progress appear in Kenya as the two warring sides agree to investigate the December presidential elections which, in the opinion of many observers, were flawed. Former United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan who is mediating between President Kibaki and his rival, Rail Odinga, said on Friday that he believed the agreement was a “real momentum.”

N'DJAMENA, Chad. A state of emergency had been declared in the entire country, President Debby informed on Thursday. In response to the latest rebel attacks on the capital and other major cities, the government suspended certain points of the constitution, banning political gatherings and extending control over people's movements. The state of emergency takes effect on Friday and will last for 15 days. After this time, the parliament is to decide whether or not the new provisions should be lifted.

AMERICAS

BOGOTA, Columbia. The unionist rights are constantly broken in Columbia, say American union leaders after visiting the Latin American country on Wednesday. The Associated Press provides alarming figures that show the number of union workers killed in Columbia in the last six years reaching almost 500. The Bush Administration urges Congress to pass a trade agreement with Columbia.

OTTAWA, Canada. When most countries plan to withdraw their troops from Afghanistan, saying that the country has become too dangerous, Canada's estimations are more optimistic. The Reuters news agency cities a Canadian general on Friday as saying that 2008 stands a sporting chance of becoming a “year of progress.” There are 2,500 troops with the red maple leaf on their uniforms in Afghanistan, operating in the southern regions of the country. However, Canadian officials warn that unless other NATO members provide bigger support to the Afghan mission, they will have to pull out half of their troops.

ASIA

MANILA, Philippines. Socialists, conservatives, and other groups coalesced into a 10,000-strong manifestation on Friday to demand the incumbent President Gloria Arroyo step down, as a parliamentary investigation found one of her closest advisers guilty of corruption. The former election chief is said to have accepted $130 million from a Chinese company that won a governmental contract. The allegations notwithstanding, President Arroyo said she would fulfill her final term, which ends in 2010.

EUROPE

BELGRADE, Serbia. President Boris Tadic, who was reelected in early February, said on Friday he was determined to keep Kosovo a Serbian province. During his swearing-in ceremony, Tadic – perceived as a pro-European liberal – tried to merge Serbia's nationalist spirit with its ambitions to join the European Union and NATO. Kosovo is expected to unilaterally declare independence on Sunday.

VILNIUS, Lithuania. A Polish reporter was beaten unconscious in Lithuania, writes the PAP news agency. According to the local police, the journalist was found in his hotel room in the southern city of Druskininkai, the country's main tourist attraction that boasts Europe's biggest water park. Polish authorities expressed their concern that the reporter had been refused medical treatment from a local hospital and had to be taken to Poland to be thoroughly examined. It remains unknown the reason of the attack; however, national animosities could have been involved. The journalist had been covering Eastern Europe for many years and some of his reports were critical of local authorities.

MIDDLE EAST

BEIRUT, Lebanon. Iran-sponsored Hezbollah declared war on Israel and all Jewish institutions around the world. One of the organization's top leaders, Hassan Nasrallah, was quoted by the Associated Press as saying that recent killings of Hezbollah members orchestrated by Israeli would be responded by equal violence and brutality.

UNITED STATES

DEKALB, IL. Minutes passed between 27-year-old Steven Kazimierczak entering a lecture hall to spray his fellow Northern Illinois University students with bullets and when he used the last one to end his own life. According to the latest figures, five people have been killed and at least 15 wounded in the tragedy that shocked Chicago and the entire state of Illinois. It is unknown what sparked the sociology graduate to go on a murderous spree. Among the four casualties whose names have been revealed, the youngest was 19 years old, the oldest 32.