February 18th, 2008 08:54 EST
World Chronicle: February 18
NAIROBI, Kenya. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in Kenya on Monday to reconcile a solution to the country's three-month long political crisis that has claimed over 600 lives thus far. In the carrot and stick diplomacy, Rice warned that, unless the two parties strike a power-sharing deal, the United States would have to suspend its financial aid to Kenya. The announcement was met with mixed reception as both President Mwai Kibaki and the opposition leader Raila Odinga claim they are official winners of the December presidential election.
GEORGETOWN, Guyana. Twelve people were killed in gang fights that erupted on Sunday in this only English-speaking Latin American country. According to the Associated Press among the casualties are three policemen and nine civilians. It was the second gang attack in only a month which shows how powerful the criminal underworld is in Guyana.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. Monday was the last day of parliamentary elections in Pakistan. Although the official results will not be known until midnight local time (2 pm ET), opinion polls suggest the overwhelming victory of the opposition. The expected debacle of President Musharraf's camp may further destabilize the situation in Pakistan – a country which remains one of the staunchest American allies in the region.
NEW DELHI, India. The third day of clashes between Indian police and Maoist rebels, east of New Delhi, brought a decisive victory to the government side. The operation involved 600 police officers backed by helicopters and heavy equipment. According to the Associated Press, the rebels fled their hideouts, leaving vast numbers of arms and ammunition. The number of casualties is unknown, but the police estimate their losses at 13 people. In addition, at least one civilian was killed during the weekend fights.
BELGRADE, Serbia. The American embassy and the office of the EU representative to Serbia were damaged on Sunday evening as hundreds of angry men marched through the streets of Belgrade to protest against Kosovo's independence. Although the local police prevented the mob from setting fire to the American embassy, the protesters managed to break several windows, as well as destroy the nearby fence and pavement.
BELGRADE, Serbia. The head of the Serbian Orthodox Church called on his countrymen to form an army and bring Kosovo back to Serbia. He said that the province was the cradle of the Serbian nationhood and must not remain in the hands of foreigners. The government in Belgrade insists that, although it does not recognize the secession of Kosovo, it will refrain from using military force.
PRISTINA, Kosovo. Twenty-four hours after proclaiming independence from Serbia, Kosovo launched a diplomatic offensive. The government in Pristina is reported to have sent over 190 letters to capitals around the world asking for recognition. Among the countries that are expected to respond positively are the United States and the majority of the European Union members. On the other hand, Spain, Greece, Romania, Cyprus, and Slovakia denounced Kosovo’s secession from Serbia as illegal.
TEHRAN, Iran. Iran must proceed with its nuclear program because such is the will of God, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said on Sunday. In his radio address, the country's spiritual leader told listeners that his people deserved nuclear technology and should do everything in their might to obtain it; otherwise, God would punish them for neglect. Khamenei also added that no foreign power had a right to stop Tehran from pursuing its goal.
WASHINGTON, DC. Former President George H.W. Bush is endorsing the candidacy of John McCain. His announcement came several days after his son, the incumbent president, said that the Arizona senator was “a true conservative.” However, as the New York Times reports on Monday, McCain's strategists plan to keep George W. Bush away from the campaign. According to the newspaper, it is feared that as controversial figure as the 43rd president may scare off many independent and Democratic voters who would otherwise support McCain.