February 22nd, 2008 10:41 EST
World Chronicle: February 22
NAIROBI, Kenya. An agreement between Kenyan authorities and opposition is at hand. According to the New York Times on Friday, both parties have said “yes” to a coalition government with a strong prime minister picked from opposition leaders. The incumbent president, who is accused of rigging the December elections, will remain the head of state and government, but will probably be unable to fire the prime minister. In addition, Kenyan legislators will rewrite the constitution, stripping the president of some of his almost autocratic powers.
OTTAWA, Canada. Canada plans to pull out its troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2011. The minority Conservative government was forced to set a deadline because the liberal opposition threatened to push for an early election. In the traditionally pacifistic Canada, the government has found it increasingly harder to sell the Afghan peacekeeping mission to the public as the death toll is dangerously approaching 100. So far, 78 troops have been killed in southern Afghanistan where the Canadian contingent is operating.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. The two parties, which won last week's parliamentary elections in Pakistan, are close to forming a government with Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who is the probable subsequent prime minister. Fahim ran for president against incumbent Pervez Musharraf last October, but lost in what foreign observers called a flawed election. Among the first goals of the new government will surely be the impeachment of Musharraf, who, in his article published by the Washington Post, called for his political opponents to concentrate on real issues instead of bogging Pakistan down in personal animosities.
BELGRADE, Serbia. One person was killed and several embassies seriously damaged in, what the Serbian government calls, a hooligan incident. A burned corpse of a protester was found in the American embassy in Belgrade after the metropolitan police finally managed to disperse some 300 angry, mainly young people who set fire to the embassy and destroyed its property. Along with the American embassy, the embassies of Germany, France, and Croatia – the countries which were among the first to recognize Kosovo's independence – were also damaged. In response to the attacks, the U.S. Department of State ordered some of its diplomats in Serbia to return to the United States.
ROME, Italy. An Italian cell-phone operator asked one of its deceased customers to confirm her death. Although Telecom Italia received an official statement from the woman's family, it remained unmoved and demanded that the dead woman must send a document with her own signature. When the incident came to light, the operator admitted to making a mistake and apologized to the family of the deceased.
ANKARA, Turkey. Turkish forces entered Iraq Friday morning to crack down on Kurdish rebels. According to the local media as many as 10,000 Turkish troops could have crossed the border, pursuing groups of insurgents who operated in southern Turkey and northern Iraq. The U.S. Department of State acknowledged later that the government in Ankara had forewarned Washington of its plans. Last year, U.S. President George W. Bush, while hosting the Turkish president, agreed to write the Kurdish rebels on the list of terrorist organizations.
WASHINGTON, DC. The New York Times suggested on Thursday that Republican presidential candidate John McCain could have had an affair with one of his lobbyists. A front page article insinuated that the Arizona senator's relations with Vicki Iseman were more than business related and some of McCain's staff “took steps to intervene.” Responding to the New York Times, McCain said he was disappointed with the newspaper and accused it of trying to scare voters off his candidature.