February 26th, 2008 11:58 EST
World Chronicle: February 26
NAIROBI, Kenya. Former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan admitted late Monday that his mediation efforts between the Kenyan government and opposition ended up a fiasco. Despite numerous announcements of breakthroughs in the past several weeks, neither side seemed to have been prepared for major concessions that could resolve a conflict which has claimed over 1,000 lives since last December, when the presidential election was held. Also, on Tuesday, the chairman of the African Union was expected in Kenya to meet with the president.
CARACAS, Venezuela. Venezuela hosts thousands of leftist Columbian rebels, the Associated Press reports on Tuesday. The news agency was told by two former insurgents that, pursued by Columbian forces, the rebels constantly cross the Venezuelan border where they find shelter and easy access to vast arsenals of guns. They are also involved in drug trafficking in Latin American and the United States. President Hugo Chavez has denied any links with the rebels, but some local authorities are said to actively support the Columbian insurgents.
PYONGYANG, North Korea. Thousands of communist dignitaries stood at attention as the New York Philharmonic played the “Star Spangled Banner.” For the first time in history, an American music group performed in North Korea, winning the admiration of some 2,500 people, all of them high-profile members of the Communist Party who took part in this music and political milestone. The concert is perceived as a sign of the improvement of the mutual diplomatic relations.
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina. A group of Serbian nationals attacked an U.S. consulate on Tuesday in the town of Banja Luka. The police cordoned off the American buildings and fired tear gas at the violent mob. The buildings neighboring the consulate were also damaged with their windows broken and elevations covered in spray. The attackers were part of a 10,000-strong protest that marched through the streets of the Serbian-dominated city to voice their disapproval of Kosovo's independence.
WARSAW, Poland. The Polish government recognized Kosovo on Tuesday, becoming the first Slavic country to officially establish diplomatic relations with this former Serbian province. The president, who performs mainly representative functions and is not part of the government, said that he respected the decision although he remained unconvinced about the necessity of this move. According to a recent opinion poll, slightly more than half of those surveyed opted for the recognition of Kosovo.
BAGHDAD, Iraq. The Iraqi government demanded on Tuesday that Turkish forces be withdrawn from its northern provinces. The government spokesmen said that Turkey had violated international law by sending troops to Iraq without permission and urged Ankara to begin a dialog that could solve the tensions on the border. Up to 10,000 Turkish soldiers entered northern Iraq on Friday in the pursuit of Kurdish rebels.
ATLANTA, GA. Robert Harris and his wife just want to live happy and the $275 million they won last Friday should help them achieve this modest goal. The couple plans to spend the largest prize in Georgia's lottery on building a new home and buying a new car. They also hope they will be able to make their relatives a little bit happier. Had it not been for their daughter, who reminded them to check their numbers, the couple would have still lived in their trailer in the small town of Portal.
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
CLEVELAND, Ohio. Sen. Hillary Clinton will go up against Barack Obama today, in a win-or-lose debate. The former first lady must snatch the upcoming primaries in Ohio and Texas if she doesn't want to pull out from the race, and she will surely use Tuesday's debate to reinforce her supporters. According to the latest polls, Clinton leads in Ohio by five points – a three percent fall since last week.