February 29th, 2008 10:38 EST
KHARTOUM, Sudan 20 Villagers Were Killed
KHARTOUM, Sudan. Around 20 villagers were killed late Wednesday in southern Darfur. Neither the government nor the rebel groups operating in the region took responsibility for the attack; however, according to the Africa Union peacekeeping forces present in Darfur, the incident could have been related to the recent tribal flare-ups. Some 80 tribes inhabit the region and violent clashes between them are nothing new. It is estimated that various conflicts in Darfur have killed as many as 200,000 people.
LA PAZ, Bolivia. Bolivian legislators decided Thursday that a new constitution should be accepted in a referendum. Sponsored by socialist President Evo Morales, the document gives broader rights to the country`s indigenous groups, but " according to many " it also discriminates the white population. The parliamentary opposition was not allowed to attend the Thursday session since the president`s supporters blocked the entrance to the parliament. The constitutional referendum will be held on May 4.
COLOMBO, Sri Lanka. A suicide bomber, believed to be a member of the Tamil Tigers, injured at least seven people in the country`s capital, Colombo, on Friday. According to the AFP press agency, the bomber set off his explosives while dozens of policemen were combing an alleged Tamil Tigers arsenal. Among the injured were three policemen; the blast was so powerful that it could be heard all over the capital. The bombing followed a series of police arrests that seriously drained the rebels` ranks. State authorities informed that 1,676 Tamil Tigers members have been killed in 2008. In the same period of time, government forces have lost 94 people.
MOSCOW, Russia. On Friday, outgoing President Vladimir Putin urged his countrymen to participate in the Sunday presidential election. Although there is no question that his appointee and heir, Dmitry Medvedev, will win by a landslide, the Kremlin hopes that a big turnout will silence foreign critics who accuse Moscow of autocratic rule. The opposition candidates were refused registration whereas the national media has been openly promoting Medvedev. Three other presidential hopefuls are more so political folklore than serious contenders.
BAGHDAD, Iraq. Ali Hassan al Maijd, known as Chemical Ali, will be executed within 30 days. On Friday the Iraqi presidency (the president and his two deputies) approved the death sentence and, according to the law, it should be carried out no later than one month after approval. Chemical Ali " Saddam Hussein`s cousin " was found guilty of gassing thousands of Kurds in the 1980s for their opposition to the regime. The figures provided by the Associated Press indicate that some 200,000 civilians could have been killed by Ali`s order.
HOUSTON, TX. Former Polish President Lech Walesa had a pacemaker implanted Friday at Methodist DeBakey Heart and Vescular Center. The 64-year-old first democratically elected head of state since 1989 was reported to be in good condition and, if no further complications arise, he will be able to leave the hospital on Saturday. On Thursday, Walesa met with forty-first U.S. President George H. Bush to reminisce about their previous meetings and discuss world affairs. Both presidents served their countries during the same time and both failed to win reelection.
U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
HOUSTON, TX. The Hillary Clinton campaign questions the ambiguous rules of the Texas primaries. The former first lady`s aids have expressed their concerns that the state does not provide clear guidelines as to how and when to count the votes and how many times and who can take part in the primary and caucus that take place almost at the same time. Barack Obama`s campaigners, on the other hand, accused Sen. Clinton of trying to divert attention from her poor showings in opinion polls.