March 6th, 2008 11:58 EST
World Chronicle: March 6
KAMAPALA, Uganda. Ugandan authorities informed Thursday that their forces had approached a Lord's Resistance Army rebel unit in Sudan on Tuesday which they called a blatant breach of the cease-fire that both sides had extended last weekend. In the fights that followed one Ugandan soldier was killed; it is unknown whether there were any casualties among the rebels. The incident has put the peace talks in question as the Ugandan foreign minister told the AFP press agency that he considered the attack "a gross violation."
CARACAS, Venezuela. Venezuela will freeze exports from Columbia, President Hugo Chavez announced on Thursday. It is yet another aggressive move from Venezuela following the killing of a leftist rebel leader by Columbian special forces last Saturday. Apart from the economic sanctions, both Venezuela and Ecuador – where the rebel was killed – sent thousands of soldiers to the border with Columbia to prevent further clashes on their soil. According to Columbian authorities, President Chavez had links with the leftist guerrillas, which resulted in money and arms' lending.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. Almost three weeks after the Pakistani parliamentary election, the victorious Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) is unable to choose the next prime minister. The PPP’s vice president and a close aid to assassinated Benazir Bhutto, Makhdoom Amin Fahim, was considered the frontrunner for a long time, but regional animosities may stamp his candidacy. Fahim comes from the southern province of Sindh, like Bhutto, whereas most of the coalition party members would like to choose someone from Punjab, where the majority of Pakistan’s population lives. Another complicating factor is the fact that the future government will be formed by two parties that until now were each other’s nemesis.
TBILISI, Georgia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia, two of Georgia’s provinces, demand independence for themselves, citing the precedence of Kosovo. South Ossetia issued letters to the United States, European Union, United Nations, and Russia, calling for recognition of their sovereignty. Although neither the European Union nor United States responded positively, the position of Russia remains ambiguous. Its forces have been present in South Ossetia for many years and Moscow has semi-official diplomatic relations with this Georgian province.
CAIRO, Egypt. Egypt will press Hamas to halt its rocket attacks on Israel. The Associated Press reports Thursday that Egyptian intelligence officers met with the extremist Islamic rebels to negotiate a cease-fire that could push the Middle East peace process forward. Egypt’s recent efforts to mitigate between the Palestinians and Israelis are perceived as a payback for an American $100 million aid that had lately been restored by Washington.
SOUTH PASADENA, Calif. The city of South Pasadena has introduced a ban on cussing that will be in effect the first week of March each year, reports the Associated Press. The ban was proposed by a 14-year-old boy who, as he told the press agency, had always been taught good morals by his parents. Although there are no consequences for those who disobey the new law, the residents of South Pasadena expect that both local and tourists will respect their fondness for old-school manners.
2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
WASHINGTON, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush officially endorsed Republican presidential candidate John McCain. On Tuesday, the Arkansas senator won the required number of delegates to receive his party’s national nomination and has launched a country-wide campaign. Bush’s support means that McCain may now count on the incumbent president’s vast connections among fundraisers and businessmen. On the other hand, the senator may not like to be associated with a highly unpopular president whose ratings are lower than President Nixon’s in the aftermath of the Watergate scandal.