March 7th, 2008 12:40 EST
World Chronicle: March 7
MOGADISHU, Somalia. Islamic insurgents captured the southern city of Hudur, an important point on the supply road to Ethiopia. According to the Associated Press some 100 armed men entered the city, untroubled by anyone. Since the beginning of the year, clashes between the Islamic rebels and government forces supported by Ethiopian troops have intensified, which led to the death of dozens of civilians and forced hundreds more to flee their homes. Islamists took brief control over Somalia in 2006 but were crashed by an Ethiopian army, with the American tacit support.
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti. New regulations, which were to fight wide-spread corruption in the country, have created a standstill in Haitian ports where tons of food are left to rot, awaiting approval from authorities. The Associated Press reports that the situation in Haiti has become so critical that thousands of people are forced to eat dirt in order to survive. Although the regulations have reduced the infamous drug trafficking in this world’s second most corrupted country, humanitarian aid workers complain they have been unable to reach out to the poor and hungry as the Haitian custom service works too slowly.
CANBERRA, Australia. Over $2 million in compensation will be granted to a woman who spent 10 months in jail after she was wrongly accused of coming to Australia illegally. The German-born woman had permanent residence status when, in 2004, she was arrested and found guilty. The woman was later cleared of all the charges and decided to sue the Australian Conservative government. In the meantime a parliamentary election was won by the Labor Party and the new cabinet voluntarily agreed to pay $2.4 million.
MOSCOW, Russia. Outgoing Russian President Vladimir Putin is reported on Thursday to have praised his Armenian counterpart for introducing the state of emergency after mass protests were staged by the democratic opposition. Contrary to the calls from the United States and European Union, Russia has continually expressed its support for this autocratic former Soviet Republic. Armenian President Kocharian declared the state of emergency last Saturday when the opposition rallies endangered the government, following the rigged parliamentary election.
JERUSALEM, Israel. Eight teenagers were killed and nine wounded late Thursday in the first terrorist attack in four years that occurred in Jerusalem. An armed man broke into a rabbinical seminary and started firing at random until a former Israeli Army officer managed to shoot him down. Although it is unknown whether the gunman belonged to any of terrorist organizations, the extremist Islamic Hamas group took the responsibility and praised the bloodshed; also hundreds of Palestinians took the streets of Gaza City to celebrate the death of the eight Israelis. Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack.
WASHINGTON, DC. The American economic growth for the first three months of 2008 may be negative, warned Friday a White House adviser. Edward Lazear, who made the comment, said that although he didn’t think the darker scenario would materialize, he couldn’t reject such a possibility. His words came after it was announced that over 60,000 jobs were lost in February. Despite the visible signs of recession, it is expected that the unemployment rate – now reaching 4.8 percent – will gradually be falling with the economy rising from the ashes.
2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
WASHINGTON, DC. Samantha Power, Sen. Barack Obama’s foreign policy adviser, resigned Friday after calling Sen. Hillary Clinton a “monster.” The Harvard professor expressed her deep concern about the words she pronounced last Monday and apologized to both Clinton and Obama for her “inexcusable remarks.” The scandal broke out after a Scottish newspaper quoted Power’s off-the record statements.