March 10th, 2008 15:18 EST
World Chronicle: March 10
CAIRO, Egypt. Up to 10,000 people demonstrated on Sunday in two Egyptian cities, weeks before local April elections. Most of the protesters were members of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization that demands the introduction of the Islamic law to Egypt’s legal system. According to the Associated Press around 280 Islamists have been arrested since February as the secular government of President Hosni Mubarak tightens its grip on power.
CARACAS, Venezuela. Venezuela has reestablished diplomatic relations with neighboring Columbia. The move means that the Venezuelan embassy in Bogota will be opened and Columbian diplomats will be allowed to return to their embassy in Caracas. Tensions between both countries arose when Columbian special forces killed several leftist rebels in Ecuador and accused President Chavez of supporting the guerrillas who intend to overthrow the US-sponsored Columbian government. In response, Venezuela and Ecuador pulled out their diplomats from Columbia and reinforced their military posts on the border.
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan. Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is not going to step down, the AFP news agency reports on Monday. Yesterday, the two parties that had won the February parliamentary election signed a coalition deal and announced the new government would restore the Constitutional Court judges whom Musharraf had fired shortly after the emergency rule had been introduced. With the new-old Constitutional Court, the anti-Musharraf government may be able to oust the president and call a new presidential election.
BELGRADE, Serbia. Serbia will hold an early parliamentary election after the nationalist prime minister said on Saturday he was unable to keep his coalition government united. The parliament is expected to dissolve on Monday and set the date of the election for May 11.
MADRID, Spain. The incumbent prime minister’s Socialist Party won the parliamentary election, defeating its arch-rival conservative Popular Party. The socialists will have 169 seats in the 350-seat parliament, 16 more than the conservatives. It means Prime Minister Zapatero fell short of winning the absolute majority and will need the help of small parties to govern effectively.
BEIRUT, Lebanon. The Lebanese parliament postponed the election of the next president for the 16th time since September. Although politicians of both rival camps had informed earlier they had reached a compromise to vote for Gen. Michel Suleiman - the candidate acceptable for both the pro-American government and Syria-sponsored opposition - the Monday session only decided to put off the election until March 25. The main obstacle remains the opposition’s demand for a veto power over the president’s future decisions.
WASHINGTON, DC. U.S. President George W. Bush met with Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk on Monday to discuss various issues ranging from the American visa policy to the deployment of an anti-missile shield in Poland. After the conference, which lasted almost an hour, both leaders acknowledged the relations between their countries were on the friendly basis and should remain so. Commenting on the visa policy - Poles visiting America are obliged to obtain a visa - President Bush said that if he were a Pole, he would be frustrated with the American regulations.
LAURENS, SC. The Redneck Shop - which was established in 1996 and sells souvenirs ranging from Ku Klux Klan hoods to t-shirts with racial slurs - may finally be closing, the Associated Press reports on Monday. David Kennedy, a black owner of the building that hosts the store, told the news agency that he was going to take the case to court to end once and for all the existence of the controversial place. However, it may be harder than previously anticipated as Kennedy’s predecessor signed a deal with the Redneck Shop that guarantees its owner the right to own the store for lifetime.
2008 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
WASHINGTON, DC. Presidential candidate Barack Obama unequivocally rejected the idea of being Hilary Clinton’s running mate. Speaking before 1,700 people in Columbus, Miss., the Illinois senator laughed at the idea, saying that he couldn’t imagine how someone who was in second place could offer the vice presidency to the leader. Last week, Hillary Clinton hinted that she would welcome Obama as her running mate, hoping to attract undecided voters.