news update for 18 June

ZIMBABWE- Intimidation increases again, as citizens told they need to ‘choose Mugabe or face a bullet’. Support for the Opposition after the first round of voting will not be tolerated, and militiamen and making their voice heard. A campaign that began with the tested tactic of beatings has evolved into a full-blown military strategy of abductions and murders of opposition MDC activists and supporters. More than 100 have been killed and 200 have disappeared.

GAZA STRIP-  A ceasefire agreement in Gaza between Israel and Hamas is due to go into effect from dawn tomorrow. But there is scepticism as to how long the ceasefire might last. For weeks there has been a bitter debate within Israel about whether to accept a ceasefire agreement with Hamas, which effectively controls Gaza, or whether to invade the territory, which would probably include a long-term military occupation of the land and would certainly claim hundreds of Israeli and Palestinian lives. The ceasefire is supposed to last at least six months, but will unfold in stages. For the first 72 hoursthere will be a halt to the fighting from both sides. If that holds then Israel is to begin to allow more supplies into Gaza, easing the strict blockade on what it calls the “hostile territory”. If the ceasefire is still in place after a week, then Israel is to ease some restrictions at the commercial crossing points.

BAGHDAD- Iraq is insisting on the right to veto any US military operations throughout its territory under a “status of forces” agreement currently being negotiated between Baghdad and Washington, according to a senior member of the Iraqi government. Iraq’s oil Minister, Hussain al-Shahristani insisted “Neither the constitution nor our people will allow any violation of our sovereignty. Obviously foreign troops on Iraqi soil carrying out operations without the prior consent and approval of the elected government is a violation”. Its sovereignty yo. But I would imagine the sovereignty argument would have been more appropriate, say, back in 2003 ????

IRELAND- The results are in on the Referendum which took place last friday on the Lisbon Treaty. Some 53% of voters said ‘No’.


~ by k-rock and l-jive on June 18, 2008.

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