news update for 25 June

MALAYSIA- No lipstick or high heels = no rape. Women in a northern Malaysian city of Kota Bharu (in Kelantan state) ruled by conservative Islamists are being urged by the city’s authorities to forsake bright lipstick and noisy high-heels “to preserve their dignity and avoid rape”. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic party (PAS), stressed that the code was merely advice for women who wish to follow the “Islamic way”. PAS positions itself as a political party that aims to establish Malaysia as a country based on Islamic legal theory derived from the primary sources of Islam, the Quran and Sunnah. This latest news comes as a surprise to many, who felt that since the 2004 elections, PAS had been trying to gain popularity through moderation.

SARKOZY IN ISRAEL- Sarkozy has just spent 3 days in Israel and the West Bank, during his visit he held talks with Israeli prime minister Ehud Olmert, President Shimon Peres and the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas. In an address to Israel’s parliament, the knesset, yesterday Sarkozy told Israel “there cannot be peace” without the country sharing sovereignty over Jerusalem with the Palestinians and stopping building settlements in the occupied territories. Sarkozy pledged full support for Israel but urged it to ease travel restrictions to the West Bank, saying: “I told our Israeli friends the injustice done to the Jewish people can’t be resolved by creating conditions of injustice for the Palestinian people.” As Sarkozy was leaving Ben Gurion airport, an Israeli policeman shot himself in the head. It is unknown why. The suicide came today as militants in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip fired several rockets into southern Israel, breaching a five-day-old ceasefire after Israeli troops killed two Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

SERBIA-The EU today welcomed the prospect of a pro-European government in Belgrade, after six weeks of hard bargaining between Serbian political parties. Serbian officials said the pro-western Democratic party and the Socialists were close to a decision on sharing out government posts, after they agreed yesterday to form an alliance following elections in May. The EU hopes a coalition between Democrats and Socialists will deliver war crime suspects to the UN tribunal in The Hague and will take a softer line on Kosovo, which declared independence from Serbia in February. But Slavica Djukic-Dejanovic, the Socialists’ vice-president and official nominee for the post of parliamentary speaker, said her party would not budge on its opposition to the UN tribunal. Milosevic died while on trial at the UN tribunal for former Yugoslavia, in The Hague, in 2006. The Socialists said at the time that he was murdered.

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~ by k-rock and l-jive on June 25, 2008.

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