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International corner--news around the world.

BOLIVIA: The socialist President Evo Morales survived a vote to recall him by a wide margin. The recall vote was sought by his pro-capitalism opposition, some of whom are angry that Morales is seeking to take some of their land to distribute it to the poor.

GEORGIA: After Georgian forces launched a military offensive against separatists who are loyal to Russia in the province of South Ossetia, Russia invaded the former Soviet state of Georgia with tanks, planes, and ground forces to "liberate" S. Ossetia and the province of Abkhazia from Georgian control, quickly dominating over the Georgian forces. Both provinces are seeking independence from Georgia, and have deep Russian ties. The United States sees Georgia as being a pro-western ally that may potentially join NATO, and sided with Georgia throughout the conflict. After five days of heavy fighting, a cease-fire was declared, and Russia agreed to withdraw.

It bares noting that during the conflict, there were coordinated cyberattacks on Georgian computer networks, effectively shut down much of that countries ability to access the Internet, financial networks, and some governmental systems. This appears to be the first time cyberwarfare on this scale has been executed, and demonstrates how the full scope of the battlefield has evolved.


ISRAEL: After being banned from playing in Israel for 40 years, Sir Paul McCartney will perform in Tel Aviv on September 25. McCartney and The Beatles had been denied entry permits into Israel since 1965 over concerns Israeli youth would be corrupted by their lyrics.

NIGERIA: The Nigerian government has officially relinquished its claims to the disputed territory of the Bakassi Peninsula, a 1,200 square mile stretch of marshland to the country of Cameroon, in accordance with a 2002 International Court of Justice decision. Nigeria and Cameroon have almost gone to war over the territory, which is rich in fishing resources, and may potentially have significant oil reserves as well.

PAKISTAN: Giving in to mounting pressure from members of Parliament, President Musharraf has agreed to step down from the Presidency rather than face impeachment. Some blame Musharraf for the increased violence in Pakistan resulting from Pakistan's alliance with the Untied States against the Taliban and al-Qaida, and have called for him to be tried for treason, which could potentially result in a death penalty. The head of the Pakistan People's Party, Asif Ali Zardari, widower of the late ex-Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who was assassinated last year, said if Musharraf resigned, that would be good enough for him.


POLAND: The United States and Poland have agreed to move forward with plans to build an anti-missile defense station in the former Warsaw Pact nation, angering Russia.

RUSSIA: The Russian invasion of Georgia has threatened to re-ignite the Cold War level of tensions between Russia and the United States.

THAILAND: Protestors are calling for Prime Minister Samak Sundaravej to resign for alleged connections to corruption charges, and for supposedly acting as a proxy for the former Prime Minister, Thaksin Shinawatra, who was removed from power in a 2006 coup. To add pressure behind their demands, the protestors have effectively closed down airports and railways.

ZAMBIA: The President of Zambia, Levy Mwanawasa, died at the age of 59, just two months after having suffered a stroke.
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Author:Feliciano, Ray
Publication:The Informed Constituent (Albany, NY)
Date:Sep 1, 2008
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