Author: Ben Dalgetty
Russian opposition leader Gary Kasparov was arrested at a rally in Moscow last week. Police charged Kasparov, a former chess grand champion and presidential candidate for the Other Russia coalition, with resisting arrest and organizing an illegal protest. About 3,000 protestors attended the rally, voicing a growing anti-Vladimir Putin sentiment. Putin, who has been in power since 2000, has faced growing opposition over his party’s dominance in the upcoming ballot. The Other Russia coalition, as well as other organizations, argues that voters do not have enough choice in the upcoming election. The Russian election commission ruled that Other Russia candidates would not be allowed in the December 2 election.
Lebanon no longer has a president after President Emile Lahoud’s term ended on Friday. The President is normally elected by the Lebanese Parliament; however, parliament has been unable to reach the 2/3 majority required for election. Before leaving office, President Lahoud ordered the military to take over control of the country, but Prime Minister Fouad Siniora has contested this move and instead claimed power for himself and his cabinet. Complicating the situation is increasing pressure by the US, Syria, Russia and Iran, all of whom have a stake in the future of Lebanon.
Last week, three black rhinos were murdered in Zimbabwe. The rhinos were part of one of the last remaining breeding programs for the species, of which there are only 3,000 left in the wild. The World Conservation Union lists the black rhino as critically endangered, and according to reports, one of the four sub-species is already extinct. According to a spokesperson for the Zimbabwe government, poachers are responsible for these shootings as well as previous ones earlier this year.
Australia is electing a new Prime Minister on the promise of sweeping changes. The election of Labor Party candidate Kevin Rudd marks the end of the Liberal-National Party’s dominance since outgoing PM John Howard’s election in 1996. The official tally of votes is still underway, but preliminary results indicate that the Labor Party will have a substantial majority in parliament. Although Rudd has yet to be sworn into office, he has already indicated a desire to make a number of changes to Australian policy. Current plans include withdrawing Australia’s 500 combat troops from Iraq and signing the Kyoto Protocol. However, Rudd has expressed his support for continuing action in Afghanistan in cooperation with US forces. Rudd is also expected to appoint Julia Gillard as deputy prime minister, the first time a woman will hold the position.
News courtesy of BBC.
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