World News, Can We Blame Springtime?
- North Korea shut down its nuclear reactor at Yongbon, and the Americans are insisting this is a very threatening development. It is claimed that this could mean they were planning to do more reprocessing. The US State Department's spokesperson, R Boucher, repeated the US mantra "go back to talks." Serious head-in-sand'ism.
- S Berlusconi, Italy's Prime Minister, didn't step down, defying expectations. Only remaining group favorable towards SB is the secessionist "Northern League.
- Israel is looking to delay removing settlers from the Gaza Strip. Reason? Anniversary of the destruction of the temple three-week-holiday took them by surprise, only had 1975 years to prepare for it.
- L Gutierrez, President of Ecuador, didn't like the Supreme Court, so he sacked 27 of 31. Says there is no chance he'll resign. Declared martial law ("state of emergency") to deal with protestors, Army didn't do much, so the martial law was ended and the protests, admittedly modest, continue. He's a Chavez supporter who won office in November.
- Iran has cut off al-Jazeera from local coverage. Supposedly they were inciting riots among an Arab minority in the southwest of the country. London based rabble-rousers pretend to be innocent and claimed that they were behind it "to mark 80 years of Iranian occupation." Does anyone really think the UK-based group wants a return of the Ottoman Empire for the area?
- Batasuna, banned from politics in Spain, told its supporters to vote for an obscure Communist Party in the Basque regional elections, and they did. Reuters seems to suggest that the result of the election proves the autonomy plan of local leader Ibarretxe has failed, but since, between his party and the Communists, they have a clear majority, I'm not so sure.