Good morning/evening, here is my World Roundup
for November 9, 2003
Note: Nothing which you can see on your evening news will be covered here.
fr = French language
it = Italian language
ro = Romanian language
es = Spanish language
de = German language
pt = Portuguese language
is = Icelandic language
su = Suomi language (Finnish)
Everything else in English language
Democracy comes to Georgia
Well, things are heating up in the Republic of Georgia. Do we support these brave people now or will they be cut down by violence? Thousands are in the capital of Tblisi demanding the resignation of President Shevardnadze. Elections were held last week but have still not been counted.
A rally of thousands of people is continuing outside the building of the parliament. According to Russian media, President Shevardnadze was supposed to meet with the three opposition leaders but when he arrived on the steps of the capitol building this morning, but he and protesters failed to start a dialogue since supporters of opposition parties (around 200 people) who stood near the parliament building, started shouting demands on Shevardnadze's resignation. Schevardnadze jeeredhis political opponents despite the fact that Minutes later, as the president was about to climb into his jeep to leave, Mikhail Saakashvili, the opposition party leader who has spearheaded the protests, appeared and stood in front of the vehicle. He was manhandled out of the way by the presidential bodyguard.
"Shevardnadze wanted to deceive you and take advantage of the fact that you were tired," Saakashvili told the crowd afterwards. "But he got his answer.... He saw me and he ran away.. In response, Schevardnadze said in an undemocratic fashion that "I do not intend to resign as president on a demand of some politicians and several dozens of young people, waving flags and shouting 'Shevardnadze get out!'". Maybe he forgot about the last time he was almost assasinated in 1998 and before that in 1995. Further analysis of the situation (es).
If you're wondering who the people of Georgia are, I can't help but recommend the wonderful movie called A Chef in Love (in English).
Guatemala will be holding elections next week. Le Monde has a special envoy there with the coverage (fr).
Heartbreaking tragedy in The Sudan as 30 killed and 46 injured in a stampede for "charity"(es). The fifth pillar of Islam is called "zakat" (giving alms) and these poor people were coming to receive alms from the business community. A stampede ensued.
In Spain last week, millions tuned in to see Prince Felipe, the heir to the Spanish throne, formally ask Letizia Ortiz for her hand in marriage. Two points about this. One, the King of Spain is an extremely popular and influential man in Spain and is credited for saving democracy when Generalissimo Francisco Franco died. Secondly, Ms. Ortiz is a journalist and this, in my humble opinion, will be good for the future heir of this country. Unfortunately, the Spanish press has been getting a little rough of late, reminding me of the British press and its obsession with royals(es). Let's hope this dies down.
The president of Brazil is on a tour of southern Africa. He had a few strong words for the people of Namibia(pt). The country is on edge, fearing violence over land reform in a similar manner as Zimbabwe has been suffering. Namibia's president is currently in Sweden.
A new UN report on child soldiers has just been released. Click here for the full text (pick your language).
Finally, the the 18th Conference of the Organization for the Proscription of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and the Caribbean (OPANAL) just concluded, with a strongly worded speech entitled Combating terrorism should not serve as an excuse for war.