The week the world slowed down
Or was it just me? After a week of over-indulging, and 10 hours of driving yesterday, I needed an update. So here is the exercise, intended to get us back into form for the race to December 25:
- Sudan: registration for the January 9 referendum on South Sudan independence extended to December 8; still no agreement(s) on Abyei.
- Iraq: on November 25 (while we were stuffing down turkey) President Talabani formally asked Nouri al Maliki to form a government–he’s got 30 days.
- Afghanistan: warrants issued to arrest election officials who disqualified candidates President Karzai wanted to see elected in the September 18 poll.
- Palestine/Israel: still hung up on the settlement freeze, so far as I can tell. Someone correct me if I am wrong!
- Koreas: the U.S. and South Korea went ahead with naval exercises, China is calling for six-party talks and North Korea continues to sound belligerent.
- Iran: sounding more defensive than belligerent, but offering the Lebanese Army (and Hizbollah) assistance and still thinking about executing a woman for adultery.
- Lebanon: bracing for the Special Tribunal verdict (still), with PM Hariri reaching out to Tehran to cushion the impact.
- Egypt: voting today, after crackdowns and a severe tilt of the playing field towards President Mubarak’s National Democratic Party.
- Balkans: Kosovo getting ready to vote for parliament December 12.
I won’t say it was the week the earth stood still, but I don’t feel I missed a whole lot. One more thing to be thankful for. Enlighten me if you disagree!
P.S. In case you were wondering about Burma: Aung San Suu Kyi is still moving cautiously.