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.

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