ລິ້ງ ສຳຫລັບເຂົ້າຫາ

Venezuelan Voters Reject Chavez's Constitutional Changes


Venezuela Referendum: Venezuelans have voted down proposed reforms that would have granted new powers to President Hugo Chavez, including the ability to run for re-election indefinitely.
The country's electoral authority today (Monday) said 51 percent of voters said "no" to the proposed constitutional changes, while 49 percent supported them.
The vote represented the first major electoral defeat for Mr. Chavez in his nine years in office.
After the results were announced, the president congratulated the opposition and told his supporters not to be discouraged by the vote, noting the slim margin.

Russia Elections: A political party headed by Russian President Vladimir Putin won a landslide victory in parliamentary elections, giving the president a mandate to continue influencing Russian politics after he is due to step down next year.
With nearly all the votes counted today (Monday), the head of the elections commission (Vladimir Churov) says the United Russia party won 64 percent of the vote. The Communist Party was a distant second at 12 percent.
Two pro-Kremlin parties (the Liberal Democratic party and Fair Russia) also won enough votes to qualify for seats in the Duma (- the lower house of Russia's parliament).
International monitors from the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe say the vote was not fair, and failed to meet many international standards for democratic elections. The OSCE says the influence of the president's party tainted the election.
At least two opposition parties plan to challenge the results.
Some Russian voters said they were threatened with the loss of their jobs if they did not support United Russia. Others said their ballots were already filled out when they arrived at polling places.

Sudan – Britain: Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir has pardoned a British teacher jailed in Sudan for allowing her students to named a teddy bear Muhammad - the name of Islam's founding prophet.
Mr. Bashir agreed to pardon Gillian Gibbons today (Monday) during a meeting with two British Muslim lawmakers in Khartoum.
(Sayeeda Warsi and Nazir Ahmed,) The two members of Britain's House of Lords (upper house of parliament) had been meeting Sudanese officials in recent days to try to secure an early release for the teacher.
Reports from Khartoum say 54-year old Gibbons is expected to be freed today. A Sudanese court sentenced her last Thursday to 15 days in prison for insulting Islam, to be followed by deportation.

Climate Conference: About 190 countries have opened a U.N.-sponsored conference on climate change on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, as the international community tries to reach a new global pact on fighting global warming.
At the opening of the 12-day meeting, the outgoing president of the U.N. body on climate change (David Mwiraria) urged world powers to step up the pace of negotiations and reach an agreement on how to fight global warming.
The conference in Bali aims to find a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.
The 1997 Kyoto agreement required (36) industrialized nations to reduce their emissions of the greenhouse gases that are generally blamed for most global warming, over a five-year period beginning in 2008.

US – NoKor Nuclear: The top U.S. nuclear envoy is in North Korea for a rare three-day visit to monitor the disablement of its nuclear weapons programs and preview a promised declaration of all of Pyongyang's nuclear activities.
Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill arrived today (Monday). He will check on the process of the North's disablement of its nuclear bomb-making facilities at Yongbyon. The disabling work began early last month. North Korea has pledged to complete the process by the end of this year.
Hill will also meet with North Korean envoy Kim Kye Kwan and other senior officials to discuss the country's promise to declare all of its nuclear weapons capabilities.

Venezuela Referendum: Venezuelans have voted down proposed reforms that would have granted new, extensive powers to President Hugo Chavez, including the ability to run for re-election indefinitely.
The country's electoral authority today (Monday) said 51 percent of voters said "no" to the proposed constitutional changes.
The vote represented the first major electoral defeat for Mr. Chavez in his nine years in office.

Pakistan: Pakistan's election commission has rejected the nomination papers of opposition leader Nawaz Sharif for next month's parliamentary elections.
A top election official (Raja Qamaruz Zaman) in the city of Lahore said today (Monday) that Mr. Sharif's nomination papers were rejected because of past criminal convictions.

Climate Conference: Representatives from about 190 countries have opened a U.N.-sponsored conference on climate change.
At the start of the 12-day meeting the outgoing president of the U.N. body on climate change (David Mwiraria) urged world powers to step up the pace of negotiations on a new global pact to fight global warming. The conference on the Indonesian resort island of Bali aims to find an agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012.

Cambodia – Khmer Rouge: Cambodia's United Nations-backed genocide tribunal has rejected a bail request from the Khmer Rouge's former prison chief.
The chief judge on the tribunal said today (Monday) that Kaing Guek Eav -- also known as "Duch" -- should remain in custody because he may try to flee if released. He also said that Duch could pose a threat to witnesses.

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