GUINEA POL-ARMY: A military group in Guinea has announced the constitution is suspended and the government dissolved, just hours after the death of the west African country's long-time ruler. A military spokesman announced on a broadcast today (Tuesday) that all state institutions have been dissolved. What the Associated Press describes an an apparent coup came several hours after government officials announced the death of President Lansana Conte. He died Monday after a long illness. The exact date of birth is not known, but he was believed to have been in his 70s. The speaker of parliament, Aboubacar Sompare, announced the death on television early today,and declared 40 days of mourning
IRAQ: The United Nations Security Council has voted to extend U.N. protection for Iraq's assets, a measure that shields Iraq from international lawsuits. Security Council members unanimously adopted a resolution Monday to continue protecting Iraqi assets until December 31st, 2009. The measure was due to expire at the end of this month. Iraq's oil revenues and other financial assets are held in a U.N.-monitored account (known as the Development Fund for Iraq) to ensure they are used for the country's reconstruction. The assets cannot be seized by foreign governments or others seeking damages from Baghdad. Iraqi Foreign Minister Hashyar Zebari welcomed the Security Council vote.
AUSTRALIA-INDIA-TERROR: An Australian judicial inquiry has found that police had no evidence to charge an Indian doctor over suspected ties to a terrorist plot in Britain last year. The results of the inquiry ordered by the Australian government found that Mohamed Haneef should never have been charged, and that police and immigration officials should reform the way they operate.
NEPAL MEDIA: Nepalese newspapers have published blank editorials to protest an attack by Maoist activists on a local publishing house. Nepal's Media Society and Editors' Alliance says in addition to today's (Tuesday's) empty editorial pages, major television and radio stations are carrying messages protesting the attack. The alliance says the blank editorials are the first in a series of protests media companies will conduct if Sunday's attack by groups affiliated to the ruling party are not stopped immediately.
THAILAND-ARMS DEALER: A Thai court has delayed the extradition hearing of an alleged Russian arms dealer wanted in the United States for conspiring to sell weapons to Colombia's FARC rebels. The judge issued a postponement today (Tuesday) in the hearing for Viktor Bout after two defense witnesses failed to appear. The hearing will resume on March sixth. Bout was arrested in March following a sting operation by undercover U.S. agents in Thailand. During a court appearance Monday, the 41-year-old Russian said the case against him was fabricated.