Monday, March 8, 2010

FP Morning Brief 3/8

Counting underway in Iraqi election

Top story: Counting is underway in Iraq's second parliamentary election since the ouster of Saddam Hussein. Turnout was reported to be high around the country yesterday despite scattered violence. The results will be released in several days and Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's party is expected to lead the count, with reports of him leading in 9 of 18 provinces. But with an outright majority unlikely, the stage is set for weeks of negotiations before a government is formed.
At least 35 people were killed in bomb attacks in Baghdad. Attacks were also reported in Mosul, Falluja, Baquba, and Samarra.
Praising the election, U.S. President Barack Obama said the vote "makes it clear that the future of Iraq belongs to the people of Iraq. Gen. Ray Odierno, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, said the election was a milestone on the way to a full pullout of U.S. troops.
In contrast to the 2005 elections which they largely boycotted, Sunnis turned out in large numbers for this year's vote, hoping to reverse the growing influence of Shiite religious parties.
Oscars: The Iraq war drama "The Hurt Locker" took home the Academy Award for best picture.
Authorities in the Japanese city of Taiji are protesting the best documentary Oscar for "The Cove," a film about the town's annual dolphin hunt.

Middle East
  • An al Qaeda operative arrested in Pakistan recently may be the American militant, Adam Gadahn.
  • A suicide bombing hit a police building in Lahore, Pakistan.
  • Burma's military passed a long-awaited election law, paving the way for a presidential poll this year.
  • Hundreds were reported killed in interreligious violence in Central Nigeria on Sunday.
  • Guinea's military leaders have set June 27 as the date for a presidential election.
  • Faure Gnassingbe has been reelected president of Togo.
  • Europe
  • In a referendum, an overwhelming majority of Icelanders voted against reimbursing British and Dutch investors in the failed Icesave bank.
  • The Archbishop of the Netherlands has called for an investigation after 200 alleged victims reported sexual abuse by priests last week.
  • British workers went on a 48-hour strike over severance pay cuts.
-By Joshua Keating


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