Wednesday, March 3, 2010

FP morning post 3/3

Suicide bombings kill 30 in Iraq

Top story: A triple suicide bombing hit the Iraqi city of Baquba today, killing at least 30 people and raising tensions ahead of this weekend's elections. Two bombings hit government buildings this morning, then a third bomber rode in a ambulance to the city hospital where he blew himself up as wounded began to arrive, causing most of the casualties. No group has claimed responsibility but it is reminiscent of attacks by al Qaeda in Iraq.

More attacks are feared as insurgents attempt to disrupt this Sunday's elections. Thousands of troops will be deployed, a vehicle ban will be imposed and the airport will be shut down. Iraqi authorities yesterday seized 10 weapons and explosives caches that they say may have been intended to for attacks on election day.

Iraq's Sunni leaders worry that the election will bring hardline Shiite parties to power, solidifying the country's sectarian divisions, and are working desperately to get out the vote. Sectarian tensions are also high in northern Iraq where the President of Kurdistan has threatened to arrest the governor of the bordering province of Nineveh.

Time: Chile's 8.8-magnitude earthquake may have shifted the rotation of the earth, making days about a millionth of a second shorter.

  • Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko's government has been ousted in a no confidence vote.
  • The Greek government approved a new austerity plan including higher taxes and pay cuts for government workers.
  • Anti-immigrant parties are expected to gain in local elections in the Netherlands today.
Middle East
  • Arab nations have given the Palestinian authority approval to enter indirect talks with the Israeli government.
  • The European Union is calling for a further round of sanctions against Iran.
  • An Iranian appeals court upheld a death sentence for a 20-year-old student activist arrested in December.
  • 24 rebels were arrested in East Timor for the attempted assassination of the fledgling country's president.
  • The leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Jhangvi was reportedly killed by a U.S. drone strike.
  • At least two people have been killed in a new flare-up of insurgent violence in southeastern Bangladesh.
  • The search continues for survivors of Monday night's deadly mudslides in Uganda, which killed more than 80 people.
  • Zimbabwe's parliament will review a controversial new local ownership law.
  • South African President Jacob Zuma arrived in Britain for a state visit.
-By Joshua Keating
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AFP/Getty Images

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