Thursday, April 8, 2010

FP morning post 4/8

Opposition seizes power in Kyrgyzstan

Top news: After a day of bloody protests that left at least 68 people dead, opposition leaders have seized power in Kyrgyzstan. New interim leader Roza Otunbayeva, a former foreign minister, says parliament has been dissolved and an interim government will rule the country for six months. The location of President Kurmanbek Bakiyev.

"You can call this revolution. You can call this a people's revolt. Either way, it is our way of saying that we want justice and democracy," Otunbayeva told reporters. Russian President Vladimir Putin said he had spoken with her by phone and saw her as the "new head of government."

This week's unrest began with protests in a regional town over the increase in utility prices but quickly led to the capital city of Bishkek where looting was widespread and government buildings were burned.

Otunbayeva said that Bakiyev is believed to have fled to Southern Kyrgyzstan, his traditional base of support. He has not responded to an offer to negotiate his resignation.

The unrest in Kyrgyzstan has temporarily suspended flights through Manas, a strategically important airbase used by the United States and allies to supply troops in Afghanistan. Asked about the base, Otunbayeva said the flights will be allowed to continue for now, but cautioned, “We still have some questions on it. Give us time and we will listen to all the sides and solve everything.”

New START: U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a major new arms reduction treaty in Prague today. Obama called it "first step on a longer journey" toward nuclear disarmament.

Middle East
  • Former Iraqi Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jafaari won the support of Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr in a special vote held by his followers.
  • A Qatari diplomat was taken into custody in the United States after he raised terrorism fears by lighting a cigarette on an airplane.
  • The Israeli and Turkish prime ministers traded barbs over Israeli engagement in Gaza.
  • The militant group al Shabaab has taken over a U.N. compound in Southern Somalia.
  • Sudan's main opposition party has joined a boycott of next week's elections.
  • The European Union has withdrawn its election observers from Sudan's Darfur region over safety fears.
  • Vladimir Putin attended a ceremony marking the anniversary of a massacre of Polish troops by the Soviet Union, but then issued a controversial explanation for the killing.
  • Norway's Catholic Church says the resignation of a Bishop last may was prompted by sexual abuse revelations.
  • British Airways and Iberia signed a merger deal, creating one of the world's largest airlines.
-By Joshua Keating


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