Tuesday, May 11, 2010

FP morning brief 5/11

Aquino prevails in the Philippines after election marred by violence

Top news: Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino, son of former president Corazon Aquinao, appears to have commandingly won the Philippines' presidential election. With more than 80 percent of the vote counted, Aquino holds around 40 percent of the total. His nearest rival, former President Joseph Estrada, has around 25 percent. The third front-runner, real estate tycoon Manny Villar, has already conceded.

Aquino has promised to use his office to fight corruption. The 50-year-old senator's family name surely helped put him over the top. His father was assassinated after returning from exile in 1983 to oppose the government of longtime dictator Ferdinand Marcos and his mother went on to lead the "people power" revolution that forced Marcos from power three years later.

There were widespread concerns about voting irregularities and violence on election day.

Nearly 90 people were killed in political violence leading up to the vote, including a massacre of 57 on the violence-wracked island of Mindinao in November. Twelve people were killed in attacks on election day, including an assault by communist insurgents that took six lives.

Technical glitches were also reported at many polling stations leading to long lines.

Two high-profile candidates for senate, former first lady Imelda Marcos and boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao, appear to have won their seats as well.

British election: British Prime Minister Gordon Brown says he will step down in a few months and that his Labour Party will begin power-sharing talks in the third-place Liberal Democrats.

Middle East
  • Thailand's red-shirt protesters are refusing to end their demonstration until the country's deputy premier turns himself in to police.
  • A barrage of 18 U.S. missiles killed at least 14 alleged insurgents in North Waziristan.
  • The foreign ministers of India and Pakistan will meet in July to restart formal peace talks.
  • Thousands of protesters took to the streets of Port-au-Prince to demand President Rene Preval's resignation in the largest political protests since the Jan. 12 earthquake.
  • Three Guatemalan immigrants are wanted by U.S. immigration authorities in connection with a 1982 massacre in their homeland.
  • The U.S. Congress began hearings into the cause of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
  • Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai of Zimbabwe met with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Washington to press the U.S. to lift sanctions against his government.
  • The Central African Republic's parliament voted to extend the mandate of President Francois Bozize.
  • Somali pirates freed a cargo vessel after a ransom was paid.
-By Joshua Keating

ED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images

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