Wednesday, May 12, 2010

FP morning brief 5/12

Morning Brief: David Cameron takes office as Britain's prime minister

Conservative leader David Cameron began his first day as Britain's prime minister after striking a deal with the Liberal Democrats to form a coalition government. The change in power brought an end to thirteen years of Labour Party rule. This will be Britain's first coalition government since Winston Churchill formed a unity government during World War II. U.S. President Obama called Prime Minister Cameron after the transfer of power to tell him that the United States "had no closer friend and ally" than Britain.

Cameron's first task upon entering 10 Downing Street will be appointing ministers to fill as many as 20 Cabinet positions. Sources within the Conservative Party are indicating that MP George Osborne will be chancellor of the exchequer, and that William Hague will be appointed as foreign secretary. The Liberal Democrats will receive four Cabinet positions in the coalition government, according to British government sources.

Libya plane crash: A plane crashed while attempting to land at the airport in Libya's capital of Tripoli. Afriqiyah Airlines Flight 771 was traveling from Johannesburg with 104 people on board. A Libyan government official stated that at least 96 people had died in the crash.

Middle East
Iraqi leaders reached a deal to end the exclusion of candidates in the March parliamentary elections by the de-Baathification commission.
Egypt's emergency law, which provides the government with extensive powers to crack down on dissent, was renewed for another two years.
Sweden expelled a Syrian diplomat after he allegedly planned to abduct his daughter.
Papering over recent tensions, Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton renewed their partnership during Karzai's visit to Washington D.C.
The Thai government threatened to cut off supplies to anti-government protestors, who are camped out in major thoroughfares across Bangkok, if they do not end their protests.
A man wielding a meat cleaver hacked seven children and a teacher to death at a school in China.
The Spanish government announced that it was cutting government salaries and pensions in a bid to reduce the country's budget deficit.
The French Parliament passed a non-binding resolution condemning the full Islamic face veil.
The trial of a a French bank employee who made off with $14.7 million, and has been hailed as a "heroic outlaw" in France for taking on the banking establishment, has begun.
Documents seized from one of Mexico's most powerful drug cartels prove that the organization has kept top police officers and soldiers on its payroll.
In Port-au-Prince, police fired tear gas to break up a protest calling for President Rene Preval's resignation.
As the value of its currency plummets, the Venezuela's legislature introduced a bill to tighten the rules related to currency trading.
South African politician and ANC youth leader Julius Malema was ordered to issue a public apology after publicly criticizing President Jacob Zuma.
The Carter Center criticized the conduct of Sudan's election last month as "chaotic, non-transparent and vulnerable to electoral manipulation."
Somali pirates have captured a Greek ship and the 23 people on board.
-David Kenner


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