World Roundup: Friday, March 30 | Print |
Written by Catherine Divaris   
Friday, 30 March 2012 12:05

Here are some of’s international headlines for Friday March 30.

By-election in Burma is not free or fair, says Aung San Suu Kyi

Aung San Suu Kyi the leader of Burma's National League for Democracy is running in the by-election on April 1.

COURTESY Wikimedia Commons

Pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi said widespread irregularities leading up to Burma’s by-election on Sunday means it will be neither free nor fair, according to the BBC News

Despite speaking out against the election campaign, she said she will press on with her candidacy for the sake of the country and the BBC said that the National League for Democracy party leader is expected to win her seat in Kawhmu.

The Guardian reports that Suu Kyi’s party said hundreds of deceased persons are listed on the electoral roll, and over 1,300 names of eligible voters are missing.

She also cited claims intimidation and vandalism. 

This is the first election since the civilian government backed by the military assumed power a year ago.

When Suu Kyi’s party won the 1990 election by a landslide, she was under house arrest and the party was not allowed to take power.

This by-election will mark the first time Suu Kyi will participate in an election.


North Korea’s missile plan nullifies ‘leap day’ agreement with U.S.

North Korea has said it is launching a weather satellite into space in April using what the United States and South Korea say is ballistic missile technology banned by the United Nations sanctions, Reuters reports.

Last month, an agreement dubbed the “leap day” deal saw North Korea agree to suspend nuclear and missile testing in return for food aid from the United States and Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia and Pacific Security Affairs Peter Lavoy said the launch would negate February’s agreement. 

“This planned launch is highly provocative because it manifests North Korea's desire to test and expand its long-range missile capability," he said. "We believe this reflects their lack of desire to follow through on their commitments, their International commitments.”

Reuters reports a U.S. official has confirmed that the U.S. has indications that North Korea is preparing to launch a long-range rocket that is planned for the 100th birthday of state founder Kim Il-sung.


19 Suspected Islamic extremists detained in France

Nineteen suspected Islamist extremists have been detained in cities around France according to the   

Nicolas Sarkozy did not give details about the arrests.

“It’s in connection with a form of Islamist radicalism,” he said.

While French leaders have urged the public that Islam is not synonymous with Terrorism, concerns are high and the government banned international Muslim clerics were stopped from entering France to attend a fundamentalist Islamic group’s conference on Thursday.

Sarkozy said the safety of the French people is paramount.

“There will be other operations that will continue that will allow us to expel from our national territory a certain number of people who have no reason to be here.”

The raids come after shootings in Toulouse and Montauban earlier this month where three Jewish schoolchildren, three paratroopers, and a rabbi were killed by Mohamed Merah, a 23-year-old man who embraced radical Islamist views and claimed links to Al-Qaeda.


Kofi Annan urges six-point peace plan to end violence in Syria

Former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan is asking the Syrian government to end the violence in the year-long crisis in Syria according to the

Kofi said more than 9,000 people have died and is seeking support for his six-point peace plan to put an end to the nation’s violence. 

Annan's spokesman Ahmad Fawzi said the Syrian government needs to put down their weapons first and urges President Bashar Assad to make the first move.

“We expect him to implement this plan immediately,” he said.

“Clearly, we have not seen a cessation of hostilities and this is of great concern.”

The six-point plan calls for Syrian authorities to address the concerns of the Syrian people through political process, according to Aljazeera.

The plans calls for: an immediate cease fire by withdrawing troops and heavy weapons in population centres; ensuring humanitarian assistance to areas affected by the fighting; the release of detainees who have been detained during the crisis; freedom of movement throughout the country for journalists; and respect for freedom of association and the right to demonstrate peacefully.


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