Russia has announced a change of status in the federal republic of Chechnya. Russian military is still expected to occupy much of Chechnya, especially capital city Grozny, but the change will allow Chechnya more freedom to operate economically and to open an international airport. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Chechnya gained de facto independence in the First Chechen War. In Second Chechan War, Russia retook Grozny in 1999 and Russian rule was reestablished. Rebels, who are confined mainly to the mountains, have not been able to carry out guerrilla attacks since 2006, BBC News.
Security is tight in India as elections begin. Maoist rebels make up a significant portion of the central eastern region of India where voting started today. The rebels, who want India to become a communist state, have said they intend to disrupt the elections, BBC News. Breaking News: At least 16 people, including 9 security personnel are dead following an attack by Maoist rebels in eastern India, AFP. SBS/Dateline Report on Maoist insurgency on YouTube.
Sandbagging continues as the Red River rises in southern Manitoba. The flood is predicted to be the second worst in the past 100 years, following the “flood of the century” in 1997, CBC News.
A joint statement released by Britain and France alleges that Tamil Tiger rebels in Sri Lanka are using civilians as human shields and actively prevented civilians from leaving war zones during a two-day ceasefire last week, Deutsche Welle. Tamils continue their occupation of the streets near Parliament Hill in Ottawa with several people also conducting a hunger strike, Ottawa Citizen.