Hostages Killed in Philippines Ahead of Next Year’s Election

21 journalists and civilians are dead after being abducted on the island of Mindanao in the Philippines where the politicians were filing papers to register for next year’s election. The group was going to file papers for Ismael Mangudadatu for his candidacy for governor of Maguindanao province. Mangudadatu was not among the group which included lawyers, journalists, aides, and his wife. The murders were conducted on behalf of local clan leader Datu Andal Ampatuan whom Mangudadatu will be challenging for office, BBC News.  More on the clan linked to the killings, BBC News. Statement from Reporters without Borders.

A vote in the Iraqi parliament has paved the way for elections in 2010. The law still must go to the presidential council where it may be vetoed by Sunni Arab Vice-President Tareq al-Hashemi. Elections were originally scheduled for January 2010 but have been held up due to a previous veto by al-Hashemi, Reuters.

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