In today’s elections in Greece, the center-right party of current Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis was defeated by the Socialist party. George Papandreou will be the new Prime Minister, CNN.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-il today. The two men attended a North Korean production of the Chinese opera “A Dream of Red Mansions,” Xinhua. If talks during Wen’s three-day visit go well, the United States may send special representative for North Korea policy Stephen Bosworth to the country in an effort to restart six party talks, Yonhap.
Maoist rebels (known as Naxals) have killed 16 people in the eastern Indian state of Bihar. Naxal attacks are common in eastern India. Land disputes were likely the cause for this attack, according to a local journalist, Al Jazeera.
An inspection date has been set for the IAEA to inspect Iran’s recently revealed uranium enrichment facility. The inspection is planned for October 25, USA Today. The New York Times examines the possible effect enhanced sanctions could have on Iran and notes that a roboust black market is already in operation there, New York Times.
Earlier this week, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added the tango to a list of “Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity,” The Big Picture.
A dangerous strain of E. coli is still a problem in America’s meat industry, New York Times.
On April 16, 2009, Citizen’s Daily Brief reported that voting in Indian elections had begun. Since India is such a large country, the elections are being conducted over a five week period. India has just moved into the three phase of the election, with residents of Mumbai, the site of last year’s terrorist attacks, among those voting this week, Telegraph. The voting has been mostly peaceful although Maoist communist rebels did carry out a series of attacks in May. Over 3 million security personnel are on hand to monitor the voting and prevent violence. Voting ends May 13 and results are expected on May 16.
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.