International News for Nov. 22 - Dec. 5

Dec. 6, 2008, midnight | By Kevin Teng | 15 years, 6 months ago

This is not original reporting. All information has been compiled from the Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report and CNN. Silver Chips Online posts this news summary to provide readers with a forum for discussion.


Nov. 29 - Indian commandos regained control of all attack sites in Mumbai after more than three days of terrorism. Ten terrorists, nine of whom are now dead, attacked several densely populated areas in Mumbai with heavy assault weapons. As of Dec. 3, an estimated 188 people were killed, including six Americans. The only captured terrorist has claimed that the group Lashkar-e-Taiba, an extremist Muslim terrorist group based in Pakistan, is responsible for the series of coordinated attacks.

Pakistan has denied any involvement with the incidents as tensions escalate. U.S. military intelligence has determined that the terrorists came to India from Pakistan by boat disguised as students. Representatives from Pakistan stated that they will fully cooperate in investigations.

India has been criticized for not having sufficient security forces, as the only military unit trained to deal with terrorists had traveled for 10 hours before arriving in Mumbai with insufficient gear. India is demanding that Pakistan aid with the elimination of existing terrorist groups and at-large criminals in Pakistan as Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee alleged that the attacks were organized in Pakistan. The international community fears even more unrest in the region, since both countries have nuclear arsenals.


Dec. 3 - Protesters from the People's Alliance for Democracy (PAD) have started to leave the Suvarnabhumi International Airport after occupying it since Nov. 25. As a result of the protests, Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat has stepped down from power. His party and two allied parties were forced to disband by the Constitutional Court and Somchai was banned from politics for five years. Protesters questioned the government's use of the patronage system, alleging that it was corrupt. PAD accused Somchai of being a political doll to his brother-in-law Thaksin Shinawatra, who was ousted in 2006 through a coup. The stalled airport has stranded many international travelers and caused panic. Passenger flights are not expected to return to normal scheduling until Dec. 15 as factions in the country continue to fight for political power.


The Canadian Parliament pushed to oust Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper from his position by voting to hold a vote of confidence. Harper will be forced to resign and his party will lose power if the no-confidence vote passes. To stop Parliament from removing Harper, Governor General Michaelle Jean prorogued Parliament while opposition parties assert that Harper is just avoiding the inevitable.

Opposition forces, composed of Liberals and New Democrats, want Harper to step down because he has not proposed an economic stimulus plan and suspended public funding to political parties. Harper appealed to the public through a televised broadcast on Dec. 3 and warned that he is in danger of being ousted without public approval. He secured re-election less than two months ago.

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