Oct. 18th, 2007

davehogg: (Default)
Top 3 stories on the 7pm EDT world news roundup on the BBC World Service:

1) The assassination attempt on Benazir Bhutto that killed over 100 people and injured over 300 more in Karachi.

2) The announcement by the government in Burma that a committee would be formed to draw up a new democratic constitution.

3) The EU's attempts to finish the treaty that will replace the constitution that didn't get ratified.

My comments:

1) My first thought, obviously, was "Benigno Aquino". Opposition leader returns from exile and there is an immediate assassination attempt. Country's ruler is shocked and appalled.

The difference is that Aquino was killed by a professional hit - no one else was hurt - while Bhutto survived an apparent suicide bombing.

It's going to be interesting to see how the aftermaths compare.

2) This committee will replace the National Convention, which was formed on January 9, 1993 to create a new democratic constitution. In 14 years, they didn't even manage a first draft, so I wouldn't hold my breath on this one.

Even if they do come up with a constitution, it won't mean anything. Burma had democratic elections in 1990. Aung San Suu Kyi won an overwhelming victory, but the military junta refused to give up power and threw Suu Kyi in prison.

The United Nations calls the country Myanmar, a name put in place by the current military rulers, but the United States and United Kingdom still officially call the country Burma. So does Suu Kyi, which is good enough for me.

3) One of the final sticking points on the EU "constitution" was "a disagreement over how to spell the word 'Euro' in Bulgarian."

Luckily, shortly after that newscast, Bulgaria won the right to spell it "Evro" (in Cyrillic) and the treaty was signed. Thank god.

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