July 21, 2006 in Nation/World

World in brief: Lopez Obrador still defiant

The Spokesman-Review
 

Mexico’s leftist presidential candidate said Thursday that he would never recognize the results of the election he said he lost by fraud.

Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador implied that the country could plunge into instability if courts don’t order a vote-by-vote recount. His supporters demonstrated outside an airline in the latest in a series of blockades and protests.

Lopez Obrador lost the July 2 election to conservative ruling-party candidate Felipe Calderon by less than 0.6 percent, according to official vote tallies. He has called for a manual recount of all ballots and a campaign of civil disobedience.

“The election for me is illegitimate,” Lopez Obrador said in a radio interview. “I am not going to recognize the results of a fraudulent election.”

Mexican courts are weighing Lopez Obrador’s appeals, and will declare a president-elect before Sept. 6.

Calderon issued a call “for all of us to do our part for peace, starting with avoiding provocations and violence.”

PHNOM PENH, Cambodia

Khmer Rouge’s ‘Butcher’ dies

Ta Mok, known as “The Butcher” for his brutality as military chief of the communist Khmer Rouge, died today, his lawyer said. He was believed to be 80.

Ta Mok had been in and out of consciousness since last week at the military hospital in the capital, Phnom Penh, where he was being treated for high blood pressure, tuberculosis and respiratory complications, attorney Benson Samay said. Ta Mok had been in government custody since 1999.

Ta Mok, who briefly led the Khmer Rouge during its final days, was one of two former senior officials of the movement in detention awaiting trial on charges of crimes against humanity committed during a 1975-79 reign of terror, when an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians died of starvation, overwork, diseases and execution.

A veteran revolutionary who operated much of the time as a regional warlord, his ruthlessness earned him the nickname “The Butcher” in the Western press.

BOMBAY, India

Three arrests made in train bombings

Police arrested three men in the July 11 train bombings in Bombay, the first formal arrests in the attacks that killed 207, Indian television reported today.

The mainstream news channel NDTV cited police sources as saying two men were arrested in the northern state of Bihar late Thursday and a third was arrested in Bombay early today.

Hundreds of people have been detained for questioning but the three were the first to be formally arrested.

The men were to appear in a Bombay court later Friday, NDTV said.

Police and officials have repeatedly blamed the blasts on Islamic militants fighting Indian rule in Kashmir, namely the Pakistan-based group Lashkar-e-Tayyaba.

Kashmir is a predominantly Muslim Himalayan territory divided between India and Pakistan, and is claimed in entirety by both nuclear-armed countries.

TOKYO

Missile defenses being deployed

Amid heightened concerns over North Korean missiles in the region, the United States and Japan will begin deploying advanced, American-made surface-to-air missile defense systems on Japanese soil next month, officials from both countries announced Thursday.

The Pentagon will start relocation in August of the Patriot Advanced Capability-3 system – the ballistic missile interceptors known as PAC-3 – along with 600 specially-trained troops from Fort Bliss, Texas, to a U.S. base in southern Japan.

Japanese officials also said they would deploy the same PAC-3 system on their own bases for the first time by next March.

The move marks the latest step by Japan and the United States in their plan to co-develop a broad land, sea and air-based defense network to contain the military might of North Korea.

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