Negroponte talks with Bhutto
President Gen. Pervez Musharraf faces a stern warning from a top American diplomat today: end emergency rule or wreck landmark elections and risk undermining vital U.S. support.
Musharraf made concessions ahead of Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte’s arrival Friday, allowing independent TV news back on the air and freeing opposition leaders and a respected U.N. rights expert.
But he also pushed ahead with plans for parliamentary elections in January, swearing in a caretaker government and defending his record since seizing power in a 1999 coup.
Negroponte touched down hours later and spoke by phone with opposition leader Benazir Bhutto, the highest-level U.S. contact with the former prime minister since Musharraf imposed a state of emergency Nov. 3.
Chavez demands apology from king
President Hugo Chavez demanded Friday that the king of Spain apologize for publicly telling him to “shut up” in a spat that has soured relations between the two nations and could endanger Spanish investment in Venezuela.
“The king of Spain, he has to offer some type of apology because he attacked me,” Chavez said in an interview on state television Friday.
King Juan Carlos exclaimed “Why don’t you shut up?” at a summit in Chile last weekend, as Chavez tried to interrupt Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero.