World in brief: Zelaya defiant on ousted general

FRIDAY, JUNE 26, 2009

Tegucigalpa, Honduras – The Honduran president vowed Thursday to ignore a Supreme Court ruling ordering him to reinstate the military chief he fired, escalating a showdown that has threatened the leftist leader’s hold on power.

President Manuel Zelaya’s attempt to hold a referendum Sunday on changing the constitution has pitted him against the country’s top courts, the attorney general, military leaders and even his own party, all of whom argue the vote is illegal.

The crisis quickly ballooned when Zelaya fired Gen. Romeo Vasquez as head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff late Wednesday for refusing to support the referendum, which is intended to measure popular support for possible constitutional changes.

Zelaya has not said what he wants, but critics accuse him of trying to extend presidential terms before his term ends in January, like his ally Hugo Chavez did in Venezuela.

Palin visiting troops in Kosovo

Anchorage, Alaska – Gov. Sarah Palin is visiting U.S. troops in Kosovo.

Palin’s office had said the governor traveled Wednesday to see Alaska National Guard troops at an undisclosed overseas location. On Thursday, her office said she was visiting about 140 aviators with the Guard in Kosovo.

Her spokeswoman, Sharon Leighow, said that for security purposes, the governor’s office could not release Palin’s destination until it was cleared by the Department of Defense. Leighow said Palin will be on the trip through the weekend.


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