Kiev, Ukraine – Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko’s pro-Western Orange coalition dissolved Tuesday as her former allies turned against her, setting her up to be ousted in a no-confidence vote.
The development spells the final repudiation of the Orange Revolution Tymoshenko helped lead in 2004, and paves the way for Ukraine’s new Kremlin-friendly president to consolidate his power.
President Viktor Yanukovych defeated Tymoshenko in last month’s election, but she has been a thorn in his side, refusing to resign and challenging the vote results.
In a sign that she will be removed, speaker Volodymyr Lytvyn told parliament Tuesday the Orange coalition had been unable to prove it still had majority support in the 450-seat chamber.
Ukraine’s political parties must now form a new majority coalition, and are most likely to group around Yanukovych’s Party of Regions.
Americans in jail await Haiti ruling
Port-au-Prince, Haiti – Two Americans still jailed on kidnapping charges in Haiti will have to wait for their freedom, Judge Bernard Saint-Vil said Tuesday.
The judge had said earlier that testimony from three witnesses about the missionaries’ efforts to set up an orphanage in the neighboring Dominican Republic would allow him to free Laura Silsby, 40, and Charisa Coulter, 24.
The Dominican witnesses gave the expected testimony Tuesday at a meeting in his office, the judge told the Associated Press – but then he said he still needed to deliver all his evidence to the prosecutor general’s office and await its reply.
Once the prosecutor responds, the judge can drop the charges or continue his investigation while releasing the two Baptist missionaries. In either case they would be free to leave Haiti.
Police fine driver with dog on leash
London – An English dog-owner has been fined after taking his pet for a stroll while driving next to him in his car.
Prosecutors said Paul Railton was spotted driving at low speed along a country lane in December, holding his dog’s leash through the car window as the animal trotted alongside.
Railton pleaded guilty Monday to not being in proper control of a vehicle. His lawyer, Paul Donoghue, said 23-year-old Railton acknowledged “it was a silly thing to do and there was an element of laziness” while exercising his lurcher, a type of crossbred sighthound.
Railton was ordered by magistrates in Consett, northeast England, to pay a $100 fine, plus costs.
He also received three more penalty points on his license and is now barred from driving for six months.