Honduras is facing growing regional and international pressure to restore the overthrown President Manuel Zelaya. Earlier today, the thirty-five-member Organization of American States said it would suspend Honduras unless Zelaya is returned to office within three days. The ultimatum follows Tuesday’s unanimous decision by the UN General Assembly to condemn the coup. Addressing the UN, Zelaya stuck by his vow to return to Honduras on Thursday despite threats of arrest. »
US forces have completed a withdrawal from major Iraqi cities and towns on today’s deadline to hand formal control to the Iraqi military. Iraq has declared a national holiday to mark the pullout, and celebrations have been underway nationwide. Iraq’s Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari, called the pullback a victory for national sovereignty. »
President Obama: “President Zelaya was democratically elected. He had not yet completed his term. We believe that the coup was not legal and that President Zelaya remains the president of Honduras, the democratically elected president there. In that, we have joined all the countries in the region, including Colombia and the Organization of American States. I think it would be a terrible precedent if we start moving backwards into the era in which we are seeing military coups as a means of political transition, rather than democratic elections.” »
In North Korea, more than 100,000 people attended a government rally Thursday denouncing the United States. Government speakers promised “a fire shower of nuclear retaliation” in the event of US or South Korean military action. »
The US and Venezuela have announced plans to restore their expelled ambassadors after a nine-month rift. Both countries withdrew their ambassadors in a dispute over the Bush administration’s destabilization efforts in Bolivia. »
On Capitol Hill, the Democratic House leadership is pressuring antiwar Democrats to support a $106 billion supplemental war funding bill. In May, fifty-one antiwar Democrats opposed an earlier version of the bill. »
Former President Jimmy Carter has accused Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of setting up new obstacles to peace with the Palestinians. On Sunday, Netanyahu said for the first time he could accept a two-state solution, but only if the new Palestinian state had no army and no control of its airspace and borders. Jimmy Carter spoke during a stop in Jerusalem. »
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