World Week Ahead: Libya Intervention; Radiation in Japan; World Water Day
Night vision view of Tomahawk missile fired into Libya. Photo courtesy of Defense Department
It’s a busy week for the foreign affairs desk. Here are the hot spots our foreign affairs team will be watching:
LIBYA | The U.S.-European bombing of Libyan air defenses over the weekend also launched a debate over what comes next and how to handle Moammar Gadhafi’s grip on power.
But as soon as the military intervention started, Arab League chief Amr Moussa appeared to back off support, saying the bombing campaigns were too broad. Western leaders had used the league’s backing as a reason for their U.N. passage of the no-fly zone. We’ll be reporting on developments on-air and online.
BRAZIL | The situation in Libya made it into President Obama’s remarks to Brazilians during his visit to Latin America over the weekend. He will continue on to Chile and El Salvador this week.
“We’ve seen the people of Libya take a courageous stand against a regime determined to brutalize its own citizens,” the president said in Rio de Janeiro.
Read: President Obama’s full speech
JAPAN | On the other side of the globe in Japan, authorities made some progress in keeping the six reactors cool at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex. But excessive iodine found in spinach, milk, canola and chrysanthemum greens near the plant served as a reminder that the radiation threat is still real. We’ll follow all nuclear and humanitarian efforts in the Asian country.
Watch: New video released this weekend by the Japanese coast guard, showing one of its vessels riding one of the massive tsunami waves that caused great destruction in northeastern Japan:
YEMEN, SYRIA, BAHRAIN | Meanwhile in the Middle East, protests against President Ali Abdullah Saleh are continuing in Yemen, where three senior military officers defected. Troops deployed in Syria tried to quell protests in the southern city of Deraa. And amid Bahrain’s month-long demonstrations, King Hamad bin Isa al-Khalifa said a foreign-backed plot against his country was derailed, though he didn’t go into detail.
We’re also tracking the results of two votes that took place over the weekend:
EGYPT | Egyptians overwhelmingly approved a set of constitutional amendments that would limit presidential terms, set six-month deadlines on emergency law declarations, and require the appointment of a 100-member committee to redraft the constitution.
Despite opposition from those who thought the changes didn’t go far enough, more than 14 million, or 77.2 percent, voted yes, while 4 million, or 22.8 percent, voted no, according to results announced Sunday.
Read: A summary of the changes to the constitution
HAITI | Haitians also voted Sunday in a run-off presidential election between musician Michel Martelly, a.k.a. “Sweet Micky”, and legal scholar Mirlande Manigat. The election proceeded relatively peacefully, and preliminary results are expected March 31 with final results by April 16.
Read: The Wall Street Journal’s account of problems at the polls
More: Public events aimed at raising awareness of water and sanitation issues mark World Water Day on Tuesday. On our website, we’ll have an interview with William Fellows, UNICEF’s global water, sanitation and hygiene cluster coordinator, highlighting problem areas around the world.