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Peacekeeping Officials: ECOWAS Invasion of Ivory Coast Unlikely

Officials at former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan's Peacekeeping Training Center say the threat of a West-Africa-led invasion of Ivory Coast is unlikely to materialize and would mostly aggravate the power crisis that has seized the country since the November 28 elections.

"The use of legitimate force," to quote the agreement signed by 15 West African leaders, was supposed to be the last resort the West African bloc would turn to if Ivorian President Laurent Gbagbo did not concede the elections that the African Union says he lost.

Observers Declare Sudan Voting a Success

The major organizations monitoring the referendum on independence in Southern Sudan are releasing their findings on the voting process. Despite a few concerns, they say the voting has been a success.

The Carter Center, European Union and African Union, have all called voting in the referendum peaceful, fair and transparent. Each organization’s preliminary results were released within two days of the end of voting and do not include any observations from the ongoing counting process.

Tucson Tragedy Prompts Renewed Calls For Gun Control

NRA-ILA GRASSROOTS ALERT Vol. 18, No. 2 01/14/11

Tucson Tragedy Prompts Renewed Calls For Gun Control
This week, the NRA and countless Americans offered prayers and condolences for those killed and wounded during the senseless assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).

Sudan Secession Referendum Vote 'Broadly Fair'

An official from north Sudan's ruling National Congress Party says the south's referendum vote on secession has been "broadly fair."

In an interview with Reuters news agency, the NPC's Ibrahim Ghandour said his party will accept the outcome of the vote, which he said will likely be for the south becoming independent.

He said the weeklong vote seems to be going smoothly and peacefully.

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter says southern Sudan's independence referendum will likely meet international standards on fairness of the vote.

Tunisian Protesters Challenge President's Grip on Power

A political drama continues to unfold in Tunisia, where thousands of demonstrators marched through the capital, Tunis, Friday demanding President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's resignation. The street protests come a day after the president sought to tamp-down the political unrest by pledging not to seek another term in office and to push through political and media reforms.

President Ben Ali's concessions appear to be a dramatic reversal of a long-standing policy of repression.

Russia: Too Early to Discuss Tactical Nuke Reduction

Russia's foreign minister said Thursday it is too early to begin discussions with the U.S. on further reductions in nuclear weapons.

Speaking in Moscow, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said the new Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) must first be ratified and fully implemented before additional weapons cuts can be discussed.

The Russian parliament is expected to hold a vote on ratifying START at the end of the month. The U.S. Senate approved the treaty in December.

Letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates

Letter to Secretary of Defense Robert Gates from four members of the House of Representatives.

Letter to Secretary of Veterans' Affairs Shinseki

Letter to Secretary of Veterans' Affairs Shinseki

Letter to Secretary of Veterans' Affairs Erik Shinseki signed by four members of the House of Representatives


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