World briefs: Philippines, Islamist pact
Share with others:
MANILA, Philippines -- Philippine President Benigno Aquino III announced Sunday that his government has reached a preliminary peace deal with the nation's largest Muslim rebel group in a major breakthrough toward ending a decades-long insurgency.
Mr. Aquino said the "framework agreement" -- a road map for a new autonomous region for minority Muslims in the predominantly Roman Catholic nation's south -- was an assurance the Moro Islamic Liberation Front insurgents will no longer aim to secede from the country.
The agreement, to be signed Oct. 15 in Manila, spells out general principles on major issues, including the extent of power, revenues and territory of the Muslim region. If all goes well, a final peace deal could be reached by 2016, when Mr. Aquino's six-year term ends, officials said.
He cautioned, however, that "the work does not end here," and that the two sides still need to work out the accord's details. Those talks are expected to be tough but doable, officials and rebels said.
LONDON -- Libyan lawmakers voted to remove Prime Minister-elect Mahmoud Abushagur from office Sunday after rejecting his proposed cabinet for a second time.
Mr. Abushagur, who earlier presented a "crisis cabinet" of 10 people to lead the country, was defeated in a no-confidence motion, 125-44, less than a month after he took office. He had announced his new plan after the 3-month-old congress disputed the names earlier submitted amid continuing resistance from the General National Congress to the formation of his first government.
"I was going to form a national unity government, not based on quotas, but then there was pressure on me, people wanted ministers from their regions," Mr. Abushagur told parliament Sunday.
TANK, Pakistan -- A convoy protesting U.S. drone strikes led by Imran Khan, the cricket star turned politician, stopped short Sunday of its goal to reach Pakistan's lawless tribal area after threats of an attack from the Pakistani Taliban.
After a chaotic and grueling two-day march from Islamabad, Mr. Khan halted the procession just past Tank, the last town before South Waziristan, a dangerous region of the tribal area that is generally considered a no-go zone for Westerners and others.
LONDON -- A letter in which Albert Einstein dismissed the idea of God as a product of human weakness is being sold on eBay for a starting price of $3 million.
The letter, handwritten in 1954, a year before Einstein's death, was addressed to philosopher Eric Gutkind. In it, Einstein discussed his views on religion, including calling "the Bible a collection of honorable but still primitive legends which are nevertheless pretty childish."
MOSCOW -- Russian President Vladimir Putin said in a first-person documentary aired on his 60th birthday Sunday that the current generation of opposition leaders needs to be cast aside and he brushed aside concerns the two-year jail sentence for punk bank Pussy Riot was too severe.
Celebrations took place all over Russia to celebrate Putin's birthday, although the Kremlin has said the president opted for low-key celebrations with friends and family. The documentary, which aired Sunday, was one of a series of candid public displays of support for Mr. Putin.
First Published October 8, 2012 12:00 am