World News in Brief


General Pervez Musharraf won a landside election in Pakistan last week, securing 252 of 257 parliamentary seats. The opposition alleged the vote was unconstitutional and now the case rests with the Supreme Court of Pakistan. Musharraf insists he will respect the court’s decision if he agrees with it.

Two major Shia leaders signed a truce in Iraq last week. They called the agreement “a commitment of honor.” What roll honor killings will play in the deal remains to be seen.

The US envoy to Sudansays “trust is slowly being lost” there. The North and South signed a treaty only two years ago ending the civil war that plagued the country. Students aware only of Darfur are confused.

The Iraqi government reports that civilian death tolls from the war were more than halved from August to September, just as the US military reported the lowest monthly death toll in over a year. MoveOn.org feels that General Petraeus’ surge has betrayed them by apparently working.

The Bush administration has proven once again to be inept at diplomacy. North Korea agreed to disable its main nuclear reactor on October 3. The next day, North and South Korean leaders agreed to push for a final peace treaty to end the Korean War. An anonymous White House official says Bush’s unilateral cowboy diplomacy is on its last legs.

Russia detained a group of human rights activists on October 6. The arrests come on the eve of the anniversary of the assassination of Anna Politkovskaya, a journalist murdered last year. A critic of Vladimir Putin, her murder remains unsolved.


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Yearning for Democracy: Thailand and Burma

This summer I had the rare opportunity to visit Thailand and Burma, both of which have recently made the news for their tumultuous political situations.

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Stanford Hosts its Second Annual Roundtable

On October 13, the Stanford community gathered in a packed Maples Pavilion for the culminating event of Homecoming Weekend: the second annual Stanford Roundtable, titled


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