World News Brief, Friday April 19

Pervez Musharraf arrested for allegedly putting judiciary members under house arrest; North Korea sets conditions for talks with US; New Zealand makes international stir with same-sex marriage law; gun control bill defeated in US Senate; US sends soldiers to Jordan; and more

Top of the Agenda: Pakistani Court Orders Arrest of Musharraf

A Pakistani judge today ordered the arrest of former president Pervez Musharraf for having allegedly dismissed senior judiciary members and put them under house arrest in 2007. The decision caused Musharraf to flee the Islamabad High Court (WSJ) with his heavily armed security detail, which includes paramilitary soldiers. Musharraf, who is taking shelter at his fortified mansion outside the capital, returned to Pakistan last month after four years of self-imposed exile. He intended to run in May's national parliamentary elections, but election officials barred him from doing so earlier this week.


"Since his humiliating ousting by the very politicians he spent nearly a decade trying to shut out of power, Musharraf had appeared desperate to return to, and lead, a country he believed would welcome him back with open arms. In fact, Pakistan has moved on from the Musharraf era, irrefutably and irrevocably," writes Cyril Almeida for the Guardian.

"A decade in power exposed his dictatorial tendencies; he suspended constitutional rule twice, declared a state of emergency in 2007, unleashed a violent crackdown against political opponents and fired the chief justice of the Supreme Court and five other judges," explains this New York Times editorial.

"In a heightened state of self-delusion, he returned to the country he had once ruled on March 24 to 'save Pakistan'. The isolation he has suffered since then should have freed him from misconceptions and brought home a realization that he has condemned himself to a bleak future. The 'savior' of Pakistan may, in the end, be unable to save himself," writes M. Afzal Khan for the Express Tribune.



North Korea Outlines Terms for Talks With U.S.

North Korea today offered a series of detailed conditions for engaging in negotiations with the United States, including the termination of UN sanctions (Guardian) and a cessation of U.S.-South Korea military drills on the Korean peninsula. The demands come on the heels of a series of provocative threats by North Korea against its neighbors and the United States.

This CFR Crisis Guide provides an interactive multimedia overview of the dispute between North and South Korea.

NEW ZEALAND: Parliament yesterday voted to legalize same-sex marriage (NZHerald), making New Zealand the first country in the Asia-Pacific region to do so.


Gun control overhaul defeated in US Senate

US sends soldiers to Jordan

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