Sunni leaders allege vote fraud; North Korea may be about to test long-range missile; President of Kyrgyzstan wants US base closed; Jacob Zuma gets trial date; and more
TOP OF THE AGENDA: Power Struggle in Iraq's Anbar Province
Sunni tribal leaders in Anbar Province have alleged vote fraud in January 31 provincial elections and threatened to seize power in the province (WashPost). "An honest dictatorship is better than a fake democracy," Sheikh Ahmed Abu Risha told the Los Angeles Times. Iraqi election monitors are looking into their accusations of vote fraud, but note that the accusations could be driven by a power struggle between the Sunni Awakening tribes, known for battling al-Qaeda in Iraq, and the Iraqi Islamic Party, another Sunni political group. The Iraqi government is attempting to calm tensions between the two groups, reports the New York Times, and has agreed to recount votes from a number of ballot boxes. Marine commanders in the area have summoned over a dozen tribal leaders for a meeting on Thursday.
A CFR.org Backgrounder looks at the Sunni leaders who spurred the Awakening movement in Anbar.
A CFR.org Backgrounder looks at the major political parties running in the provincial elections.
PACIFIC RIM: Worries over N. Korea
Intelligence from South Korea and Japan indicates that North Korea may be preparing to test a long-range missile. The top U.S. military commander in South Korea is urging North Korea to end its recent "provocations," which include the termination of all political and military agreements with South Korea (VOA). Reuters offers a Q&A on why North Korea would test fire a long-range missile.
CHINA: The Chinese government has declared an emergency over a drought in the country's largest wheat-growing region that could devastate farmers' crops. It plans to give an additional $44 million in drought relief funds to the area (China Daily).
JAPAN: As top manufacturers cut jobs, Bloomberg reports that suicide rates may go up in Japan, which is experiencing its worst recession since World War II.
South Africa's Jacob Zuma gets a trial date after elections.