World News Brief, Tuesday June 30

Honduran president ousted in coup; Madoff sentenced to 150 years; Japan production on the rise; Iran releases British diplomats; and more

Top of the Agenda: Honduras Coup

Honduran President Manuel Zelaya was ousted by the army on Sunday after a months-long power struggle over his plans to seek a referendum to lift presidential term limits. Zelaya was flown out of the country to Costa Rica and Roberto Micheletti, the head of the country's Congress, was appointed acting president. The New York Times called it the first military coup in Central America since the end of the Cold War. Hundreds of protesters stormed the streets (Guardian) demanding Zelaya's return. BBC reports Micheletti, soon after being sworn into office, imposed curfews for Sunday and Monday nights in the country.

The removal of Zelaya has drawn criticism across Latin America (FT) and the world. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a supporter of Zelaya, put his troops on alert over the coup and said he would respond militarily if his envoy to Honduras was kidnapped or killed. The Organization of American States held an emergency meeting and issued a statement calling for Zelaya's return and said it would not recognize any other government. UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon called for "the reinstatement of the democratically elected representatives of the country." U.S. President Barack Obama also urged Honduras "to respect democratic norms, the rule of law and the tenets of the Inter-American Democratic Charter."


PACIFIC RIM: New Task Force on N. Korea

The Chosun Ilbo reports the launch of a new taskforce to coordinate the implementation of further sanctions on North Korea. The taskforce, led by former U.S. ambassador Bolivia Philip Goldberg, is seeking international coordination to enforce U.N. Security Resolution 1874 that would include searches of outbound ships and aircraft and international financial sanctions.

In a new podcast, CFR's Kara McDonald says the UN Security Council must be prepared to levy stiffer sanctions against Pyongyang.

JAPAN: Production in Japan rose for the third consecutive month (BBC) amid widespread fears of economic deflation. This report comes just days after Tokyo released figures showing the steepest year-on-year decline in consumer prices since the country began keeping records.



Iran releases five British employees of UK embassy

Bernard Madoff sentenced in Manhattan courtroom

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