Americans warned to avoid march
LA PAZ — The U.S. Embassy in Bolivia yesterday warned Americans not to attend a military parade to be hosted by President Evo Morales in the eastern city of Santa Cruz for fear of violence.
Thousands of Bolivian soldiers will march with indigenous groups in today’s Armed Forces Day celebration in Santa Cruz, a hotbed of anti-government sentiment.
Leaders in the lowland city are demanding greater autonomy from Mr. Morales’ government and see the parade as an unwelcome display of force by the populist president.
The move to Santa Cruz highlights the stark divide between the poorer indigenous population in the western highlands and the mestizo and European-descended residents of the more prosperous eastern flats.
Talks with U.S. ’frank and serious’
BAGHDAD — The United States and Iran held “frank and serious” talks on security issues in Iraq yesterday, more than two weeks after a rare meeting between the ambassadors of the two countries.
Washington has accused Tehran of fueling the violence by arming and training Shi’ite extremists, but it agreed during the July 24 ambassadorial talks to set up a security subcommittee to carry forward talks on restoring stability in Iraq.
Rebel leader named as prime minister
DILI — Independence hero Xanana Gusmao was named East Timor’s new prime minister yesterday, triggering fresh violence in the capital a year after bloody street battles led to the collapse of the government.
Despite hopes that the appointment would end months of political tension, the country’s largest party immediately slammed the decision as illegal. Youths in Dili set up barricades of burning tires and set a tax office on fire, witnesses said.