- - Monday, March 21, 2011


Bomb at U.S. institute causes minor damage

SANTIAGO | Police in Chile said a small bomb exploded and broke some windows at a U.S. cultural institute hours ahead of President Obama’s arrival.

No one was injured in the attack, which happened in Vina del Mar, a seaside city far from the Obamas’ activities in the capital of Santiago.

Police Capt. Nibaldo Lillo said the bomb caused only minor damage.

Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attack at the Chilean-North American Institute, where people can read books in English and receive language lessons.

The Obama family’s visit comes under tight security, with sharpshooters and more than 2,000 police deployed in the capital.


Government hit with formal contempt charge

OTTAWA | A special parliamentary committee declared Canada’s minority government to be in contempt Monday but stopped short of trying to bring down the ruling Conservatives over the affair.

Despite the reprieve, the government appears set to face at least two confidence votes this week, and the chances of it surviving beyond Friday are uncertain at best.

The Conservatives, in power since early 2006, have been beset by a number of ethical problems in current weeks.

The committee, dominated by opposition legislators, ruled that the government had wrongly withheld information about the cost of a program to increase the number of prison cells.

Although legislators had the option to attach a non-confidence motion to the reprimand, they chose not to, saying the contempt ruling was serious enough in itself.

The House of Commons must confirm the contempt ruling, but there is no guarantee a vote will come before Friday, when legislators will vote on the government’s annual budget, which will be presented Tuesday afternoon.

Story Continues →