t least one person was killed in protests by jobless and ill-paid youths in Sohar, a port city in hitherto peaceful OMAN. Days later, however, thousands of Omanis took to the streets in support of Sultan Qaboos, who has promised reform.
Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, leaders of the IRANIAN opposition Green Movement, have been thrown in jail, according to their families. Thousands of protesters took to the streets in response, leading, said the opposition, to 200 arrests.
Six men were killed in an apparent assassination or coup attempt in CONGO. Shooting broke out in Kinshasa, the capital, after unidentified men armed with guns, rocket-propelled grenades and machetes attacked the home of Joseph Kabila, the president.
Shahbaz Bhatti, PAKISTAN'S minister for minorities, was gunned down outside his home in Islamabad. Mr Bhatti, a Christian, was a critic of Pakistan's harsh blasphemy laws, as was Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, who was assassinated two months ago. A message left at the scene of Mr Bhatti's murder promised death to those who offer support to blasphemers.
A court in the INDIAN state of Gujarat found 31 Muslim men guilty for the deaths of 59 Hindu activists who died in a fire at a railway station in 2002. The killings at Godhra ignited rioting in which at least 2,000 people, mostly Muslims, were massacred. Eleven of the defendants were sentenced to death.
India's Supreme Court ordered the head of the country's ANTI-CORRUPTION commission to resign, because he faces corruption charges.
The recently retired head of BOLIVIA'S drug police was arrested in Panama and sent to the United States to face charges of trafficking cocaine. Three other senior police officers were arrested in Bolivia. In its annual report this week the International Narcotics Control Board, a UN body, complained about the failure of the government of Evo Morales, Bolivia's president, to curb cocaine production.
BRAZIL'S government said it would scale back planned spending on housing for the poor, postpone the purchase of 36 fighter jets for the air force and freeze the federal government payroll as part of its effort to cool an overheating economy.
Voters in IRELAND threw out their Fianna Fail-led government at an election. The new government will be led by Fine Gael's Enda Kenny, whose party scored its best result ever. Mr Kenny has promised to secure a better deal from the European Union on Ireland's bail-out.
looked set to lose its majority in the upper-house Senate after its coalition partners did badly in regional elections.
The DUTCH GOVERNMENT
FRANCE'S president, Nicolas Sarkozy, sacked his controversial foreign minister, Michele Alliot-Marie, over her apparently close links with the ousted Tunisian regime. Her job went to a former Gaullist prime minister, Alain Juppe.
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