Former British foreign secretary David Miliband, once tipped as a potential prime minister, said Wednesday he was leaving politics to boost his brother’s chances of leading the opposition Labor Party to victory in an election in 2015.
His departure from Parliament ends speculation that he might replace brother Ed Miliband as Labor leader between now and 2015 if his sibling falters. But the move was also seen as a sign he did not think it likely that Ed would win.
David Miliband, 47, had already retreated from frontline politics after narrowly losing a Labor leadership vote in 2010 that pitted him against Ed, 43.
He said he will take a job in New York as head of the International Rescue Committee, a global humanitarian aid group. The brothers’ parents were Polish Jewish refugees who fled the Holocaust.
Italian center-left leader Pier Luigi Bersani said Wednesday he would take an additional 48 hours to seek support for a new government after failing to persuade the anti-establishment Five Star Movement led by Beppo Grillo to back him.
The Five Star Movement, however, said its lawmakers will not back any established party.
Bersani’s coalition controls the lower house but not the Senate. He has excluded seeking a deal with former premier Silvio Berlusconi’s center-right forces.
If Bersani fails, President Giorgio Napolitano can tap someone else to try to create a government or he can call for a new election.
— Associated Press
Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi said Wednesday that parliamentary elections could be delayed until October, a postponement that could give his cash-strapped government breathing space to negotiate a deal with the International Monetary Fund.
Morsi’s original plan was for a four-stage vote that would start in April and put a parliament in place by July. But that idea fell apart this month when a court canceled the presidential decree setting the dates. “Perhaps the elections will be held in the coming October,” state news agency MENA quoted Morsi as saying.
Burma’s Suu Kyi attends military parade: The military that ruled Burma for five decades paraded in front of the opposition leader it once repressed, as its commander in chief, Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing, said it will remain involved in politics to help the country transform itself into a democracy. Aung San Suu Kyi, attending the annual Armed Forces Day celebration for the first time, sat in the front row, highlighting the support she has previously expressed for the military, which nominally handed over political leadership to an elected government in 2011.
Egyptian court revokes Morsi’s firing of prosecutor: An Egyptian appeals court annulled a November presidential decree dismissing the country’s top prosecutor, Abdel Meguid Mahmoud, and ordered him reinstated, the state news agency reported. Revolutionary groups had urged President Mohamed Morsi to replace Mahmoud, considered a holdover from the Mubarak era, but judges and rights groups said the judges, not Morsi, should have named his successor. The government is expected to appeal.
Radical cleric in Britain avoids extradition again: The British government lost another bid to deport a radical Muslim preacher to face trial in Jordan when a court of appeals rejected a request to reconsider an earlier court decision that said the trial could be unfair. Abu Qatada, whose real name is Omar Mahmoud Mohammed Othman, was once described by a Spanish judge as Osama bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe. He remains imprisoned as a terrorism suspect in a high-security British prison.
Syrian in Israeli hospital dies: A wounded Syrian taken to Israel on Wednesday for medical treatment, after he sought refuge at the border with the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights, has died, a hospital spokesman said. It was the third time Israel had aided Syrians injured in their civil war.
— From news services