New prime minister named
President Francois Hollande named former Interior Minister Manuel Valls as France’s new prime minister Monday, just 24 hours after his Socialists suffered heavy losses in nationwide municipal elections. Valls is consistently voted France’s most popular Socialist in opinion polls and is considered part of the right wing of the party. He replaces unpopular Jean-Marc Ayrault. The 51-year-old has drawn comparisons with former conservative French President Nicolas Sarkozy and wants to rethink France’s 35-hour workweek.
Blasts kill 5 in capital
Explosions in central Nairobi killed at least five people and injured several others, officials said Monday. The explosions occurred in a neighborhood known for its large Somali population, the National Disaster Operation Center said on Twitter. Sometimes called Kenya’s “Little Mogadishu,” Eastleigh has seen several grenade attacks over the last year.
U.S. to sell equipment
The United States is trying to sell or dispose of billions of dollars in military hardware, including sophisticated and highly specialized mine resistant vehicles as it packs up to leave Afghanistan after 13 years of war, officials said Monday. But the efforts are complicated in a region where relations between neighboring countries are mired in suspicion and outright hostility. A statement by the U.S. Embassy in Pakistan said Islamabad is interested in buying used U.S. equipment. The statement said Pakistan’s request is being reviewed but any equipment it receives, including the coveted mine resistant vehicles, will not likely come from its often angry neighbor Afghanistan.
Court indicts Musharraf
A special Pakistani court on Monday indicted former military ruler Pervez Musharraf on five counts of high treason, a charge that potentially carries the death penalty and delivers a sharp blow to the country’s powerful military. It’s unclear whether the case will ever get to the verdict stage, however. Musharraf’s lawyers are pushing for him to be allowed to go abroad to see his ailing mother. Musharraf, who appeared in court on Monday for only the second time since court proceedings began in December, pleaded not guilty and delivered a nearly 30-minute defense of his time in office.
Compiled from wire reports.