Christie urged to remain association chairman
High-profile Republicans were adamant Sunday that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie should not resign from his post as chairman of the Republican Governors Association following a former ally’s claim that there is evidence Christie knew about an apparently politically motivated traffic jam earlier than he has said.
The support from former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Wisconsin U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan put Republicans on the offensive and the Democratic chairman of a state legislative committee investigating the September lane closures near the George Washington Bridge on the defensive the day Christie’s state hosts the Super Bowl.
Also Sunday, a member of Christie’s administration who was subpoenaed by lawmakers investigating the lane closings confirmed she had resigned. Christina Genovese Renna left the governor’s office Friday, according to her lawyer. Renna had reported to ousted Deputy Chief of Staff Bridget Kelly, who apparently set the lane closings in motion with an email saying “time to cause some traffic problems in Fort Lee.”
Elections proceed without bloodshed in Thailand
Thailand held nationwide elections without bloodshed Sunday despite widespread fears of violence. But the country’s bitter political crisis is far from over, and one of the next flash points is likely to be an effort to nullify the vote.
Although balloting was largely peaceful, protesters forced thousands of polling booths to close in Bangkok and the south, disenfranchising millions of registered voters. Not all Parliament seats will be filled as a result, meaning the nation could stay mired in political limbo for months with the winning party unable to form a new government.
The struggle to hold the vote was part of a 3-month-old conflict that has split the country between supporters of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and protesters who allege her government is too corrupt to rule.
President Yanukovych to return from sick leave
Ukraine’s president will return Monday from a short sick leave that had sparked a guessing game he was taking himself out of action in preparation to step down or for a crackdown on widespread anti-government protests.
Viktor Yanukovych’s office made the announcement about the president’s return the same day as protesters seeking his resignation held one of their largest gatherings in recent weeks. About 20,000 people assembled at the main protest site in Kiev’s central square on Sunday.
Yanukovych’s sick leave was announced Thursday, with his office saying he had an acute respiratory illness. Some opposition leaders were skeptical about it, however, and thought Yanukovych was disappearing from the limelight in preparation for imposing a state of emergency.
Court acquits Al-Jazeera cameraman and 61 others
A Cairo court says it has acquitted a cameraman for the Qatar-based network Al-Jazeera, after he was held for months on charges of committing acts of violence. Mohamed Badr, a cameraman for Al-Jazeera’s channel in Egypt, was arrested following clashes in July. Egypt’s semi-official media said Sunday he was acquitted along with 61 others.
– From news service reports