Min­is­te­rial choices awaited

Snow­storms kill 14 in US

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

OUA­GADOUGOU: The de­layed an­nounce­ment of Burk­ina Faso’s in­terim gov­ern­ment min­is­ters was ex­pected yes­ter­day, with the coun­try wait­ing to see the ex­tent of mil­i­tary in­flu­ence un­der civil­ian pres­i­dent Michel Kafando.

Kafando said on Satur­day that planned first meet­ings of the cab­i­net and Na­tional Tran­si­tional Coun­cil had been de­layed and would take place at a later date.

A source fa­mil­iar with the mil­i­tary’s po­si­tion said the de­lay was caused by the mil­i­tary’s op­po­si­tion to sev­eral min­is­te­rial can­di­dates pro­posed by civil so­ci­ety groups.

Isaac Zida, the colonel who has run Burk­ina Faso since the oust­ing of veteran leader Blaise Com­paore three weeks ago and who has been named prime min­is­ter in the in­terim gov­ern­ment, had promised on Wed­nes­day that the make-up of the new gov­ern­ment would be an­nounced within 72 hours.

Zida for­mally handed power to Kafando, a 72-year-old for­mer for­eign min­is­ter and ca­reer diplo­mat, in a cer­e­mony at­tended by six African heads of state on Fri­day.

How­ever, de­spite that civil­ian shift, ex­pec­ta­tions were that the mil­i­tary would re­tain a heavy say in af­fairs when the gov­ern­ment was fi­nally an­nounced.

An ear­lier draft list pre­pared by the mil­i­tary showed the army wants all the most im­por­tant posts in gov­ern­ment, in­clud­ing de­fence, in­ter­nal se­cu­rity and min­ing. Civil­ians cho­sen by the mil­i­tary would also get the for­eign, fi­nance, jus­tice and bud­get posts, ac­cord­ing to the doc­u­ment. If this sce­nario is played out, that would leave Kafando free to name only rel­a­tively mi­nor min­is­ters, such as in­dus­try and com­mu­ni­ca­tion. – Sapa-AFP WASH­ING­TON: Record-break­ing snow­fall that buried towns near Buf­falo, New York State, and killed at least 14 peo­ple posed a ma­jor flood­ing threat at the week­end, with tem­per­a­tures fore­cast to rise.

Ar­eas of western New York that were hit with more than 2m of snow had been on flood watch, but were now un­der a flood warn­ing, the Na­tional Weather Ser­vice said.

A flood warn­ing urges peo­ple to pre­pare for a pos­si­bil­ity, while a more se­ri­ous flood warn­ing is is­sued when flood­ing is im­mi­nent or oc­cur­ring.

The warn­ing was in ef­fect in north­ern Erie, Ge­nessee, Wy­oming, Chatauqua, Cat­ta­rau­gus and south­ern Erie coun­ties, in­clud­ing the ci­ties of Buf­falo, Batavia, War­saw, Jamestown, Olean, Or­chard Park and Springville, the ser­vice said.

More than 600 000 live in the ar­eas af­fected, where thou­sands in towns south of Buf­falo have been trapped in their homes for nearly a week.

Au­thor­i­ties urged peo­ple to clear storm drains in front of their homes and to get any valu­ables out of their base­ments.

Snow­fall equiv­a­lent to a year’s sup­ply in two days saw the Na­tional Guard called up and could prompt a fed­eral dis­as­ter dec­la­ra­tion.

Mean­while, hours of steady rain on Satur­day raised hopes that Cal­i­for­nia was mov­ing out of its dri­est three years in his­tory. –

PIC­TURE: REUTERS

FLIP IT: Phil Mo­hun does a back flip off his fam­ily home after clear­ing snow from the roof fol­low­ing a mas­sive snow­storm in Cowlesville, New York. Warm tem­per­a­tures and rain were fore­cast, bring­ing the threat of wide­spread flood­ing.

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