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Deadline passes, but there's no coup

Fiji's prime minister went into hiding Friday in anticipation of a coup, but a deadline set by the country's defiant military commander passed without the threatened ouster of the government.

Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase said he understood the government had been given a reprieve until Monday to meet the military's demands, but armed forces chief Commodore Frank Bainimarama rejected the idea.

"Who's saying the deadline has been extended?" Bainimarama said. "Is he the commander? I am the commander."

On Thursday, Bainimarama had dramatically escalated a long-running feud by issuing Qarase the ultimatum of meeting his demands on a range of topics by midday Friday or facing ouster. The deadline passed with troops remaining in their barracks.

The U.S. State Department on Friday warned Americans not to travel to Suva, Fiji, because of the uncertain security situation.

UNITED NATIONS

U.S. draft to protect Somali government

The United States circulated a U.N. Security Council draft resolution Friday that would authorize a regional force to protect Somalia's weak government and threaten Security Council action against those who block peace efforts and attempt to overthrow it.

U.S. Ambassador John Bolton said he expects Security Council experts to discuss the draft Monday.

The move comes after suicide bombers exploded cars Thursday outside the Somali town of Baidoa, the only area under the government's control. Ten people were killed in the attack.

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