- The Washington Times - Monday, June 21, 2004

EGYPT

Mubarak in hospital for back surgery

BERLIN — President Hosni Mubarak temporarily has delegated his powers to his prime minister after traveling to Germany yesterday for an operation on a slipped disc, officials said.

Egyptian state television quoted a presidential decree as saying that Mr. Mubarak, 76, had delegated his powers to Prime Minister Atef Obeid during his absence. He is scheduled to undergo surgery in Munich today.

The operation is normally a simple procedure and expected to last 40 minutes, but it follows persistent rumors about the health of the Egyptian president, who has ruled the Arab world’s most populous country since 1981.

PHILIPPINES

Arroyo win confirmed after six-week tally

MANILA — President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo won another term in office, according to a final vote count announced yesterday. But the opposition said its accusations of electoral fraud were ignored and vowed to keep fighting.

The announcement came after a six-week vote count by a committee of lawmakers, marred by opposition assertions that Mrs. Arroyo’s camp cheated her opponent, action film star Fernando Poe Jr., of about 2 million ballots.

“This has been the most contentious canvassing perhaps in Philippine history,” House Speaker Jose de Venecia said. “I think tonight, the nation can sleep.”

ISRAEL

Anti-Semitism talks reflect concerns

NEW YORK — The United Nations today is to hold its first seminar dedicated to anti-Semitism, which Jewish leaders say is escalating worldwide but is being ignored by U.N. institutions.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan was to open the all-day conference. Author Elie Wiesel, a Nobel laureate and Holocaust survivor, is the keynote speaker.

Elan Steinberg, executive vice president of the World Jewish Congress, said Jewish communities in Europe have been made “the innocent victims” of reverberations in Europe from the Middle East conflict.

GEORGIA

Elections held in restive province

BATUMI — Voters in the autonomous province of Adzharia chose new legislators yesterday in local parliamentary elections that were expected to give the central government greater control over this once-defiant Black Sea region.

The vote for a new parliament came after the resignation of the region’s strong-arm leader Aslan Abashidze in early May after a standoff with Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Mr. Saakashvili has pledged to reunite this fractured former Soviet republic, and his victory over Mr. Abashidze was seen as his first success. The two parties that dominated the campaign ahead of the vote have sworn allegiance to Mr. Saakashvili.

SUDAN

Rebels claim control of wider territory

KHARTOUM — One of the two main Sudanese rebel groups in the western region of Darfur said yesterday that it had gained control of more territory by filling a vacuum left by the government since a cease-fire agreement was signed in April.

The official of the rebel Sudan Liberation Movement, who asked not to be named because he is based in Khartoum, said the movement had armed and trained new supporters in areas previously outside its control.

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