- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 22, 2006

BRITAIN

Right wing eyes gains against Labor

LONDON — The British National Party could score a breakthrough in a working-class East London borough in May 4 local elections, at the expense of Prime Minister Tony Blair’s Labor Party, suggests an opinion poll to appear today.

About 45.5 percent of 496 voters questioned last week for the Sunday Mirror newspaper in Barking and Dagenham said they would cast their ballots for the anti-immigrant party.

If the results prove accurate on May 4, it could see many of the 13 candidates fielded by the BNP winning seats on the local council, which is currently dominated by Labor.

NORTHERN IRELAND

‘Maria’ role draws aspiring actresses

BELFAST — Aspiring stars strutted their stuff at a Belfast hotel yesterday, hoping to win the part of novitiate-turned-nanny Maria in a big-budget London production of “The Sound of Music.”

But this was no ordinary audition. Those making it past the first rounds will compete for the approval of judges and viewers on a reality TV show offering a shot at stage stardom as its prize.

Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who is co-producing the stage show, called it “a fantastic opportunity for a young artist to become a real star” in a role made famous by Julie Andrews in the 1965 film.

UKRAINE

Bombs explod eat markets; 14 hurt

KIEV — Homemade bombs exploded in lockers at two supermarkets in eastern Ukraine on yesterday, wounding as many as 14 people, authorities and news agencies said.

The blasts occurred about noon in supermarkets near one another in Kharkiv, a duty officer at the Kharkiv Emergency Situations Ministry said, reading from a statement. The explosions apparently occurred in lockers where customers store packages, the ministry said.

The motive behind the blasts was not immediately clear, but business disputes in Ukraine often turn violent.

ROMANIA

Rising Danube floods villages

BUCHAREST — More than 10,000 Romanians faced evacuation from their homes yesterday as workers struggled to prevent the swollen Danube bursting its banks.

Authorities in the southern Dolj region of Romania, where 12 areas have already been flooded, evacuated 5,400 people from villages near the river yesterday morning.

They said many others could be forced to leave if the Danube breached its dike, despite efforts by 100 police officers to shore it up.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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