- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 3, 2006

VENEZUELA

Chavez expected to win new term

CARACAS — President Hugo Chavez looked set to win as Venezuelans prepared for a closely watched vote today on whether to give the anti-U.S. leader six more years to wage his socialist “revolution.”

Most polls show Mr. Chavez with a lead over rival Manuel Rosales, a state governor who has attacked the incumbent on crime and unemployment.

Mr. Rosales has mustered the opposition’s most serious challenge to Mr. Chavez in years with populist promises to redistribute Venezuela’s oil wealth and roll back policies he says are edging the country toward Cuban-style communism.

CANADA

Long shot wins nod to lead Liberals

MONTREAL — A former environment minister beat the odds yesterday to become leader of Canada’s opposition Liberals, and is likely to challenge Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives in a 2007 election.

Delegates picked long-shot Stephane Dion, 51, over a hawkish ex-Harvard professor, an Ontario premier, a hockey legend and four others at a weekend leadership convention here.

SUDAN

Fighting in south breaches peace deal

KHARTOUM — Days of fighting between former rebels and government forces killed more than 150 people and wounded at least 400 in a southern Sudanese town, a U.N. official said yesterday.

The battle was one of the worst breaches of a January 2005 peace agreement that ended 21 years of civil war in the south, a conflict separate from the ethnic bloodletting in Sudan’s western Darfur region.

Aid workers said the fighting began when a government-allied militia tried to kill a local leader of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Malakal, a port town about 400 miles south of Sudan’s capital, Khartoum.

PHILIPPINES

Death toll rises in typhoon’s aftermath

MANILA — More than 800 people are either dead or missing after rivers of mud and volcanic ash triggered by Typhoon Durian swamped villages in the Philippines, the Red Cross said today.

The Red Cross said it had confirmed 406 dead from the mudslides around Mayon volcano in the eastern region of Bicol, with 398 others missing.

BAHRAIN

Islamists dominate parliamentary vote

MANAMA — Islamist Sunnis won control of Bahrain’s parliament yesterday, defeating an opposition lead by the kingdom’s majority Shi’ites in parliamentary elections, according to official results broadcast today on state television.

The election yesterday for the lower house of parliament reinforced sectarian divisions between Shi’ites and Sunnis.

GUYANA

Chemical attack threat under investigation

GEORGETOWN — American and Guyanese authorities said yesterday they were investigating a threatened chemical attack against U.S. airlines flying out of the tiny South American country.

An e-mail sent to newspapers, airlines and the U.S. Embassy in Guyana threatened an attack from an “independent militant group” against U.S. carriers American Airlines and North American Airlines, as well as Trinidadian carrier BWIA.

It was not known if Muslim militants were involved in the threat.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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