- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2006

MEXICO

Calderon seeks immigration accord

MEXICO CITY — Mexico’s president-elect says he will try to do what his predecessor couldn’t in six years: win an immigration accord that will let millions more Mexicans work in the United States legally.

Felipe Calderon said yesterday he is committed to winning sweeping immigration reform in the U.S. Congress before President Bush leaves office in January 2009. Mr. Calderon, who spoke with Mr. Bush by phone on Wednesday, said he thinks the White House is ready for action.

Outgoing President Vicente Fox spent six years trying to obtain legal status for the nearly 6 million undocumented Mexicans in the United States, and his inability to secure an accord was among the biggest failures of his term.

Mexican presidents are limited to one six-year term, and Mr. Calderon will replace Mr. Fox on Dec. 1. Both are members of the pro-business National Action Party.

CONGO

Kabila bloc leads; fails to clinch vote

KINSHASA — A bloc led by President Joseph Kabila won the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s landmark elections but failed to secure a legislative majority, according to Independent Electoral Commission results announced today.

Mr. Kabila’s Alliance of the Presidential Majority bloc emerged as the biggest single political force in the country, capturing more than 200 of the 500 seats in the new National Assembly, according to the last of the provisional results compiled by Agence France-Presse.

BRITAIN

Muslim support slips for al Qaeda

LONDON — Al Qaeda is losing sympathy among the world’s Muslims five years after the September 11 attacks, a report said yesterday.

But al Qaeda’s status as a global player has been unintentionally enhanced by the way the United States and its allies have reacted to the attacks, said the study published by Chatham House, a respected London-based foreign affairs think tank.

EGYPT

3 get death in Taba bombings

ISMAILIA — Egypt’s state security court sentenced three persons to death during a hearing yesterday for involvement in a series of blasts targeting Red Sea resorts.

Eleven others are on trial in connection with the October 2004 bombings in Taba and two other beach resorts popular with Israelis. The attacks killed more than 30 people.

VENEZUELA

U.S. wants office in Miami closed

CARACAS — The United States said yesterday that left-leaning Venezuela must close its military acquisitions office in Miami by next month, Reuters news agency reported, citing a State Department spokeswoman.

In May, the United States designated Venezuela as not fully cooperating with U.S. counterterrorism efforts, saying it would stop selling arms to the South American nation effective Oct. 1.

FRANCE

Algerian cleric linked to plot expelled

PARIS — France expelled an Algerian imam convicted of involvement in a 2002 bomb plot in Paris and of helping to recruit fighters for Chechnya, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.

Chellali ben Chellali, imam of a mosque in Venissieux, a suburb in the eastern city of Lyon, was originally detained in January 2004 in connection with a suspected plot to attack Russian targets in Paris, possibly using chemical weapons.

BELGIUM

Soldiers among 17 held in raids

DENDERMONDE — Belgian police raided five army barracks and many soldiers’ homes yesterday across the north of the country in an investigation into activists suspected of planning attacks.

Federal Prosecutor Daniel Bernard said 17 persons, mostly soldiers, had been detained in connection with terrorist activity, racism and weapons violations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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