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ANKARA | Turkish activists pushing for more women in public office who wear headscarves criticized the ruling party Tuesday for nominating only one such candidate for June elections.

Turkey’s secular rules bar Islamic dress in schools and government settings, but there is debate over whether they apply to parliament too.

Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to dodge the issue on Monday when he announced the list of candidates his party will be fielding for June 12 elections to the 550-member parliament.

Of the 78 women he chose to nominate, only one wears a headscarf, and she was placed near the bottom of the list, making her election a distant possibility.

About a dozen Islamic headscarf-wearing women applied to be candidates, and Islamic women’s groups campaigned for their nomination.


EU offers more aid to help with migrants

TUNIS | The EU Commission’s president on Tuesday conditioned an increase in financial aid for Tunisia on more action to prevent migrants from leaving its shores.

Jose Manuel Barroso said the European bloc is considering up to $200 million in extra aid - a more than a 50 percent increase from the planned outlay from now until 2013.

About 20,000 migrants - mostly Tunisians - have arrived in the Italian island of Lampedusa since upheaval began.


Baha’is unveil renovated shrine

HAIFA | Followers of the Baha’i faith unveiled their newly renovated holy site on the coast of Israel on Tuesday, drawing attention to one of the Holy Land’s lesser-known religions.

The renovation of the Shrine of the Bab, a U.N.-designated World Heritage Site, lasted 2 1/2 years and cost $6 million, according to the Baha’i leadership.

The structure has been refitted and strengthened to withstand an earthquake, and the building’s dome - the most distinctive feature of the landscape in the Mediterranean port city of Haifa - has been covered with 11,790 new gold-glazed porcelain tiles.

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