- - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

EGYPT

Mubarak in hospital after probe summons

CAIRO | Ousted President Hosni Mubarak was admitted to a hospital on Tuesday, two days after he was summoned to take part in an investigation by the public prosecutor, according to a judicial source and the website of a state newspaper.

Egypt’s public prosecutor on Sunday summoned Mr. Mubarak, who was ousted on Feb. 11 after nearly 30 years in office, as part of investigations into the killing of protesters and embezzlement of public funds.

Mr. Mubarak, 82, has denied allegations of wrongdoing.

“The former president Hosni Mubarak entered … Sharm el-Sheikh hospital,” the website of the state-owned publisher of Al Ahram newspaper said.

It said the president may not have to travel to Cairo to attend the investigation because of his hospital admittance.

YEMEN

Yemenis demonstrate against mediation deal

SANAA | Tens of thousands of Yemenis demonstrated in major cities across the country, rejecting a mediation proposal by neighboring Gulf countries because it does not provide for trying the president.

The six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council called on President Ali Abdullah Saleh on Sunday to step down as part of a deal with the opponents demanding his ouster after 32 years.

The deal, however, did not specify a time frame for the transfer of power to his deputy and included immunity from prosecution for him and his family.

Protesters held banners that read, “After bloodshed, Saleh should be tried” and, “You [Saleh] will not escape unpunished.” Hundreds of army and security officers in uniform, who sided with the protesters, took part in Tuesday’s demonstration.

TURKEY

Ruling party criticized over headscarves

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.

TUNISIA

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.

ISRAEL

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.

The Baha’i religion has roots in 19th-century Iran. The man known to believers as the Bab, or “gate,” and venerated as a prophet was executed for heresy in 1850 and later buried in Haifa. Today, the faith claims between 5 million and 6 million adherents worldwide.

In Haifa, the domed Baha’i shrine is positioned on a densely populated hillside at the midpoint of a striking green strip of manicured gardens that cuts up the slope from top to bottom.

From wire dispatches and staff reports