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INDIA

Dalai Lama to cede political role

DHARMSALA | The Dalai Lama said Thursday that he will give up his political role in the Tibetan government-in-exile and shift that power to an elected representative, as the 76-year-old Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader struggled with growing worries about who will succeed him when he dies.

Speaking on the anniversary of the failed 1959 uprising against Chinese rule in his Himalayan homeland that sent him into exile, the Dalai Lama said the time had come “to devolve my formal authority to the elected leader.”

While he has long said that he wants the exile government to take on some of his powers, Thursday’s announcement appeared to mark the beginning of a countdown.

The Dalai Lama said he would propose amendments to the exile constitution during the parliament’s next session, which begins Monday in this Indian hill town where the exiles are based.

SAUDI ARABIA

Police open fire at protesters

CAIRO | Saudi police opened fire at a rally in the kingdom’s east in an apparent escalation of efforts to stop planned protests.

Government officials have warned they will take strong action if activists take to the streets after increasing calls for large protests across the oil-rich kingdom to press for democratic reforms.

A witness in the eastern city of Qatif said gunfire and stun grenades were fired at several hundred protesters marching in the city streets Thursday. The witness, speaking on the condition of anonymity because he feared government reprisal, said police in the area opened fire. The witness said he saw at least one protester injured.

MADAGASCAR

New government to form within days

ANTANANARIVO | Madagascar’s president said a multiparty transitional government will be formed within days to help resolve the Indian Ocean island’s political crisis.

Andry Rajoelina on Thursday said the country’s prime minister and his government have resigned. Mr. Rajoelina can stay in power until the elections, but he must choose a prime minister and government from candidates proposed by all the parties.

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