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The trial is seen as a test between Egypt’s traditional power structure and the impatience for clear breaks with the past seven months after Mr. Mubarak was toppled and power shifted to a military council.

GUATEMALA

Retired general favored in presidential election

GUATEMALA CITY | A former military general who softened his image as the “iron fist” to promote social programs and democracy but appeared to be a favorite to control Guatemala’s epidemic crime rates was the leading candidate heading into Sunday’s presidential election.

Voters disappointed in outgoing President Alvaro Colom’s failure to reduce crime have indicated that Otto Perez Molina may be the best person to lead the charge in a nation with one of the highest murder rates in the Western Hemisphere.

Violence is epidemic in this nation of 14.7 million people, and organized crime has overrun many regions. Guatemala has a murder rate of 45 per 100,000, according to a report by the World Bank.

Mr. Perez, who lost to Mr. Colom in 2007, would be the first former military leader elected president since democracy was restored in the country in 1986, after the military dictatorships of the 1970s and ‘80s.

A U.N.-sponsored truth commission found that 200,000 people were killed in Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, 93 percent of them by state forces and paramilitary groups.

Nonetheless, many credit Mr. Perez as having played a key role in the march toward democracy, including negotiating the 1996 peace accords that ended the conflict.

IRAQ

Cleric: No anti-U.S. attacks before pullout

NAJAF | Radical Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr ordered his followers not to launch any attacks on U.S. troops before a year-end deadline for their withdrawal, in a statement seen on Sunday.

Mr. al-Sadr’s remarks came just days after he backtracked on a call for popular anti-government rallies. U.S. forces have accused militias linked to the cleric of largely being behind attacks on its soldiers.

“In order that Iraq can recover its independence through the withdrawal of the invaders from our territory, I judge it indispensable to halt all armed resistance operations until the complete withdrawal of the occupying forces,” Mr. al-Sadr said in the statement originally issued Saturday.

“If the pullout is completed and there is no longer a single U.S. soldier on our territory, the military operations will end definitively, but if that is not the case and Iraq remains in a state of dependency, they will resume with greater vigor.”

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