Continued from page 1

HARARE — Zimbabwe has taken majority ownership of all foreign-owned mining companies, Zimbabwe’s black empowerment minister said Thursday.

But the country’s prime minister told companies to ignore the move, saying it could create “anarchy in the industry” in the already ruptured economy.

Empowerment Minister Saviour Kasukuwere said that all companies that did not meet a late 2011 deadline to submit proposals to cede a controlling stake to blacks have forfeited 51 percent of their shareholdings and are now “deemed to be owned by the state.”

Zimbabwe has large Australian, Canadian and South African mining interests - including giants Rio Tinto, Canadile and Anglo American - and with scores of small white-owned gold mines.

The empowerment drive has split the shaky 3-year-old coalition government. Critics say it has scared off much-needed investment and is being used as a political ploy ahead of elections President Robert Mugabe wants this year.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, the former opposition leader, immediately urged the nation to ignore Mr. Kasukuwere and said the empowerment laws do not allow him to “unilaterally nationalize private entities.”


Pope denounces dissidents on celibacy

Pope Benedict XVI has denounced priests who have questioned church teaching on celibacy and ordaining women, saying Thursday they were disobeying his authority to try to impose their own ideas on the church.

Benedict made the rare and explicit criticism from the altar of St. Peter’s Basilica in his homily on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises they made when ordained.

In 2006, a group of Austrian priests launched the Pfarrer Initiative, or pastor initiative, a call to disobedience aimed at abolishing priestly celibacy and opening the clergy to women to relieve the shortages of priests.

In June, the group’s members essentially threatened a schism, saying the Vatican’s refusal to hear their complaints left them no choice but to “follow our conscience and act independently.”


Hope for baby born with stunted intestines

BUCHAREST — Baby Andrei has confounded doctors just by being alive: The tiny boy with twig-thin limbs was given just days to live when he was born with almost no intestines - eight months ago.

Story Continues →