Briefly: Decision on archbishop of Canterbury may be months away

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LONDON — The Church of England says that a decision to select the new archbishop of Canterbury — the spiritual leader of the 80-million-strong global Anglican communion — could still be months away.

Attention had focused on a private meeting held last week by the Crown Nominations Commission, a group which will choose a successor to Rowan Williams, who is retiring from his post at the end of December.

But the meeting ended Friday with no announcement, leading to speculation that senior clergymen were at an impasse.

The commission said in a statement Friday that an announcement is expected “during the autumn,” a period that stretches into late December.

Church of England spokesman Arun Arora said Sunday that there is no set timetable for an announcement.

FRANCE

Thousands denounce EU austerity pact

PARIS — Thousands of left-wing protesters took to the streets of Paris on Sunday to denounce the European Union fiscal pact, which forces governments to stick to tough deficit limits.

Chanting “Resistance,” protesters marched through central Paris in a rally organizers said was aimed at fighting EU-imposed austerity, not at criticizing the government of Socialist President Francois Hollande.

“This day is the day the French people launch a movement against the policy of austerity,” onetime presidential contender and Left Front leader Jean-Luc Melenchon said at the march, which organizers said gathered more than 50,000 people.

Mr. Melenchon denied that the protest was aimed at Mr. Hollande, saying: “This is a left-wing demonstration under a left-wing government.”

Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault is to open what is expected to be a long and difficult debate on the fiscal pact in the National Assembly on Tuesday.

The pact, agreed by EU leaders in March, requires its signatories to write into law a commitment to limit structural deficits to within 0.5 percent of gross domestic product under normal circumstances.

Many on the French left — including within the Socialists and their Green allies — have said they will vote against the measure, but with right-wing deputies backing the pact, it is expected to be approved.

Speaking to deputies from the left-wing PRG party Sunday, Mr. Ayrault said approving the pact would be an “essential step” in resolving the debt crisis threatening the eurozone and its single currency.

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