- The Washington Times - Monday, April 22, 2002

Center-left alliance wins Hungarian election
BUDAPEST An opposition center-left alliance claimed victory in national elections yesterday with a slim 10-seat majority to unseat Prime Minister Viktor Orban's ruling conservatives.
The Socialists have promised to speed up talks on Hungary's membership to the European Union and have signaled market-friendly measures that analysts say will boost the stock market.
With virtually all votes counted, the Socialists and their liberal Free Democrat allies were on course to win 198 seats in the 386-seat Parliament.
Mr. Orban conceded defeat last night with his Fidesz/Democratic Forum alliance expected to finish with 188 seats.

Russian minister sees new security structure
MOSCOW Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov said in an interview broadcast yesterday that the creation of a Russia-NATO council next month could alter the structure of European security.
Mr. Ivanov's reaction was the first from Moscow to the announcement last week that Russia and NATO would begin the council at a Rome summit. He said the council would give all states involved an equal role in discussions on selected themes but retain decision-making powers in areas deemed to be within its own competence.

11 die in violence in Indian state
AHMEDABAD, India Eleven persons were killed, including a policeman hacked to death, in the latest upsurge of violence in western Gujarat state, police said yesterday.
The renewed Hindu-Muslim clashes were expected to increase pressure on the Indian government, facing its biggest crisis since it took office in 1999, over its failure to contain riots in which more than 800 people have died.

Hard-line Islamic group complains of detention
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan The leader of Pakistan's largest Islamic party was picked up by police yesterday in what a party spokesman said was an apparent attempt to prevent protest rallies against President Pervez Musharraf.
Qazi Hussain Ahmed, chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami, or the Islamic Party, was detained outside the party headquarters in Lahore, party spokesman Munawaar Hasan said. He said Mr. Ahmed was released after several hours in custody but has had to abandon plans to lead a protest caravan across the country.

Former Afghan king will not seek throne
KABUL, Afghanistan Former King Mohammed Zahir Shah told the Afghan people he has no interest in regaining his throne and that he supports the leadership of interim leader Hamid Karzai.
The 87-year-old ex-monarch, who ruled Afghanistan from 1933 to 1973, also said he plans to spend his remaining years here. "It brings me joy to be among my people," Mr. Zahir Shah said in a statement read over Kabul television.

South Africa cites pride in wealthy space tourist
JOHANNESBURG South Africa wished computer whiz Mark Shuttleworth, dubbed the first African in space, a safe journey yesterday as the world's second space tourist prepared to blast off next week.
Mr. Shuttleworth, a 28-year-old millionaire whose space ride has drawn controversy at home, is reported to have paid $20 million for a seat on a Russian spacecraft destined for the International Space Station.

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