- The Washington Times - Monday, September 20, 2004

SPAIN

Cabinet set to OK same-sex ‘marriage’

MADRID— The Socialist government will approve same-sex “marriage” at an Oct. 1 Cabinet meeting in a move likely to enrage leaders of the Roman Catholic Church.

Senior party official Jose Blanco said at a political rally that the Cabinet was going to approve a change to the civil code “because people have to be in charge of their own destiny.” The reform must then be approved by parliament.

Almost 70 percent of Spaniards support same-sex “marriage,” according to a recent survey.

KAZAKHSTAN

President’s party tops election race

ASTANA — President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s party took an early lead in parliamentary elections yesterday and his daughter’s new party was running second, lending credence to suspicions of plans for dynasty rule.

Mr. Nazarbayev’s Otan party had 42.7 percent of the vote with 18 percent of all ballots counted. The Asar party, run by Mr. Nazarbayev’s daughter, Dariga Nazarbayeva, was next with 19.5 percent.

IRAN

Government slams latest U.N. ruling

TEHRAN — Iran yesterday denounced as “illegal” demands from the United Nations’ atomic watchdog agency that the Islamic republic freeze all work on uranium enrichment and threatened to limit cooperation with the agency if it moves toward sanctions.

But Hasan Rowhani, Iran’s top nuclear negotiator, stopped short of outright rejection of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s demands and held out the possibility of negotiations on the issue.

GAZA STRIP

Israeli missile kills Hamas militant

GAZA CITY — A senior leader of Hamas’ military wing was killed in an Israeli missile strike as his car drove through a stronghold of the group in the Gaza Strip yesterday, witnesses said.

The missile, which witnesses said was fired by a drone, struck a car carrying Khaled Abu Selniya, a senior field commander of Hamas’ Izz el-Deen al-Qassam brigades. Six passers-by were hurt.

HAITI

Tropical stormtakes at least 90 lives

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Tropical Storm Jeanne killed at least 90 persons in Haiti after battering the neighboring Dominican Republic with lashing winds and a deadly storm surge before pushing off into the open seas yesterday.

The erratic storm lashed Haiti and the Dominican Republic on Friday and Saturday, drenching northern Hispaniola with rain and causing flash floods. In May, floods killed more than 3,000 people on the southern Haitian-Dominican border.

GERMANY

Major parties lose support in 2 elections

BERLIN — Voters in two eastern German states angry about high unemployment levels handed a rebuke yesterday to Germany’s two largest parties, giving big gains to far-right and former communist groups, television projections showed.

Both Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder’s Social Democrats and the conservative Christian Democrats lost support in Brandenburg and Saxony. In Saxony, Mr. Schroeder’s party was on the brink of its worst showing in a state election.

The votes reflected seething discontent with Mr. Schroeder’s social-welfare cuts and high unemployment in the formerly communist East, even 15 years after the Berlin Wall fell.

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