- The Washington Times - Monday, January 3, 2005

UNITED NATIONS

IAEA’s ElBaradei to get third term

VIENNA, Austria — Mohamed ElBaradei will run unchallenged for a third term as head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog despite Washington’s campaign to oust him, the International Atomic Energy Agency said.

Mr. ElBaradei recently announced he would seek re-election as director-general of the agency he has headed since 1997. No other candidates came forward before the deadline for nominations at the turn of the year, the IAEA said.

U.S. and other officials have complained privately that Mr. ElBaradei was soft on Iraq and Iran, and had withheld information from the IAEA board of governors that could boost the U.S. campaign to refer Iran to the U.N. Security Council for economic sanctions.

CROATIA

Incumbent president faces Jan. 16 runoff

ZAGREB — President Stipe Mesic failed to win an outright first-round victory in a re-election bid yesterday and will face a runoff vote in two weeks, according to nearly complete official results.

Mr. Mesic had 49.03 percent of the votes — less than 1 percent short of a majority that would have given him a second term. Nevertheless, he declared it a “brilliant victory” and voiced confidence that he would win the runoff on Jan. 16.

His opponent, Jadranka Kosor, a minister of families and war veterans in the ruling Croatian Democratic Union-led Cabinet, was trailing far behind with 20.18 percent. Mr. Kosor is a close ally of Prime Minister Ivo Sanader.

GERMANY

Protests expected as jobless take hit

BERLIN — Labor offices were bracing for protests and violence today when jobless benefit cuts are enacted as part of a sweeping reform designed to force people back to work.

Anger at the cutbacks already has flared, notably when an unemployed technician crashed his car into a job center entrance and blew himself up with propane gas after his benefits were cut.

About 1 million long-term unemployed Germans will see their benefits slashed under market reforms that includes tougher means testing for recipients of benefits.

ISRAEL

Sharon advances date of Gaza pullout vote

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ariel Sharon told his Cabinet yesterday that a vote on removing Gaza settlements would be moved up to this month to give settlers more notice of evacuation, officials said.

The Cabinet had been expected to vote in March, but Israel’s attorney general advised that settlers would need notice of five to six months. The removal of Gaza settlements and four of 120 in the West Bank is set to begin in July.

The Cabinet approved a four-phase withdrawal in principle two months ago, but said ministers would have to hold additional votes before any settlers are moved.

PERU

Nationalist militants overrun police station

LIMA — Nationalist gunmen ambushed a police vehicle yesterday, killing four officers and wounding several more, hospital officials said. One gunman was gravely wounded.

The same group a day earlier had overrun a police station in the same remote southern town of Andahuaylas, 275 miles southeast of Lima. They are led by Antauro Humala, a retired army major who seeks to establish a nationalist indigenous movement modeled on the ancient Incan empire.

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