- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 29, 2005

WEST BANK

Fatah wins round of municipal elections

RAMALLAH — Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas’ ruling Fatah faction won the third round of municipal elections in the West Bank yesterday, beating out the hard-line Hamas movement, according to preliminary results announced by the electoral commission.

Of the West Bank municipalities up for grabs, Fatah took 64, with 61 percent of the total vote, against 28 seats for Hamas, which won 26 percent of the votes, and 12 municipalities for independent candidates and minor groupings.

The turnout rate was an impressive 75 percent.

Hamas is taking Fatah on in the polls despite refusing to renounce their armed campaign against Israel.

ITALY

Flood barriers OK’d to protect Venice

ROME — A $5.2 billion project to build flood barriers to save Venice from its high tides will go forward, Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday.

The disputed project “is the solution to a problem that has always existed,” Mr. Berlusconi said at the end of a meeting with members of his Cabinet and officials from the region surrounding Venice.

Some environmentalists say the project will turn Venice into a stagnant pond.

NIGERIA

Anglican church will not quit

ABUJA — Nigeria’s Anglican Church reaffirmed its opposition to same-sex “marriages” and the ordination of homosexual priests yesterday, but insisted that it would not break away from the church’s world body.

“We cannot advise on same-sex union, nor should we ordain active homosexuals [but] we are not breaking away from anybody. Nigeria is not breaking away from anybody,” the primate of the Anglican Church in Nigeria, Archbishop Peter Akinola, told a press conference.

Archbishop Akinola was clarifying the church’s recent decision to alter its constitution to formalize the rift between itself and those English and North American congregations that tolerate homosexuality.

UGANDA

President signs law axing term limits

KAMPALA — Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has signed into law a constitutional amendment that eliminates presidential term limits and makes him eligible to stand for re-election next year, officials said yesterday.

Bernard Eceru, a Ugandan parliament spokesman, said Mr. Museveni had signed the bill with little fanfare on Monday, following its passage by parliament over strenuous opposition objections in August.

The bill contains a series of constitutional amendments, including the abolition of term limits, a proscription against same-sex “marriage” and the designation of Swahili as Uganda’s second official language after English.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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