- The Washington Times - Friday, September 9, 2005

EGYPT

Mubarak declared winner in election

CAIRO — President Hosni Mubarak won a fifth six-year term in Egypt’s first contested presidential election, as expected, with 88.6 percent of the vote but turnout was very low at 23 percent.

Wednesday’s race, in which Mr. Mubarak faced nine mostly little-known rivals, was the first time Egyptians were able to choose between more than one presidential candidate.

Mr. Mubarak’s victory, announced by Presidential Election Commission Chairman Mamdouh Marei, was widely forecast but the official turnout figure came as a surprise.

Mr. Mubarak, 77, has ruled Egypt since the 1981 assassination of Anwar Sadat. No president since 1952, when the military overthrew the monarchy, has left office via the ballot box.

EL SALVADOR

660 gang members held in five nations

SAN SALVADOR — Simultaneous raids this week in five countries, including El Salvador and the United States, netted 660 dangerous gang members, police said.

“Operation International” was a joint effort between the two nations along with Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico, according to a statement Thursday from Salvadoran national police.

Most of the gang members were arrested for illegal gatherings, homicide and robbery, Deputy Police Commissioner Pedro Gonzalez told Radio La Chevere.

In El Salvador, 237 persons were captured; in Honduras, 162; in Guatemala, 98; in Mexico, 90; and in the United States, 73.

FRANCE

Chirac leaves hospital

PARIS — President Jacques Chirac emerged from hospital yesterday, declaring himself in fine shape but walking with a slight hesitation and saying nothing about the illness that kept him there a week.

The 72-year-old leader said doctors advised him to limit his activities for another week and he canceled plans to attend next week’s U.N. summit in New York. France instead will send Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin, the former foreign minister whose February 2003 speech against the invasion of Iraq put him in the world spotlight.

Mr. Chirac was hospitalized Sept. 2 after suffering a “small vascular accident” that impaired vision in one eye, medical officials said without ever fully elaborating.

INDONESIA

Christians jailed over Sunday school

Three Indonesian Christian women who have been on trial since June 30 in west Java were found guilty Sept. 1 of “enticing” Muslim schoolchildren to become Christians.

Rebekka Zakaria, Eti Pangesti and Ratna Bangun were given three-year prison sentences for having Sunday school classes in private homes in Haurgeulis, Indramayu, about three hours drive west of capital Jakarta, that were attended by Christian and Muslim children. The children’s parents gave permission for them to attend the classes and none of them converted to Christianity.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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