- The Washington Times - Friday, May 19, 2006


Lawmakers strip king of powers

KATMANDU — Lawmakers moved yesterday to dramatically reduce the powers of Nepal’s king, calling for him to be stripped of his legal immunity, authority over the army and exemption from paying taxes.

The sweeping resolution also called for King Gyanendra to lose his symbolic position as the head of the Himalayan nation, changing traditional references to “His Majesty’s government” to the “Nepal government.”

To be enacted, the resolution must be voted on as a series of laws, officials said. That was expected in the next few days.


Court rejects appeal by Mubarak foe

CAIRO — An appeals court refused yesterday to hear the forgery conviction of Ayman Nour, the runner-up in last year’s presidential election, in a case that has drawn international criticism about Egypt’s commitment to opening up its political system.

The decision against Mr. Nour effectively means he will serve five years in prison.

Police cracked down on protesters in central Cairo, beating activists and arresting 240 members of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, including two of its leaders, at rallies in support of two pro-reform judges who faced disciplinary hearings for blowing the whistle about fraud in parliamentary elections last year.


Fujimori leaves jail after bail ruling

SANTIAGO — Alberto Fujimori, Peru’s former president, was granted bail yesterday and left a Chilean jail where he had been held for six months, angering Peruvian officials seeking his extradition.

Chile’s Supreme Court set $3,000 bail for Mr. Fujimori, 67, detained while Peru tries to extradite him to face human rights abuse and corruption charges. Under conditions of the bail, he cannot leave Chile.

Mr. Fujimori, who is both revered and reviled in Peru, was arrested during a surprise visit to Chile in November. He had been living in Japan for five years to avoid prosecution in Peru after his 1990-2000 government collapsed amid a huge corruption scandal.


L’Oreal unit charged with racism

PARIS — French prosecutors yesterday charged a subsidiary of cosmetics group L’Oreal with racist hiring policies in the first trial of its kind against a major corporate in the country.

The French public prosecutor’s office asked a court in Paris to impose an “exemplary fine” on L’Oreal subsidiary Garnier and one of its former managers, saying it sought to exclude applications from Arabic, Asian and African job seekers.

A fax specified the company was seeking to hire 18- to 22-year-olds of the type “BBR.” Prosecutors said “BBR” — or bleu, blanc and rouge (blue, white and red), the colors of the French flag — was a well-known code to exclude people of Arabic, African or Asian origin, a charge denied by the company.


Leader calls for unity after attack on judges

ANKARA — Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan called yesterday for national unity in the aftermath of the shooting of senior judges this week.

His government, which has roots in Islam, has come in for bitter criticism after the shooting, in which one member of the Council of State was killed and four wounded by a man shouting Islamist slogans.

The Council of State, a guardian of secularism that had banned the wearing of the Islamic head scarf by public-sector workers and university students, was attacked by a 29-year-old lawyer on Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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