- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 29, 2006

BANGLADESH

President to head caretaker government

DHAKA — The president installed himself as leader of a caretaker government yesterday, hoping to end days of deadly rioting ahead of national elections.

Although the opposition previously rejected President Iajuddin Ahmed to head an interim government through January elections, opposition leader Sheik Hasina Wazed greeted the announcement with a surprisingly muted response.

“The president should have appointed another person as the head of the caretaker government, instead of himself taking over the charge,” he said. “However, we hope that the president will act neutral and impartial in conducting the next general election. We will keep him under watch.”

Mr. Ahmed was sworn in to replace Prime Minister Khaleda Zia, whose government finished its five-year term Friday and was constitutionally required to transfer power to an interim administration that will lead the country through January elections.

BRAZIL

Lula appears headed for easy runoff win

SAO PAULO — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva appeared headed to easy victory in yesterday’s runoff election, thanks to support from Brazil’s poor, who appeared willing to overlook the corruption scandals that tarnished his first term.

The president’s leftist Workers Party has been battered for two years by charges of vote-buying and illegal campaign financing, scandals that have cost Lula his reputation as a bastion of political ethics.

Nevertheless, polls indicated that voters were unwilling to abandon him for his opponent, former Sao Paulo Gov. Geraldo Alckmin.

IRAQ

Brief delay possible in Saddam verdict

BAGHDAD — A court trying ousted Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for crimes against humanity could delay its verdict by a few days, the chief prosecutor said yesterday, in a move that would shift the announcement until after U.S. midterm elections.

The U.S.-backed court had been due to deliver a verdict on Nov. 5, two days before U.S. elections, in which worsening violence in Iraq has been a major issue.

The chief prosecutor, Jaafar al-Moussawi, said the Iraqi High Tribunal was still working on the judgment.

FRANCE

Marseilles reinforced after attack on bus

PARIS — France sent riot-police reinforcements yesterday to the southern city of Marseilles, where vandals torched a bus during the night, leaving a woman severely burned and fighting for her life.

The attack on Saturday sparked fears of more violence in French cities, coming as France marks the anniversary of riots that scarred the nation’s poor, largely Muslim immigrant suburbs.

PHILIPPINES

Powerful typhoon hits northern islands

MANILA — Typhoon Cimaron blasted roofs off homes as it made landfall late yesterday in the northern Philippines, with officials saying it may be one of the most powerful storms to ever hit the country.

With winds gusting up to 143 mph, Cimaron — named after a Philippine wild ox — roared across an impoverished mountainous area that is home to some 1.7 million people.

“This is probably one of the strongest typhoons ever to hit the country,” Health Secretary Francisco Duqueso said at a news conference.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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