- The Washington Times - Friday, October 6, 2006


Prime minister wins vote of confidence

BUDAPEST — Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany, whose admission that he lied to the country about Hungary’s economy led to huge street protests, won a vote of confidence in parliament yesterday by 207-165. He needed 193 votes to win.

Even as parliament voted, however, tens of thousands of people gathered on Kossuth Square just outside the legislature and demanded Mr. Gyurcsany’s dismissal.


Rights council fails to address abuses

GENEVA — The fledgling U.N. Human Rights Council ended its second session yesterday after failing to approve any decisions addressing the world’s worst abuses.

The failure to reach agreement on the most hotly debated issues was criticized by the United States and the European Union. The United States is not a member of the 47-member council but is an observer.

The council is a successor to the widely discredited U.N. Human Rights Commission.


Haniyeh urges Abbas to resume unity talks

GAZA CITY — Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh yesterday urged Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas to resume talks on forming a national unity coalition after the moderate leader threatened to dissolve the Hamas-led government.

In an impassioned speech to tens of thousands of Hamas supporters, however, Mr. Haniyeh vowed no government made up of the ruling Hamas militant movement would recognize Israel, a stance that is a nonstarter for Mr. Abbas and Western nations.

At one stage Mr. Haniyeh appeared to faint as aides rushed to help him into a chair. Mr. Haniyeh, who like many Muslims is fasting for the holy month of Ramadan, later resumed his speech.


Party’s youth wing mocks Muhammad

COPENHAGEN — Video showing young members of a populist political party mocking the prophet Muhammad has surfaced on Web sites, prompting the head of the Danish party’s youth wing to express regret yesterday.

Kenneth Kristensen, chairman of the Danish People’s Party Youth, known for its anti-immigration stance, conceded the video was problematic, but said it “is OK to poke fun at Muhammad, Jesus or Bill Clinton. We must not put limits on ourselves.”

Video clips showed a party member drawing Muhammad as a camel with beer bottles as humps.


Lula leads rival in runoff poll

RIO DE JANEIRO — President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva holds a lead over his challenger ahead of Brazil’s Oct. 29 presidential runoff vote, a survey released yesterday showed.

It was the first poll released following the Oct. 1 presidential election, in which Mr. Lula da Silva failed to win an outright majority, forcing a second round of voting against the second-place candidate, former Sao Paulo Gov. Geraldo Alckmin.

Yesterday’s poll by the Datafolha Institute shows the president receiving 54 percent of the votes, while Mr. Alckmin would receive 46 percent. The poll was conducted for Globo TV.


Foreign minister calls Bush ‘monster’

CARACAS — Venezuela’s foreign minister called President Bush a “monster” yesterday, adding to a list of insults by President Hugo Chavez, who recently called the U.S. leader devil and donkey.

Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro called for Mr. Bush’s removal from the White House and denounced what he called a worldwide campaign by Washington to block Venezuela’s bid for a seat on the U.N. Security Council.

“That monster who is in the White House must be removed because we, the peoples [of the world], want peace and justice,” the minister said at a press conference in Caracas.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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