Wednesday, August 27, 2008

MALAYSIA

Anwar wins Parliament seat

PERMATANG PAUH | Malaysian opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim won a landslide victory in a special election for a Parliament seat Tuesday, strengthening his campaign to topple the government and become the next prime minister despite sodomy charges against him.

The official count showed Mr. Anwar defeated the governing coalition’s candidate for a seat from a semi-rural district in the northern industrial state of Penang.

ZIMBABWE



Opposition jeers Mugabe in assembly

HARARE | Opposition legislators jeered President Robert Mugabe on Tuesday as he opened Zimbabwe’s Parliament, singing and chanting and sometimes drowning out his voice.

The rare show of defiance - broadcast live on national television - set the stage for a combative legislature, even as Mr. Mugabe and his political foes try to negotiate a power-sharing arrangement after disputed elections.

In March, the opposition Movement for Democratic Change won 100 of the 210 seats in Parliament, upsetting Mr. Mugabe’s ZANU-PF’s long-held majority. On Monday, the opposition’s Lovemore Moyo won the race for Parliament speaker by a surprising 110 votes to 98.

THAILAND

Thousands storm leader’s compound

BANGKOK | Thousands of anti-government demonstrators pushed into the prime minister’s office compound on Tuesday and tens of thousands rallied outside in the latest protest aimed at deposing a leader they accuse of close ties to his disgraced predecessor.

The People’s Alliance for Democracy, which is aligned with conservative factions of the monarchy and the military, said the protests and the seizure of a state-run television station by a masked faction of the crowd were a “final showdown” in its efforts to oust the government.

WEST BANK

Rice optimistic on Mideast peace

RAMALLAH | Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Tuesday that “God willing” there could still be a Middle East peace agreement before the end of President Bush’s term in office.

“God willing and with the good will of the parties and the tireless work of the parties, we have a good chance of succeeding,” Miss Rice said at a joint news conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

Miss Rice was wrapping up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories in hopes of furthering the announced goal of brokering a Middle East peace deal by year’s end.

SUDAN

Plane hijacked in Darfur region

KHARTOUM | A man holding a knife hijacked a plane carrying more than 100 people Tuesday in Sudan’s troubled Darfur region, a security official said.

The passenger plane was seized soon after taking off from Nyala, the capital of southern Darfur, on route to Khartoum, and was diverted to Libya.

Libyan aviation officials confirmed that the plane landed in Kufra, in a southern desert area close to the Sudanese border. The aircraft belongs to a private company, Sun Air, and was carrying 94 passengers plus crew members.

INDIA

Curfew imposed after religious rioting

BHUBANESWAR | Authorities imposed a curfew in parts of an eastern Indian state Tuesday after two people were burned to death and more than a dozen churches torched in spiraling religious violence.

Hundreds of police were deployed in three towns in Orissa’s rural Kandhamal district as they tried to end two days of violence in which a Christian orphanage also was torched by suspected Hindu mobs angry over the murder of their leader.

Violence erupted after armed men killed a Hindu leader linked to the main opposition Hindu-nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and four others last week, an attack Hindus blamed on Christians.

IRAQ

Suicide bombers hit more police targets

BAGHDAD | A suicide bomber in a car laden with explosives sped toward a group of police recruits in an Iraqi provincial town on Tuesday, exploding and killing 25 people, police and witnesses said.

Elsewhere in the volatile Diyala province, a roadside bomb killed five members of a family, bringing the day’s casualty toll to 30. Diyala, a stronghold of Sunni insurgents and the al Qaeda in Iraq terror network, has been the site of much of the recent violence, with an ebb in attacks elsewhere in the country.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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