- Associated Press - Thursday, June 24, 2010


Australia gets first female premier

CANBERRA | Australia’s ruling Labor Party ousted Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on Thursday in a sudden, stunning revolt that also delivered the country its first female leader.

Mr. Rudd’s deputy, Julia Gillard, was elected leader in an uncontested vote about 12 hours after she surprised many colleagues by challenging a prime minister who until recently had been among the country’s most popular.

Many foreign policies, including Australia’s 1,500-strong military contribution to the war in Afghanistan, are not likely to change under Miss Gillard.


President hopes arrest cripples terrorist cell

JAKARTA | Indonesia’s president said he hopes the arrest of the country’s most-wanted terrorism suspect will help cripple a network accused of plotting several high-profile assassinations and a Mumbai-style attack targeting foreigners at luxury hotels.

However, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, reportedly a target of the plot, urged people to remain vigilant and report all suspicious movements.

The suspect, Abdullah Sunata, was led away in handcuffs with two aides, one of them a purported expert bomb maker, after raids on their hideout in Central Java province Wednesday.


Blast kills associate in minister’s office

ATHENS | Greek Public Order Minister Mihalis Chrisohoidis says a bomb attack inside his ministry has killed one of his close associates.

Officials said the bomb, disguised as a gift, exploded on the seventh floor of the ministry, near Mr. Chrisohoidis’ office, on Thursday night. The minister was inside the building at the time but he was not harmed.


Police make arrest near G-20 summit

TORONTO | Police say they made an arrest after searching a car and finding containers of gasoline and weapons near the G-20 summit site.

Police spokeswoman Nathalie Deschenes said Thursday there was an array of unspecified weapons in the car. A police hazard unit went through the car.

A chain saw and a crossbow were seen next to the car after police pulled it over.

Police flagged the Hyundai Elantra after deeming it suspicious. A large makeshift container was strapped to the roof of the car.

The car was pulled over a few blocks from where world leaders will meet, but not within the security perimeter. It was stopped near a hotel where the French delegation is staying. Workers at the hotel had walked off the job Thursday as part of a labor dispute.


French strike over plans to raise retirement age

PARIS | Trains stood still and children played instead of studied as workers across France went on strike Thursday to protest President Nicolas Sarkozy’s plans to raise the retirement age by two years to 62.

Neighboring countries suffered along with Paris commuters, as walkouts by drivers delayed or canceled trains from Italy and Switzerland. Some flights were dropped or delayed.

Boisterous crowds of protesters filled Marseille’s port and wide Paris avenues, as unions staged nearly 200 marches in several cities over a broad reform to the money-losing pension system, part of efforts across Europe to cut back growing public debt.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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