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World News
Posted: 2005-02-04 00:00
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Author: Phil Gengler
Section: The Stute

Iraqi elections called "a resounding success"

President Bush called the elections in Iraq "a resounding success" due to higher-than-expected voter turnout throughout the country. Millions of Iraqis took to the polls despite several attacks and the threat of more. The day was not entirely peaceful, and 44 Iraqis were killed in several attacks on polling places. Counting of the ballots is expected to last into next week, with certification of the results happening on February 20. Following the elections, interim Iraqi president Ghazi Yawer said that it would be "complete nonsense" for Iraq to call for a troop pullout given the country's situation.

Nepal's king shakes up government

A day after firing the country's prime minister and putting many political officials under house arrest, Nepalese king Gyanendra announced the formation of a new cabinet. Gyanendra fired the prime minster for failing to hold elections or to end the civil war which is ravaging the country. As part of his consolidation of power, Gyanendra cut all phone and Internet access to the country. Gyanendra's takeover of power has drawn criticism from the United States and neighboring India.

Pope hospitalized for breathing problems

Pope John Paul II was hospitalized Tuesday due to a worsening flu and breathing problems. Vatican officials say that the hospitalization is "just a precaution" and that he is not in intensive care. Three days before being admitted to the hospital, the Pope canceled all of his appointments due to the flu. The Pope has been in poor health lately, but has insisted on performing as many of his duties as possible.

Sudan crisis not genocide, says UN report

In a 244-page report, the United Nations has declared that the actions in the Darfur region of Sudan are "crimes against humanity," but stopped short of classifying them as genocide. The British and French governments are pushing for trials in the International Criminal Court, while the United States, which refused to sign onto the court, feels that an ad hoc tribunal would be more appropriate. The report indicates that the actions in Darfur do not technically fit the legal definition of genocide, but that it is a largely academic distinction.

Spain rejects Basque independence plan

The Spanish government has rejected a proposal from the Basque regional government that would have given the Basques greater autonomy. Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero accused the Basque leader, Juan Jose Ibarretxe, of promoting the idea of a Basque country which does not exist. The Basques have been at odds with the Spanish for years over their autonomy, with some armed militant groups launching attacks against Spain.


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