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WORLD IN BRIEF

Wednesday, March 30, 2005; Page A11

Iranian Woman Wants to Make Unprecedented Run at Presidency

TEHRAN -- A female lawmaker said Tuesday that she wanted to compete in Iran's presidential elections in June, despite the fact that no woman has ever been allowed to run for the office in the Islamic state.

The Guardian Council, a panel of hard-line clerics and jurists that approves candidates, in January reiterated its constitutional interpretation that only men could stand for president. Reformist clerics and politicians have repeatedly challenged the opinion.


Afghans walk on a bridge ruined by floods in Ghazni, south of kabul. Waters Swamped much of the town, and nearby villages were inundated after a dam was breached following heavy rains and melting snow. (Tomas Munita -- AP)

_____News from Nepal_____
Orphans Bear Brunt of Nepal's Brutal War (Reuters, Mar 30, 2005)
Nepali Journalists Defy Ban on Protest, Seek Freedom (Reuters, Mar 29, 2005)
120 Nabbed for Defying Nepal Protest Ban (Associated Press, Mar 28, 2005)
Dozens Arrested for Protesting in Nepal (Associated Press, Mar 28, 2005)
Bhutan Unveils First Constitution, Aims Democracy (Reuters, Mar 28, 2005)

Rafat Bayat, a member of parliament, said she hoped the council would change its position and allow her to compete in the June 17 vote.

"Governing a country needs someone with revolutionary ideas based on Islamic laws and an understanding of peoples' problems. . . . These are qualities both men and women can have," she told the semi-official FARS news agency.

Women in Iran enjoy more rights than those in many Middle Eastern countries but are poorly represented in senior positions. Mohammad Khatami, the outgoing reformist president, appointed only one woman to his cabinet, and only a dozen female lawmakers serve in the 290-seat parliament.

EUROPE

SARAJEVO, Bosnia -- The Croatian member of Bosnia's shared presidency was fired after refusing to step down in the face of corruption charges. State prosecutors this month indicted Dragan Covic, along with six other Bosnian Croats, for customs evasion, corruption and abuse of office.

Covic was fired by Paddy Ashdown, the top international official in Bosnia, who under terms of the 1995 Dayton peace accord has broad powers to enact laws and dismiss politicians deemed to be obstructing implementation of the pact.

ASIA

KATMANDU, Nepal -- About 200 Nepalese journalists defied a ban on protests to march through the Himalayan kingdom's capital, demanding restoration of press freedoms curbed since King Gyanendra seized absolute power last month.

Riot police in Katmandu stood guard as reporters, editors and photographers waved banners seeking the release of 13 journalists held after Gyanendra suspended civil liberties. In a separate rally in the capital, police arrested at least 10 political activists, witnesses said.

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Armed attackers ambushed U.S. and Afghan government troops, wounding six Afghan and two American soldiers, the U.S. military said in a statement.

Insurgents detonated a bomb beside a vehicle carrying Afghan troops near Asadabad, 120 miles east of Kabul, in Kunar province, and then shot at them. Two American soldiers were wounded in a separate ambush near Tirin Kot in the central province of Uruzgan, the military said.

THE AMERICAS


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