washingtonpost.com  > World > Americas > South America > Uruguay > Post

WORLD IN BRIEF

Wednesday, February 16, 2005; Page A13

Ex-Guerrillas Sworn In To Uruguay Congress

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay -- Former Marxist guerrillas who fought Uruguayan military rule in the 1970s were sworn in Tuesday to head the two houses of congress as pivotal players in the South American nation's historic shift to the left.

Jose Mujica, a Tupamaro rebel leader who spent seven years imprisoned in a deep well during Uruguay's 1973-85 dictatorship, wept as he was sworn in to chair the senate.

_____News from Nepal_____
Nepal Bristles at Criticism, Says Fights Terrorism (Reuters, Feb 15, 2005)
Nepal Bristles at Criticism, Says Fights Terrorism (Reuters, Feb 15, 2005)
Nepal Bristles at Criticism, Says Fights Terrorism (Reuters, Feb 15, 2005)
Dozen Rebels, 3 Soldiers Killed in Nepal (Associated Press, Feb 15, 2005)
Global Pressure Mounts on Nepal's King (Associated Press, Feb 14, 2005)

Nora Castro, a Tupamaro guerrilla also imprisoned by the military, became the first woman in Uruguay's history to preside over the Chamber of Deputies.

Both renounced violence two decades ago and joined the center-left coalition headed by socialist Tabare Vazquez, who will be sworn in as president on March 1. Mujica, 69, will remain in his senate post until he becomes agriculture minister in the new government.

Vazquez's Broad Front coalition has majorities in both houses; Uruguay's traditional parties, the Blancos and the Colorados, will be in opposition for the first time in history.

ASIA

PESHAWAR, Pakistan -- A week of torrential rain and heavy snow in Pakistan has left more than 500 people dead, including dozens buried under avalanches and others killed when a dam burst, an official said. Snow and landslides blocked roads and hampered relief efforts in Pakistan's northwest, where 260 people were killed, the relief commissioner, Ghulam Farooq, said.

FUXIN, China -- Rescue crews searched for a dozen coal miners trapped nearly 800 feet underground after a gas explosion in China's northeast killed 203 people. One miner was rescued nearly 24 hours after the blast.

KATMANDU, Nepal -- A dozen rebels and three government soldiers were killed in a clash near Jante, east of the capital, Katmandu, in the latest violence since the king fired the government and imposed emergency rule, officials said.

THE AMERICAS

BRASILIA -- An outside challenger won the coveted post of speaker of Brazil's lower house of Congress, handing President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva and his Workers Party' their biggest defeat since Lula took office in 2003.

The election of Severino Cavalcanti of the small, conservative Progressive Party marked the first time in 20 years that a president's choice for the job was rejected, said Arlindo Chingalia, the Workers' Party leader in the lower house.

Lula, Brazil's first elected leftist president, cobbled together a coalition in Congress after taking office but angered members of his party by following U.S.-backed economic policies and falling short on promised social reforms.

AFRICA

LOME, Togo -- Togo will hold presidential elections within 60 days, agreeing to demands from African leaders to defuse a crisis that sparked violent protests and international outrage, a government official said. World leaders had threatened sanctions after Togo's army named Faure Gnassingbe president hours after his father, Gnassingbe Eyadema, died on Feb. 5. Togo's West African neighbors called the move a coup and demanded that elections be held.

THE MIDDLE EAST

TEHRAN -- A mosque fire that killed 59 people and injured 350 was blamed on a kerosene heater that was too close to a cloth covering the ceiling of the two-story building, Iran's official news agency reported. A survivor of Monday's fire said some deaths were caused by a stampede when people attempted to escape.

EUROPE

PARIS -- Structural problems progressively weakened the vaulted roof of a terminal at Charles de Gaulle airport and led to the May 23 collapse that killed four people, a government-appointed commission said. Extremely cold weather the morning of the accident could have triggered the collapse, according to the commission.

-- From News Services


© 2005 The Washington Post Company