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WORLD IN BRIEF

Monday, April 18, 2005; Page A14

Turkish Cypriots Elect A Pro-E.U. President

NICOSIA, Cyprus -- A pro-European Union candidate was elected president of the breakaway Turkish Cypriot state on Sunday, voted into office by Turkish Cypriots frustrated by decades of international isolation and a stagnant economy.

Mehmet Ali Talat's victory signaled the end of the rule of Rauf Denktash, the hard-liner who has dominated the enclave's politics for three decades. Talat won 56 percent of the vote in the self-declared Turkish Cypriot state, while his main rival, Dervis Eroglu, polled 23 percent, according to final official results.

_____News from Nepal_____
Nepal King Seeks to Break Out of Isolation on Tour (Reuters, Apr 18, 2005)
Communist Rebels in Nepal Execute 10 Men (Associated Press, Apr 17, 2005)
Traffic Resumes, Businesses Open in Nepal (Associated Press, Apr 13, 2005)
UN Congo Peacekeepers Detained in Uganda, Capital (Reuters, Apr 11, 2005)
Nepal Rebels Kill Policemen in Jail Raid (Reuters, Apr 10, 2005)

ASIA

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- More than 100,000 people held anti-Israel protests in the Indonesian capital and several other cities, calling for protection of Jerusalem's disputed al-Aqsa mosque compound.

Unfurling big banners saying, "Save al-Aqsa from raid of the Jewish," about 80,000 people -- mostly conservative Muslims dressed in traditional white garb -- marched peacefully down Jakarta's main streets. Some marchers chanted, "Israel is the terrorist!"

A group of Jewish extremists in Israel opposes the government's planned withdrawal from the Gaza Strip and has threatened to storm the al-Aqsa mosque in July, when Israeli police and soldiers are to evacuate more than 8,000 Gaza settlers. Clashes at the mosque could ignite violence across the region and force Israel to halt its withdrawal.

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Communist rebels in southern Nepal dragged at least 10 males from their homes, including a 14-year-old boy, and gunned them down for refusing to take up arms with the guerrilla movement, officials and human rights activists said.

The rebels stormed the village of Somani, about 150 miles southwest of the capital, Katmandu, on Friday night and began hauling males out of their houses, the army said.

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan -- A bomb planted by Taliban rebels destroyed five trucks carrying oil for the U.S. military and wounded three drivers in the southern city of Kandahar, a senior Afghan army official said.

SAVAR, Bangladesh -- The number of people killed in last Monday's collapse of a Bangladeshi garment factory climbed to 69 as rescuers recovered nine more bodies, a rescue official said, adding that there was scant hope of finding anyone else alive.

THE AMERICAS

HAVANA -- Millions of Cubans elected municipal assemblies across the communist-run island in local elections that President Fidel Castro defended as "the most democratic in the world."

More than 8 million Cubans were electing 169 municipal assemblies in voting that takes place every 2 1/2 years.

AFRICA

AKSUM, Ethiopia -- Ethiopian veterans demanded that Rome return heads severed from their fallen heroes by fascist Italian invaders in the 1930s, saying the expected return of an obelisk this week was not enough.

Ethiopian and Italian officials in the northern Ethiopian city of Aksum say the first part of the obelisk, plundered nearly 70 years ago, is due to be flown back to the city in a giant cargo plane Tuesday after repeated delays.

Italy promised in 1947 to return the 200-ton granite column, a symbol of the dawn of Ethiopian civilization, but arguments and logistical problems delayed the move. The two countries finally agreed in November to fly it home.

MORONI, Comoros -- A volcano erupted on the Indian Ocean Comoros Islands, forcing hundreds of villagers to flee in fear of poison gas as the crater spewed ash and flung boulders over molten lava, witnesses said.

EUROPE

PARIS -- Firefighters sorting through the debris of a burned-out Paris hotel found the body of a small child, raising the death toll from Friday's blaze to 22, police said. Half of the victims were children.

ORSIERES, Switzerland -- A Swiss tourist bus plunged into an Alpine ravine, killing 12 people and injuring 15, police said.

-- From News Services


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