WORLD IN BRIEF
WORLD IN BRIEF
Prime Minister Rules Out Early Election
Prime Minister Gordon Brown on Saturday ruled out calling an early election, ending weeks of speculation that he would soon seek a stronger mandate from the British electorate.
Brown said he wanted his government, which has been in office for just over 100 days, to have time to show voters how it would transform public services and the economy.
Opponents accused him of being afraid to face the public after a series of opinion polls suggested his electoral lead was evaporating.
Brown succeeded Tony Blair as prime minister in June and does not have to call an election until May 2010. But there has been widespread speculation that he would call an early vote to seek a five-year mandate and increase the Labor Party's majority in Parliament.
U.S. 'Concerned' Over Detention of Aid Worker
The United States is disturbed by the Sept. 26 arrest in Nigeria of an American aid worker accused of helping two Germans film and photograph oil facilities in the Niger Delta, the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria said Saturday.
Judith Asuni, 60, was charged last week in a federal high court with breaching the Official Secrets Act for allegedly helping the German filmmakers and advising them to lie to the Nigerian Embassy in Germany to get visas. She pleaded not guilty.
"We are deeply concerned by her continued detention without bail," the U.S. Embassy said in a statement. On her way out of court Friday, Asuni said she had been held in solitary confinement for eight days. She also said she had been denied medical treatment for 15 hours after suffering a severe accidental electric shock.
Protesters Disrupt Right-Wing Rally in Capital
Swiss police fired tear gas and anti-right-wing protesters hurled rocks and bottles Saturday during a political rally in Switzerland's capital, in a sign of rising tensions ahead of a divisive election.
The clashes occurred in Bern when hundreds of demonstrators sought to interrupt an estimated 5,000-strong march organized by the right-wing Switzerland's People's Party, a photographer on the scene said.