Digest

World Digest: Opposition's Mehdi Karroubi softens stance on Iran's leadership

Workers carry a victim of the Ethiopian airliner crash early Monday off Lebanon. Ninety people were aboard; no survivors were found.
Workers carry a victim of the Ethiopian airliner crash early Monday off Lebanon. Ninety people were aboard; no survivors were found. (Ben Curtis/associated Press)
Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Iran

Opposition figure softens his position

In a major shift, a senior opposition figure announced that he now recognizes Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as the head of Iran's government while standing by

his assertions that the presidential election was rigged, the opposition leader's son said on Monday.

Mehdi Karroubi's new position is a retreat from his statements after the June 12 election, when he insisted that Ahmadinejad's government was illegitimate.

The election sparked widespread street protests against Ahmadinejad's government, but in recent months the movement has appeared to broaden, sharply criticizing the clerical leadership, including the Islamic republic's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

The softening aimed to show that the opposition, while still seeking Ahmadinejad's removal, is not protesting against Iran's entire ruling clerical system, including Khamenei, said Karroubi's son, Hossein.

-- Associated Press

SRI LANKA

Two former allies battle for top job

The two architects of Sri Lanka's civil war victory will face off in a hard-fought election Tuesday to determine who will lead their troubled country's struggle to recover from the devastating quarter-century conflict.

The main candidates, President Mahinda Rajapaksa and former army chief Sarath Fonseka, were close partners in the campaign to defeat the Tamil Tiger rebels. But a bitter falling out that drove Fonseka to the opposition has turned an expected easy reelection victory for Rajapaksa into a tight political contest.


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