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New Burmese election law bars pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi from running

INDIA Students of Osmania University sit around the body of fellow student M Sai Kumar Yadav as they protest in Hyderabad, India. Yadav, who hanged himself, had sought the creation of a separate Telangana state.
INDIA Students of Osmania University sit around the body of fellow student M Sai Kumar Yadav as they protest in Hyderabad, India. Yadav, who hanged himself, had sought the creation of a separate Telangana state. (Mahesh Kumara/associated Press)

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

BURMA

Law bars Suu Kyi from next elections

A new election law issued by Burma's ruling military has barred pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from joining a political party and thus running in upcoming elections, state-run newspapers said Wednesday.

The Political Parties Registration Law, published in official newspapers, excludes anyone convicted by a court of law from participating in the elections.

The Nobel Peace Prize laureate, who has spent 14 of the past 20 years in detention, was convicted last August of violating the terms of her house arrest. She was sentenced to a new term set to end in November. The sentence was seen as a way to keep Suu Kyi locked up during the election campaign.

The election law says that political parties have 60 days from Monday to register with an Election Committee, whose members are to be appointed by the junta.

-- Associated Press

NORTHERN IRELAND

Lawmakers support power-sharing step

Northern Ireland lawmakers voted overwhelmingly to create a new Justice Department, the next key step in making their Catholic-Protestant government work.

Three of the four parties in Northern Ireland's cross-community government backed the motion to take control of the territory's police and courts from Britain next month.

The long-debated move would put law and order back into local hands for the first time since Northern Ireland's descent into civil war four decades ago.

The British, Irish and U.S. governments have pressed for former Belfast foes to take this step and cement their partnership as the U.S.-brokered Good Friday peace accord of 1998 intended.

-- Associated Press

INDONESIA

Bali blast suspect killed in police raid

A top-ranked Southeast Asian militant wanted for planning the 2002 Bali bombings was killed in a shootout with police at an Internet cafe in Java, authorities said. President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono confirmed that suspected Jemaah Islamiyah leader Dulmatin was shot dead.

Dulmatin, an Indonesian trained by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan, was wanted in the suicide bombings that tore through two Bali nightclubs popular with Westerners, killing 202 people in Indonesia's deadliest terrorist attack. One of Southeast Asia's most wanted fugitives, he was thought to have fled to the Philippines. The U.S. government offered a reward of up to $10 million for his capture.

-- Associated Press

Japan confirms secret U.S. pact: Japan acknowledged secret Cold War-era agreements with Washington that tacitly allowed nuclear warships in Japanese ports in violation of a hallowed postwar principle, effectively acknowledging that previous governments had lied about them. While the move was welcomed as a step toward greater transparency, atomic bomb survivors expressed disgust that officials kept such agreements hidden.


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