Opposition Leaders Detained In Egypt

CAIRO -- Egyptian security services detained senior members of the opposition Kifaya, or Enough, movement Saturday during a protest against the nomination of President Hosni Mubarak to run for a fifth six-year term.

The protest, in which police beat demonstrators with batons and roughed up journalists, came a day after Mubarak nominated himself to stand in Egypt's first multi-candidate presidential election.

"Kamal Khalil, George Ishaq and Amin Iskander have been detained," a police source said without giving further details.

Ishaq is the coordinator of Kifaya, and Kamal Khalil and Amin Iskander are senior activists in the group, one of several taking part in the protest.

During a June visit to Cairo, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice criticized the imposition of emergency law, arbitrary justice and violence against peaceful demonstrators in Egypt.


* TEGUCIGALPA, Honduras -- An agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration was shot and killed in an apparent robbery attempt at a Roman Catholic shrine outside the Honduran capital, officials said.

Special Agent Timothy Markey was visiting the shrine Friday when two assailants confronted him and shot him twice, according to Honduran federal police and the DEA. Markey was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital.

The U.S. Embassy said arrangements were being made to return the agent's remains to the United States. He would have been 44 on Saturday.

* CARACAS, Venezuela -- Supporters of President Hugo Chavez set piles of garbage on fire to halt a march by 1,000 people protesting what they contend is unfairness in next month's local elections, witnesses said.

The fires led police to stop the march about two blocks from the National Electoral Council. Protesters said the council favors Chavez's ruling party and cannot properly oversee Aug. 7 parish and municipal elections.


* TOKYO -- Thousands of people gathered in Tokyo to voice their opposition to the government's bid to change the pacifist clause of the Japanese constitution.

Japan abandoned the right to wage war or maintain a military under Article 9 of the constitution, unchanged since it was drafted by the postwar U.S. occupation authorities 59 years ago.

The wording has been interpreted to allow Japan to maintain forces for self-defense, but the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, increasingly frustrated by limits on military cooperation with allies overseas, is pushing to modify the charter.

Almost 10,000 people attended the meeting, the Kyodo news agency reported.


* BEIRUT -- Lebanon's parliament voted confidence in the new government, endorsing a program that sets out to balance ties with Syria but does not mention a U.N. Security Council demand that Hezbollah guerrillas disarm.

The cabinet led by Fuad Siniora, finance minister under assassinated former premier Rafiq Hariri, won the support of 92 members of the 128-seat assembly. Fourteen voted against and two abstained, parliamentary Speaker Nabih Berri announced.


* FREETOWN, Sierra Leone -- Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea have said they want Nigeria to review the asylum that is protecting former Liberian president Charles Taylor from being tried for crimes against humanity.

Taylor, a former warlord seen as the mastermind behind several conflicts in West Africa, was elected president in 1997 but went into exile in Nigeria in 2003 under an asylum deal to end years of war in Liberia.

International pressure has been mounting on Nigeria to send Taylor to a U.N.-backed war crimes tribunal in Sierra Leone.


* BIRMINGHAM, England -- Former president Jimmy Carter said the detention of terror suspects at the Guantanamo Bay naval base in Cuba was an embarrassment and had given extremists an excuse to attack the United States.

Carter also criticized the U.S.-led war in Iraq as "unnecessary and unjust."

"I think what's going on in Guantanamo Bay and other places is a disgrace to the U.S.A.," he said during a news conference at the Baptist World Alliance's centenary conference in Birmingham, England.

-- From News Services