Muslim Brotherhood Makes

Strong Showing in Egypt Vote

CAIRO -- The banned Muslim Brotherhood locked up about one-quarter of the parliamentary seats open in two rounds of balloting in Egypt, according to results released Monday. The results were an unexpectedly strong sign of Egypt's increasing turn toward conservative Islam and dissatisfaction with the U.S.-allied government.

The final outcome -- after a third round of voting next week -- will almost certainly not end the ruling National Democratic Party's nearly quarter-century grip on power.

Mohammed Habib, Brotherhood campaign chief, said the group's popularity and charity work were major factors in the success of its affiliated independent candidates.


* TASHKENT, Uzbekistan -- The U.S. military flew its last plane out of an air base in Uzbekistan that had been an important hub for American military operations in Afghanistan, a U.S. official said.

In July, President Islam Karimov ordered U.S. troops to leave the base within six months. The move followed the U.S. condemnation of a government crackdown in the eastern city of Andijan that human rights groups say killed hundreds of civilians.


* MOSCOW -- The American editor of Forbes magazine's Russia edition was gunned down in a contract killing ordered by a former Chechen separatist, prosecutors said, announcing that two Chechens would stand trial in the 2004 death.

Paul Klebnikov, a 41-year-old American of Russian descent, was killed outside the magazine's Moscow offices on July 9, 2004. Two Chechens currently now in custody, Kazbek Dukuzov and Musa Vakhayev, are being charged with the murder and with other crimes, the prosecutor general's office said.

* ROME -- A group of engineers and geology experts said they were considering injecting seawater under Venice to raise the waterlogged Italian city by one foot to rescue it from the tides and floods that bedevil it.

The $117 million project would entail drilling holes within a six-mile area around the city and pumping seawater into the ground at a depth of 2,298 feet with the goal of regaining most of the height Venice has lost in the last 300 years.

* MADRID -- Fifty-six people went on trial on charges of raising money and engaging in other activities for the armed Basque separatist group ETA through a network of ostensibly legitimate organizations.

The trial is the largest anti-terrorism case ever in terms of the number of defendants to go before the National Court.

The Americas

* MEXICO CITY -- The Mexican government said it had captured the number two figure in the Juarez drug cartel, calling the apprehension a major blow against traffickers.

Attorney General Daniel Cabeza de Vaca said Ricardo Garcia Urquiza, known as "The Doctor," was apprehended Nov. 11 at a Mexico City mall. Several others were arrested in the sting, including a woman believed to be the group's accountant, identified as Maria Nereida Garcia, who was trying to leave her home with four boxes containing $2.8 million cash and documents pertaining to the cartel's financial operations, officials said.

-- From News Services