Haiti Again Postpones
Elections and Runoff
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti -- Haiti's electoral board on Friday again postponed the first elections since the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, saying it needs more time to organize the vote in the impoverished country.
The Provisional Electoral Council set a new date of Jan. 8 for presidential and legislative elections, followed by a Feb. 15 runoff.
Council members said they would be unable to set up polling sites by Dec. 27 -- the election date announced last week by interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue -- because of crumbling infrastructure and a lack of trained workers.
The delay marks the fourth date officials have set for elections to replace the interim government installed after a rebellion helped force out Aristide in February 2004.
* MOSCOW -- A newscaster with Russia's last big television station openly critical of President Vladimir Putin has been ordered off the air. Olga Romanova, an anchor on Ren TV, said security guards blocked her way when she arrived for work Thursday night. She said managers had earlier stopped her from airing an item on a fatal road accident involving the defense minister's son.
* ROME -- Tens of thousands of demonstrators thronged major Italian cities to protest cuts planned by the government of Premier Silvio Berlusconi. They rallied in support of a general strike that snarled transport and shut public offices across Italy.
* STOCKHOLM -- A Swedish soldier with the NATO-led mission in northern Afghanistan died after a bomb attack, the first Swedish peacekeeper to be killed in the country. The Swedish Defense Ministry said the soldier was one of four wounded when a roadside bomb hit a vehicle in a convoy in Mazar-e Sharif.
* TOKYO -- A Japanese space probe made history Saturday when it landed on an asteroid and collected rock samples that could give clues to the origin of the solar system. The probe, named Hayabusa, sent back images of the asteroid, which is 190 million miles from Earth.
THE MIDDLE EAST
* CAIRO -- Police detained at least 50 members of Egypt's largest Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, on the eve of parliamentary runoff elections, officials said. The Saturday elections are taking place in nine provinces where no candidate won more than half the vote in the second round of legislative polls.
* KELOWNA, B.C. -- Canada has pledged $4.3 billion in a landmark deal with native Indian and northern Inuit communities to help lift them from the poverty and disease that have plagued their reserves for more than a century. The money is to be used over the next decade.
-- From News Services