Tue, May 16, 2006 - Page 7 News List

World News Quick Take

AGENCIES

■ Spain
Cops recover Stradivarius

Police seized a Stradivarius violin worth more than US$1.3 million during a raid in a red-light district near Barcelona, reports said on Sunday. The instrument, dating from 1715, was probably stolen from a museum in Romania, the reports said. Police arrested 11 Romanians and two Spaniards during the raid on bordellos targeting human traffickers and pimps. The suspects are thought to be members of a gang run by a Romanian mafia boss, who allegedly directs operations from his prison cell in Salamanca, western Spain.

■ South Africa

Zuma gets ANC job back

Politician Jacob Zuma has been handed back his duties of deputy president of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) a week after he was acquitted of rape charges, a newspaper reported. The Star reported yesterday that the ANC National Executive Committee decided to reinstate Zuma to his party role at a Sunday night meeting. "ANC Deputy President Jacob Zuma will resume his duties for the party with immediate effect," the Star said. It gave no source for its report and the ANC said it would issue a statement on the subject later yesterday. Many of Zuma's ANC supporters have denounced the rape charges as a smear campaign to prevent him from succeeding President Thabo Mbeki in 2009.

■ Chad

Deby confirmed winner

President Idriss Deby Itno's victory in presidential elections earlier this month was confirmed late on Sunday, with officials saying he won 77.5 percent of the vote. "I pay homage to the Chadian people, a mature people, a people which has won by being politically mature. The people have made their choice and it's me," he told journalists. The veteran leader's victory was never in any doubt after opposition parties boycotted the polls claiming Deby's regime was siphoning off oil revenues earmarked for national development.

■ Somalia

Rival groups ink ceasefire

Islamic militias and rival secular fighters signed a formal ceasefire on Sunday under pressure from clan leaders -- a deal intended to end eight days of fighting that has killed at least 142 people. The chairman of the radical Islamic Court Union militias and a senior commander for the secular fighters agreed to stop the bloodletting after clan elders threatened to unleash their own combatants on whichever side was violating the ceasefire, leaders said. Sporadic gunfire that rang across northern Mogadishu for most of Sunday ended after Sheik Sharif Sheik Ahmed signed the deal on behalf of the Islamic fighters and Nuur Daqle signed for the secular Alliance for the Restoration of Peace and Counterterrorism.

■ Israel

More raids planned

The government declared yesterday that it would carry out more military operations in the Palestinian territories after Israeli soldiers shot to death seven suspected Palestinian militants in raids in the northern West Bank. The battle in the territories would continue as long as militant organizations there carried out attacks on Israeli civilians, Israeli military sources told Israel Army Radio. According to Israeli authorities, one of the people killed in Sunday's raids in the West Bank was Elias al-Ashkar, a high-ranking Islamic Jihad member and the mastermind of several suicide bombings.

■ United States
Hillary Clinton backtracks

Backing away from her assertion that the current generation is lazy, Democratic Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said on Sunday that she simply wanted to "set the bar high" when she told an audience last week that young people today "think work is a four-letter word." Clinton said her daughter, Chelsea, called to complain after learning about her remarks at a gathering of the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington on Thursday. In that speech, Clinton criticized young people for having a sense of entitlement after growing up in a "culture that has a premium on instant gratification."

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