Opposition lawmakers in Nauru's Parliament ousted President Rene Harris' government yesterday in a vote of no-confidence and elected Ludwig Scotty as leader in the latest twist in this tiny Pacific island nation's political turmoil. \nThe change may break a deadlock in the 18-member legislature over how to deal with the country's economy, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Nauru has been financially crippled from corruption and waste of its natural resources for years. \nHarris' ouster came while he was in Australia negotiating a deal with creditors on payment of US$172 million owed to US firm General Electric Capital Corp. \nThe no-confidence vote was taken after Finance Minister Kinza Clodumar dropped his support for Harris in Parliament and backed Scotty, Nauru Embassy official Helen Bogdan said. \n"They've elected Ludwig Scotty as president, and he appointed Mr. Clodumar as finance minister in his government," she said. \nIt was not immediately clear why Clodumar switched sides, but Bogdan said the finance minister was "obviously not happy with the government of Rene Harris." \nLeadership of Nauru has switched numerous times in the past decade -- last year, it changed three times in a single month. Allegiances are made by politicians individually and Harris' collection of allies had not even formed a party. \nHarris, who was in Melbourne yesterday, told reporters, "I'm not disappointed in losing power, that doesn't last forever, but I'm disappointed in my dear friend who crossed the floor, whom I thought was a friend, but not so." \nFormer Justice Minister Russel Kun said Monday that Harris had planned to dissolve Parliament and call fresh elections because the legislature was at an impasse. \n"Government can't legislate or anything, the house can't legislate or whatever. No business is going forward," Kun told Radio New Zealand.
French authorities yesterday said that they would close a Paris mosque as part of a clampdown on radical Islam that has yielded over a dozen arrests following the beheading of a teacher who had shown his pupils a cartoon of the Prophet Mohammed. The mosque in a densely populated suburb northeast of Paris had disseminated a video on its Facebook page days before Friday’s gruesome murder, railing against teacher Samuel Paty’s choice of material for a class discussion on freedom of expression, a source close to the investigation said. The French Ministry of the Interior said the mosque in Pantin, which has
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