Zambian president dies, says official Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa died in a Paris hospital after battling a long record of ill health and a second stroke in June, the country's vice-president Rupiah Banda said yesterday. "Yes, I can confirm that the president passed on this morning," said the family member. The Zambian cabinet had been summoned Tuesday to “an urgent meeting", said a cabinet minister who did not want to be named.
LUSAKA - Agence France-Presse
Israeli police to quiz Olmert again
Investigators are expected to quiz Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert again on corruption allegations in what will be the sixth round of questioning so far, an Israeli police officer said yesterday. Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said detectives would interview Olmert at his official residence in Jerusalem on Friday morning.
JERUSALEM - The Associated Press
Tuareg rebels to 'lay down arms'
Niger's Tuareg rebel leader Aghaly ag Alambo said his fighters would lay down their arms from Monday and, together with neighboring Mali's Tuareg rebellion, submit to mediation by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi. Tuaregs in the Saharan regions of Niger and Mali took up arms against their respective central governments last year.
NIAMEY - Agence France-Presse
Two minors face hanging in Iran
Iran's judiciary approved the death sentence for two young men who committed murder as minors under the age of 18, Kargozaran newspaper said yesterday. Amir Karim has been convicted for stabbing a young man to death when he was 16, in Nov 2005. The EU have sought to raise the age of legal responsibility in Iran's Islamic law, which deems a boy punishable from the age of 15 and a girl from the age of nine.
TEHRAN - Agence France-Presse
Separatists in Kashmir call off protests
Muslim leaders have called for three days of calm, and allowed for schools and businesses to reopen after weeks of massive protests in Indian Kashmir that virtually shut down the region. Crowds thronged to markets to buy food and oil as life returned to normal yesterday after two months of sustained protest in Srinagar, the biggest city in India's only Muslim-majority state.
SRINAGAR - The Associated Press
Fiji to reform electoral system
Fiji's coup leader told South Pacific governments yesterday his country needs their support as it reforms ahead of promised elections, but warned it would proceed without them if necessary. Commodore Frank Bainimarama, Fiji's self-appointed PM, announced Monday he would boycott this week's annual Pacific Forum summit, complaining that Fiji was being pressured to hold elections too soon.
ALOFI - The Associated Press