World briefs 9/12/05

Monday, September 12, 2005

Israeli troop convoys begin driving out of Gaza

MORAG, Gaza Strip -- Triumphant Palestinian troops accompanied by cheering, flag-waving crowds took control of abandoned Jewish settlements in the Gaza Strip today, as Israeli troops rolled out of the territory in convoys in the final phase of Israel's pullout from the territory after 38 years of occupation. Fireworks lit up the sky, Palestinian gunmen fired in the air in celebration and crowds set fire to the synagogue in the abandoned Morag settlement, closest to Palestinian towns. The 5,000 Israeli troops who had been left in Gaza began driving toward Israel before dawn today.

Ruling party vote kicks off primary in Mexico

MONTERREY, Mexico -- Three former members of President Vicente Fox's Cabinet vied Sunday to become the ruling National Action Party's presidential candidate in 2006 elections. Former Energy Secretary Felipe Calderon led in early results in the first of three regional votes to select a National Action candidate. Fox is prohibited by law from seeking a second term. The voting kicked off the primary season among Mexico's three major political parties, which must register their candidates by January.

No attempt was made on Afghan minister's life

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Soldiers who fired at Defense Minister Rahim Wardak's convoy were not trying to assassinate him as initially believed, but were shooting at other troops they were angry with, a government spokesman said Sunday. Shots were fired at the convoy Saturday. Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammed Saher Azimi initially said the shooting had been an attempt on the minister's life, but at a news conference Sunday he said an investigation had found that "it was just a clash between soldiers." Nine soldiers have been arrested, Azimi said.

Clinton says China must tolerate more dissent

BEIJING -- China will have to tolerate more dissent as its economy grows and opens up to the rest of the world, former President Clinton said Sunday. Clinton, who is on a four-day visit to China, also said he would have raised the case of a Chinese journalist imprisoned for allegedly providing state secrets to foreigners when he spoke at a conference on Saturday but he had not been aware of the issue at the time. Clinton delivered the keynote address at a conference held by Internet powerhouse Yahoo Inc.'s new Chinese partner, Alibaba.com, at the eastern resort city of Hangzhou.

-- From wire reports

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