World briefs 10/29/05

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Sunnis submit candidate lists for Iraq's election

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- A Sunni Arab coalition submitted its list of candidates for the December election Friday, joining other political factions in the race and signaling greater Sunni participation in a process Washington hopes will help speed the day when U.S. soldiers can go home. Also, the U.S. command announced that five more American service members were killed in Iraq. It has been six months since Iraq's government took office April 28.

Iran's president marches with anti-Israel group

Iran's ultraconservative president -- spurning international outrage over his remarks about Israel -- joined more than a million demonstrators who flooded the streets of the capital, Tehran, and other major cities Friday to back his call for the destruction of the Jewish state. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood fast behind his assertion that Israel should be wiped off the map and repeated the call during the nationwide protests Friday, the Muslim day of prayer. The Vatican on Friday condemned as "unacceptable" statements denying the right of Israel to exist, an apparent reference to Iran. Vatican spokesman Joaquin Navarro-Valls condemned "certain statements, particularly serious and unacceptable, in which the right to the existence of the state of Israel was denied." He did not mention Iran by name.

Japan's ruling party OKs final draft of constitution

TOKYO -- The ruling party on Friday approved its final draft of a proposed revision of Japan's pacifist constitution that would drop a clause outlawing war and give the military a greater role in international security, officials said. Article 9 of Japan's current constitution -- drafted by U.S. occupation forces and unchanged since 1947 -- bars the use of military force in settling international disputes. It also prohibits maintaining a military for warfare, though the Japanese government has interpreted that to mean the nation can have armed troops to protect itself, allowing the existence of its 240,000-strong Self-Defense Forces. The Liberal Democratic Party's final draft cuts the "no war" clause from Article 9, and outlines an expanded role for the military.

-- From wire reports

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