World briefs 1/11/06

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Doctors say Ariel Sharon out of immediate danger

JERUSALEM -- Doctors reported progress Tuesday by Ariel Sharon, saying the Israeli leader moved his left hand and appeared to respond to his sons' voices in new signs of recovery from a massive stroke. But while doctors said Sharon was no longer in immediate danger, they cautioned it would be days before they could determine the full extent of the damage he suffered from a brain hemorrhage and whether he has lost his ability to think and reason.

Election board rejects jailed Fujimori's candidacy

LIMA, Peru -- Peru's election board on Tuesday barred Alberto Fujimori from running in an April election as the jailed former president fought efforts by Peruvian prosecutors to have him extradited from Chile on charges of rights violations and corruption. Fujimori has been detained in Chile since November when he arrived unexpectedly following five years in exile in Tokyo. He went to Japan in 2000 when his decade-long autocratic regime collapsed under the weight of growing scandals. Fujimori, who denies any wrongdoing, said upon arrival in Chile that it was just a stopover on his way back to Peru to seek the presidency. But Chilean authorities arrested him at the request of the Peruvian government. Fujimori's daughter Keiko registered his candidacy on Friday, hours after the Chilean judge handling his extradition ordered him to remain under arrest, possibly for months, while the case is processed.

Turkey scrambles to contain bird flu outbreak

ANKARA, Turkey -- Turkey raced to contain an outbreak of bird flu Tuesday, destroying 300,000 fowl and blaring warnings from mosque loudspeakers, after preliminary tests showed at least 15 people have been infected with the deadly H5N1 strain. As the country recorded the first human deaths outside eastern Asia, jittery European governments stepped up border checks and hosed down Turkish trucks with disinfectant. Fifteen cases in one week is a record for the current bird flu outbreak.

Feast of the sacrifice begins in Islamic world

MINA, Saudi Arabia -- Pilgrims threw pebbles at stone pillars and the faithful slaughtered cattle and sheep as the Islamic world began its celebration of the feast of sacrifice. Around the world, Muslims kicked off the holiday, called the Eid al-Adha in Arabic, that commemorates Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son in God's test of the patriarch's faith. At the last moment, God substituted a sheep for the son. The story is shared by all the great monotheistic religions -- Islam, Judaism and Christianity.

-- From wire reports

Tens of thousands of Muslim pilgrims hurled pebbles at stone pillars, symbolically stoning the devil Tuesday in a final rite of the hajj. At Islam's holiest sites in Saudi Arabia, the 2.5 million Muslims participating in the annual pilgrimage held the first of three days of a stoning ritual to cleanse sins. They threw pebbles at "al-Jamarat" -- three stone pillars symbolizing the devil. From the Philippines to Bosnia and across the Middle East, Muslims slaughtered livestock for festive family dinners and meat donations to the poor. In the Egyptian capital, Cairo, blood poured across sidewalks, apartment-building stairwells and rooftops as families slaughtered sheep and cows for the holiday.

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