World briefs 4/16/04
Tornadoes kill dozens overnight in Bangladesh
NETROKONA, Bangladesh -- Tornadoes swept through northern Bangladesh, killing at least 55 people, injuring hundreds and blowing away thousands of flimsy huts, officials said Thursday. The twisters hit nearly two dozen farming villages on Wednesday night. Thousands were left homeless and spent the night in open fields, witnesses said.
African Anglicans refuse funding over gay issue
NAIROBI, Kenya -- Anglican archbishops from Africa resolved Thursday to reject donations from any diocese that recognizes gay clergy and recommended giving the Episcopal Church in the United States three months to repent for ordaining an openly gay bishop. The archbishops also said they will refuse cooperation with any missionary who supports ordaining gay priests. They said the Episcopalians should be disciplined for the election of V. Gene Robinson as bishop.
Australian government to abolish Aboriginal body
CANBERRA, Australia -- The government announced plans Thursday to abolish Australia's commission on Aboriginal affairs, saying it has failed to improve conditions for the country's poorest, sickest and least-educated minority group. In a sweeping reform of the government's indigenous policy, Prime Minister John Howard said he will introduce legislation in Parliament next month to dissolve the 14-year-old Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission.
Pakistan: Musharraf will step down as army chief
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan's government reiterated on Thursday that President Gen. Pervez Musharraf will step down as army chief at the end of the year as promised, even though he left open the possibility of staying in that job in a recent interview. In December, Musharraf, who took power in a bloodless coup in 1999, promised to retire as head of the army by the end of 2004, paving the way for him to stay on as a civilian president.
Hong Kong leader calls for change in elections
HONG KONG -- Hong Kong's leader said Thursday the territory's electoral system should be reformed by the time his successor is chosen in 2007, but he stopp-ed short of calling for democracy as many people in the territory want. Tung recommended that Hong Kong changes how its Legislative Council is chosen by 2008.
-- From wire reports