Romanian opposition wants vote annulled

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

BUCHAREST, Romania -- The leader of Romania's opposition party demanded Tuesday that the results of weekend presidential and parliamentary elections be annulled because of fraud and a new vote be held. Presidential candidate Traian Basescu, who heads the centrist Justice and Truth Alliance, claimed election authorities gave an extra 160,000 ballots, or 2.5 percent of the votes cast, to his main rival, Prime Minister Adrian Nastase of the ruling Social Democratic Party.

Palestinian media ordered to halt incitement

JERUSALEM -- Interim Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas ordered a halt to anti-Israel incitement in government-controlled media, officials said Tuesday, meeting a key Israeli demand and adding to the new signs of goodwill that have emerged since the death of Yasser Arafat. Israel has long complained of incitement in the Palestinian media, citing fiery anti-Israel broadcasts by Muslim preachers and programs praising the killing of Jews. It blamed Arafat, who died Nov. 11, for the objectionable content.

Congo officials say Rwanda is invading

KINSHASA, Congo -- Senior Congolese officials charged Tuesday that Rwandan President Paul Kagame had made good on his threat to invade, claiming Rwandan troops had crossed into eastern Congo and were clashing with militias there. U.N. officials said they were investigating the invasion claims -- allegations that came as Kagame told his country's parliament that Rwandan troops "might" already be in Congo, pursuing Rwandan rebels based there.

International Red Cross finds fault at Guantanamo

GENEVA -- The International Committee of the Red Cross said Tuesday it has given the Bush administration a confidential report critical of U.S. treatment of terror suspects detained at the U.S. military prison in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. But the Red Cross, which is the only independent monitor allowed to visit the facility, refused to confirm or deny a New York Times account that the ICRC report described the psychological and physical coercion used at Guantanamo as "tantamount to torture."

-- From wire reports

Six Cuban dissidents freed in show for EU

HAVANA -- Cuban authorities on Tuesday freed dissident writer Raul Rivero, the latest of half a dozen political prisoners released over the past few days in a move widely seen as intended to court favor with the European Union. Rivero, the best-known among 75 dissidents rounded up in a crackdown in March 2003, was freed on medical parole Tuesday after a checkup at a Havana prison hospital for emphysema and cysts on a kidney.

Allawi refuses talks with Saddam loyalists

BAGHDAD, Iraq -- Iraq's interim prime minister went to Jordan on Tuesday for meetings with tribal figures and other influential Iraqis in a bid to encourage Sunni Muslims to participate in the Jan. 30 elections, but he ruled out contacts with insurgent leaders and former members of Saddam Hussein's deposed regime. Insurgents targeted U.S. troops Tuesday in Baghdad and in and around Beiji, a city north of the capital, killing four Iraqi civilians and wounding at least 20 other people, including three U.S. soldiers.

Indonesian passenger plane skids off runway; 31 dead

JAKARTA, Indonesia -- A Lion Air passenger plane carrying more than 150 people skidded off a runway in central Indonesia during heavy rain and split into two pieces Tuesday, killing at least 31 people, airline officials and witnesses said. Three of the dead were children, and at least 62 people were injured, officials said. Some survivors remained stuck in the wreckage for more than three hours after the crash, media reports said.

U.S. lawyers file complaint over Abu Ghraib

BERLIN -- A group of American civil rights lawyers filed a criminal complaint in German court on Tuesday against top U.S. officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, for acts of torture committed at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The complaint also names former CIA director George Tenet, the former commander in Iraq Lt. Gen. Ricardo Sanchez and seven other military leaders.

-- From wire reports

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