World digest 05/17/05

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

Mexico's Fox apologizes for remark about blacks

MEXICO CITY -- President Vicente Fox reversed course Monday night and apologized for saying that Mexicans in the United States do the work that blacks won't. Fox repeatedly refused to back away from his Friday comment, saying his remark had been misinterpreted. But later, in phone conversations with the Rev. Jesse Jackson and the Rev. Al Sharpton the president said he "regretted" the statement.

Kuwaiti women get right to vote, run for offfice

KUWAIT CITY -- Parliament extended political rights to Kuwaiti women Monday, but religious fundamentalists who opposed women's suffrage succeeded in attaching a clause requiring future female politicians and voters to abide by Islamic law. It was not clear whether that meant a strict dress code or just separate polling stations and election campaigns. Some of the women activists who ululated and sang the national anthem after the 35-23 vote expressed concern about the vague restriction, but others refused to let it dampen their joy. Women can now vote in all Middle Eastern nations where elections are held except Saudi Arabia.

Nepalese soldiers search for abducted children

KATMANDU, Nepal -- Nepalese troops resumed their search Monday for hundreds of children taken hostage by Maoist insurgents in the mountains of western Nepal, officials said. The exact number of children taken by the rebels was unclear. In the past, rebels have taken students for a few days to indoctrinate them with their revolutionary ideology, and then returned most of them safely.

Turnout in Ethiopian election 90 percent

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia -- The government of Ethiopia said late Monday it had won a majority of seats in parliament, while acknowledging that the opposition had won in the capital, Addis Ababa. About 90 percent of voters turned out for the parliamentary election. Nationwide provisional results, however, were only expected Saturday, and final results would be announced June 8.

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