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In Brief

In Brief

Iraq official says U.S. arrested 7 guards
BAGHDAD, Iraq
Iraq's health minister, who is aligned to a major Shiite militia, claimed yesterday that U.S. forces arrested seven of his personal guards in a surprise pre-dawn raid on his office. The reason for the alleged arrests was unclear.
Health minister Ali al-Shemari said the soldiers arrived at 3 a.m. yesterday, broke open doors inside the building leading to his office and hauled away the seven men, who were posted there as night guards.
There was no U.S. statement on he claim. However, a U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the case, said Iraqi forces with U.S. advisers searched the ministry after a tip from an Iraqi citizen and took five people into custody for further questioning.
Leftists see victory
MEXICO CITY, Mexico
Mexico's leftist opposition supporting losing presidential candidate Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador pressed Saturday on the electoral court to annul more than a million votes that it believed could land him in power.
A close aide to Lopez Obrador said that the opposition noted irregularities in 80 percent of the votes cast July 2 that are now being recounted by the Federal Electoral Tribunal.
The court ruled that it will examine nine percent of the 130,000 polling stations. The opposition said that its analysis of the votes so far had showed that there were enough false ballots cast to annul the declared victory of conservative Felipe Calderon.
She predicted that Colderon would lose 1.8 million of vote if those ballots were cancelled, enough to hand victory over to Lopez Obrador.
Chavez registers
CARACAS, Venezuela
Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, a popular leftist crusader, formally registered his re-election campaign on Saturday to continue a self-styled socialist revolution that has put him at odds with Washington.
Chavez, a former soldier first elected in 1998, is widely expected to win the December 3 presidential vote in Venezuela, the world's No. 5 oil exporter.
A close ally of Cuba, Chavez said on Saturday he was going to visit the ailing Fidel Castro, a political father figure, who is recovering from abdominal surgery.
Recent polls show that Chavez, who once dreamed of becoming a pitcher in the U.S. major leagues, has over 50 percent support while the closest competitor has around 20.
Americans back Bush
WASHINGTON, D.C.
Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of U.S. President George W. Bush's handling of homeland security, an 11 percent jump from May, according to a Newsweek poll released on Saturday.
The poll was taken Thursday and Friday.
Bush's approval rating rose to 38 percent, a 3-point increase since Newsweek conducted its last poll in May.
Fifty-four percent of respondents said they would oppose a ban on all carry-on baggage on commercial flights, the poll said.
Taken three months ahead of U.S. congressional elections, the survey found 44 percent of respondents said Republicans would do a better job handling terrorism, compared with 39 percent who preferred Democrats.


Updated : 2021-10-20 19:20 GMT+08:00