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Regional & National

Nation/World briefs, April 25, 2007

April 24th, 2007 11:09 pm by Staff Report





Mexican leaders vote to legalize abortion


Thousands pay respects to Yeltsin


Ethiopian rebels attack oil field; 74 dead


ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia - Ethiopian rebels who have fought alongside Islamic militants in neighboring Somalia stormed a Chinese-run oil field at dawn Tuesday, killing 74 people and destroying the exploration facility in a restive border region. It was the first such attack on a foreign company in this Horn of Africa nation, in contrast to Nigeria on the western side of the continent, where rebel groups frequently attack international oil concerns. Chinese officials said nine Chinese oil workers and 65 Ethiopians died and seven Chinese were taken away by the rebels. The assault by more than 200 gunmen lasted nearly an hour, and followed a warning last year from the rebel Ogaden National Liberation Front against any investment in eastern Ethiopia's Ogaden area that could benefit the U.S.-allied government.


Mexican leaders vote to legalize abortion

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MEXICO CITY - Mexico City lawmakers voted to legalize abortion Tuesday, a decision likely to influence policies and health practices across Mexico and other parts of heavily Roman Catholic Latin America. The proposal, approved 46-19, with one abstention, will take effect with the expected signing by the city's leftist mayor. Abortion opponents have already vowed to appeal the law to the Supreme Court, a move likely to extend the bitter and emotional debate in this predominantly Catholic nation. Nationally, Mexico allows abortion only in cases of rape, severe birth defects or if the woman's life is at risk. Doctors sometimes refuse to perform the procedure even under those circumstances. The new law will require city hospitals to provide the procedure in the first trimester and opens the way for private abortion clinics. Girls under 18 would have to get their parents' consent.


Thousands pay respects to Yeltsin

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MOSCOW - Thousands of somber, teary-eyed mourners shuffled past the open casket of Boris Yeltsin in a vast cathedral Tuesday, lighting candles and laying flowers as Orthodox priests chanted prayers for the first freely elected president of Russia. Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton headed the list of foreign dignitaries flying in for the funeral and burial on Wednesday in Moscow's elite Novodevichy Cemetery - largely a resting place for Russian dreamers and artists rather than politicians. Among other ex-world leaders from Yeltsin's era expected at the funeral were former Polish President Lech Walesa and former British Prime Minister John Major.


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