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04/10/2006 World News: Iraqi Sunni Arabs Maintain Opposition to Al-Jaafari


Iraq: Iraq's biggest Sunni Arab bloc in parliament says it will ask Shi'ite leaders to present new candidates for prime minister in a new government.
A spokesman for the Iraqi Accordance Front (Dhafir al-Ani) said the bloc informed Shi'ite leaders today (Monday) of the decision to reject Prime Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari. The Shi'ite bloc also was informed that the Kurdish alliance made a similar decision to reject Mr. Jaafari.
The decisions come as Shi'ite leaders continue meetings Monday to consider whether Mr. Jaafari should keep his post in the next government.

Australia-Iraq: Australian Prime Minister John Howard says he is willing to testify at an inquiry into alleged bribes paid by an Australian wheat exporter to Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq.
Mr. Howard says he will provide a written statement to the inquiry Tuesday, complying with a request by the retired judge (Terence Cole) who heads the panel.
If the judge calls on Mr. Howard to appear in person, he would be the first Australian prime minister to testify at an official inquiry since 1983.
The inquiry is probing allegations the Australian Wheat Board (now called A.W.B.) paid 220 million dollars in kickbacks to Saddam's government in return for Iraqi contracts under the U.N.'s oil-for food program.

Nepal Unrest: Witnesses in Nepal say anti-monarchy protesters have gathered in the capital, Kathmandu, despite the third day of a government curfew and warnings that violators will be shot.
A seven hour curfew was extended today (Monday) in Kathmandu and surrounding areas, where massive demonstrations have been taking place.
The curfew also has been imposed in the towns of Pokhara and Bharatpur, where two people died during clashes Saturday between security forces and anti-monarchy protesters.

EU-Belarus: The European Union has imposed a visa ban on Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko and 30 other officials in protest of his landslide victory in elections condemned by the West as fraudulent.
EU diplomats announced the decision today (Monday) in Luxembourg.

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