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Turkey's Ruling Party Wins Parliamentary Election


Turkey Election: Turkey's Islamist-rooted ruling party won parliamentary elections by a wide margin Sunday, with late projections indicating the party won about 340 of parliament's 550 seats.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told supporters his Justice and Development party, or AKP, would continue reforms for admission into the European Union, fight terrorism, and work toward national unity.
The AKP won nearly 47 percent of the vote. More than 80 percent of eligible voters went to the polls Sunday.
The main secular opposition Republican People's Party is projected to win about 112 seats, and the far right Nationalist Action Party is expected to win around 70 seats.
Independent candidates, most of whom are supported by a pro-Kurdish party, are expected to win the remaining 27 seats.
The results indicate AKP will fall short of the two-thirds majority of parliament needed to elect the president, which means it will need to the support of another party.

Afghanistan: Afghan and South Korean officials say they hope talks with the Taleban captors of 23 Korean aid volunteers will lead to their safe release.
An Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman (Zemarai Bashary) said today (Monday) that the government is working around the clock to secure the release of the Koreans as well as one German captive. The body of a second German kidnap victim, was recovered Sunday.
Sunday, the Taleban had extended a negotiating deadline by 24 hours. However, Taleban spokesmen have told news agencies today (Monday) that negotiations for release of the South Koreans are not going well. The Taleban also repeated their threat to kill the South Koreans.
The kidnappers have demanded the release of 23 Taleban prisoners in exchange for the South Koreans, who were abducted Thursday on a bus between Kabul and Kandahar. The deadline for the prisoner swap is Monday evening (seven p.m. local time - 1430 UTC).

Afghan King Obit: Former Afghanistan King Mohammad Zahir Shah died today (Monday) in Kabul at age 92.
The king ruled Afghanistan from 1933 until being deposed by his cousin in a bloodless coup in 1973. He then lived in exile in Rome until he returned to Kabul in 2002, after a U.S.-led invasion ousted Afghanistan's Taleban government in late 2001.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai announced that the former king died in his residence in the presidential palace compound. Mr. Karzai's government gave the king the symbolic title "Father of the Nation."
Zahir Shah was born in Kabul in 1914 and became king when he was 19 years old. During his 40 year rule, he gave the country a constitution, created an independent parliament and took the lead in promoting the rights of women.

Thailand Protests: Thai police say they are seeking the arrest of at least eight people believed to have organized a demonstration against the country's military coup leaders that turned violent.
About five-thousand pro-democracy activists and supporters of deposed Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra clashed with Bangkok police Sunday, throwing rocks and bottles as officers responded with pepper spray.
Officials say at least 100 police and demonstrators were wounded in the clash.
The protesters called for the resignation of retired General Prem Tinsulanonda, a former prime minister who is now the top adviser to Thailand's king. They say the general masterminded last September's coup against Mr. Thaksin.
Police today (Monday) say they have detained at least six people and charged them with causing chaos, obstructing the work of authorities and damaging state property.

Thailand - Lao Hmong Refugees: Supreme Commander Says Thailand To Deport 7,700 Hmong RefugeesTo Laos. All Hmong refugees currently living in a make-shift camp in Phetchabun will be deported to Laos as no countries have come forward to offer them resettlement, Supreme Commander Boonsrang Niumpradit said Saturday.

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