International News June 30
Robert Mugabe, the incumbent president of the African country Zimbabwe, has retained his throne after a runoff election on Friday, which occurred after the opposition backed out for fear of continued violence, The New York Times reports. The 84-year-old Mugabe begins his sixth term as president. Western nations have declared the election illegitimate. Mugabe is set to be in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Monday for a meeting of the African Union. Opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai will have representatives present to ask African heads of state not to recognize the recent election and to appoint a mediator to negotiate a change in Zimbabwe. The original election saw Tsvangirai win 48% of the vote and Mugabe get 43%, in March.
The Romanian government has ruled that an 11-year-old rape and incest victim will be allowed to have an abortion in Romania, a ruling that goes against the wishes of 20 church groups, CBC reports. The pro-life groups are threatening to sue because the abortion would take place after the standard 14-week legal limit, as she is 21 weeks pregnant. Constantin Stoica, a spokesman for the Romanian Orthodox Church, said the church considers abortion a crime, except for in the case of incest or rape.
British lawmakers have removed an Iranian opposition group called People’s Mujahedeen of Iran from the U.K.’s list of banned terror groups after a seven-year campaign by the organization, The Chicago Tribune reports. The group’s British supporters claim it does not partake in any armed fights any longer and clarified that the group’s leaders have been fighting to change its reputation and labeling after decades of violence surrounding the Iranian religious regime.
Nepal’s Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala has resigned, allowing former communist rebels to assume power, San Francisco Gate reports. The resignation came after strikes swept the capital of Kathmandu because of protests over rising fuel prices that closed schools and businesses. The increases started June 10. The Maoists will assume power but will be negotiating with other parties to build an alliance.
The Israeli government freed a Lebanese gunman convicted in gruesome attack in an exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers killed by Hezbollah guerrillas, The Washington Post reports. Israel’s Cabinet voted 22-3 to approve the deal to return the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were caught by Hezbollah in a July 2006 cross-border raid. Israel will also receive the remaining body parts of soldiers from the Lebanon war and a Hezbollah report about Ron Arad, a missing Israeli airman whose plane went down in Lebanon in 1986. Israel released Samir Kantar, who is serving multiple life sentences for invaded northern Israel in 1979 and killing three Israelis, including a 4-year-old girl. Israel will also release four Lebanese prisoners, many bodies and an undisclosed number of Palestinian prisoners.