November 7, 2006 in Nation/World

Bombs damage PRI headquarters

The Spokesman-Review

Homemade bombs exploded early Monday at the Federal Electoral Tribunal, a bank branch and headquarters of the former ruling party in the country’s capital, causing no injuries but rattling nerves in a country wracked by protests since a contested presidential vote.

A coalition of resistance groups claimed responsibility, but officials said it still wasn’t clear who carried out the blasts.

The explosions shortly after midnight damaged an auditorium at the headquarters of the Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, a branch of Canadian-owned Scotiabank, the Federal Electoral Tribunal, and businesses and residences near the court.

Police deactivated two other bombs, one at a second Scotiabank near the court and another outside a Sanborns restaurant, a chain owned by billionaire Carlos Slim, near the PRI headquarters, said Mexico City Public Safety Secretary Joel Ortega.

BISHKEK, Kyrgyzstan

Leader gives in, doesn’t give up

The Kyrgyz president gave in Monday to opposition demands to fire key law enforcement officials but refused calls to resign even as thousands protested and police guarding his headquarters joined the demonstrators.

Early today, opposition lawmakers held an extraordinary Parliament session and voted on a draft constitution that would trim President Kurmbanbek Bakiyev’s powers. But it was unclear what legal weight their move would carry since only a minority of 39 lawmakers was present.

The two sides have been in a standoff over opposition demands for constitutional reforms that would curb presidential powers in the Central Asian nation. Demonstrators say Bakiyev, who came to power after a March 2005 uprising that ousted longtime leader Askar Akayev, has failed to deliver on promises to surrender some of his powers and give the parliament and Cabinet more clout.


Soldiers’ families push war inquiry

The families of two teenage soldiers killed in Iraq went to court Monday in a bid to persuade British judges to order a public inquiry into the legality of the war.

Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government has refused to hold a full inquiry into the 2003 invasion, despite demands from opposition lawmakers and polls showing that Britain’s presence in Iraq remains deeply unpopular.

“More than 31/2 years after the invasion of Iraq, a question mark hangs over its legality and public concern about it remains unabated,” said the families’ lawyer, Rabinder Singh.

The families, who say their sons were sent to war on the basis of flawed legal advice, said they were hopeful their High Court appeal would succeed.

The families contend that Britain has an implied obligation to hold an independent inquiry under Article 2 of the European Convention of Human Rights, which protects the “right to life.” The families particularly want to know why Attorney General Lord Goldsmith, the government’s chief legal adviser, apparently changed his view on the legality of war.

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