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World in brief: Netanyahu defeats radical challenger

Wed., Aug. 15, 2007

Benjamin Netanyahu easily defeated a radical Jewish settler in the race to lead Israel’s hardline Likud Party on Tuesday, a party official said, boosting his ambitions to reclaim the country’s premiership.

While Netanyahu’s victory had been all but assured, a strong showing by challenger Moshe Feiglin could have shored up Israel’s extreme right and hurt Netanyahu’s efforts to rehabilitate Likud after it was trounced in national elections last year. Recent polls have crowned Netanyahu, Likud’s leader since late 2005, as the front-runner for Israel’s top job.

With more than 80 percent of the primary votes tallied, Netanyahu was out way ahead with 73 percent to Feiglin’s 22 percent, party executive director Gad Arieli said. Final results were expected early today.

Seoul, South Korea

Hundreds missing, dead from flooding

Torrential rains in North Korea have forced thousands of families from their homes and left at least 200 people dead or missing, an aid official said Tuesday, adding that the worst floods there in a decade will worsen Pyongyang’s already precarious ability to feed its people.

To cope with damage from the storms that began last week, North Korea has asked the United Nations to assess the situation in affected regions as part of a preliminary request for assistance – an indication of the dire situation in the impoverished nation.

The latest floods began last week. North Korean state media reported that “hundreds” were dead or missing, without giving further detail on casualties.


Prime minister shakes up Cabinet

Canada’s prime minister replaced his embattled defense minister Tuesday in a major Cabinet overhaul apparently aimed at re-energizing his minority Conservative government.

Defense chief Gordon O’Connor, the focus of opposition protest over his handling of Canada’s role in Afghanistan, was replaced by Peter MacKay, who had been foreign minister.

In all, Prime Minister Stephen Harper made changes to 10 ministerial positions in the shakeup. But the replacement of O’Connor, who will now lead the revenue ministry, was a major element. Opposition parties charged that O’Connor made conflicting statements about what the military knew about the torture of Taliban detainees after they were handed over to Afghan authorities.


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