Paris – The French government stepped down on Saturday, paving the way for a long-awaited Cabinet reshuffle by President Nicolas Sarkozy.
The president accepted the government’s resignation, effectively ending Prime Minister Francois Fillon’s term of office, a statement released on behalf of the premier said.
Analysts said a new head of government would be named today at the earliest.
The reshuffle will be the fourth of Sarkozy’s presidency. It was hinted at in the spring after the government’s poor showing in regional elections.
Oaxaca, Mexico – Citizens who formerly led street protests and manned barricades in the troubled southern state of Oaxaca were sworn in as members of the local congress Saturday in what the governor-elect called a historic change.
Flavio Sosa, the leader of leftist protesters who battled police and shut down this popular colonial tourist city for several months in 2006, is now a state congressman. Sosa spent almost 1 1/2 years in jail before charges related to the protests were dismissed.
The protesters accused outgoing Gov. Ulises Ruiz of brutality, electoral fraud and ordering the killing of demonstrators. Federal police broke up the protest in October 2006, after the city’s center had been controlled by Ruiz’s opponents for several months.
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia – The Saudi king on Saturday transferred his traditional supervisory duties of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to his deputy prime minister after rupturing a disc in his back.
King Abdullah normally heads the committee charged with ensuring the smooth operation of the hajj, the largest annual gathering in the world. But a statement released by the Royal Court said the 86-year-old monarch herniated a disc in his back and Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz will take over the supervisory role.