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In brief: President sworn in for second term

SUNDAY, DEC. 11, 2011

Buenos Aires, Argentina – Argentine President Cristina Fernandez took the oath of office for the second time Saturday, the only female leader in Latin America to ever be re-elected, in an inauguration marked by a tearful tribute to her late husband and political partner.

Fernandez, 58, held back tears as she pledged before Congress and a gathering of foreign dignitaries to honor the constitution and the memory of the late President Nestor Kirchner.

“I swear to God, the country and the blessed saints to carry out the office of the president and to honor … the Argentine constitution,” said Fernandez, who wore a black dress with a wide belt and sleeves of transparent lace – mourning garb of the kind she has used since Kirchner’s death in October 2010.

The president won re-election last month with the biggest vote share since President Juan Peron captured 62 percent of ballots in 1973. Her closest rival, Santa Fe Gov. Hermes Binner, came in 37 percentage points behind.

Kerry meets with Egypt Islamists

Cairo – U.S. Sen. John Kerry met with members of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, the Islamist group set to dominate the new parliament, as well as the country’s military ruler and prime minister on Saturday.

The Muslim Brotherhood said in a statement that three of its top officials attended the meeting with Kerry, who was accompanied by U.S. Ambassador Anne W. Patterson.

In their meeting with the Democratic senator from Massachusetts, Brotherhood officials vowed to respect civil rights and international treaties that have been signed in the past, possibly an attempt to allay fears that the group may try to re-examine Egypt’s peace treaty with Israel.

Rebels, Libyan army trade gunfire

Tripoli, Libya – Gunmen tried to kill the head of the Libyan army Saturday in a bold daylight attack in the country’s capital, setting off hours of intense gunbattles along the main highway to the airport. Assailants in Tripoli also attacked one of Libya’s largest military bases.

The gunmen were believed to be from renegade groups of former rebel fighters. The violence deepens concerns about unity among the ex-rebels – many of whom remain heavily armed – while the police and military struggle to restructure their forces after the overthrow of Moammar Gadhafi.


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