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In brief: Ghana president’s death shakes vote

ACCRA, Ghana – Ghana’s governing party vowed Wednesday to carry out the “unfinished job” of the country’s late president as questions swirled about who would replace him on the ticket for December’s election.

John Atta Mills, who took power in 2009 after winning a presidential runoff vote by a razor-thin margin, died Tuesday at the age of 68. There was no immediate word on the cause of his death, though there had been rumors about a serious illness in recent months.

Vice President John Mahama was sworn in late Tuesday only hours after Atta Mills passed away, underscoring the West African nation’s stability in a part of the world where the deaths of other leaders have sparked coups.

Assange exile request on hold

QUITO, Ecuador – Ecuador’s foreign minister says there will be no decision until after the Summer Olympics on the political exile request of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino told reporters Wednesday it would be imprudent to announce a decision during the London Games, which begin Friday and end Aug. 12.

Assange sought refuge in Ecuador’s London embassy on June 19 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about allegations of sexual misconduct.

Assange contends the sexual misconduct claims are trumped up and that he’s being persecuted politically for publishing secretive U.S. documents including diplomatic cables.

WikiLeaks announced Tuesday that it has hired the Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon to head the legal team representing Assange.


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