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World in brief

Another Colombian Cabinet official out

By Wire services
Published November 13, 2003

BOGOTA, Colombia - Colombia's gruff armed forces commander said Wednesday that he is quitting his post, adding his resignation letter to a growing pile on the desk of hard-line President Alvaro Uribe.

In the past week, three Cabinet ministers, the head of the Colombian National Police and four other senior police officials have resigned under pressure after the defeat of reforms that Uribe said were needed to fight leftist rebels and crack down on corruption. That so many heads have rolled is raising concern about Uribe's governing style and whether the counterinsurgency, partly financed with $2.5-billion in U.S. aid, might falter.

Navy officers lose commands

ROME - Two U.S. Navy officers have been relieved of their commands after a nuclear-powered submarine went aground near the Italian island of Sardinia, the U.S. 6th Fleet said Wednesday.

The USS Hartford, a fast attack submarine, went aground on Oct. 25 off La Maddalena, a tiny island off Sardinia's north coast.

After an investigation of the grounding, Rear Adm. P. Stephen Stanley on Saturday relieved Capt. Greg Parker, commander submarine squadron 22, and Cmdr. Christopher R. Van Metre of their commands. Mueller said the admiral had "lost confidence" in their ability to command.


CHRETIEN MIGHT LEAVE EARLY: Prime Minister Jean Chretien sent Parliament home for the year Wednesday, signaling he will step down before his previously announced February retirement. A Liberal Party convention starting today will choose Chretien's successor as party leader and prime minister, with former Finance Minister Paul Martin expected to win.

ISLAMIC STATE PROPOSED: Malaysia's biggest opposition party on Wednesday unveiled its goal of forming an Islamic state, including punishments like stoning and amputation for criminals and a ban on non-Muslims becoming prime minister. The Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party has almost no chance of winning national power outright, but it plays a key role in debate among the predominant Muslim Malays.

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