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World in brief

South African deputy president fired

By wire services
Published June 15, 2005

CAPE TOWN, South Africa - President Thabo Mbeki fired his deputy and heir apparent Tuesday after he was implicated in a corruption scandal, throwing open the question who will become the next leader of South Africa.

Jacob Zuma, 63, who enjoyed widespread support among the population and trade union movement, had been groomed to take over the helm of Africa's economic and diplomatic powerhouse when Mbeki steps down in 2009.

But Mbeki told a special joint session of Parliament that a high court judge's ruling that Zuma had a "generally corrupt" relationship with his financial adviser required him to dismiss his deputy from his post and from the Cabinet.

2 more dead in Nuevo Laredo

NUEVO LAREDO, Mexico - Despite more than 1,000 federal troops and special forces patrolling the streets, two more killings were reported Tuesday in this border town, underscoring the tough task the government faces three days into an operation to curb violence.

A Tamaulipas state government spokesman confirmed the deaths of an unidentified 29-year-old man shot late Monday blocks from the police station and another unidentified male burned alive Tuesday with a tire wrapped around him.

Spokesmen for both the state and federal governments declined to comment further about the deaths. One federal agent said, "No one said we would restore peace overnight." He was referring to Day 3 of Operation Safe Mexico, the federal government's campaign to re-establish law and order in this and 14 other cities around the country, eight of them along the U.S-Mexico border.

Elsewhere . . .

EARTHQUAKE KILLS 11 IN CHILE: Chile sent cargo planes with medicine and tents to a northern Andean region rocked by an earthquake that killed at least 11 people. The magnitude 7.9 quake, the world's third-strongest since the temblor that set off the Asian tsunami in December, struck Monday night, also rattling cities in Bolivia and Peru.

[Last modified June 15, 2005, 00:44:10]

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