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Top News Stories 2008-04-14 07:00:40

Front Page: Iraq Sacks 1,300, Maoists Lead in Nepal, Polygamy

  • The Iraqi government dismissed 1,300 soldiers and policemen who deserted or refused to fight in last month’s Shiite-on-Shiite battles in Basra. The announcement came yesterday after an admission that more than 1,000 members of the security forces had laid down their weapons during the fight. Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki had characterized the fight as a campaign to restore law and order to Basra. An Interior Ministry spokesman highlighted the conflict in service saying, "some of them were sympathetic with these lawbreakers, some refused to battle for political or national or sectarian or religious reasons.”

  • In their first elections since 1999, Nepal's Maoist party has taken a commanding lead. The goal of the election is to form an assembly to write a new constitution. The Maoists are reported to have won about half of the 160 seats so far, and are well ahead of other parties. It's been decided that the new constitutional assembly will implement the abolition of the 240-year-old monarchy, and the deputy Maoist leader announced that he believes the monarchy will be abolished in three weeks.
  • The state of Texas this week will argue to retain custody of all 416 children removed from their parents after a raid on a polygamous compound. Child welfare laws require each child to have his or her own attorney, and bar officials are reporting that more than 350 attorneys from across the state have volunteered to represent the children for free. Three mothers of the children in custody have appealed to Gov. Rick Perry for help in a letter, saying that some of their children have become sick since being removed and are being questioned about events they know nothing about. Yesterday state officials enforced a judge's order to confiscate the cell phones of the women and children removed from the ranch.
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