World briefs: Muslim Brotherhood-led alliance open to talks in Egypt

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CAIRO -- A Muslim Brotherhood-led alliance said Saturday it is ready for a national dialogue to end Egypt's political standoff, for the first time not formally demanding the nation's toppled Islamist president return to power.

The country's military-backed government, however, signaled no intention to start talks with supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. Underscoring that, judges Saturday also suggested that the government disband the Brotherhood's political party.

The call by the alliance of Islamist groups is the first formal proposition by Morsi supporters, who have organized near-daily protests demanding his return to office since he was removed in a popularly supported military coup July 3.

Close vote in Maldives

MALE, Maldives -- Voters in the Maldives have chosen the brother of the archipelago nation's former strongman to be their new president over the country's first democratically elected leader in a closely fought runoff election on Saturday.

Yaamin Abdul Gayoom had 51.39 percent of the total vote, according to results provided by the official Elections Commission. Mr. Gayoom is the brother of former autocrat Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, who ruled this Indian Ocean nation for 30 years. Mohamed Nasheed, who was elected president in the first multiparty election in 2008 but resigned last year amid protests, received 48.61 percent of the vote.

Political split in Italy

ROME -- Silvio Berlusconi's center-right political movement, a powerful force in Italy, split Saturday, dealing another blow to the former prime minister as Italian lawmakers prepare for a final vote this month on whether to expel him from the Senate.

The rupture within Mr. Berlusconi's People of Liberty Party signals a new, if uncertain, chapter in Italian politics, with some analysts predicting rising levels of anti-government populism.

The breakaway group was led by Mr. Berlusconi's longtime protégé, Angelino Alfano, who announced that he and other former lieutenants would refuse to join the rebranded political party, Forza Italia (or Go Italy), that Mr. Berlusconi unveiled Saturday.

Vietnam floods kill 26

HANOI, Vietnam -- Floods have killed at least 26 people in central Vietnam, the government said on its website. One person was reported missing.

The region from was hit by three days of heavy rains, with some areas receiving 12 inches, the government said. Thousands of houses in Quang Nam province were surrounded by waters exceeding 10 feet, and roads into the area were blocked by impassable flooding.

Bomber's spouse killed

MOSCOW -- Ending a nearly monthlong manhunt, security forces killed the husband of a suicide bomber who blew up a public bus last month in the city of Volgograd, Russian officials said Saturday.

Officials said the husband, Dmitry Sokolov, 21, was killed, along with four others identified as rebels, by security forces in Dagestan, a violence-plagued republic in the North Caucasus.

The bus bombing in Volgograd, which is about 559 miles south of Moscow, had unnerved the authorities because of its randomness and because instances of Muslim insurgent violence outside the Caucasus are relatively rare.

The bomber, Naida Asiyalova, 30, blew herself up on a crowded No. 29 bus in the center of the city, killing six other passengers in a fiery blast that was recorded by the dashboard camera of a car traveling behind.



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