World Briefs | India elects president
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NEW DELHI -- The candidate from India's governing Congress party, former Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, was declared the winner Sunday in voting for the country's president, a largely ceremonial position.
Election official P.K. Agnihotri said Mr. Mukherjee, 76, had received more than twice as many votes as his rival in Thursday's balloting by national and state legislators.
"I express deep gratitude to the people for electing me to this high office," Mr. Mukherjee said. He said he would try to justify the people's trust.
Mr. Mukherjee and rival Purno Agitok Sangma, a former speaker of Parliament, were competing to succeed India's first female president, Pratibha Devisingh Patil. Mr. Mukherjee is to be sworn in on Wednesday.
In India, the prime minister is the head of government and the president is mainly a figurehead.
BAGHDAD -- Bombs struck two Sunni towns at sundown Sunday just as Iraqis were preparing to break their holy day's fast, killing 18 and wounding more than 50, officials said. Two earlier bomb blasts killed a policeman and wounded dozens of people.
Most of the recent attacks bear the hallmarks of Sunni Muslim insurgents linked to al-Qaida, targeting Shiites and their holy sites as well as security forces working for the Shiite-led government.
The two latest bombings, however, struck predominantly Sunni towns. So far, Shiite militants have resisted striking back at Sunnis. It was not immediately clear if the Sunday bombings were retaliation for earlier attacks, but residents in the stricken areas raised fears of renewed sectarian conflict.
BEIJING -- The heaviest rainfall in six decades caused widespread havoc in the capital over the weekend, killing at least 37 people and forcing the evacuation of 50,000 others from waterlogged neighborhoods and villages, according to the state news media.
More than 6 inches of rain fell overnight Saturday into Sunday. About 80,000 passengers at Beijing Capital International Airport were stranded overnight after fierce thunderstorms forced the cancellation of 500 flights, the state-run Xinhua News Agency said.
Elsewhere in the country, at least 10 people drowned or perished in landslides, the state news media reported.
PARIS -- French President Francois Hollande on Sunday made an emotional mea culpa on behalf of his country for its part in the World War II roundup and deportation of more than 13,000 Jews from Paris.
At the 70th anniversary of what is known as the Vel d'Hiv Raids, Mr. Hollande admitted the operation carried out by Paris police in 1942 was a "crime committed in France, by France."
Mr. Hollande also praised former president and political rival Jacques Chirac, who in 1995 became the first French leader to admit the roundup had been "France's fault."
First Published July 23, 2012 12:00 am