World Briefs: Young Gandhi rises in India
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JAIPUR, India -- Rahul Gandhi, the heir to India's Nehru-Gandhi political dynasty, said he would work to transform the country by decentralizing power after he was elevated to the governing Congress party's No. 2 post.
His career embodies Congress' reliance on the Gandhi family name, but the man widely expected to be the party's candidate for prime minister in next year's elections condemned elitism as "the tragedy of India" and vowed to work to expand access to power for ordinary people.
"For me, the Congress party is my life. The people of India are my life and I will fight for them," Mr. Gandhi, a 42-year-old lawmaker, said in his acceptance speech Sunday in Jaipur, a day after he was appointed the party vice president, a position behind his mother, Sonia Gandhi, who is the party president.
However, opposition parties are already seizing on the fast political rise of Mr. Gandhi -- the son, grandson and great-grandson of Indian prime ministers -- to brand Congress as nepotistic and elitist.
Merkel coalition loses vote
BERLIN -- Germany's center-left opposition won a wafer-thin victory over Chancellor Angela Merkel's coalition in a major state election Sunday, dealing a setback as she seeks a third term at the helm of Europe's biggest economy later this year.
The opposition Social Democrats and Greens won a single-seat majority in the state legislature in Lower Saxony, ousting the coalition of Ms. Merkel's conservative Christian Democratic Union and the pro-market Free Democrats that has run the northwestern region for 10 years. The same parties form the national government.
Bombings wrack Greece
ATHENS, Greece -- Greece has been dealing with an outbreak of violence in recent weeks, following several months in which such activity seemed to have calmed. On Sunday, a crude bomb exploded at the country's largest shopping mall in a middle-class suburb of Athens, injuring two security guards and escalating a wave of attacks that have gripped the nation's attention. No immediate claim of responsibility was made.
Greek anti-terrorism officials said the bombings raised questions about whether new groups of radical left militants are reviving, perpetuating a turbulent history of violent episodes that have plagued Greece since the collapse of the military junta in 1974.
Speech to be rescheduled
LONDON -- Prime Minister David Cameron of Britain, who postponed a much-awaited address on his country's future relations with Europe because of the Algeria hostage crisis, will deliver the speech in the next few days, Foreign Secretary William Hague said on Sunday.
His remarks coincided with one more sign of American public displeasure that Mr. Cameron may move Britain closer to leaving the 27-nation European Union when he gives the address, which was initially scheduled for Friday in the Netherlands.
Also in the world ...
Austria may have few enemies and no wars to fight, but a majority of its citizens believe their country is better served by a military filled with conscripts, instead of a smaller, more mobile professional force, according to the initial results of a referendum held Sunday. ... New Zealand displaced Australia as the least-affordable housing market after Hong Kong among English-speaking nations in a Demographia International Housing Affordability survey.
-- Compiled from news services
First Published January 21, 2013 12:00 am