World briefs: Zuma re-elected head of ANC

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BLOEMFONTEIN, South Africa -- South African President Jacob Zuma, who has faced frequent criticism as an ineffective leader, was re-elected Tuesday for a second term as head of the ruling African National Congress.

Mr. Zuma, a controversial figure who has faced frequent scandals, including the use of public money for renovations to his house and corruption charges that were inexplicably dropped in 2009, called for party unity after the vote and belted out a song.

Despite a landslide win, some analysts raised doubts about how well the party would fare in the 2014 national elections if he remains its standard bearer.

Iraq's leader in coma

BAGHDAD -- Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, whose influence in mediating disputes among the country's many political factions has far outweighed the limited powers of his office, suffered a stroke and was in grave health Tuesday in a Baghdad hospital.

Officials and doctors said Mr. Talabani, 79, who has been treated abroad for medical conditions in recent years, was in stable condition, but other officials suggested privately that his condition was more serious.

A hospital official as well as a high-level government official, both of whom requested anonymity out of respect for Mr. Talabani's family, said the president was in a coma.

Cyber bullying denounced

STOCKHOLM -- Several hundred youths protested Internet bullying in the Swedish city of Gothenburg on Tuesday, forcing police to deploy extra officers to restore order. The protest was apparently triggered after scores of young girls, but also boys, were labeled as promiscuous and "sluts" on the photo-sharing site Instagram.

Angry youths assembled outside the Plusgymnasiet high school after a rumor that the anonymous account had been set up by students at the school. Twenty-seven youths were apprehended.

Queen attends Cabinet

LONDON -- Queen Elizabeth II Tuesday became the first British monarch to attend a Cabinet meeting since George III in 1781 as part of celebrations to mark her 60 years on the throne.

The queen, 86, was greeted by Prime Minister David Cameron at his Downing Street residence in London and introduced to Cabinet ministers from the ruling coalition of Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, who bowed as a mark of respect.

In the Cabinet room, she sat between Mr. Cameron and Foreign Secretary William Hague as Chief Whip George Young, who steers legislation through Parliament, updated colleagues on the passage of current bills.

Prosecution guidelines set

LONDON -- British government prosecutors have set out new guidelines to make it harder to bring legal cases against people who send offensive messages on Twitter and Facebook.

The guidelines, published today, come amid increasing criminal prosecutions against people who post online messages deemed indecent or menacing, and criticism that such cases are a threat to free speech.

Civil rights campaigners have complained that British authorities have been too harsh with people who carelessly make insensitive comments online.

"These interim guidelines are intended to strike the right balance between freedom of expression and the need to uphold the criminal law," said Keir Starmer, the director of public prosecutions.



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