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Saturday, July 29, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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World Digest

World Digest: Spain offers reparations from Spanish Civil War

Lima, Peru

After 16 years, Garcia

returns to presidency

Alan Garcia returned to the presidency of Peru on Friday, pledging to battle poverty 16 years after ending his first term with the country wracked by economic chaos and spiraling political violence.

Garcia was inaugurated in the packed chamber of Congress to the applause of legislators, ministers, judges and more than two dozen foreign dignitaries, including eight Latin American presidents, Spain's Prince Felipe and U.S. Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez.

Garcia attacked waste in the administration of departing President Alejandro Toledo, a Stanford University economics graduate and Peru's first democratically elected leader of Indian descent. Toledo leaves behind solid economic growth — 6.5 percent last year — but poverty figures have barely budged, with more than half of Peruvians surviving on less than $2 a day.

Shanghai, China

7,000 evacuated, 16 dead

after chemical-plant blast

An explosion at a chemical plant in eastern China killed at least 16 people Friday and prompted the evacuation of 7,000 others, state media and officials said.

The 9 a.m. explosion at the Fudu Chemical Plant in Jiangsu province's Linhai Township, about 190 miles north of Shanghai, shattered the facility. The cause is under investigation.

Also Friday, two unrelated explosions at another chemical plant and aboard an oil tanker injured at least five people, with two others missing and feared dead.

Baidoa, Somalia

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Hundreds of Somalis riot

after official assassinated

The assassination Friday of a Cabinet minister as he left a mosque enraged hundreds of Somalis who rioted in the streets screaming, "We want a government that can restore law and order!"

It was the second shooting of a legislator this week and the latest blow to an administration that has watched as Islamic militants with alleged links to al-Qaida took control of the capital and much of southern Somalia.

People began streaming into the streets hours after a gunman opened fire on Abdallah Isaaq Deerow, the minister for constitutional and federal affairs. Seven people were arrested in the killing.

United Nations

Security Council group

reaches deal on Iran

The five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council reached a deal Friday on a resolution that would give Iran until the end of next month to suspend uranium enrichment or face the threat of economic and diplomatic sanctions.

The draft was circulated to the full 15-member council late in the day and likely will be adopted next week.

Because of Russian and Chinese demands, the text is weaker than earlier drafts, which would have made the threat of sanctions immediate. The draft now essentially requires the council to hold further discussions before it considers sanctions.

Nabanga, Sudan

Mediators to negotiate

with rebels in Uganda

Mediators from southern Sudan arrived at the border with Congo on Friday for talks with a rebel group that has led a brutal 19-year insurgency in Uganda.

The 126-member delegation includes local officials and relatives of shadowy rebel leader Joseph Kony, who is under indictment by the International Criminal Court. Fighters in his Lord's Resistance Army are known for abducting thousands of children, forcing them to become fighters, servants or concubines.

The group has killed thousands of civilians and forced more than 1 million to flee. Kony has called for Uganda to be governed according to the Bible's Ten Commandments.

Also

Spain approved a divisive bill allowing reparations for victims of the Spanish civil war and the ensuing dictatorship of Gen. Francisco Franco, some of the darkest chapters of Spain's modern history. The bill also bans symbols and references to the 1939-75 Franco regime in public buildings and asks that regional governments rename streets or plazas named after the former dictator or that refer to his regime.

Compiled from The Associated Press

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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