Friday, May 14, 2010
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Gwinnett Daily Post
BAGHDAD -- A full recount of votes for Baghdad province from Iraq's parliamentary elections showed no fraud or major irregularities and is unlikely to change the vote's final results, the country's election commission said Friday.
The original tally announced after the March 7 polls put secular and Sunni-backed candidate Ayad Allawi two seats ahead of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's Shiite coalition. Al-Maliki immediately challenged those results, alleging fraud and issued a flurry of appeals for recounts. Officials only granted him a recount for Baghdad, a key province that is home to nearly a quarter of the population.
There are 68 seats in Baghdad up for grabs in the new 325-seat parliament, and new vote tallies could easily have erased Allawi's razor-thin lead. That would likely have enraged Iraq's once-dominant Sunnis, who have felt politically marginalized since Saddam Hussein's ouster in 2003.
US urges end to use of Congo conflict minerals
WASHINGTON -- The Obama administration is pressing American industries to end the use of so-called conflict minerals that are fueling violence in eastern Congo.
At a meeting at the State Department on Friday, U.S. officials met with representatives of electronics, automotive and other companies whose products contain tungsten, tin, tantalum and gold.
The department said they discussed ways to ensure the companies' products do not contain minerals illicitly mined in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, or DRC.
Clinton: Iran proving it deserves sanctions
WASHINGTON -- Iran will continue to defy demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful unless it is hit with a new round of U.N. sanctions, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton said Friday.
Speaking at a news conference with new British Foreign Secretary William Hague, Clinton said negotiators from Germany and the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council were making progress every day on a draft sanctions resolution.
She said Iran's intransigence on the nuclear issue is the strongest argument for a fourth round of sanctions. ''We believe that the case is being made perhaps most effectively by the Iranians themselves,'' she said.