The World Today
St. LuciaCASTRIES — Newly born Hurricane Tomas barreled toward a cluster of eastern Caribbean islands yesterday, tearing off roofs, damaging houses, and downing power lines in its path. The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Tomas was a Category 1 storm with winds of 75 miles per hour and was centered about 25 miles south of St. Lucia yesterday afternoon. Forecasters said it could become a Category 2 storm tomorrow night.
Immigration issue keys election debateABIDJAN — The debate over who is really Ivorian is at the heart of today’s election in this war-divided West African nation, where foreigners, mostly immigrants who work on cocoa and coffee plantations, make up more than a quarter of the population of 20 million. Incumbent President Laurent Gbagbo, whose official mandate expired in 2005, is facing 13 challengers, including opposition leader Alassane Ouattara, who is popular in the pro-rebel north.
Talks aim to break deadlock for IraqRIYADH — Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah yesterday invited the leaders of Iraq’s political blocs for talks aimed at breaking the deadlock over the formation of a new government. A Sunni-backed political coalition narrowly edged Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-dominated bloc in March. But no single bloc won enough seats to control Parliament or pick new leaders, touching off a seven-month scramble for allies that has all but halted Iraq’s government.
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