World briefs – June 28

One of Dick Cheney’s daughters says the hospitalized former vice-president could go home on Monday after receiving medication to treat a fluid buildup related to his aggressive form of heart disease.

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<b.Hospitalized Cheney feeling better</b.

WASHINGTON — One of Dick Cheney’s daughters says the hospitalized former vice-president could go home on Monday after receiving medication to treat a fluid buildup related to his aggressive form of heart disease.

The 69-year-old Cheney, who has had five heart attacks, was admitted to George Washington University Hospital on Friday after experiencing discomfort. His last heart attack — described as a mild one — was in February.


Kyrgyzstan approves constitution

OSH, Kyrgyzstan — The interim leaders of Kyrgyzstan said voters approved a new constitution Sunday that will allow the Central Asian nation to form a legitimate government after months of turmoil.

President Roza Otunbayeva called the referendum a success, saying it took place without incident and paved the way for holding parliamentary elections in October. The vote came just weeks after rampages against minority Uzbeks in southern Kyrgyzstan killed as many as 2,000 people and forced 400,000 ethnic Uzbeks to temporarily flee.

With almost 40 per cent of all precincts counted, the Central Election Commission said nearly 90 per cent voted for the new constitution to only about 9 per cent against it. Some 2.7 million people were eligible to vote, and turnout was 65 per cent, it said.

“We have passed the new constitution for our republic,” Otunbayeva said at a news conference. “It will not be an interim but a legal and legitimate government … we are leaving the word interim behind.”

Sunday’s vote — supported by the U.N., the U.S. and Russia — was seen as an important step on the road to democracy for the interim government, which came to power after former President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was ousted in April following deadly street protests. It needed the vote to legitimize its power after the uprising against Bakiyev.


Guinea holds first free election

CONAKRY, Guinea — Polls have opened in Guinea as the West African nation holds its first free elections since independence more than half a century ago, a vote many hope will finally end decades of military rule and launch a new democratic era.

On the eve of the ballot, the country’s powerful junta leader vowed to ensure fairness and transparency, warning a roomful of presidential hopefuls they must help avert violence or risk casting the nation back to its volatile past.

Gen. Sekouba Konate is not running in the poll but said the nation faces a choice between its dream of democracy and “chaos and instability.”


Four Norwegians killed by IED

OSLO, Norway — The Norwegian military says four of its soldiers have died after a roadside bomb exploded near their vehicle in northern Afghanistan.

A military statement says the soldiers were killed while on a mission in Faryab province Sunday evening. The military has not specified the nature of the mission.

The Defence Ministry says the soldiers were part of a stabilization force in the province. The ministry says this is the highest number of Norwegian troops killed in a single attack since the start of the war. Until Sunday, only five Norwegian troops had been killed in the entire war.

Norway has about 500 troops stationed in Afghanistan.

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