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International brief ~ PA says Palestinian constitution will determine who replaces Arafat

[JURIST] President of the Palestinian National Council Selim Zaanoun stated Thursday that early reports that a three-person committee would replace Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat were incorrect, insisting instead that Arafat's replacement would be the President of the Palestine Legislative Council Rawhi Fattuh, as stipulated by the as-yet-unratified Palestinian Constitution. Zaanoun said that following the appointment of a successor, general elections would be scheduled with two months to determine a democratically elected replacement. UPI has more.... A US Navy SEAL has been cleared of charges relating to the improper treatment of prisoners brought by the SEAL team to Abu Ghraib. The Navy is not releasing the names of the seven men on the SEAL team that is under investigation, but did state that two Article 32 hearings (the equivalent of a grand jury under the Uniform Code of Military Justice) are scheduled for Thursday to consider charges of dereliction of duty and assault against a Navy medic and verbal harrassment and aggravated assault with intent to cause death against a boatswain's mate. The five other members of the SEAL Team 7 squad, based out of Coronado, California, are also facing charges of aggravated assault with intent to cause death. AZ Central has more.... Amar Saifi, known as 'Abderrezak El Para', was extradited from Libya to his home country of Algeria Wednesday according to the Algerian Interior Ministry. Rumors had Saifi, responsible for the 2003 kidnapping of 32 European tourists and an alleged member of the terrorist group Salafist Group for Preaching and Combat (BBC profile here), being detained by Chad rebels in March of this year. It is unclear how the Libyan government gained control of Saifi. Germany has an arrest warrant out for Saifi in relation to the kidnappings. Reuters has more.... Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo opened the first conference of African Anglican bishops Wednesday in Lagos, Nigeria. Over 300 bishops from the 12 African Anglican provinces are meeting during the week and are expected to focus heavily on the question of homosexuality and the Church. Obasanjo opened the conference with a plea to the bishops to maintain a firm stance against homosexuality, denouncing it as "unbiblical, unnatural and definitely unAfrican." There is no indication that the African Anglican church is considering withdrawing from the international body following the US Episcopal Church's approval of a homosexual bishop. Obasanjo also focused on the problems of poverty, lack of family units, and the high debt of African nations as elements that were hampering the growth of the African continent and appealed to the bishops to formally join with African governments in opposing these ills. The Sudan Tribune has more.

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