France's new president
is a fan of the United States
PARIS - Nicolas Sarkozy, a blunt and uncompromising pro-American conservative, was elected president of France yesterday with a mandate to chart a new course for an economically sluggish nation struggling to incorporate immigrants and their children.
Sarkozy defeated Socialist Segolene Royal by 53.06 to 46.94 with 85 percent turnout, according to final results. It was a decisive victory for Sarkozy's vision of freer markets and toughness on crime and immigration, over Royal's gentlerplan for preserving cherished welfare protections, including a 35-hour work week.
"The people of France have chosen change," Sarkozy told cheering supporters in a victory speech that sketched out a stronger global role for France and renewed partnership with the United States.
Sarkozy - who labeled as "scum" those who rioted in 2005 in impoverished public-housing projects, which are home to African and Arab immigrants - pledged in his victory speech to be president "of all the French, without exception."
Still, late yesterday small bands of youths hurled stones at the Place de la Bastille in Paris at police, who fired volleys of tear gas.
Afghan soldier in training
kills two GI instructors
KABUL - An Afghan soldier shot and killed two U.S. troops yesterday outside a top-security prison being revamped to house Afghans transferred from the Guantanamo Bay detention camp, a U.S. military spokesman said.
The gunman was shot dead by other Afghan troops at Pul-e-Charkhi prison, 20 miles east of Kabul, said Maj. Sheldon Smith, a spokesman for Combined Security Transition Command, which trains Afghan security forces. The shooter also wounded two U.S. soldiers.
The Americans were working as mentors to Afghan troops providing external security for the prison, Smith said. U.S. and Afghan authorities were trying to determine the motive for the attack, he said.
The victims were not identified, and Smith provided no further details of the incident.
The grim concrete jail is infamous among Afghans for tales of torture and appalling conditions dating back to communist rule in the 1970s.
Wreckage found in dark;
no word on 114 people aboard
DOUALA, Cameroon - The wreckage of a Kenya Airways jetliner that crashed was found late yesterday in a dense mangrove forest outside Cameroon's commercial capital, aviation officials said. Dozens of rescue workers and journalists walking through the swamp at night reached the edge of the crash site but did not immediately find survivors. Reporters said they had found only small, scattered pieces of wreckage before they had to abandon the search because of darkness and deep water. Teams said they would resume at first light and follow the debris trial in hopes of finding the main part of the wreckage.
The chief executive of Kenya Airways said he had no news about the plane's condition or about the 114 people who were on board.
Muslim extremists attack school
in Gaza, killing pol's bodyguard
GAZA CITY - Muslim extremists attacked a children's festival at a U.N.-run elementary school yesterday, killing a politician's bodyguard and wounding seven people in the latest incident of lawlessness engulfing the Gaza Strip.
The Palestinian unity government formed two months ago appears powerless to end extremist groups' attacks on foreigners, music shops and Internet cafes. Clan fighting, kidnappings and other attacks have added to the chaos.
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah and Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas were to try again today to put together a security plan.
Also yesterday . . .
ANKARA - Turkey's Islamic-rooted government suffered another setback when parliament failed again to reach a quorum to elect its presidential candidate in an ongoing rift between the ruling party and the secular establishment.
Foreign Minister Abdullah Gul withdrew from the presidential race - a sign that the government was giving up efforts to push Gul's candidacy through Parliament in defiance of strong secularist opposition. *