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Bolivia's Morales wins reelection

LA PAZ, Bolivia - President Evo Morales easily won reelection in Bolivia, gaining more than 60 percent of the vote, according to exit polls.

Bolivia's first indigenous leader received 62 percent of the vote and the top opposition challenger, Manfred Reyes, 23 percent, the polls by two firms indicated.

Voters also were choosing a new Congress in the balloting, which Organization of American States election observer Horacio Serpa called "happy, completely peaceful" and without serious irregularities.

Morales' leftist Movement Toward Socialism is hoping for a two-thirds majority in the legislature so it can dictate terms of a law on indigenous territorial self-rule. A supermajority would also give Morales, 50, the votes needed to amend the constitution so he could run for a third straight term.

- AP

Female Nobelists make gender plea

STOCKHOLM - The two women who shared this year's Nobel Prize in medicine with a male winner yesterday urged scientific institutions to change their career structures, including encouraging part-time research, to help more women reach top positions even as they care for families.

Americans Elizabeth H. Blackburn and Carol W. Greider said as many women as men start out in science but are often unable to advance after having children because of a lack of flexibility.

"The career structure is very much a career structure that has worked for men," Blackburn said.

Greider said she especially wants to see measures to get more women onto committees and decision-making positions.

The two laureates spoke to reporters ahead of this week's Nobel Prize ceremony. They will share this year's 10 million kronor ($1.4 million) medicine prize with countryman Jack W. Szostak.
- AP

Queen to media: Leave us alone

LONDON - Britain's Queen Elizabeth II has warned newspapers not to run unauthorized paparazzi photos of the royal family, Buckingham Palace said yesterday.

The palace said a lawyer for the British monarch wrote to newspaper editors about six weeks ago telling them not to publish intrusive photos of the family at home.

The palace said the letter was sent "in response to many years of the royal family being hounded by photographers on the queen's private property."

The tough new royal stance has been in the works for months and was not triggered by any individual event. It comes just before the Christmas holidays, when photographers traditionally try to snap the royals relaxing at their Sandringham estate in eastern England.
- AP


The death toll in a nightclub fire in Russia's Ural Mountains city of Perm rose to 112 yesterday, and four people were ordered to remain in jail pending an investigation. About 130 remained hospitalized, many in critical condition.

The Somalian government replaced its police and army chiefs yesterday to improve security ahead of a planned military offensive against insurgents, the information minister said. On Thursday a suicide bomber killed 24 people in the capital, Mogadishu.

In Romania's presidential election, both candidates - incumbent Traian Basescu and challenger Mircea Geoana - claimed victory yesterday, leaving the outcome uncertain in a vote that Romanians hope can pull the country out of its worst political and economic crisis in 20 years.