Dutch may face coalition struggle

THE HAGUE - In the first election in a euro-zone country since the European economic crisis, Dutch voters punished the incumbent party in parliamentary elections Wednesday while seeming to split between opposite poles of the political spectrum.

With no party coming close to winning a majority in the 150-seat parliament, the result is likely to mean a long and difficult negotiation over a new governing coalition.

The center-right Dutch Liberal Party had been expected to win the election after promising severe cuts in government spending.

But it appeared to be tied with the center-left Labor Party, according to a final exit poll. The anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim Freedom Party of Geert Wilders appeared to come in third, just ahead of the Christian Democrats, who led the last four governments.

- N.Y. Times News Service

Mass grave found in eastern Bosnia

BRATUNAC, Bosnia-Herzegovina - Officials said a truck driver discovered a wartime mass grave in eastern Bosnia after dumping gravel at a construction site and seeing human bones in the pile.

Prosecutor Emir Ibrahimovic said Wednesday the driver reported his finding in May and led authorities to the site near the town of Bratunac.

Since then, witnesses have come forward saying that a significant number of Muslims killed after Serb forces took control of Bratunac at the beginning of Bosnia's 1992-95 war were secretly buried in the gravel pit.

A team of forensic experts started excavations Wednesday and by noon found the remains of at least five people.

- AP

World's oldest shoe found in cave

LOS ANGELES - Archaeologists have discovered the world's oldest leather shoe, an exquisitely preserved, 5,600-year-old woman's size 7 lace-up, in a cave in Armenia.

The shoe, 1,000 years older than the great pyramid of Egypt and 400 years older than Stonehenge, was in pristine condition.

It was stuffed with grass that may have been used to keep the wearer's foot warm or to preserve the shoe's shape, researchers from the University of California, Los Angeles, and Ireland reported Wednesday in the online journal PLoS One.

The find was made in a cave on the border between Armenia and Iran. The cave also contained winemaking apparatus complete with grapes and is just one of at least 39 that researchers are beginning to explore.

- Los Angeles Times

Elsewhere:

Benigno Aquino III was proclaimed president Wednesday and promised justice and action on a host of issues plaguing the Philippines. Congress proclaimed Aquino the nation's 15th president, formalizing the landslide victory of the son of revered democracy icons Benigno Aquino Jr. and former President Corazon Aquino in last month's national elections.

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ruling party won 90 percent of the seats up for grabs in a midterm election for the upper house of parliament, according to official results. Human-rights groups said there was widespread rigging in last week's vote. Of 88 seats on the Shura Council up for election June 1, the ruling National Democratic Party won 80.

Gambia charged 12 foreigners whose arrest last month led to the seizure of two tons of cocaine stashed in warehouses in the West African country. The 12 were charged with drug possession and trafficking.