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World Briefing - 2002-11-20

In Turkey, the new prime minister Abdullah Gul met with the outgoing minister Bulent Ecevit in Ankara for the handover of power. Prime Minister Gul said the outgoing prime minister had been an important name in Turkish politics and Mr. Ecevit wished the newly appointed Mr. Gul good luck with his new duties.

Maoist rebels blew up a bus in southern India this week killing 14 people and wounding 16 others. Passengers were returning from a weekly village market when the blast occurred. The rebel group is active in five Indian states.

The United States has called on both sides in Venezuela’s ongoing political dispute to use dialogue rather than violence to reach a national reconciliation. Violence continued this week as anti-government demonstrators blocked a busy Caracas highway to protest the Venezuelan army’s takeover of the city’s police force. Authorities later stepped in to clear the roadway.

And finally, the party led by Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo appears to be headed for defeat in the country’s first regional elections. Results indicate Mr. Toledo’s Party won only one seat in the voting to select 25 regional government heads. President Toledo had promoted the new regional governments as a way to decentralize authority, although it is unclear as to how much power will devolve from Lima to the regional and local authorities.