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As expected, Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi of Mal-aysia announced a timetable for giving up his office, telling a news conference Wednesday that he'll step down next March. He vowed to devote the remaining six months of his term to cleaning up corruption. If he departs on schedule, his rule will be the shortest in the nation's history. Abdallah won a landslide victory in 2004 but led his party to its worst finish in an election last March.Skip to next paragraph
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Feuding political parties in Ukraine were given more time Wednesday by President Viktor Yushchenko to cobble together a new coalition government and avoid a third national election in three years. Such a vote likely would be held in December, and pessimistic party leaders suggested after meeting with Yushchenko that they viewed it as inevitable. Yushchenko's Orange coalition with Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko collapsed last month, and reports say he has ignored her calls for a reconciliation.
A long-awaited ruling is expected Thursday in Fiji on the legality of the 2006 coup that toppled elected Prime Minister Lainsenia Qarase. But even if the High Court declares that military chief Frank Bainimarama, who led the overthrow, had no right to form an interim government with himself at the helm, he has told Fijians he won't give up power until after his proposed reforms of the political and electoral system are in place, reports said.
Hurricane Norbert was bearing down on the coast of Mexico's Baja California peninsula Thursday with sustained winds of 115 m.p.h. that meteorologists said likely would intensify further into a "major storm." Landfall was predicted by Saturday. On the east coast, all warnings about tropical storm Marco were canceled after it moved ashore Tuesday, its winds weakening to 35 m.p.h.