CHINA Evicted Christians detained
Beijing police detained as many as 200 worshipers Sunday from an unapproved Christian church who were trying to hold services in a public space after they were evicted from their usual place of worship, a parishioner said. Leaders of the unregistered Shouwang church had told members to gather at an open-air venue for Sunday morning services, but police, apparently alerted to their plans, taped off the area and took away those who showed up. The government allows worship only in state-approved churches, but more than 60 million are believed to worship in the independent churches, compared with about 20 million who worship in the state church.
NIGERIA: Opposition gains in election
One of Nigeria's most powerful politicians lost his seat in the National Assembly as opposition candidates made gains against the entrenched ruling party in the first round of national elections, preliminary results showed Sunday. Newspapers gleefully displayed headlines about how the polling station near the presidential palace went against the ruling party. House of Representatives Speaker Dimeji Bankole conceded defeat in Abeokuta, and a daughter of former President Olusegun Obasanjo reportedly lost her Senate seat. Whether the result will catapult the young democracy away from a history of failed polls and military rulers remains to be seen.
YEMEN: Gulf nations tell Saleh to go
A regional bloc of oil-rich Arab nations, including Saudi Arabia, called on Yemen's president Sunday to step down as part of a deal with the protest movement demanding his ouster. Keeping up the pressure, tens of thousands marched yesterday in San'a. The statement, by foreign ministers of the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council meeting in Riyadh, called on President Ali Abdullah Saleh to transfer his powers to his vice president in return for promises that neither he nor his family would be prosecuted for crimes. That falls short of protesters' demands that Saleh face justice.