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PHILIPPINES / 3 killed in hotel blast

Officials say a powerful blast has killed 3 people and wounded 27 others in a budget hotel packed with wedding guests in the southern Philippines. Mayor Celso Lobregat says the blast, suspected to have been set off by a homemade bomb, ignited a fire that gutted the two-story Atilano Pension House in downtown Zamboanga city late Sunday. The bomb was so powerful it caused much of the second floor to collapse and blew off the hotel roof. Lobregat said Monday that two of the wounded were in serious condition. Zamboanga, a bustling city where U.S. counterterrorism troops are based, has been hit by deadly bombings blamed on al-Qaida-linked Abu Sayyaf militants in the past.

YEMEN / VP to run for president

Yemen's new prime minister said Sunday that the ruling party and the country's largest opposition coalition would nominate the country's current vice president to be their candidate in the upcoming election to pick a successor to President Ali Abdullah Saleh, who agreed last week to step down after 33 years in power. Prime Minister Mohamed Basindowa said he understood that the decision to hold what essentially will be an uncontested election to replace Saleh would not be considered ideal by those who are hoping to instill democracy here after three decades of authoritarian rule. But he said the solution was the "only way" to move past the country's current political impasse.

MOROCCO / Moderate Islamists win vote

Morocco's moderate Islamist PJD party won the most seats in the country's parliamentary election, final results showed Sunday, in the latest sign of a resurgence of faith-based movements since the Arab Spring uprisings. The victory for Morocco's Justice and Development Party came a month after Tunisia handed power to a previously-banned party of moderate Islamists. The PJD, whose deceased founder was a physician of King Mohammed's grandfather, is loyal to the monarchy and backs its role as the supreme religious authority in the country.

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