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AROUND THE WORLD

Worldwide vote begins for new Tibetan leader

DHARMSALA, India (AP) -- Tibetans around the world have begun voting for a new leader to take up the resistance against Chinese rule over their Himalayan homeland, as the Dalai Lama insists that he is giving up politics.

The Tibetan parliament-in-exile, meanwhile, is discussing constitutional changes to meet the Dalai Lama's request that the prime minister become head of government.

The shift in power marks a major change for the Tibetan community, which for decades has looked to the Dalai Lama for spiritual and political guidance against the rule of China's Communist Party authorities in Tibet.

The 76-year-old Nobel Peace laureate has said he will continue his role as Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader.

About 85,000 registered Tibetans in exile are eligible to vote in the monthlong election.

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U.S. is target of protest on eve of Obama's visit

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Several hundred people have protested in this capital city ahead of today's visit by President Obama.

Communist Party leader Guillermo Teillier says political, cultural and social representatives have signed a letter to Obama. It asks him to apologize for U.S. intervention that destabilized Salvador Allende's socialist government in Chile before the 1973 coup that began Gen. Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship.

Protesters are also criticizing a new nuclear energy accord between the United States and Chile that focuses on U.S. training of Chilean nuclear engineers.

Senate opposition leader Carolina Toha said Sunday that the deal makes no sense in light of Japan's nuclear crisis.

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1 killed as police fire on protesters in Daraa

DAMASCUS, Syria (AP) -- Police fired live ammunition and tear gas Sunday at thousands of Syrians protesting in a tense southern city for a third consecutive day, killing one person and signaling that unrest in yet another Arab country is taking root, activists said.

Enraged protesters set fire to several local government buildings, according to state media and a witness.

The violence in Daraa, a city of about 300,000 near the border with Jordan, was fast becoming a major challenge for President Bashar Assad, who tried to contain the situation by freeing detainees and promising to fire officials responsible for the violence.

The confrontations in Syria began Friday when security troops fired at protesters in the city, killing five people.

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Besieged president vows to make reforms

ALGIERS, Algeria (AP) -- Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika is pledging to make political reforms in this north African country, whose repressive regime and widespread poverty and unemployment have led to unprecedented street demonstrations on the capital's streets in recent weeks.

Bouteflika promised "the opening of a new page" of reforms following those already carried out since he came to power in what opponents called sham elections in 1999.

Bouteflika said reforms in justice, education and administration "cannot bear fruit in the absence of political reforms."

Bouteflika's comments were read by one of his advisers at a conference Saturday marking the 49th anniversary of the end of the French-Algerian war.

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