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Court overturns ruling suspending election

CAIRO (AP) -- Egypt's Supreme Administrative Court on Saturday overturned a lower court ruling that would have suspended the upcoming presidential election.

The decision, reported by the state news agency, means the vote will go ahead as planned, with the first round May 23-24.

Earlier last week, a lower court in the Nile delta town of Benha ruled that the election should be suspended because of alleged administrative errors.

The higher court on Saturday also effectively gave Ahmed Shafiq, Mubarak's last prime minister, the green light to stay in the race by ruling that Egypt's Constitutional Court can review a new law banning former senior regime members from running. The decision means Shafiq can continue to campaign until the Constitutional Court rules.


100,000 protest grim economic outlook

MADRID (AP) -- At least 100,000 Spaniards angered by grim economic prospects and the political handling of the international financial crisis turned out for street demonstrations across the country Saturday, marking the one-year anniversary of a movement that inspired similar pressure groups in other countries.

Tens of thousands of protesters in Madrid flooded into the central Puerta del Sol plaza and aimed to stay for three days. But authorities warned they wouldn't allow anyone to camp out overnight, and up to 2,000 riot police were expected.

At least 20,000 people demonstrated in Barcelona. Marches were also held in Bilbao, Malaga and Seville.

The protests began May 15 last year and drew hundreds of thousands of people. The demonstrations spread across Spain and Europe as anti-austerity sentiment grew.

Spain is in deep economic difficulty with unemployment at about 25 percent, prompting fears it may need a bailout similar to those helping Greece, Ireland and Portugal.


Castro's kin marches for gay rights

HAVANA (AP) -- The daughter of Cuban President Raul Castro said during a gay rights march Saturday that he advocated eliminating sexual discrimination, and she reiterated her hope the country would soon legalize same-sex marriage.

Mariela Castro, a noted gay rights advocate and head of Cuba's National Center for Sex Education, also praised President Obama's public remarks in favor of same-sex marriage, saying the American leader's words "have great value because of the influence they might have" on others.

Still, she said Obama needed to back his words with action.

Castro's comments came during a march by 400 advocates through the streets of the capital. The event is linked to the International Day Against Homophobia on Thursday.

She has predicted for years that Cuba's parliament was on the verge of legalizing gay marriage, but it has yet to happen. She said she hoped legislators would finally follow through when they next meet in July.


Envoy delivers letter on stalled peace talks

JERUSALEM (AP) -- An Israeli envoy met Saturday with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and delivered a letter from Prime Minister Benjamin Netnayahu detailing his government's stance on stalled peace negotiations.

Yitzhak Molcho held talks with Abbas in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the seat of the Palestinian government. The modest exchange was the highest-level communication between the Palestinians and Israelis in months.

Netanyahu's office later issued a joint statement that said that "Israel and the Palestinian Authority are committed to achieving peace, and the sides hope that the exchange of letters between President Abbas and Prime Minister Netanyahu will further this goal."

Israeli media reported that Israel had called for renewed peace talks without preconditions. Palestinians are demanding that Israel cease settlement construction in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, areas they claim as part of their future state, before talks can begin.