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Brotherhood nominee is said to top exit polls

CAIRO (AP) -- The Muslim Brotherhood said Thursday that its candidate was leading in exit polls from Egypt's landmark presidential election, as official counting began after two days of voting to choose a successor to ousted leader Hosni Mubarak.

In stations across the country, workers cracked open ballot boxes and started the count after polls closed Thursday night, in Egypt's first truly competitive presidential election.

There are five prominent candidates in a field of 13, but none is expected to win outright in the first round. A runoff between the two leading contenders would be held June 16-17.

A Brotherhood spokesman said the group's candidate, Mohammed Morsi, was the leader in exit polls conducted by Brotherhood campaign workers nationwide. Morsi's spokesman, Murad Mohammed Ali, declined to give specific percentages.

"The Egyptian people always amaze us," Ali said. "This is above our expectations."

The reliability of the Brotherhood's polls could not be confirmed.



Bank president ousted in no-confidence vote

VATICAN CITY (AP) -- The president of the Vatican bank was effectively ousted Thursday after receiving a unanimous vote of no-confidence from bank overseers for leaking documents and failing to do his job at a critical time in the Holy See's efforts to show financial transparency, the Vatican and officials said.

Ettore Gotti Tedeschi has been a polarizing figure ever since he was named president of the bank, known as the Institute for Religious Works, or IOR, in 2009. He is under investigation for alleged money laundering by Italian magistrates, but the investigation isn't believed to have factored into the decision since the Vatican considers the probe to be motivated by outside political interests.

The Vatican said Thursday that the vote was taken because of Gotti Tedeschi's failure to fulfill the "primary functions of his office." The Vatican bank was founded in 1942 by Pope Pius XII to manage assets destined for religious or charitable works. It is not open to the public, and depositors are usually limited to Vatican employees and religious orders.



Almost 700 arrested in tuition hike protest

MONTREAL (AP) -- Police arrested almost 700 people overnight in the latest protest in Quebec over higher university tuition, authorities said Thursday.

The student protests have only grown since the provincial government last week passed emergency legislation in an attempt to end Canada's most sustained student demonstrations ever.

Wednesday night, protesters threw objects at police in Montreal as what started as a peaceful march fell apart. Police encircled the thousands of protesters and squeezed them into a tighter space.

Arrests were made in Montreal and Quebec City. Wednesday night's protest was declared illegal by police the minute it was scheduled to start, as demonstrators didn't provide an itinerary, thereby disobeying the new law.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest has refused to roll back the tuition hikes of $254 per year over seven years. Quebec has the lowest tuition rates in Canada, and they would remain among the country's lowest.