GAZA STRIP

Ha­mas picks new po­lit­i­cal chief

The Washington Post Sunday - - THE WORLD - — As­so­ci­ated Press

Ha­mas, the Pales­tinian group that con­trols the Gaza Strip, said Satur­day that it chose Is­mail Haniyeh, a charis­matic politi­cian, as its new po­lit­i­cal chief, the lat­est move in an ef­fort to re­fresh the mil­i­tant Is­lamist group’s lead­er­ship and man­i­festo.

Haniyeh, seen as a rel­a­tive mod­er­ate with close ties to Ha­mas’s mil­i­tary wing, will move from Gaza City to Ha­mas head­quar­ters in Doha, Qatar, to take over from Khaled Me­shal, who has been re­spon­si­ble for the or­ga­ni­za­tion’s for­eign re­la­tions and fi­nanc­ing for the past 12 years.

The an­nounce­ment caps sev­eral months of vot­ing among the group’s far-flung mem­bers in Gaza, the West Bank, Is­raeli jails and abroad to se­lect a re­place­ment for Me­shal, who sought to step down.

A few days ear­lier, Ha­mas an­nounced a re­vised char­ter that eased its po­si­tion on Is­rael and dis­tanced it from Is­lamist groups in the re­gion, in what was seen as an at­tempt to re­verse years of grow­ing iso­la­tion in the re­gion.

At least 58 die in two bus ac­ci­dents in Africa: Thirty-two school­child­ren, two teach­ers and a minibus driver were killed in Tan­za­nia when their ve­hi­cle plunged into a road­side ravine in the north­ern tourist re­gion of Arusha on Satur­day, a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cial said. Tan­za­nia, the sec­ond-largest econ­omy in East Africa, has a poor road-safety net­work, but buses re­main the main form of pub­lic trans­port be­tween towns. Mean­while, at least 26 peo­ple were killed after two buses col­lided and caught fire on a busy high­way in western Nige­ria. Po­lice said the two buses were try­ing to over­take other ve­hi­cles on the Lagos-Ibadan Ex­press­way and ended up strik­ing each other.

Iran’s state TV cen­sors cam­paign doc­u­men­tary: Iran’s semiof­fi­cial news agency ILNA says state TV has cen­sored a doc­u­men­tary re­leased by President Has­san Rouhani’s cam­paign, ahead of the up­com­ing pres­i­den­tial elec­tion. A Rouhani cam­paign of­fi­cial con­firmed that one cut seg­ment showed sup­port­ers chant­ing for op­po­si­tion leader Mir Hos­sein Mousavi, who has been un­der house ar­rest since 2011. Also omit­ted was a pic­ture of for­mer president Mo­ham­mad Khatami, whose name and im­age have been banned in Ira­nian media since 2015. Both Mousavi and Khatami sup­port Rouhani, who is run­ning in the May 19 elec­tion.

Pope Fran­cis says “mother” should not de­scribe weapons: Pope Fran­cis crit­i­cized the nam­ing of the U.S. mil­i­tary’s big­gest non­nu­clear ex­plo­sive as “the Mother of All Bombs,” say­ing the word “mother” should not be used in ref­er­ence to a deadly weapon. The U.S. Air Force dropped a GBU-43 Mas­sive Ord­nance Air Blast (MOAB) on sus­pected Is­lamic State fight­ers in eastern Afghanistan last month. The nick­name was widely used in brief­ings and re­port­ing on the at­tack. “I was ashamed when I heard the name,” Fran­cis told an au­di­ence of stu­dents Satur­day. “A mother gives life and this one gives death, and we call this de­vice a mother. What is hap­pen­ing?”

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