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Vatican’s Proposed Ban on Priests Leads to Strong Response in U.S.

Ukraine Parliament Approves New
Premier After Rivals’ Deal

By Steven Lee Myers

President Viktor A. Yushchenko of Ukraine won parliamentary approval of a new prime minister on Thursday on a second vote after striking a deal with his bitter rival in last year’s disputed presidential elections.

With his political coalition having splintered and his presidency teetering, Yushchenko turned to Viktor F. Yanukovich, the former prime minister whose party has been fiercely critical of the new government, to help salvage the nomination of Yury I. Yekhanurov, which parliament had narrowly rejected two days ago.

“We must bury the hatchet,” Yushchenko told deputies before they voted again on the nomination of Yekhanurov, as transcribed by the British Broadcasting Corp. “We need to bury it deep and forget about it.”

The vote — with 289 deputies in favor, compared with only 223 on Tuesday — ended the immediate crisis that began nearly three weeks ago with public accusations of corruption against some of Yushchenko’s closest advisers.

American University Chief
Investigated Over Spending

By Michael Janofsky

In the next few weeks, the board of American University will decide the future of its long-serving leader, Benjamin Ladner, who has become the latest college president to be investigated over the nature of his spending.

Ladner, who earned $663,000 for the 2004-2005 academic year, was suspended last month while investigators hired by the university began to examine recent financial records. Documents from the investigation suggest that over the last three years he and his wife, Nancy, spent nearly $600,000 on airline tickets, hotels, limousines, food, a chef, a social secretary and household items — expenditures that were charged to American, but that lawyers for the university say have no apparent or documented business purpose.

The spending included “professional development” trips to France, Italy and Great Britain for the Ladners’ chef, salary and benefits of $219,000 to the chef, and more than $101,000 to a social secretary that board lawyers said was for personal services to the Ladners.

The spending pattern was so widespread, and included such mundane purchases by Mrs. Ladner as linens, electronics and vitamins, that the Justice Department is monitoring the inquiry. Details of the spending were reported on Thursday in The Washington Post.

Italy’s Economy Minister Quits In
Blow To Berlusconi

By Eric Sylvers

Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s government was thrown into disarray Thursday as his economy minister, Domenico Siniscalco, resigned after failing to oust Italy’s discredited central bank chief, Antonio Fazio.

Siniscalco’s resignation late Wednesday ended a kind of political theater that has enthralled Italy this summer. Siniscalco and other prominent Italian leaders called for the removal of Fazio after he appeared to favor the Italian suitors of two banks over foreign bidders. A series of wiretapped conversations showed an almost avuncular relationship between Fazio and one of the Italian bankers.

But Siniscalco said he was also leaving in frustration at his inability to persuade Berlusconi and his ruling-coalition partners to make billions of euros in budget cuts to rein in Italy’s deficit, one of the highest proportionally in the European Union.