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August 31st, 2009
World Links: Japan's LDP Ends Five-Decade Hold on Power, President of Colombia Sick With Swine Flu

The Democratic Party of Japan wins over 300 seats in Japan’s House of Representatives, ending the reign of the Liberal Democratic Party. Before Sunday’s elections, the LDP held a majority in the Lower House every year since its inauguration in 1955. Yukio Hatayama, president of the 11-year-old opposition DPJ, is expected to become the next Prime Minister of Japan.

Colombian President Alvaro Uribe contracts the AH1N1 virus, commonly known as the swine flu, during a trip to a summit of South American leaders in Argentina. Uribe is responding well to treatment and is expected to recover.

Three different candidates for the presidency of Gabon, including the son of former President Omar Bongo, declare victory in Sunday’s election. The winner will become president of Africa’s fourth biggest oil producer and second biggest wood exporter.

In an indication of softening national support one month ahead of Germany’s general election, the Christian Democratic Union party of Angela Merkel loses control of two states in Sunday’s state elections. The CDU retains a 15-point opinion poll lead over its closest rival, the Social Democrats, for the national election.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad faces growing internal opposition over his cabinet minister choices. His selection of Ahmad Vahidi as defense minister has also sparked international controversy. Vahidi is wanted by Argentina for a 1994 bombing that killed 85 at a Jewish community center in Buenos Aires.

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