By MONITOR
IN Russia President Putin's United Russia party took 64% of votes in parliamentary elections; there were widespread claims inside and outside Russia that the election had been rigged. IN a surprising result, President Chavez of Venezuela narowly lost a referendum on radical changes to the country's constitution. US intelligence agencies downgraded an earlier assessment of the risks posed by Iran's nuclear programmes. President Bush insisted that Iran was still a danger. THE Bank of England cut interest rates from 5.75 to 5.5 per cent after almost 18 months of rises. The European Central Bank kept eurozone interest at 4 per cent.

Bulletin Headlines of the Week
SUNDAY/MONDAY: Spain Fury (ETA gunmen killed a Spanish policeman and wounded another in France).
TUESDAY: United Front (In Palma politicians from all parties protested against the ETA shooting).
WEDNESDAY: Med. Under Threat (A leading biologist said the Med was deteriorating due to pollution and over-fishing).
THURSDAY: Green Appeal Over Xmas Lights (The Balearic Environment Ministry appealed to local councils to keep in mind energy saving).
FRIDAY: Palma Battle (A police anti-drug operation in the Son Banya disrict led to violence and arrests.)
SATURDAY: Foreign Legion (15 per cent of Balearic doctors are foreigners, compared to one per cent in 1990).

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