Our coronavirus coverage is free for the first 24 hours. Find the latest information at Please consider subscribing or donating.

  1. Archive

Reports say Iraq loosening a number of restrictions

The Iraqi government has canceled wartime labor laws and renewed pledges to open up the political system to greater freedoms, newspapers reported Sunday. Al-Thawra, the organ of the ruling Arab Baath Socialist Party, said the ruling Revolutionary Command Council had lifted laws restricting the freedom of government workers imposed during the 1980-88 war with Iran. And the government daily Al-Jumhuriya quoted Vice President Taha Yassin Ramadan as saying that the government would soon revise laws on political parties and press freedom. The laws on government workers, who compose much of the labor force, had prohibited overtime and night pay, and had imposed strict penalties on those who abandoned their jobs or resigned with less than 10 years experience.Albania strike called off

TIRANA, Albania _ Albania's independent trade unions on Sunday called off a general strike that had crippled the economy for almost a month and forced the Communists, who had ruled alone since 1944, to share power. The unions, which claimed that up to 350,000 workers followed the strike call, decided at a meeting of regional leaders to urge all workers to return to their jobs today, a spokesman said. The decision to end the strike came on the eve of a Communist Party congress that was expected to shed the Stalinist legacy of dictator Enver Hoxha, who ruled this isolated, backward nation for 41 years until his death in April 1985.

Elsewhere . . .

KARACHI, Pakistan _ The prime minister has suspended Pakistan's railway chief after the crash of a crowded express train that killed 100 people.

AMMAN, Jordan _ King Hussein and Jordanian politicians signed a document Sunday to revive multiparty democracy 34 years after political parties were banned.