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Election officials began counting ballots Sunday after the Central African Republic voted in delayed legislative elections and a presidential run-off it hopes will bring peace after the worst sectarian violence since independence in 1960. "For the first time we have a true opportunity to turn our backs on war," said Paterne, a voter in his 40s, as he queued at a polling station in the capital Bangui. The two men in the close presidential race are both former prime ministers who have campaigned on promises to restore security and boost the economy in the mineral-rich but dirt-poor country.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu made a rare appearance by a serving premier before the country's Supreme Court on Sunday to defend a contentious natural gas deal. Critics say the agreement between the government and a consortium including US firm Noble Energy, pushed by Netanyahu, overly favours the firms involved and have petitioned the court to block it. There have also been denunciations of political manoeuvring by Netanyahu to override anti-trust authorities.