- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 16, 2004

BRITAIN

Court condemns terror detentions

LONDON — Britain’s highest court yesterday harshly condemned one of the most hotly disputed elements of the country’s counterterrorist strategy — a law allowing some foreign suspects to be locked up indefinitely without being charged.

The government, however, said 11 suspects in detention under the disputed provision of the Anti-Terrorism, Crime and Security Act were dangerous and would stay in prison until it decides what to do about the ruling.

TURKEY

Talks on joining EU set for October

BRUSSELS — European Union leaders agreed yesterday to offer Turkey a date of Oct. 3, 2005, to begin negotiations on its membership of the bloc, said Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi.

But the 25 leaders were still debating the vexed issue of Turkish recognition of Cyprus, with the Greek Cypriot government insisting Ankara normalize ties with Nicosia before the proposed start date for EU negotiations.

EU leaders agreed the aim would be membership rather than any privileged partnership but no outcome would be guaranteed, the diplomats said.

HAITI

U.N. troops surround Aristide’s home

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Several hundred U.N. troops and Haitian police surrounded the estate of ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide yesterday in a showdown with a band of former soldiers who have seized the abandoned compound.

Haiti’s interim government warned that the rebels must leave the estate in the suburb of Tabarre. The dozens of ex-soldiers refused to leave after taking over the compound on Wednesday.

FRANCE

10 sentenced in 2000 bomb plot

PARIS — France convicted 10 Muslim terrorists and sentenced them to prison yesterday for a plot to blow up a crowded Christmas market on New Year’s Eve 2000 — a bombing that a prosecutor said was avoided “by a hair” and would have triggered the first bloodbath of the new millennium.

The defendants — Algerian nationals and French citizens of Algerian origin who included an associate of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden — were sentenced to prison terms of one to 10 years for their roles in the foiled attempt to strike the market in the eastern city of Strasbourg.

CUBA

Doctor takes refuge in Argentine Embassy

HAVANA — A prominent Cuban doctor who was denied permission to travel to Buenos Aires to visit relatives was staying at the Argentine Embassy yesterday, but her son said she does not plan to seek asylum in a case that has raised tensions between the two nations.

Dr. Hilda Molina, a 61-year-old neurosurgeon, once a friend of President Fidel Castro, is considered an opponent of his communist government.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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