- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 25, 2004

UNITED NATIONS

General Assembly confirms rights chief

NEW YORK — Canadian Louise Arbour, the former U.N. war crimes prosecutor, was confirmed easily by the U.N. General Assembly yesterday as the new U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights.

The 191-member assembly approved Mrs. Arbour, the choice of U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, by consensus without a vote.

LIBYA

Official stands by Lockerbie guilt

TRIPOLI — Libya accepts responsibility for the 1988 bombing of a U.S. airliner over Lockerbie, Scotland, the Libyan foreign minister reaffirmed yesterday, after the prime minister appeared to back away from a previous admission of guilt.

“Libya holds to the position contained in the letter addressed in August 2003 to the president of the U.N. Security Council,” Abdulrahman Muhammad Shalgham said in a statement.

Relations between Libya and the United States were thrown into crisis Tuesday when Prime Minister Shokri Ghanem said in a British Broadcasting Corp. radio interview, “We thought it was easier for us to buy peace, and this is why we agreed to compensation” for relatives of the victims.

IRAQ

2 killed as U.S. copter crashes into river

BAGHDAD — A U.S. military helicopter crashed into the Euphrates River yesterday, killing the two pilots aboard. The cause of the crash was not known.

The OH-58 Kiowa helicopter from the 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, based at Fort Carson, Colo., went down about 1:50 p.m. near Haditha, 120 miles northwest of the capital, Baghdad.

Meanwhile, gunmen assassinated a deputy police chief in Mosul yesterday, and militants in Kirkuk — where a suicide bombing this week killed eight policemen — littered police stations with leaflets warning of more attacks.

RWANDA

U.N. tribunal convicts genocide suspect

ARUSHA, Tanzania — The U.N. tribunal for Rwanda yesterday convicted a former senior military officer of genocide and acquitted two suspects.

Former Lt. Samuel Imanishimwe was sentenced to 27 years in prison for genocide and crimes against humanity. The court ruled that he, as army commander of a southwestern Rwandan region, ordered his soldiers to participate in the massacre of thousands of civilians in 1994.

BRITAIN

Case dropped in leaked spy memo

LONDON — Prosecutors dropped all charges yesterday against a former British intelligence employee who leaked a confidential memo from the United States asking Britain to spy on members of the U.N. Security Council before the Iraq war.

Government attorneys said there wasn’t enough evidence to convict translator Katharine Gun, who had been charged with breaking state secrecy laws. They declined to say why, but some observers suggested that the government wanted to avoid a lengthy trial dredging up the divisive war.

ITALY

3 Muslim leaders held in metro bomb plot

BRESCIA — Three Muslim leaders suspected of plotting to bomb Milan’s metro and famous Gothic cathedral have been detained in Italy.

Investigators think the North African men planned to blow up the subway stop below the cathedral in December 2002 and bomb the cathedral in the nearby town of Cremona.

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