- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 7, 2004

BRITAIN

Blair first to visit re-elected Bush

President Bush’s first postelection meeting with a foreign leader comes this week when British Prime Minister Tony Blair, a staunch ally on Iraq, is due for two days of discussions at the White House, officials said yesterday.

Mr. Blair will be in Washington on Thursday and Friday for meetings to chart “the way forward on a lot of things,” a senior Bush administration official said.

Busy with his re-election campaign, Mr. Bush has not welcomed a foreign leader to the White House since August, when he was host to Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi.

Mr. Bush and Mr. Blair confer by phone almost weekly.

UKRAINE

Opposition supporters fear election fraud

KIEV — Tens of thousands of supporters of presidential candidate Viktor Yushchenko filled Kiev’s main square yesterday, joining planned nationwide protests over suspected election fraud.

Vote results from Ukraine’s Central Election Commission showed Mr. Yushchenko trailing Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych in last Sunday’s race. Final results have not been announced, but Mr. Yushchenko’s supporters want a recount.

Mr. Yushchenko’s backers claim he won 300,000 more votes than Mr. Yanukovych. Some exit polls also put Mr. Yushchenko in the lead.

The election was seen as pivotal for the democratic future of Ukraine, over which Russia still wields great influence in economic, political and military affairs.

RUSSIA

Officials restart nuclear reactor

MOSCOW — Officials yesterday restarted a nuclear reactor that sparked widespread panic in southern Russia when it automatically shut down earlier this week.

After the shutdown, rumors immediately spread that there had been a major accident. Officials insisted there had been no radiation leakage from reactor No. 2 at the Balakovo nuclear-power plant in the Saratov region.

The reactor, which was shut down Thursday because of a turbine malfunction, was restarted at 3:40 a.m. yesterday and was running normally, the Rosenergoatom company said.

BRITAIN

Collision derails train, killing six

UFTON NERVET, England — A high-speed passenger train crashed into a car at a level crossing and flew off the rails yesterday, killing six persons and injuring scores.

“The 1735 train for Plymouth with 300 passengers on board collided with a vehicle at the crossing, completely derailing the train,” said Andy Trotter, deputy chief constable of the British Transport Police.

Among those injured, 11 were seriously hurt. The train’s operator, First Great Western, a subsidiary of rail and bus operator FirstGroup PLC, said the train conductor was one of those killed.

It was not immediately clear how the car came to be on the level crossing as the train was passing through.

There was no suggestion that infrastructure failure or railway staff were responsible for the crash. Rail safety has been a political issue in the country since a series of deadly crashes after the industry’s privatization in the 1990s.

BRITAIN

Princes William, Harry usher at wedding

CHESTER, England — With Prince William and Prince Harry taking on the mundane roles of ushers, you could believe it was the society wedding of the year in Britain.

The princes got a big cheer from an estimated 4,000 people who came to gawk in the narrow streets outside Chester Cathedral, stealing some of the limelight at the wedding of Lady Tamara Grosvenor, daughter of the duke of Westminster, and Edward van Cutsem.

Both families are well-connected with royal circles, and some 650 guests — including Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip — attended the ceremonies.

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