- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 4, 2005

UNITED NATIONS

China, U.S. oppose council expansion

NEW YORK — China and the United States have agreed to work together to defeat plans to expand the U.N. Security Council, China’s U.N. ambassador said yesterday.

The agreement came in a brief meeting with John R. Bolton, the Bush administration’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Wang Guangya told reporters. Mr. Bolton, who was sworn in Monday, was not available for comment.

AFGHANISTAN

NATO to expand role next year

KABUL — A NATO-led international force is set to expand and will be ready to assume responsibility for security across Afghanistan by the end of next year, freeing up many of the 17,600 American troops battling militants in the country, a NATO general said yesterday.

The announcement came after a surge in fighting between U.S.-led forces and Taliban rebels ahead of elections next month. Yesterday, a roadside bomb exploded near a U.S. military vehicle in eastern Afghanistan, killing an American service member and wounding another as well as an Afghan soldier.

Also yesterday, Afghan and U.S. officials said Afghans held in U.S. military custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere will be sent back to Afghanistan to be detained.

MAURITANIA

Coup triggers union suspension

NOUAKCHOTT — The African Union suspended Mauritania yesterday after army officers seized power in an apparently bloodless coup.

The United Nations, former colonial power France and the United States have condemned Wednesday’s swift takeover.

The officers said a “Military Council for Justice and Democracy” would rule for up to two years to end the “totalitarian” regime of President Maaouya Ould Sid Ahmed Taya, who was out of the country after attending King Fahd’s funeral in Saudi Arabia. Yesterday, the new military rulers dissolved parliament.

INDIA

Court puts bounty on stray cattle

NEW DELHI — An Indian court, disgusted by the failure of New Delhi’s municipality to rope in stray cattle, said yesterday it would offer monetary rewards for the capture of the horned beasts.

Delhi High Court Chief Justice B.C. Patel and Judge Sanjay Kishan Kaul placed a bounty of 2,000 rupees ($46.50) on the capture of each animal, saying the reward money would be raised by auctioning off the cattle.

PAKISTAN

Top court rejects Taliban-style law

ISLAMABAD — Pakistan’s Supreme Court yesterday declared unconstitutional a bill passed by a staunchly Islamic province to introduce what critics describe as a Taliban-style moral policing system.

The North-West Frontier Province’s Hasba (accountability) bill must be approved by the provincial governor, who is appointed by Islamabad, before it can become law.

ISRAEL

Arafat remembered on birthday

RAMALLAH, West Bank — Palestinians gathered at the graveside of Yasser Arafat yesterday to mark what would have been his 76th birthday, mourning the absence of their patriarch on the eve of Israel’s pullout from Gaza.

Mr. Arafat died in a military hospital near Paris on Nov. 11 with his dream of Palestinian independence still beyond reach.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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