- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 6, 2005

ITALY

Tunisian plane crashes, killing 19

ROME — A Tunisian passenger plane carrying 39 persons crash-landed in the Mediterranean Sea off Sicily yesterday while trying to make an emergency landing because of engine trouble, and 19 persons were killed, officials said.

Palermo Prosecutor Piero Grasso told the Associated Press that 20 persons survived and were taken off rescue boats on stretchers at Palermo’s port. Some survivors were clinging to the plane’s wings when rescuers arrived, media reports said.

He said the plane was forced to make a water landing about eight miles off Sicily because of a “technical problem” that was being investigated.

EGYPT

Candidates abound in presidential race

CAIRO — Dozens of Egyptians lined up last week to apply to run for president in the Sept. 7 elections — movie extras, technicians, retired government employees, drivers and even a convicted assassin of former President Anwar Sadat. All were rejected.

For many of those who made the attempt, it was a chance to present their dreams — ending poverty, fighting corruption — in a nation where those outside the elite have had little say in their country’s affairs.

In the end, however, only two candidates with outside name recognition will face President Hosni Mubarak: Noman Gomaa of the Wafd, Egypt’s oldest and largest opposition party, and Ayman Nour, head of the Al-Ghad party and one of Mr. Mubarak’s most outspoken critics.

Mr. Mubarak’s government dominates the media and controls security forces that in the past have been accused of rigging parliamentary elections. Mr. Mubarak promised a fair vote.

INDIA

Hot line established with rival Pakistan

NEW DELHI — Longtime foes India and Pakistan formally agreed yesterday to inform each other about planned missile tests and set up a hot line by September to lessen the chances for accidental war between the nuclear-armed neighbors.

The agreements were announced after two days of talks, the third such round since the two South Asian nations started a peace dialogue last year in an attempt to ease almost six decades of bitter tensions that have produced three wars.

A joint statement said both nations stressed the need for early inauguration of a nuclear hot line between their foreign secretaries.

NORTH KOREA

Deadlocked talks head for a break

BEIJING — Delegates at six-nation nuclear talks will meet again today, but one of the topics will be whether to take a recess after 12 days of negotiations that have made little progress toward persuading North Korea to disarm, Japan’s chief envoy said yesterday.

Diplomats say the talks are deadlocked over the North’s insistence on retaining a peaceful nuclear program and the question of what it would get for giving up its atomic arms program.

Envoys from the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia are trying to write a joint statement meant to guide the negotiations.

IRELAND

Colombia wants fugitives extradited

BOGOTA — Colombia is demanding that Ireland hand over three fugitives linked to the Irish Republican Army and convicted of supporting terrorism in this South American country. The trio unexpectedly turned up in Ireland after eight months on the run.

The fugitives’ public re-emergence on Friday plunged the Northern Ireland peace process into disarray. There was suspicion the three returned to Ireland because they felt authorities would not deport them because of the IRA’s recent pledge to completely disarm.

Niall Connolly, Martin McCauley and James Monaghan disappeared in December after a Colombian appeals court reversed an earlier acquittal and sentenced the men to 17 years in prison for training guerrillas of the Marxist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia, or FARC, to use homemade artillery.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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