- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 1, 2005

RUSSIA

Kremlin pressesdisaster coordination

MOSCOW — Russia still seeks creation of a Europe-wide crisis center to deal with such natural disasters as the earthquake and tsunami on Dec. 26 in South Asia, the Foreign Ministry said Friday.

“The latest events are further evidence of the need to step up international cooperation in preventing natural and industrial disasters and creating effective multilateral mechanisms to deal with their consequences,” Interfax quoted from the statement.

“In particular, Russia’s proposals on a European emergency situations center and a European aviation squadron remain in force,” according the statement.

ROMANIA

FOREIGN ADOPTIONSLIMITED TO RELATIVES

BUCHAREST — A LAW RESTRICTING INTERNATIONAL ADOPTIONS TO BIOLOGICAL GRANDPARENTS TOOK EFFECT YESTERDAY, TO PROTESTS FROM SOME AMERICAN FAMILIES TRYING TO ADOPT ROMANIAN CHILDREN.

THE GOVERNMENT ENACTED THE LAW UNDER ORDERS FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION, WHICH ROMANIA WANTS TO JOIN IN 2007. UNDER THE LAW, ROMANIAN CHILDREN CAN BE ADOPTED BY FOREIGNERS IF THE SEARCH FOR ROMANIAN ADOPTIVE FAMILIES HAS FAILED, EXCEPT FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE 2.

FOREIGN ADOPTIONS OF ROMANIAN CHILDREN BOOMED AFTER TELEVISED PICTURES OF ORPHANS LIVING IN SQUALOR WERE BROADCAST WORLDWIDE AFTER THE 1989 OUSTER OF DICTATOR NICOLAE CEAUSESCU, WHO HAD BANNED BIRTH CONTROL.

VATICAN CITY

POPE PRAISESOUTPOURING OF CHARITY

VATICAN CITY — POPE JOHN PAUL II CELEBRATED A SPECIAL MASS IN HIS PRIVATE CHAPEL YESTERDAY FOR THE VICTIMS OF THE INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI AND LATER PUBLICLY PRAISED THE OUTPOURING OF AID FOR THE SURVIVORS AS A SIGN OF HOPE FOR 2005.

“I NOTE FAVORABLY THE SOLIDARITY EFFORTS THAT ARE DEVELOPING IN EVERY PART OF THE WORLD,” JOHN PAUL SAID IN A NEW YEAR’S DAY GREETING FROM HIS WINDOW OVERLOOKING ST. PETER’S SQUARE AS THOUSANDS LISTENED BELOW IN THE SQUARE.

THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH DEDICATES THE FIRST DAY OF EACH YEAR TO THE THEME OF GLOBAL PEACE.

WEEKLY NOTES…

JAPAN IS CONSIDERING A BREAKTHROUGH VISIT BY CROWN PRINCE NARUHITO AND PRINCESS MASAKO TO SOUTH KOREA TO TRY TO EASE THE BITTERNESS OVER JAPANESE COLONIAL RULE, A NEWSPAPER REPORTED YESTERDAY. TOKYO WILL ENTER TALKS WITH SEOUL TO ARRANGE THE VISIT, POSSIBLY IN LATE 2005, TO MARK THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF NORMAL DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN THE TWO COUNTRIES, THE NIHON KEIZAI SHIMBUN SAID. … AUSTRALIAN PARAMEDICS FOUND A 36-YEAR-OLD MAN WHO HAD FALLEN 46 FEET DOWN AN OLD GOLD-MINE SHAFT YESTERDAY IN NORTHERN VICTORIA STATE. HE WAS TREATED FOR HEAD AND CHEST INJURIES BEFORE HE WAS RAISED FROM THE SHAFT AND FLOWN TO A MELBOURNE HOSPITAL BY HELICOPTER, THE AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORP. REPORTED. “I’D SAY HE’D OVERIMBIBED ON NEW YEAR’S EVE,” SAID CHRIS HORSELY OF THE RUSHWORTH POLICE DEPARTMENT.

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