- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 25, 2005

INDONESIA

Aftershock causes widespread panic

JAKARTA — A powerful aftershock from last month’s tsunami-triggering earthquake and another quake in central Indonesia sparked panic yesterday as people feared another giant killer wave.

The two quakes, both magnitude 6.3, caused little damage and no reported injuries, and neither generated a tsunami. But they jangled nerves across the Indian Ocean region hit by the Dec. 26 tsunami, which left about a quarter-million people dead or missing.

VATICAN

Pope tells bishops to battle secularism

VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II reminded Spanish bishops yesterday of their country’s Christian traditions and warned them that secular trends were leading young people to become indifferent to religion.

The pope has been delivering similar messages to bishops from across Europe, but the speech to the Spanish came after a leading prelate in Spain said last week that bishops there support the use of condoms to fight AIDS.

The prelate quickly backtracked, saying the church believes condom use is immoral.

AFGHANISTAN

Karzai urges Iraqisto emulate vote

KABUL — President Hamid Karzai urged Iraqis yesterday to follow the example of Afghans and turn out for the landmark elections this weekend despite the threats of violence, saying their votes would help Iraq move toward prosperity.

The U.S.-backed Afghan leader won his country’s first direct vote for president on Oct. 9, almost three years after American forces ousted the Taliban for harboring terror mastermind Osama bin Laden. Remnants of the hard-line militia failed to deliver on threats of major violence during the polls.

“The Iraqi people must not fear terrorists. Instead, they should make their elections a success with bravery and courage,” Mr. Karzai said.

JORDAN

Saddam’s attorney reported to be hiding

AMMAN — An Iraqi lawyer on Saddam Hussein’s defense team has received several death threats in the past three weeks and has gone into hiding, the chief defense attorney for the deposed Iraqi dictator said yesterday.

Khalil al-Duleimi, one of 25 attorneys for Saddam, told other lawyers on the team that the threats followed his Dec. 16 meeting with the defendant, said chief defense attorney Ziad al-Khasawneh.

Saddam was arraigned in a Baghdad court in July 2004 on charges of war crimes and genocide. He is awaiting trial before a special Iraqi tribunal.

BRITAIN

Muslim leaders want torture counseling

LONDON — British Muslim leaders lobbied the government yesterday to give medical treatment and counseling to four Britons expected to return home this week from the U.S. Naval Base Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, where they were held for more than three years.

The Muslim Council of Britain said the four, some of whom say they were tortured, would be traumatized and in need of care.

Moazzam Begg, Feroz Abbasi, Martin Mubanga and Richard Belmar are among about 550 prisoners from 42 countries swept up in the U.S.-led war on terrorism and detained without charges. The Foreign Office said yesterday that the four would return home “very shortly.”

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