- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 6, 2005

ISRAEL

12 soldiers hurt in rocket attack

GAZA CITY — Palestinian fighters wounded 12 soldiers in a rocket attack on Israel yesterday, defying calls for a cease-fire from Mahmoud Abbas, the front-runner to succeed Yasser Arafat in an election Sunday.

The rocket crashed inside the Nahal Oz army base just beyond Gaza’s border fence. Hamas militants said they were avenging the killing of the seven Palestinians in a Gaza strawberry farm.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli religious party agreed to join Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s coalition, clearing the way for a unity government designed to overcome far-right resistance to his plan to withdraw settlers from Gaza later this year.

YEMEN

British Embassy closed over threat

SAN’A — Britain closed its embassy in Yemen yesterday because of security concerns and warnings that terrorists were in the final stages of planning attacks against Western targets in the Arab state.

The embassy advised British citizens to be particularly vigilant in places frequented by foreigners, such as hotels.

UKRAINE

Yanukovych appeals election defeat

KIEV — Losing presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovych appealed the results of last month’s election to Ukraine’s Supreme Court, arguing that the election should be declared invalid because of massive fraud.

Preliminary results from the Dec. 26 election show opposition candidate Viktor Yushchenko winning a sound victory, but the election commission cannot declare the winner while appeals are pending.

CHILE

Pinochet placed under house arrest

SANTIAGO — Former dictator Augusto Pinochet was placed under house arrest yesterday after Chile’s Supreme Court ruled that murder and kidnapping charges against him can proceed.

The arrest order was delivered to Gen. Pinochet’s country estate a short distance from the Pacific coast. The high court’s unprecedented decision brought the former dictator one step closer to his first trial in a major human rights case.

Charges against Gen. Pinochet, 89, relate to the deaths and disappearances of 10 leftists in the 1970s.

CHINA

1.3 billionth citizen, a boy, is born

BEIJING — China’s 1.3 billionth citizen, a boy, was born at a hospital in the capital early today, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

Zhang Weiqing, minister in charge of the State Population and Family Planning Commission, awarded the newborn a certificate designating him as the 1.3 billionth citizen.

The country’s population is expected to increase by about 10 million annually until reaching a peak of 1.46 billion in the mid-2030s, state press had quoted population researchers saying last year.

FRANCE

Drug smuggler dies in air from overdose

PARIS — An Italian woman trying to smuggle cocaine into Europe died on a flight arriving at Paris when one of 77 latex bags filled with the drug she had swallowed burst in her stomach, police said yesterday.

The middle-aged woman died of a lethal overdose on an Air France flight landing at Charles de Gaulle airport Saturday after the long flight from Santo Domingo, the capital of the Caribbean state of the Dominican Republic.

An autopsy revealed the drugs hidden in her stomach.

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