- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 31, 2005

JORDAN

Saddam assaulted, defense team claims

AMMAN — Members of Saddam Hussein’s Jordan-based defense team claimed yesterday the former Iraqi dictator was attacked during a recent court appearance, a claim immediately disputed by the chief investigating judge of the tribunal.

A man burst out from those gathered in the courtroom Thursday and tried to hit Saddam as the ousted leader was leaving the courtroom after a 45-minute hearing, Saddam’s legal team said in a statement.

U.S. and Iraqi officials said the incident never happened.

INDIA

Death toll climbs in monsoon flood

BOMBAY — The discovery of more bodies pushed the death toll from last week’s monsoon floods in Bombay to more than 850 yesterday, with officials warning it will likely rise to around 1,000.

Workers also began clearing away thousands of animal carcasses to prevent the outbreak of diseases in the rain-battered city and its outlying areas. Rain showers began intermittently hitting the area again yesterday, though with far less force than earlier in the week.

CANADA

Marijuana Party headquarters raided

VANCOUVER — Police have raided the headquarters of the British Columbia Marijuana Party at the request of U.S. investigators targeting one of Canada’s best-known advocates of legalizing marijuana.

U.S. officials have charged Marc Emery, founder of the Marijuana Party, and two other persons with conspiracy to manufacture marijuana, distribute marijuana seeds and money laundering.

Marijuana is a touchy issue in U.S.-Canada relations, with White House officials warning recently that a plan by Ottawa to decriminalize possession of small amounts of the drug could lead to tighter security on the border.

RUSSIA

Bird flu spreads to Siberia

MOSCOW — A strain of bird flu harmful to humans has been found in Siberia, where thousands of birds have died in an outbreak of the disease, a Russian newspaper said yesterday, quoting findings by official specialists.

The newspaper Kommersant quoted the state veterinary service as saying laboratory specialists had found the H5N1 strain in samples from the Novosibirsk region, where an outbreak of bird flu was reported last week.

IRAQ

Britons, Iraqis killed in different attacks

BAGHDAD — Bombs killed two British contractors in southern Iraq and seven persons in the heart of the capital yesterday as framers of the new constitution were pessimistic they could meet an August deadline for parliament to approve a draft.

The two Britons, who worked for the security firm Control Risks Group, were killed when a roadside bomb exploded alongside a British Consulate convoy in Basra, Iraq’s second-largest city, 340 miles southeast of Baghdad.

MEXICO

Drug war prompts U.S. consulate closing

NUEVO LAREDO — The United States is closing temporarily its consulate in this lawless Mexican border city after rival drug gangs clashed with bazookas, hand grenades and heavy machine-gun fire.

U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Tony Garza said Friday he was ordering the consulate in Nuevo Laredo closed for at least a week.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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