- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 1, 2005

VATICAN CITY

Sodano to headCollege of Cardinals

VATICAN CITY — Veteran Vatican diplomat Angelo Sodano has been appointed dean of the College of Cardinals, a key role held by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger before he was elected pope, the Vatican said yesterday.

Cardinal Sodano, a 77-year-old Italian, is also Pope Benedict XVI’s secretary of state, the Vatican’s top diplomat, a position he had held under Pope John Paul II since 1990.

Cardinal Sodano was elected by the cardinals, and the appointment has now been approved by the pope. French Cardinal Roger Etchegaray has been appointed Cardinal Sodano’s deputy, reinforcing the dominance of Europeans in the lead roles in the Catholic Church.

IRAN

Nuclear activitieslikely to resume

TEHRAN — Iran said yesterday it is likely to resume uranium-enrichment-related activities within a week, a process it halted last year to build confidence in talks with European countries and avoid referral to the U.N. Security Council for possible sanctions.

Tehran’s announcement came a day after talks in London with European negotiators yielded no results. France, Britain and Germany, acting on behalf of the 25-nation European Union, are seeking guarantees from Iran that it will not use its nuclear program to make weapons, as Washington suspects.

Top Iranian nuclear negotiator Hasan Rowhani was quoted as saying Tehran expects to restart enrichment activities — injecting uranium gas into centrifuges — at its uranium-conversion facility in Isfahan.

GREECE

Exodus from capitalmarks Easter

ATHENS — Tens of thousands of Greeks again left the capital yesterday by road, boat and train in bright sunshine to celebrate the Easter holiday of the Greek Orthodox calendar, the nation’s biggest religious festival.

Since the beginning of Saints Week, more than 750,000 vehicles have left the Athens metropolitan area of 4 million inhabitants, police said.

A further 180,000 people have left the city by boat for the Greek islands of the Aegean Sea and Crete. Greeks must participate in the Easter Mass Saturday evening, before returning to their homes to light candles with the “holy fire.”

CHINA

Reporter sentencedfor leaking secrets

BEIJING — A Chinese journalist who worked for a financial newspaper was sentenced yesterday to 10 years in prison on charges of giving state secrets to foreigners.

Shi Tao’s family said the sentence was the minimum possible under his March conviction “illegally providing state secrets to foreigners.” They said the maximum was life in prison.

Shi worked at the Contemporary Business News, a financial publication, and was convicted of leaking the contents of a confidential memo at the paper to a foreign publication. Besides working as a journalist, Shi also published Internet essays advocating reforms to China’s one-party system.

JAPAN

No plan to moveMarines to mainland

TOKYO — Japan and the United States will give up a proposed plan to relocate part of the U.S. Marines stationed in Okinawa prefecture to the Japanese mainland because they could find no appropriate sites, Japanese government sources said yesterday.

The plan, discussed as part of the realignment of U.S. forces in Japan at working-level talks, was aimed at reducing the U.S. military concentration in Okinawa, where the bulk of U.S. military facilities in Japan are located. Any decision to give up the plan is expected to trigger protests from locals.

Japanese government sources said the U.S. side has refused to accept any plans for the relocation of U.S. Marines from Okinawa to abroad because that might make it difficult for the U.S. forces to maintain deterrence in the region.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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