- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 18, 2005

AFGHANISTAN

Female TV ex-host fatally shot

KABUL — Unknown gunmen yesterday fatally shot a female TV presenter in Kabul who once worked for a music program similar to MTV, which had upset radical Islamic clerics, police said.

“Yes, I can confirm that she was killed,” city police Chief Mohammed Akram Khakrizwal told Agence-France Presse. But he added there was no known motive for the slaying of 24-year-old Shaima Rezayee.

Miss Rezayee was fired from the private Tolo TV in March, which hosted her music program after it was heavily criticized by clerics.

ETHIOPIA

Opposition parties claim victory

ADDIS ABABA — Ethiopia’s two main opposition parties claimed victory yesterday in parliamentary elections seen as a test of the African nation’s commitment to democracy, saying they have won enough seats to form a government.

The claim came a day after Ethiopia’s ruling party said it had won just over half the parliamentary seats in Sunday’s vote, acknowledging opposition gains but insisting it would remain in power.

The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia said any party can claim victory, but only its results count.

IRELAND

U.S. urges IRA to disarm

BELFAST — The United States called on the Irish Republican Army yesterday to lay down its arms sooner rather than later so that Northern Ireland can find permanent peace.

“I would very much hope that the IRA would respond soon,” said Mitchell Reiss, President Bush’s special envoy, as Washington joined forces with London and Dublin to try to get peace returned to Protestants and Catholics in the province.

Last month, Sinn Fein’s Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA’s political ally, appealed to the paramilitaries to use words, not guns to fulfill their aims.

CROATIA

Official sackedover beach rules

ZAGREB — The Croatian deputy sports minister was sacked yesterday for issuing a draconian set of regulations banning vacationers from wearing “inappropriate” bathing suits or eating on the country’s beaches.

A statement from the Education and Sports Ministry said the rules, which were due to take effect on Monday, had been repealed and that the deputy minister, Romana Caput-Jogunica, had been fired for issuing them.

It said the regulations, which also banned arguing and drinking on beaches, showed a “lack of logic.”

SAUDI ARABIA

U.S. drops warning for citizens to leave

RIYADH — The United States has quietly dropped a year-old warning it issued to its citizens to leave Saudi Arabia, but says they should still avoid travel to the kingdom because of possible attacks by militants.

A State Department travel warning posted on the Web site of the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh said militants were still targeting foreigners and Saudi government facilities, despite being weakened by a two-year security clampdown.

ITALY

Police arrest five in terror crackdown

ROME — Police arrested five terror suspects yesterday during raids in Northern Italy in a crackdown on two extremist cells accused of planning attacks in Italy and abroad, officials said.

Two of the suspects were arrested in Milan and three in Turin, police said, after investigations into reputed cells based in the two cities.

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