- The Washington Times - Monday, May 9, 2005

GERMANY

Anti-fascist marchers confront neo-Nazis

BERLIN — A neo-Nazi march in Berlin was stopped by thousands of anti-fascist demonstrators yesterday after a tense standoff that overshadowed Germany’s ceremonies marking the end of World War II in Europe 60 years ago.

Berlin police said 6,000 demonstrators opposed to the far-right National Democratic Party (NPD) crowded into streets around Alexanderplatz square, where 3,300 right-wing extremists gathered to protest what they called a German “cult of guilt.”

Authorities ordered the NPD to stay at Alexanderplatz behind a buffer zone of barricades and police, and the NPD later decided to abandon the march.

EGYPT

Tourism not dented by terrorist attacks

SHARM EL SHEIK — The Egyptian tourism minister said yesterday he had no indication that attacks in April on tourists in Cairo had hurt visitor numbers.

Three tourists were killed and others injured in two bombings in the capital last month and assailants also opened fire on a tourist bus. But analysts have said Egypt’s $6.6 billion tourism industry may not be hurt much if such attacks do not persist.

“I have got no indication at the moment that there is any impact. … We draw those conclusions after very intensive discussions with our partners abroad,” Tourism Minister Ahmed al-Maghrabi said.

LEBANON

Aoun’s return creates new splits

BEIRUT — Lebanon’s most prominent anti-Syrian leader said yesterday that he had yet to hear from fellow opposition politicians, signaling deepening splits within the disparate front that helped end Syria’s 29-year military grip.

A day after returning to Lebanon, Michel Aoun said his allies so far were the tens of thousands of youthful supporters who welcomed him home from a 14-year exile.

“Until now I haven’t heard. … I assume silence after a certain period means rejection,” Mr. Aoun told reporters at his home just outside Beirut.

VATICAN CITY

Pope urges press to act responsibly

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI said yesterday that the press can spread peace, but also foment violence, and he called on journalists to exercise responsibility to ensure objective reports that respect human dignity and the common good.

Noting that yesterday was the world day of social communications, the pope praised the press for what he called the “extraordinary” coverage of the death and funeral of Pope John Paul II.

“But everything depends on the way [the press] is used,” he said. “These important tools of communication can favor reciprocal knowledge and dialogue or, on the contrary, they can fuel prejudice and disdain between individuals and peoples. They can contribute to spreading peace or fomenting violence.”

AFGHANISTAN

U.N. worker killed in Internet cafe blast

KABUL — A U.N. engineer from Burma was among three persons killed when a suicide attacker walked into an Internet cafe and blew himself up, officials said yesterday. It was the first fatal attack on a U.N. staffer in the capital since the fall of the Taliban in 2001.

The bombing on Saturday followed a series of kidnap attempts on foreigners and the killing of a British development worker, deepening a sense of insecurity in the city just as a Taliban-led insurgency revives in the south.

The U.S. ambassador condemned the targeting of an Internet cafe as an attack on “Afghans’ desire to be part of the larger world.”

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