- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

ISRAEL

Inspectors approved for Gaza border

JERUSALEM — Israel’s Security Cabinet yesterday approved the deployment of European inspectors on the Gaza-Egypt border, a breakthrough that would grant the Palestinians some freedom of movement without Israeli controls for the first time in decades and boost the economy of the impoverished Gaza Strip.

However, several disputes still need to be settled before the border reopens and Palestinians can reap the first benefits of Israel’s withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in September.

Palestinian negotiators complained yesterday that Israel is stalling on other key issues linked to the pullout, including creating a passage between the West Bank and Gaza and speeding up the movement of cargo and workers from Gaza to Israel.

NETHERLANDS

Visas approved for fire victims’ kin

THE HAGUE — The Netherlands has granted entry visas to the relatives of 11 inmates of a detention center who died in a fire last week, also paying for their flights and other costs, an official said yesterday.

“This measure only affects close relatives such as children or parents of the 11 victims,” Justice Ministry spokesman Arnoud Strijbis said.

The 11 detainees burned to death, trapped in their cells, when fire broke out last week.

SWEDEN

Duke investigated for racial hatred

STOCKHOLM — Swedish police will investigate whether former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke broke the law against inciting racial hatred in speeches he gave in Sweden over the past two years, officials said yesterday.

A prosecutor said he had ordered police to reopen an inquiry into the case. “The information we have indicates that … he has committed a crime,” chief prosecutor Sven-Erik Alhem said.

PAKISTAN

U.S. aid helicopter escapes ground fire

ISLAMABAD — A rocket-propelled grenade apparently was fired at a U.S. military helicopter ferrying relief supplies to quake victims in Pakistan’s portion of disputed Kashmir yesterday, but the aircraft was not hit and nobody was injured, a spokesman said.

The attack occurred as the helicopter was flying over Chakothi, a quake-ravaged town near the Line of Control that separated Pakistan’s portion of the Himalayan region from the area controlled by India, Capt. Rob Newell, a spokesman for the U.S. military relief effort, told the Associated Press.

UNITED NATIONS

Ahtisaari picked for Kosovo talks

NEW YORK — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has chosen former Finnish President Martti Ahtisaari to lead negotiations on the future of Serbia’s disputed Kosovo province, the United Nations said yesterday.

The U.N. Security Council gave the green light to negotiations on Kosovo’s future status on Oct. 24 after warnings from Washington and Brussels that the status quo — characterized by latent violence, economic stagnation and widespread frustration — was no longer sustainable.

U.N. officials in Pristina said Mr. Ahtisaari, who returns to Balkan peacekeeping after six years, most likely would set up base in Vienna, Austria.

TANZANIA

Nine killed in election violence

ZANZIBAR — Police clashed with opposition supporters yesterday after the ruling party was declared the winner of elections marred by charges of vote rigging. Officials said five protesters and four police were killed.

The ruling Chama Cha Mapinduzi, or Revolutionary Party, was declared the winner of presidential and parliamentary elections in the Zanzibar archipelago, which is part of Tanzania but semiautonomous.

IRAQ

500 prisoners freed from Abu Ghraib

BAGHDAD — Five hundred prisoners walked free from the U.S. military’s Abu Ghraib jail in Iraq yesterday, released in a goodwill gesture to mark the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

The detainees were presented with a Koran and $25 on their release, which marked Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Their release was in addition to 1,000 prisoners set free in October at the start of the month of fasting.

All 1,500, who also received traditional white shirts, were released after their cases went before an Iraqi-led review board and were found not to have committed serious or violent crimes, the U.S. military said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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