- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2005

IRAQ

U.S. sergeant faces trial in 2 killings

CAMP ARIFJAN, Kuwait — A pretrial investigation opened yesterday for a U.S. Army sergeant charged with killing two superior officers in Iraq, with a witness testifying that the defendant told him that he wanted to kill one of the victims.

Staff Sgt. Alberto B. Martinez, of Troy, N.Y., faces murder charges in the June 7 killing of Capt. Philip Esposito and Lt. Louis E. Allen in an explosion at Forward Operating Base Danger, near Tikrit.

GERMANY

Revolt in SPD stalls coalition plan

BERLIN — Efforts to forge a German bipartisan coalition were disrupted yesterday when the head of the Social Democrats said he would step down as party leader and might not join a new Cabinet after suffering an internal revolt.

Franz Muentefering made his shocking announcement after party leaders voted against his candidate for SPD general secretary, plunging the party into crisis in the midst of talks on forming a power-sharing government with the conservatives led by chancellor-in-waiting Angela Merkel.

Traditional rivals, the SPD and conservative Christian Democratic Union/Christian Social Union were forced into coalition talks after an inconclusive election Sept. 18 left them with no realistic alternative for a stable majority government.

KYRGYZSTAN

U.S. asked to pay if planes dump fuel

BISHKEK — Kyrgyzstan, the only state hosting both U.S. and Russian military forces, yesterday said it sought a new U.S. base agreement allowing fines for any repeat of incidents where U.S. planes dumped fuel on Kyrgyz territory.

Kyrgyz President Kurmanbek Bakiyev said last month that U.S. forces could stay at the Manas air base in his Central Asian nation until nearby Afghanistan, where U.S. forces are combating Islamic militants, was “totally stable,” but they would have to pay more rent.

An emergencies ministry spokesman said U.S. transport and refueling planes dumped 80 tons of fuel on approach to the airport near Bishkek in September. The U.S. Embassy said such fuel dumps were caused by emergency situations and were envisaged by an earlier agreement with Kyrgyzstan.

EGYPT

Anglican leaders scold N. Americans

CAIRO — Conservative Anglican Church leaders from Africa, Asia and Latin America have criticized their U.S. and Canadian counterparts for failing to prevent same-sex “marriages” and for allowing homosexual priests — actions that threaten to split Anglicanism.

About 120 archbishops, priests and delegates also pressed for an “Anglican Covenant” to provide clearer rules for governing the Anglican Communion, a global religious body of 38 autonomous branches that all trace their roots to the Church of England.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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