- The Washington Times - Monday, April 10, 2006

ISRAEL

Security chiefs call for isolating Hamas

JERUSALEM — Israeli security chiefs yesterday recommended cutting all ties with the Hamas-led Palestinian government and ruled out peace talks with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas as long as Hamas refuses to renounce violence.

The recommendation raised the likelihood that Israel will push forward with acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s plan to impose a border in the West Bank by 2010.

The ministers said there will be “no personal boycott” of Mr. Abbas, but rejected any substantive negotiations with the leader — a moderate who hopes to restart peace talks.

PAKISTAN

Women, children killed in stampede

KARACHI — Thousands of women stampeded as they left a religious gathering in southern Pakistan yesterday, and at least 29 persons, including children, were killed, police and doctors said. More than 70 people were injured.

The stampede occurred as thousands of women were leaving the Sunni Muslim Faizan-e-Medina center in downtown Karachi, said Hanees Billu, a spokesman for the center.

Witnesses said the fatal crush occurred inside the center’s compound, when a woman bent to pick up a girl who had fallen, causing other people behind her to trip.

CANADA

Farmhouse raided in probe of slayings

TORONTO — Police investigating the deaths of eight men found stuffed inside abandoned vehicles near the U.S. border descended on a farmhouse a few miles down the road yesterday, blocking traffic to and from the area.

Police refused to say what was happening beyond the roadblock, which was set up about 3 miles from where the bodies were found inside four vehicles abandoned in a farmer’s field Saturday morning.

The eight victims knew one another and were from the Toronto area, police said.

NEPAL

Demonstrator killed as protests spread

KATMANDU — Violent protests against the king spread across Nepal yesterday as a third person was fatally shot by troops and thousands of activists burned government vehicles and clashed with police.

Nepal’s seven main political parties said they were extending a four-day-old general strike indefinitely to pressure King Gyanendra to restore democracy.

Maoist rebels, fighting since 1996 to topple the monarchy, said the campaign by the parties has been a success.

FRANCE

Changes expected in youth job law

PARIS — Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin will announce today how the government plans to revise an unpopular youth job law in the hope of ending more than one month of mass protests and strikes.

Mr. de Villepin is to present President Jacques Chirac with the “agreed position” of the ruling party on changes to the law, sources at the presidency said. The prime minister will then make a public announcement.

Unions want the “easy hire, easy fire” law repealed because it removes job security for young people. They threatened yesterday to extend their protests unless Mr. Chirac provides a clear solution to the crisis.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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