- The Washington Times - Saturday, April 15, 2006

ITALY

Novelist Muriel Spark dead at 88

ROME — Scottish-born novelist Muriel Spark, best known for her book “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” has died in Italy at the age of 88 and was buried in Tuscany yesterday.

Miss Spark wrote 24 novels, several short stories and three well-received biographies during her long career.

But she shot to fame with her 1962 fictional work “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” a tense novel about a young teacher stirring thoughts of emancipation at an Edinburgh girls’ school in staid society between the two world wars.

The book was made into a critically acclaimed film starring Maggie Smith in 1969.

IRELAND

Protestants won’t be forced into union

DUBLIN — Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams told supporters yesterday that his Irish Republican Army-linked party will not force Northern Ireland’s Protestants into a united Ireland, but it was demanding that they share power within the British territory.

Mr. Adams, delivering his traditional address on the central Dublin spot where rebels launched a failed Easter 1916 rebellion against British rule, said Sinn Fein members would attend the May 15 revival of Northern Ireland’s legislature, which last met 3 years ago.

The legislature wields the critical power to elect, or block, the formation of a joint Roman Catholic-Protestant administration.

GERMANY

U.S. seeks to return Chinese Muslims

BERLIN — The U.S. government wants to deport a group of Chinese Muslims held at the Guantanamo prison camp to Germany and is pressuring Chancellor Angela Merkel to take in the ethnic Uighurs, a newspaper reported on Friday.

The German daily Die Welt quoted diplomatic sources saying Mrs. Merkel’s government has resisted the U.S. pressure to accept the 15 Uighurs from the restive, predominantly Muslim region of Xinjiang in China’s northwest.

The newspaper report said Germany was identified as a suitable location for the Uighurs, held since 2002, because another group of Uighurs already live in exile in Bavaria.

RUSSIA

Jailed tycoonat tacked in cell

MOSCOW — Jailed Russian tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky has been hospitalized after another prisoner slashed him in the face while he slept, his lawyer said yesterday.

The attorney, Yury Schmidt, told the Associated Press that Khodorkovsky had been assaulted by another prisoner with a sharp object between Thursday night and Friday morning.

The billionaire tycoon, once Russia’s richest man, was recovering in the infirmary of the prison camp in Krasnokamensk, Mr. Schmidt said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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