- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 19, 2006

AUSTRALIA

Troops set to deploy after Solomons riots

SYDNEY — Australia will deploy security forces to help restore order in the Solomon Islands, which have been hit by rioting over a disputed election result, Prime Minister John Howard said today.

The announcement came after a night of riots accompanied by looting after the election of a new prime minister in the South Pacific nation.

Rioters set fire to shops in Chinatown, razing many buildings in protest at the election of Snyder Rini yesterday. The protesters feared the new government would be heavily influenced by local Chinese businessmen and the government of the Republic of China (Taiwan).

SAUDI ARABIA

5 militants arrested in attack on oil site

RIYADH — Saudi Arabia said yesterday it had arrested five militants linked to a failed al Qaeda attack on a major oil facility in February, and seized 1 tons of explosives.

An Interior Ministry statement read on state television said the five were linked to the foiled attack on Abqaiq, the world’s biggest oil-processing plant, in which two militants were killed. Saudi Arabia had earlier arrested other militants linked to the incident.

The television aired parts of a tape seized by police showing militants preparing the two vehicles used in the Abqaiq attack. It said the items were found in a warehouse outside the capital, Riyadh.

ARUBA

Teen arrested in Holloway case

ORANJESTAD — A 19-year-old Dutch man is being held by authorities on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway, a teenager who went missing in late May during a post-graduation school trip to Aruba, the Aruban prosecutor’s office said yesterday.

The man, identified only by his initials, G.V.C., also is suspected of drug offenses.

Authorities arrested the 19-year-old man on Saturday, and prosecutors have asked the court for permission to hold him for at least eight days while they continue their investigation. The judge was expected to rule on the request at a closed hearing in Oranjestad, the capital.

KUWAIT

U.S. Army probe spot smuggling

ARIFJAN — The U.S. military said yesterday it was investigating claims that its postal service was used to smuggle marijuana after the arrest of three civilian subcontractors by Kuwaiti authorities.

The U.S. Army was responding to reports in Kuwaiti newspapers that three U.S. soldiers were arrested for selling marijuana in southern Kuwait.

A U.S. Army spokeswoman said the three men, arrested on Sunday, were not soldiers, but were American civilian contractors who worked for Westar, a contracted company of the Army Materiel Command at Camp Arifjan, south of Kuwait City.

CHINA

Artificial rain mulled to clear dust storm

BEIJING — Beijing will use artificial rainmaking to clear the air after a choking dust storm coated China’s capital and beyond with yellow grit, prompting a health warning to keep children indoors, state media said yesterday.

The huge storm blew dust far beyond China’s borders, blanketing South Korea and reaching Tokyo.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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