- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 25, 2006

VATICAN CITY

Condoms OK’d for AIDS victims

VATICAN CITY — At Pope Benedict XVI’s request, the Vatican is preparing a document about condom use by those with AIDS, Cardinal Javier Lozano Barragan, who is in charge of the Vatican’s health care ministry, was quoted as saying in Sunday’s La Repubblica newspaper.

The Vatican opposes the use of condoms as part of its overall teaching against contraception and advocates sexual abstinence as the best way to combat the spread of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

IRAN

Regime considers nuclear treaty pullout

TEHRAN — Iran’s hard-line president said yesterday that he is thinking about withdrawing from the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) if the United Nations atomic agency tries to prevent his country from enriching uranium.

In a rare press conference with foreign journalists, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad also predicted the U.N. Security Council will not impose sanctions on Iran, which is facing a Friday deadline to halt enrichment because of suspicions it is trying to develop atomic weapons.

Mr. Ahmadinejad’s government insists the NPT gives Iran the right to enrich uranium for fueling civilian nuclear power plants, and he has given no ground in the international face-off.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S.-leased plane crashes, kills 4

LASHKAR GAH — A U.S.-leased plane carrying counternarcotics officials crashed into a nomad settlement yesterday while trying to avoid a truck on a runway during landing, killing two persons aboard and two young girls on the ground, authorities and relatives said.

At least 13 persons were reported injured, including some Americans.

The Russian-made, twin-engine An-32 aircraft was landing at Bost airport in Lashkar Gah, capital of the southern province of Helmand, but overran the airstrip after trying to lift over a truck that drove across the runway, said Maj. Quentin Innis, a Canadian military spokesman.

A U.S. official said the two dead on the plane were Ukrainian crew members.

FRANCE

Sorbonne reopens after jobs protests

PARIS — Students returned to classes past police vans yesterday as the landmark Sorbonne University in Paris reopened after being closed for six weeks amid protests of a youth labor law that mired France in crisis.

While universities nationwide were shut or thrown into disarray by the protests, the Sorbonne’s column-lined main building on the Left Bank became a symbol of the standoff after students occupied it last month and riot police stormed in to dislodge them.

Yesterday, students filed calmly past cafes lining the square in front of the university, while police remained discreetly on alert nearby for any signs that radical groups would disrupt classes.

ZIMBABWE

White ex-lawmaker seeks asylum

HARARE — A white former opposition member of the Zimbabwean Parliament is seeking political asylum in South Africa because he fears for his life, his attorneys and a party spokesman said yesterday.

Roy Bennett, a senior member of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), fled the country last month after police sought to question him over the discovery of an arms cache in eastern Zimbabwe that security agents said was to be used to overthrow President Robert Mugabe’s government.

“The regime is after his head. We cannot afford to have a dead hero,”said MDC spokesman Nelson Chamisa.

PHILIPPINES

Lawmakers charged with rebellion

MANILA — Government prosecutors filed rebellion charges yesterday against a former senator, six leftist lawmakers and 42 others suspected of plotting a coup in February against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, officials said.

Among those charged was former Sen. Gregorio Honasan, a former army colonel involved in coup attempts in the late 1980s.

In a 52-page document filed before a court in Manila’s Makati financial district, Senior State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco said the left-wing lawmakers and Jose Maria Sison, the self-exiled founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines, had “established a tactical alliance” with Mr. Honasan and the military officers.

From wire dispatches and staff report

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