- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 11, 2006

ISRAEL

Rice sees ‘no place’ for Hamas in politics

The United States put rhetorical pressure on the Palestinians yesterday to make elections in their territories go smoothly this month, despite concern the voting will boost the influence of Palestinian militants.

“It remains the view of the United States that there should be no place in the political process for groups or individuals who refuse to renounce terror and violence, recognize Israel’s right to exist, and disarm,” Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said, referring to the militant group Hamas, which is expected to make major political gains in the Palestinian election.

COSTA RICA

Fungus wiping out frogs, study finds

LONDON — An infectious fungus aggravated by global warming has killed entire populations of frogs in Central and South America and driven some species to extinction, scientists said yesterday.

In research that showed the effects of rising temperatures on delicate ecosystems, a team of researchers found that a warming atmosphere encouraged the spread of a fungus that has wiped out species of harlequin frogs and golden toads.

“This is the first clear evidence that widespread extinction is taking place because of global warming,” said Alan Pounds, an ecologist of the Monteverde Cloud Forest Preserve in Costa Rica and an author of the study.

GEORGIA

Man sentenced in bid to kill Bush

TBILISI — A court yesterday convicted a man of trying to assassinate President Bush and the leader of Georgia by throwing a grenade at them during a rally in May 2005, and he was sentenced to life in prison.

Vladimir Arutyunian also was convicted of killing a policeman in the course of an operation to arrest him several weeks after the May 10 incident. The grenade that Arutyunian threw during the rally attended by Mr. Bush and President Mikhail Saakashvili landed about 100 feet from the stage. No one was hurt.

COLOMBIA

Town forces youths to carry condoms

BOGOTA — A western Colombian town has angered the influential Catholic Church with a novel plan to cut AIDS infections, threatening males over age 14 with fines if they fail to carry a condom.

Young men in the community — most of whom start having sex at about age 15, according to a poll — should carry condoms just as they have to carry identification cards, Tulua town council member William Pena said. Those who fail to show a condom would have to pay a small fine or take a three-hour course in AIDS prevention.

BRITAIN

Amnesty scrapped for Irish fugitives

LONDON — Britain yesterday scrapped plans for an amnesty of fugitives wanted for acts of violence committed before the 1998 Good Friday Agreement, just two months after it was first proposed.

The proposed legislation would have helped about 150 Catholic Irish Republican Army and Protestant paramilitary suspects.

ISRAEL

Robertson snubbed after Sharon remark

JERUSALEM — Israel said yesterday it would accept no involvement by the Rev. Pat Robertson in a biblical-tourism project after he suggested Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s stroke was divine punishment for the Gaza pullout.

Mr. Robertson said on his “700 Club” television show the day after Mr. Sharon suffered a stroke a week ago that “he was dividing God’s land and I would say woe unto any prime minister of Israel who takes a similar course.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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