- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 24, 2006

TURKEY

Court drops charges against novelist

ISTANBUL — A court in Turkey dropped charges against the country’s best-known novelist yesterday, but it left unresolved a conflict between nationalist opponents of free expression and Western-leaning advocates of European values.

Orhan Pamuk, who gained international acclaim for books such as “Snow,” “Istanbul” and “My Name is Red,” was on trial on charges of “insulting Turkishness” after he told a Swiss newspaper that Turks have killed more than a million Armenians and more than 30,000 Kurds. He faced up to three years in prison.

An Istanbul court said yesterday that it was forced to drop the case because it had not received permission to proceed from the Turkish government, which has been criticized for failing to commit itself to free expression even as Turkey lumbers toward membership in the European Union.

GERMANY

Muslim groups slam immigrant test

BERLIN — Islamic groups yesterday vowed to fight a test introduced by a German state this month for potential immigrants that they said singled out Muslims for discrimination.

The conservative-ruled southern state of Baden-Wuerttemberg introduced the battery of questions Jan. 1. Candidates for immigration who are considered unlikely to integrate are asked about their personal views.

Subjects include homosexuality, equal rights for men and women, domestic violence, religious freedom, honor killings and the September 11, 2001, attacks.

CHILE

Pinochet’s kin held on tax evasion charges

SANTIAGO — Former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet’s wife and four of their five children were arrested yesterday on tax evasion and fraud charges as part of an investigation into secret multimillion-dollar bank accounts.

Court officials said Judge Carlos Cerda ordered the arrest of Gen. Pinochet’s wife, Lucia Hiriart, and their children. Also arrested were Monica Ananias and Oscar Aitken, a personal secretary of Gen. Pinochet and the former executor of Gen. Pinochet’s will, respectively.

CONGO

Ugandan rebels kill 8 U.N. peacekeepers

KINSHASA — Ugandan rebels ambushed U.N. peacekeepers in the Democratic Republic of the Congo yesterday, killing eight of them in a gunbattle that also left 15 attackers dead near the Sudanese border, U.N. officials said.

The Guatemalan peacekeepers were looking for Lord’s Resistance Army rebels from Uganda, who were thought to be in Garamba National Park in Congo’s remote northeast, said Kemal Saiki, a spokesman for the United Nations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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