- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 25, 2006

IRAN

Bombs kill six in city near Iraq

TEHRAN — Two bombs exploded in a bank and outside a government building yesterday, killing six persons and injuring 46 in a southwestern city with a history of violence involving members of Iran’s Arab minority, the official news agency reported.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had been expected to meet his Cabinet in the city yesterday but canceled the visit.

Interior Minister Mostafa Pourmohammadi said the attacks in Ahvaz, the capital of oil-rich Khuzestan province, which borders Iraq, were foreign-inspired.

Iran has accused Britain of provoking unrest in Khuzestan, which borders that part of Iraq where 8,500 British soldiers are based as part of the U.S.-led military coalition.

SUDAN

Republic of Congo to head African Union

KHARTOUM — African leaders handed the African Union’s presidency to the Republic of Congo yesterday after Sudan’s bid to lead the bloc failed over concerns it sponsored genocide in its western Darfur region.

Sudanese Foreign Ministry spokesman Jamal Mohamed Ibrahim said that, as a compromise, his country would assume the rotating one-year presidency in 2007.

Denis Sassou-Nguesso, president of the Republic of Congo, was installed as AU chairman yesterday, his spokesman said. The previous chairman, Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, will remain in charge of mediating the Darfur conflict, he added.

KUWAIT

Cabinet names prime minister as emir

KUWAIT CITY — The Cabinet moved swiftly last night to fill Kuwait’s leadership void by naming the prime minister to take over as emir, just hours after the ailing ruler was ousted by parliament.

In removing Sheik Saad Al Abdullah Al-Sabah as emir in a unanimous vote, parliament handed temporary power to the government of Sheik Sabah Al Ahmed Al-Sabah, the prime minister and half-brother of the longtime ruler, who died Jan. 15.

Sheik Sabah had been running the day-to-day affairs of the country since the now-deceased emir, Sheik Jaber Al-Ahmed Al-Sabah, and the then-crown prince, Sheik Saad, both fell ill.

EUROPEAN UNION

Polish leader wants constitution review

WARSAW — Poland’s new conservative president, Lech Kaczynski, yesterday spoke out in favor of renegotiating the European Union’s constitutional treaty, which he called a case of “too much salt in the soup.”

In a wide-ranging interview with the Polish news agency PAP, he said the European Union must rework the treaty so “it corresponds to the real needs” of the bloc of 25 nation-states.

He said he was opposed to reviving the EU constitution on the basis of the treaty, which has been ratified by 13 EU member states and rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands last year.

ITALY

Shooting a thief no longer a crime

ROME — Italy’s parliament yesterday approved a law that allows citizens to shoot robbers in self-defense, a measure that critics say will encourage people to take the law into their own hands.

The reform was championed by the populist Northern League party, which regularly calls for the castration of rapists.

The measure was put forward after a series of headline-grabbing cases in which shopkeepers were accused of manslaughter for killing their robbers.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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