- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 7, 2006

RUSSIA

Moscow rejects U.S. criticism

MOSCOW — Russia’s Foreign Ministry said yesterday Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice was wrong to accuse Moscow of playing politics by turning off neighboring Ukraine’s gas in a price dispute.

“The tone of the Secretary of State’s remarks on Russian-Ukrainian gas relations was received with surprise in Moscow,” the ministry said in a statement on its Web site, www.mid.ru.

“The agreement reached with Ukraine … lays a firm foundation for the stable delivery of Russian gas to Europe in the long term and is an important contribution to Europe’s energy security.”

Miss Rice said in Washington this week the dispute with Ukraine was “politically motivated.” She questioned whether Moscow’s actions accorded with its role this year as leader of the Group of Eight industrialized nations.

CUBA

Paper decries film on Kennedy killing

HAVANA — Cuba’s official newspaper yesterday dismissed a German documentary claiming Havana was behind President Kennedy’s assassination as part of a conspiracy to topple Fidel Castro.

“One of the collateral objectives of the assassination … was to annihilate the Cuban revolution,” the weekly Granma International said in its Internet edition.

In his documentary, award-winning German filmmaker Wilfried Huismann claims to have found new evidence that Lee Harvey Oswald shot Kennedy in Dallas on Nov. 22, 1963, on the orders of the Cuban secret service.

“Rendezvous with Death” was scheduled to air on German television yesterday.

INDIA

Old enemies agree to rail ties

NEW DELHI — India and Pakistan agreed yesterday to resume a second rail link between the two countries next month.

The so-called Thar Express rail link between Munabao in the Indian state of Rajasthan and Khokhrapar in the Sindh province of Pakistan will start Feb. 1, the Press Trust of India reported.

The rail link has not been used since the 1965 war between India and Pakistan.

BRITAIN

Party boss faces mutiny over problem

LONDON — The leader of one of Britain’s three main political parties faced a mutiny by followers yesterday when he refused to resign after acknowledging he had undergone treatment for alcohol abuse.

One senior party figure called Charles Kennedy, leader of the Liberal Democrats, a “dead man walking” and others vowed to resign from party posts next week if he did not go.

Mr. Kennedy, 46, has long denied alcoholism, but acknowledged he had had medical help for the problem in a dramatic address on Thursday, shortly before a television station was due to run an expose on his drinking.

YEMEN

Tribesmen free Italian hostages

SAN’A — Yemeni tribesmen released five Italians yesterday, almost a week after seizing them to pressure the government to release jailed relatives.

The hostages arrived in the capital San’a a few hours after leaving a hide-out in the remote Marib province. The kidnappers, from the Zaidi tribe, had threatened to kill the Italians if the government tried to release them by force.

The kidnapping Sunday was the fourth of Westerners in less than two months.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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