- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 1, 2006

BRITAIN

Blair’s wife deplores torture

LONDON — The lawyer wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair appeared to take a swipe at reputed U.S. practices at its Guantanamo Bay detention camp yesterday when she gave a speech on torture.

Cherie Booth described torture as “the terrorism of the state, usually practiced for the same reasons that terrorists use violence — to break the will of those they cannot persuade by lawful means.”

She added, “Torture works but not as we intend. Desperate people will say whatever the torturer wants them to say.”

IRAN

Talks with Russia end without solution

MOSCOW — Iran refused to back down yesterday in crucial talks on Russia’s offer to enrich uranium for Tehran, but negotiators agreed to resume discussions today on a plan meant to ease Western fears that Iran wants to build an atomic bomb.

The chief Iranian nuclear negotiator also said his country did not intend to agree to Russian demands to impose another moratorium on uranium-enrichment activity.

“I want to say that the process of enrichment is the sovereign right of any country,” Ali Larijani said after nearly five hours of talks in a Moscow hotel. “You should not take away this right from nations which have a peaceful nuclear program, which consequently, includes also enrichment.”

GAZA

Islamic Jihad chief killed in explosion

GAZA — Islamic Jihad’s most senior commander in the Gaza Strip was killed yesterday by an explosion that tore through his car, the Palestinian militant group said.

Witnesses to the death of Abu al-Waleed al-Dahdouh, head of Islamic Jihad’s armed wing in the Gaza Strip, said that his car blew up as he opened one of its doors and that an Israeli military aircraft was flying overhead at the time.

The Israeli army denied any involvement, saying it did not operate in Gaza.

NIGERIA

Militants release six foreign hostages

WARRI — Militants released six foreign oil workers, including a diabetic Texan celebrating his 69th birthday yesterday. The captive last month to press fighters’ demands for a greater share of oil revenue generated in this restive southern state.

But three other hostages — two Americans and a Briton — were kept by militants with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. A militant spokesman said all “low-value” hostages taken Feb. 18 had been freed.

Those released yesterday included Macon Hawkins of Kosciusko, Texas; two Egyptians; two Thais; and a Filipino. They were taken to the offices of James Ibori, governor of the Delta State.

CUBA

Episcopal bishop meets with Castro

HAVANA — Cuban President Fidel Castro met the presiding bishop of the U.S. Episcopal Church, Frank Griswold, a day after Bishop Griswold issued a forceful criticism of Washington’s trade embargo against Cuba.

Mr. Castro met the U.S. bishop Tuesday evening “in a cordial and respectful manner that has always characterized relations between the Cuban government and Cuban religious organizations and its foreign friends,” the official Granma newspaper said yesterday.

Bishop Griswold is on a six-day official visit. He met Mr. Castro after denouncing the “inhumane” U.S. trade embargo against Cuba on Monday, during an address at Havana’s Cathedral of the Holy Trinity.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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