- The Washington Times - Friday, March 3, 2006

ECUADOR

Former president freed from prison

QUITO — Former Ecuadorian President Lucio Gutierrez was released from jail yesterday after a judge cleared him of charges of endangering national security by insisting he remained the country’s rightful leader.

Mr. Gutierrez was jailed in October for saying his ouster by Congress and replacement by current President Alfredo Palacio last April was illegal.

Mr. Gutierrez, who plans to run for president in October, was fired by Congress for meddling with the Supreme Court, leading to his replacement by Mr. Palacio, his then-vice president.

SOUTH KOREA

Talks with North end in failure

SEOUL — South Korea yesterday rejected North Korea’s demand that the countries redraw their western sea border, ending two days of high-level military talks without agreement.

The talks were the third such meeting between generals from the two Koreas, and the first in nearly two years. No further talks were scheduled, South Korean Maj. Gen. Han Min-koo said.

The maritime frontier is often a site of clashes between the Koreas. The North doesn’t recognize the border demarcated by the United Nations at the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in a cease-fire, not a peace treaty.

JAPAN

Interpol alerted on Koreans in kidnap

TOKYO — Japan has asked Interpol to put two elderly former North Korean spies on an international wanted list for their suspected involvement in kidnapping at least four Japanese citizens in the 1970s, press reports said yesterday.

The move was another step in the government’s efforts to pressure North Korea into cooperating more fully in the case. North Korea said in 2002 that its agents kidnapped 13 Japanese over the years, apparently to train spies in the Japanese language and culture. It returned five of the victims, including two couples, but said the remaining eight were dead.

VIETNAM

Rock star gets jail in child sex case

VUNG TAU — A Vietnamese court sentenced British “glam rocker” Gary Glitter to three years in jail yesterday for molesting two 11-year-old girls, although he could be free by Christmas if he is granted early parole.

“I’m innocent,” the 61-year-old shaven-headed Glitter who now sports a white goatee, shouted after the verdict was pronounced following a one-day, closed-door trial.

AFGHANISTAN

5 Canadians hurt in suicide bombing

KANDAHAR — Five Canadian soldiers were wounded, one seriously, in a suspected suicide car bomb attack yesterday on their armored vehicle in the southern Afghan province of Kandahar, the Canadian military said.

The attack occurred about 10 miles outside Kandahar, and about 6 miles from the airport, where Canadian troops are based. A Taliban spokesman said guerrillas were responsible.

ITALY

Avalanche hits skiers in Alps

MILAN — An avalanche swept down a mountain in the Western Italian Alps during a ski competition yesterday, injuring two persons and leaving one other person missing, rescue services in Cuneo said yesterday.

The avalanche hit the Artesina Rocca Giardina piste in the province of Cuneo where up to 60 people had been following the international event.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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