You are currently viewing the printable version of this article, to return to the normal page, please click here.

Briefly

- The Washington Times - Sunday, August 12, 2007

PORTUGAL

Police say missing British girl likely dead

PRAIA DA LUZ — Police investigating the disappearance of a 4-year-old British girl at a Portuguese resort are now considering the possibility that she might be dead, a senior official said yesterday.

Investigators say Madeleine McCann vanished May 3 from an apartment where she was sleeping with her 2-year-old twin siblings in a tourist complex on Portugal's southern Algarve resort coast while her parents were dining in the hotel's restaurant.

"In the past few days there have been some developments, some clues that have been found that could point to the possible death of the little child," the British Broadcasting Corp. quoted investigator Olegario Sousa as saying during an interview in Portugal.

RUSSIA

PUTIN ANNOUNCES AIR-DEFENSE PROGRAM

MOSCOW — RUSSIA'S PRESIDENT VLADIMIR PUTIN SAID YESTERDAY A NEW RADAR STATION NEAR ST. PETERSBURG IS THE FIRST STAGE IN A LARGE-SCALE AIR-DEFENSE PROGRAM, RUSSIAN AGENCIES REPORTED.

"THIS IS THE FIRST STEP IN A LARGE-SCALE PROGRAM IN THIS SPHERE THAT WILL BE CARRIED OUT TO 2015," MR. PUTIN SAID DURING A VISIT TO ST. PETERSBURG.

IT WAS THE FIRST PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT OF SUCH A PROGRAM. RUSSIA SAID IT WILL BEEF UP ITS AIR-DEFENSE SYSTEM IN RESPONSE TO THE U.S. INITIATIVE TO STATION ELEMENTS OF A MISSILE SHIELD NEAR RUSSIA'S BORDERS. THE VORONEZH-TYPE RADAR STATION IN THE VILLAGE OF LEKHTUSI, ABOUT 30 MILES NORTH OF ST. PETERSBURG, HAS BEEN OPERATIONAL SINCE DECEMBER 2006 AND CAN MONITOR THE TERRITORY BETWEEN THE NORTH POLE AND AFRICA.

GERMANY

Influence of Nazi past on police assessed

BERLIN — Germany is belatedly assessing the impact former Nazis may have had on the federal criminal police (BKA), said the head of the agency, Joerg Ziercke, yesterday.

Some historians say the influence of former Nazis over the BKA means it has not been aggressive enough in pursuing right-wing extremist crimes.

Attempts by the Allies to create a postwar civil service in West Germany free of Nazis quickly foundered after the end of World War II. Many former members of Adolf Hitler's party, including SS officers, ended up in influential positions in institutions such as the police and the domestic and foreign security services, as well as government ministries.

Weekly Notes ...

Hundreds of Italians protested in the northern Italian city of Treviso yesterday after the city's deputy mayor called for the "ethnic cleansing" of homosexuals from the area. The protesters gathered outside city hall to demand Giancarlo Gentilini's resignation, some wearing pink triangles like the ones homosexual men had to wear in Nazi concentration camps. ... A Manchester-area man who died of heart failure weighing 700 pounds was buried in what undertakers said is the biggest coffin ever made in Britain. Mark Bamber, 38, who died July 28, was buried in a solid-mahogany casket measuring 7 feet 11 inches long, 4 feet 6 inches wide and 30 inches deep, the Manchester Evening News reported. The coffin is said to have weighed half a ton. He could not be cremated as the crematorium oven in his hometown of Wigan was too small. The casket was also too big for a hearse so it was carted on a horse-drawn platform.

From wire dispatches and staff reports