- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 9, 2007

EAST TIMOR

Gusmao sworn in amid violence

DILI, East Timor — Independence hero and former President Xanana Gusmao was sworn in as East Timor’s prime minister yesterday amid simmering violence in districts loyal to the former ruling party.

Breaking a deadlock after parliamentary elections more than a month ago, President Jose Ramos-Horta on Monday appointed Mr. Gusmao’s coalition to govern after no single party won a majority.

Mr. Ramos-Horta’s decision sparked violent protests by supporters of the former ruling party, Fretilin, which claims the right to govern and has called the president’s move unconstitutional.

CUBA

Boxers may miss Chicago championship

HAVANA — Cuba is considering pulling out of the October amateur World Boxing Championships in Chicago to avoid new defections by its boxers, Cuban leader Fidel Castro said yesterday.

“Imagine all the sharks of the Mafia wanting fresh meat,” the convalescing Mr. Castro, 80, wrote in a column published on the front page of the Communist Party newspaper Granma. He was commenting on an attempt by German boxing promoters to hire two of Cuba’s top fighters during the Pan-American Games in Brazil last month.

Guillermo Rigondeaux, two-time bantamweight Olympic champion, and reigning amateur welterweight world champion Erislandy Lara, who was captain of the Cuban boxing team, disappeared on July 22 during the games in Rio de Janeiro. They were arrested by Brazilian police last week and deported back to Cuba over the weekend.

GEORGIA

Russian missile ditched, not fired

TBILISI — A missile that landed in Georgia was ditched, not fired, by a Russian jet as it fled Georgian airspace, a Georgian official said yesterday as the United States and Europe urged the two powers to stay calm.

The missile, weighing about a ton, landed — but did not explode — in a farmer’s field Monday, about 40 miles west of Tbilisi, sparking a slanging match between Georgia and Russia and reigniting old tensions.

Georgia initially said the missile was fired by Russian jets. But a Georgian official told Reuters yesterday that the Russian pilot dumped the missile after coming under fire from separatist forces in South Ossetia, a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Georgia, in an apparent mix-up.

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