- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 25, 2007

PAKISTAN

Rocket fire kills 10 in northwest

PESHAWAR — Assailants fired four rockets into a city in northwestern Pakistan today, killing 10 persons and wounding 35, police said.

The rockets hit two houses, a mosque and a shop in Bannu, a troubled city in North West Frontier Pro-vince, about 2 a.m., said Khwaja Mohammed, a city police official.

He said casualties included five police officers.

A doctor at the main hospital in Bannu said the bodies of nine persons killed in the attack were brought there. A resident said the death toll was higher because relatives had kept some of the bodies.

SUDAN

Britain, France drop threat of sanctions

NEW YORK — Britain and France dropped a threat of sanctions against Sudan in a proposed U.N. Security Council resolution that would authorize an expanded peacekeeping force in Darfur, according to a revised draft circulated yesterday.

Britain’s U.N. ambassador, Emyr Jones Parry, said the co-sponsors toned down the language in the document to try to mollify African countries that strongly opposed a previous draft.

Sudan still rejected the softened resolution, saying it was “awful” and “ugly.”

The draft resolution calls for the deployment of a joint U.N.-African Union force of up to 26,000 to try to stop the fighting between ethnic African rebels and pro-government Janjaweed militia that has killed more than 200,000 people since 2003.

EUROPEAN UNION

October deadline set for treaty talks

BRUSSELS — Foreign ministers of the European Union set mid-October as the deadline to complete negotiations on the final draft of a treaty aimed at replacing the aborted EU constitution.

The treaty is meant to streamline the way the 27-nation bloc operates, ensuring that it can make decisions by majority rather than unanimous voting and make it easier to set policy.

Last-minute confusion had threatened to scuttle plans for a deal after Poland questioned a compromise.

BRITAIN

Nightclub tab a whopping $210,000

LONDON — A Middle East businessman spent more than $210,000 in a five-hour, champagne- and vodka-fueled spending spree in a London nightclub over the weekend.

Fraser Donaldson, a representative of Crystal, a club favored by Prince Harry, said in 20 years working in the industry it was the biggest bill he had seen from one customer.

The unidentified big spender entered Crystal at midnight on Saturday with friends — nine women and eight men — and ordered magnums of Dom Perignon at $1,400 each and then called for a Methuselah — eight bottles in one — of Cristal Champagne at $60,000 and the party spread.

IRAN

U.N. to inspect reactor next week

VIENNA, Austria — U.N. inspectors will return next week to a reactor being built in central Iran and declared off-limits since April, officials said yesterday. The concession by Tehran is seen as a key step in clearing up questions about its suspect nuclear program.

The team will visit the heavy-water reactor under construction outside the central industrial city of Arak on Monday or Tuesday, International Atomic Energy Agency Deputy Director-General Olli Heinonen said after meeting with a senior Iranian envoy.

From wire dispatches and staff reports