- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 21, 2007

ISRAEL

Zeev Schiff, 74, dies; authority on defense

JERUSALEM — Defense reporter Zeev Schiff, one of Israel’s most-respected and well-known journalists, has died, his newspaper, the Ha'aretz daily, announced. He was 74.

Mr. Schiff died Tuesday night, the newspaper said. It did not disclose a cause of death.

The journalist covered military and defense issues for Ha'aretz for more than 50 years, serving as the paper’s defense editor in recent years. He published numerous books about regional military and security issues and contributed articles to Foreign Policy, National Interest, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post, Ha'aretz said.

SERBIA

U.N. draft advances Kosovo independence

NEW YORK — Europeans and the United States circulated a U.N. draft resolution yesterday that paves the way to independence for Kosovo in four months, but Russia immediately said it was unacceptable.

The draft, obtained by Reuters news agency, asks for negotiations for another 120 days. If the talks fail, the resolution automatically would put into effect an independence plan drawn up by U.N. envoy Martti Ahtisaari “unless the Security Council expressly decides otherwise after conducting an evaluation.”

Russia, which has veto power on the 15-nation Security Council, still opposes independence for Kosovo, a Serbian province.

IKENYA

Crisis deepens for world refugees

NAIROBI — Last year was one of the worst for refugees, and the crisis is deepening this year thanks to conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan”s Darfur region, the United Nations‘ refugee chief said.

As refugee numbers rose for the first time in five years, the number of people displaced within their own borders reached a record high — more than doubling to almost 13 million, refugee agency UNHCR said.

But the accelerating return of refugees to their homes in southern Sudan this year — some after more than two decades — is one bright spot in the otherwise bad year, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres said.

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