- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 27, 2007

IRAQ

Sunni minister accused in killing

BAGHDAD — Iraqi commandos raided the home of a Sunni Cabinet member yesterday after a warrant was issued for his arrest, outraging Sunni politicians and jeopardizing U.S.-backed reconciliation efforts within the Shi’ite-led government.

Two persons accused of militancy had identified Culture Minister Asad Kamal al-Hashimi as the mastermind of a Feb. 8, 2005, ambush against secular politician Mithal al-Alusi, an Iraqi government spokesman said. Mr. al-Alusi escaped, but two of his sons were killed.

Police said that two men who carried out the killings confessed to taking orders from Mr. al-Hashimi. Mr. al-Hashimi’s supporters said the confession was obtained through torture.

BRITAIN

Charles’ household claims carbon neutrality

LONDON — Fewer chartered planes, more train trips and a royal Jaguar that runs on cooking oil have helped Prince Charles achieve a carbon-neutral household, an annual review of the prince’s accounts said yesterday.

The annual review by the prince’s Clarence House office said Charles cut his annual carbon emissions by 9 percent, to 3,775 tons, between April 1, 2006, and March 31 this year. The prince offset those emissions by investing in an agency that promotes tree planting and sustainable energy projects.

The review said the prince’s households and the activities of Charles and his wife, Camilla, were now carbon-neutral.

FRANCE

Chirac faces questions over fake-jobs scheme

PARIS — Former President Jacques Chirac is likely to be questioned in the coming months over a corruption scandal involving fake jobs created to help fund a conservative political party he headed, his attorney said yesterday.

The fake-jobs scandal is the most potent of a string of potential legal problems that Mr. Chirac, 74, faces now that he no longer has presidential immunity. He handed over the French presidency to Nicolas Sarkozy on May 16.

The jobs case dates back to Mr. Chirac’s years as mayor of Paris, from 1977 to 1995, when Mr. Chirac also headed the conservative party Rally for the Republic.

VATICAN

Pope changes papal election rules

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has changed the rules for electing a new pope, returning to the traditional requirement that two-thirds of the cardinals in the conclave agree on a candidate, the Vatican said yesterday.

Pope John Paul II altered the voting process in 1996, allowing the pope to be chosen by an absolute majority if the cardinals were unable to agree after several days of balloting in which a two-thirds majority was needed.

In a document released yesterday, Benedict said he was returning to the traditional voting norm, essentially reversing John Paul’s reform of the centuries-old process.

SYRIA

Rice warns against violence in Lebanon

PARIS — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice issued a veiled warning to Syria yesterday, saying a Lebanon tribunal must be safe while it handles the murder of a Lebanese leader who was a prominent critic of Syrian influence in his country.

“One thing we’ll be talking about is how to make certain these people can be secure in their work,” Miss Rice told reporters after discussing plans for the tribunal with Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Miss Rice noted that supporters of the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri blamed Syria and its affiliates for political killings that followed the 2005 assassination.

From wire dispatches and staff reports