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World Scene

- The Washington Times - Friday, June 29, 2007

RUSSIA

Sea-based missile test called success

MOSCOW — Russia successfully tested a new sea-based ballistic missile yesterday after several previous failures, a naval spokesman said.

Capt. Igor Dygalo said the Bulava missile hit its target on the Pacific peninsula of Kamchatka after being launched from the submarine Dmitry Donskoi in the White Sea.

According to published Russian news reports, the Bulava is designed to have a range of 6,200 miles and carry six individually targeted nuclear warheads. It is expected to be placed on three new Borei-class nuclear submarines that are under construction.

ISRAEL

President gets deal in sex-abuse case

JERUSALEM — President Moshe Katsav pleaded guilty yesterday to committing sexual crimes against female employees, signing a plea bargain that will keep him out of jail, Israel's attorney-general said.

Katsav, who had denied any wrongdoing, also agreed to pay the equivalent of $3,500 in compensation to one of the women and $8,300 to the other.

Israeli news reports said Katsav would resign later in the day and the speaker of parliament would replace him until Shimon Peres, elected president by lawmakers earlier this month, becomes head of state as originally scheduled on July 15.

SCOTLAND

Lockerbie panel backs Libyan's appeal

EDINBURGH — A former Libyan intelligence agent may have been wrongly convicted of bombing Pan Am Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, a judicial panel said yesterday, recommending that he be granted a new appeal.

Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi, who is serving a life sentence, was the only person convicted for the bombing, which killed 259 persons on the plane and 11 on the ground, including 179 Americans.

VATICAN CITY

Pope backs wider use of Latin Mass

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has approved a document that relaxes restrictions on celebrating the Latin Mass, used by the Roman Catholic Church for centuries until the modernizing reforms of the 1960s, the Vatican said yesterday.

Benedict discussed the decision with top officials in a meeting Wednesday and the document will be published in the next few days.

SPAIN

Police arrest Italian linked to missing girl

MADRID — An Italian man and a Portuguese woman were arrested yesterday on suspicion of links to the case of Madeleine McCann, the 4-year-old British girl who vanished nearly two months ago during a vacation in Portugal, police said.

Spanish authorities told Italian diplomats that the man had no connection with the girl's disappearance, Italian Foreign Ministry officials said. But Spanish television news reports said the man, detained in the town of Sotogrande in the southern province of Cadiz, may have tried to extort money from the girl's parents, offering them information about the whereabouts of their daughter.

NEW ZEALAND

UNESCO names new treasures

WELLINGTON — UNESCO revised its name for the Auschwitz death camp in Poland to emphasize Nazi Germany's role and designated a city in Iraq where mosques have come under attack as an endangered world cultural treasure.

The Sydney Opera House was named a world cultural site yesterday, along with the Iwami Ginzan silver mine in Japan, the Parthian Fortresses of Turkmenistan and the Red Fort in New Delhi, a 17th-century sandstone complex built by Mogul emperors.

Auschwitz now will be known as Auschwitz-Birkenau. German Nazi Concentration and Extermination Camp (1940-1945). Previously the camp was listed on the U.N. agency's registry as the Auschwitz Concentration Camp.

COLOMBIA

11 hostages killed in attack

BOGOTA — Eleven Colombian lawmakers kidnapped by leftist rebels in a brazen 2002 raid were killed last week when an unidentified group attacked the camp where they were being held, the guerrillas said yesterday.

The rebel group FARC said the raid occurred June 18.

The government said it did not know the location of the hostages and did not know of any attempt to rescue them.

LEBANON

6 Islamist fighters killed in raid

BEIRUT — Lebanese troops raided an Islamist militant hide-out in a hillside cave and killed six fighters yesterday as violence spread from a Palestinian refugee camp where the military has been battling an al Qaeda-inspired group.

The dawn gunbattle — a 20-minute drive from the Nahr el-Bared Palestinian camp by the northern port city of Tripoli — underscored the challenges the army faces in crushing the Fatah Islam militants.

From wire dispatches and staff reports