- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 6, 2007

TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS

Bodies recovered after boat sinks

SOUTH DOCK — Authorities searched the turquoise waters surrounding this British territory yesterday for some 40 Haitian emigrants missing after their boat sank. The bodies of 36 persons had been recovered.

Every year, Haitians by the hundreds set off in rickety boats hoping to escape poverty by sneaking into the U.S. In the pre-dawn hours of Friday, one of those voyages turned into a nightmare.

A 25-foot boat carrying at least 150 persons capsized in the dark a half-mile from shore in shark-infested waters. More than 70 people were rescued.

GAZA STRIP

U.S. peace plan under review

GAZA CITY — A U.S. document proposing a detailed May-to-August timeline for easing Palestinian movement and improving Israeli security was being reviewed by the Palestinian leadership yesterday, even as the top Hamas leader dismissed the plan as a “farce.”

Also yesterday, Islamic Jihad militants fired three rockets toward Israel, damaging a house in the town of Sderot, to avenge the killing of three members of the group by Israeli troops a day earlier.

The U.S. document was recently given to Israel and the Palestinians.

AFGHANISTAN

Fate of hostages tied to French poll

KANDAHAR — A purported Taliban spokesman said the militants will decide the fate of a kidnapped French aid worker and his three Afghan colleagues after today’s French elections.

Qari Yousef Ahmadi, who claims to speak for the militants, told an Associated Press reporter by telephone yesterday that the Taliban’s governing body was responding to the pleas of the French people in extending the deadline.

Aid worker Eric Damfreville — of the charity Terre d’enfance — was kidnapped along with his colleague Celine Cordelier and three Afghans in southwestern Nimroz province on April 3.

Ms. Cordelier was released April 28 in southern Helmand province, but the militants were still holding Mr. Demfraville and the Afghans.

CHINA

‘No car’ day to cut pollution

BEIJING — China’s smog-choked capital and the financial hub of Shanghai have agreed to close their roads for the country’s first “no car” day, along with more than 100 other cities, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

On Sept. 22 private cars will be barred from some roads, forcing people to walk, use public transportation or get back on the bicycles for which Chinese cities used to be famous.

Officials are struggling to clean up the gray skies of China’s major cities, as pollution takes a rising toll on health and economic growth. The country’s car fleet has been growing, with an estimated 1,000 new private vehicles hitting the streets of Beijing alone each day.

PAKISTAN

Suspended judge draws big crowds

GUJRAT, Pakistan — Thousands of people thronged the roadsides to greet Pakistan’s suspended top judge yesterday as he drove to Lahore to gather support for his fight against President Pervez Musharraf’s attempt to remove him.

A white horse danced in front of Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry’s vehicle as it edged through crowds in Gujrat, a stronghold of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League and Gen. Musharraf’s main political ally.

Gen. Musharraf’s move to fire Chief Justice Chaudhry on March 9 is seen by the legal community and opposition groups as an attack on the independence of the judiciary. Chief Justice Chaudhry refuses to resign.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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