- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 26, 2007

IRAQ

Britain warns of ‘contagion’

BOURNEMOUTH, England — Britain’s foreign minister warned yesterday that “contagion” could spread from Iraq across the Middle East, urging the West to talk with all the country’s neighbors to head off the threat.

Foreign Secretary David Miliband also underlined the need for an urgent solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to remove an “excuse” for al Qaeda to foment unrest in Iraq and elsewhere.

“Al Qaeda are using the suffering of the Palestinians as an excuse for violence,” he said in a keynote address to the ruling Labor Party’s annual conference.

IRAN

American activist released from prison

TEHRAN — Iran has released peace activist Ali Shakeri, the last of four Iranian-Americans imprisoned in recent months after being accused of stirring up a revolution, a judiciary spokesman said yesterday.

Mr. Shakeri, a businessman and member of a California-based democracy group, the Center for Citizen Peacebuilding, was arrested while trying to leave Iran after visiting family. He was incarcerated four months ago in Tehran’s Evin prison.

He and three other Iranian-Americans were charged with endangering national security — an accusation they, their families and their employers denied.

In a separate case, the Iranian government said this week it would allow the wife of a missing American to travel to Iran. Robert Levinson was last seen March 8 on Kish Island, a resort off the southern coast of Iran.

TURKEY

Land mine kills soldier, injures 4

DIYARBAKIR — A soldier was killed and four others were wounded in a land-mine blast yesterday at a paramilitary police station, an official statement said. The explosion was blamed on separatist Kurdish rebels.

The mine was set off by remote control as soldiers were checking a vehicle delivering food supplies to their station in the village of Kocakoc, in Tunceli province in eastern Turkey, a statement from the local governor’s office said.

It said the mine had been planted by rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party.

ISRAEL

Activists plan new outposts

JERUSALEM — Jewish settlers and right-wing activists yesterday announced plans to erect five new illegal outposts across the occupied West Bank in defiance of Israeli authorities.

Thousands of activists were expected to take part in the event during the weeklong Jewish holiday of the Feast of Tabernacles.

Former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon in 2003 vowed to Washington to dismantle all illegal outposts built in the occupied Palestinian territory since March 2001. The international community considers illegal all Israeli settlements built across the West Bank since the 1967 Middle East war.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

No jail time for journalists

DUBAI — The ruler of Dubai yesterday ordered that no journalists be jailed in the Gulf Arab trade hub, after local newspapers reported two journalists had been sentenced to prison for libel.

Dubai ruler Sheik Mohammed bin Rashid al-Maktoum decreed that journalists found guilty of violations linked to their work should receive light sentences.

The Gulf News reported on Monday that two senior journalists, an Egyptian and an Indian, had been jailed for two months each after a court found them guilty of libel.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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