- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 2, 2008

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Brother of leader guilty of beating

GENEVA | The brother of the president of the United Arab Emirates has been convicted of injuring an American man by beating him with his belt in a Geneva luxury hotel lobby, the sheik’s attorney said Tuesday. A Geneva criminal court ordered Sheik Fallah bin Zayed al-Nahayyan to pay a fine of 10,000 Swiss francs ($9,800), far less than the 1 million Swiss francs sought by the prosecutor, defense attorney Marco Crisante said.

The American plaintiff, Silvano Orsi, charged in court two weeks ago that the sheik had assaulted him in August 2003 after he turned down a bottle of champagne the sheik had sent over in the lobby of a luxury hotel along Lake Geneva.

Mr. Orsi said he had told the sheik, whom he did not know, that he didn’t drink alcohol, and an altercation followed.

“The sheik’s version is that he responded to an insult, being called a homosexual, and took off his belt but was unable to use it as a third party intervened,” Mr. Crisante said.

Mr. Orsi, a 37-year-old New Yorker, said he had been unable to work ever since the incident in which he received blows to the face, hands and body with a belt whose metal buckle broke his glasses.

The defendant, the brother of UAE President Sheik Khalifa bin Zayed al-Nahayyan, did not appear in court.

ISRAEL

Gaza crossings sealed after attack

JERUSALEM | Israel closed its cargo crossings with the Gaza Strip on Tuesday after accusing Palestinian militants of firing a rocket at southern Israel in violation of a shaky truce.

Gaza’s Hamas rulers denied a rocket was fired on Monday evening and accused Israel of looking for excuses to shirk its commitment under the cease-fire agreement to ease its blockade of impoverished Gaza.

The Israeli military said its radar detected a rocket launched from Gaza that struck near the communal farm of Mefalsim. But it said actual rocket fragments were not located, and local security officials were searching for them Tuesday morning.

ISRAEL

U.N. team barred from Palestinian areas

AMMAN, Jordan | Israel has barred a U.N. human rights committee from visiting the Palestinian areas on a fact-finding mission, the leader of the group said Tuesday.

Prasad Kariyawasam, head of the U.N. panel, said Israeli officials did not give any reason for the decision “because they do not recognize our mandate.”

He told reporters in the Jordanian capital Amman that despite the ban by the Jewish state, the committee has interviewed Palestinians from the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. Some were interviewed by telephone as several witnesses were prevented from traveling to Amman or Cairo.

The three-member panel, which has already visited Egypt and plans to go to Syria later on Tuesday, expressed serious concern about the conditions of Palestinians in the occupied areas.

The United Nations and other international organizations say Israeli-imposed sanctions on Gaza, which has been ruled by the Islamist Hamas movement since last year, have increased poverty and destroyed the economy in the densely populated area.

LEBANON

Restaurant makes meal out of war

BEIRUT | At “Buns and Guns” you can order a “Kalashnikov” sandwich from a bullet-shaped menu, prepared by chefs in military fatigues with the roar of explosions as background music.

This new fast food restaurant in Beirut’s southern suburbs, where the Hezbollah movement holds sway, was the brainchild of co-owner Ali Hammoud. He said the war theme was a novel concept that had nothing to do with Lebanon’s bloody recent history.

Guns, bullets and pictures of other weapons decorate the interior. The slogan “A sandwich can kill you,” with a picture of a gun superimposed on a burger, is displayed outside.

Completing the war motif, sandbags surround the outdoor seating area. The menu features sandwiches and burgers with names such as “Terrorist meal” and “RPG,” for rocket-propelled grenade launchers, as well as “Kalashnikov.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide