- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 20, 2008

EGYPT

Arab League slams ICC prosecutor

CAIRO | The Arab League on Saturday criticized the International Criminal Court’s “unbalanced” prosecutor for seeking the arrest of Sudanese President Omar Bashir, saying Sudan’s courts should judge claims of Darfur war crimes.

Arab foreign ministers stressed “the mandate of Sudan’s civil judiciary in achieving justice,” in a resolution following crisis talks in Cairo over how to deal with ICC prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo’s request on Monday for Lt. Gen. Bashir to be arrested on genocide charges.

The resolution also criticized Mr. Moreno-Ocampo’s “unbalanced stance” for asking ICC judges to issue a warrant for Gen. Bashir’s arrest, which, if granted, would be the first ever issued by The Hague-based court against a sitting head of state.

BRAZIL

Police recover Picasso print

SAO PAULO | Police have arrested a suspect in the heist of two Pablo Picasso prints from a museum in Sao Paulo and recovered one of the works, police and a museum official said Saturday.

Police said information obtained through wiretaps of gang members involved in unrelated robberies led them to Ueslei Barros, the suspect in the July robbery.

Mr. Barros led police to one stolen Picasso print, “The Painter and the Model,” hidden in an attic of a building on the outskirts of Sao Paulo. Thieves also stole the Picasso print “Minotaur, Drinker and Women” and two other paintings having a combined estimated value of $630,000.

AFGHANISTAN

Violence kills 14, including NATO troop

KANDAHAR | Afghan troops clashed with Taliban insurgents attacking a supply convoy for NATO troops, killing nine militants, officials said Saturday. Roadside bombs killed a NATO soldier in a separate convoy and four policemen.

The militants were killed after they attacked a supply convoy for NATO-led troops in Zabul province, provincial police said. There were no casualties among Afghan troops.

In neighboring Kandahar province, a blast struck a police patrol in Maywand district, killing four officers and wounding another, police said.

Another bomb struck a NATO convoy in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district, killing a soldier, a NATO spokesman in Kabul said. NATO did not release the dead soldier’s nationality or say how many were wounded. Most of the troops in the area are Canadian.

INDIA

10 soldiers killed in bomb blast

SRINAGAR | A bomb exploded near an army convoy in Indian Kashmir on Saturday, killing at least 10 soldiers and wounding 14 others, a police official said.

The bomb was apparently buried along a highway north of Srinagar, the main city in Indian Kashmir, and exploded as the army convoy passed nearby, a senior police official said. At least seven soldiers were in “very critical condition,” officials said.

It was one of the worst attacks since 2005, when militants frequently used roadside bombs to attack Indian troops.

BURMA

Security tight for ‘Martyrs Day’

RANGOON | Hundreds of riot police and soldiers ringed a monument in downtown Rangoon on Saturday as officials gathered to commemorate the shooting death 61 years ago of opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s father.

Burmese independence hero Gen. Aung San and other government leaders were assassinated by gunmen during a Cabinet meeting July 19, 1947, shortly after Britain granted independence to the Southeast Asian colony.

Opposition activists have suggested that the ruling military junta is trying to downgrade the importance of Aung San’s legacy as a way of undercutting the popularity of his daughter, who remains under house arrest.

ZIMBABWE

Mbeki may mediate political talks

HARARE | Zimbabwe’s main opposition party could sign an agreement as early as Monday to begin substantive talks with President Robert Mugabe’s party on ending a political impasse that has worsened the country’s severe economic crisis, opposition officials said on Saturday.

The apparent breakthrough came after South African President Thabo Mbeki proposed forming a team drawn from African regional bodies and the United Nations to help him mediate the worsening crisis in Zimbabwe.

A statement said Mr. Mbeki had proposed during a meeting on Friday creating a team representing the African Union, the Southern African Development Community and the United Nations, with which he would work to foster dialogue between Zimbabwe’s warring parties.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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