- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 11, 2008

IRAQ

U.S. official sees security pact in July

BAGHDAD | The U.S. State Department’s top Iraq adviser, David Satterfield, said Tuesday he thinks an agreement to establish a long-term security relationship between Iraq and the United States will be completed by the end of July.

The pact also would provide a legal basis for keeping American troops in Iraq after the U.N. mandate expires at the end of the year. But tempering the optimism were recent reports in Iraq and Washington that the talks had stalled because of stiff Iraqi opposition, and it would not be finished before President Bush leaves office.

Meanwhile, the head of the late Iraqi strongman Saddam Hussein’s tribal clan was killed Tuesday by a bomb planted on his car, Iraqi police said.

KENYA

2 officials killed in plane crash

NAIROBI | A Kenyan Cabinet minister and an assistant minister were killed with two others Tuesday when their small plane crashed in southwestern Kenya, officials said.

Roads Minister Kipkalya Kones and Assistant Home Affairs Minister Lorna Laboso died in the crash, Salim Lone, spokesman for Prime Minister Raila Odinga said. The other victims were the pilot and a bodyguard, police said.

The plane went down in Narok, about 75 miles from the capital, Nairobi, according to Kenya’s Civil Aviation Authority.

ZIMBABWE

Tsvangirai rejects unity government

HARARE | Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai rejected calls on Tuesday for a national-unity government instead of a presidential runoff vote and said his party was sure to win the election despite government violence.

Mr. Tsvangirai told reporters Zimbabwe had suffered a de facto coup and was being run by a military junta. Some 66 supporters of his Movement for Democratic Change had been killed since disputed March elections, he said.

Simba Makoni, a defector from the ruling ZANU-PF party and a former finance minister, said earlier the June 27 runoff between President Robert Mugabe and Mr. Tsvangirai must be called off because a free and fair vote was impossible.

SERBIA

Milosevic’s son cleared of assault

BELGRADE | A Serbian court on Tuesday cleared Marko Milosevic, son of the late leader Slobodan Milosevic, of assault charges relating to beatings and threats against political opponents.

The court in Mr. Milosevic’s hometown of Pozarevac based the ruling on lack of evidence and said the statute of limitations had expired on the charges, the state Tanjug news agency reported.

Marko Milosevic had been charged with violent behavior, beatings and causing severe bodily harm to members of the opposition movement Otpor in 2000.

SPAIN

Truckers’ strike clogs highways

MADRID | Truckers angry over soaring fuel prices blocked highways across Spain on Tuesday, disrupting supplies of food, gasoline, auto parts and other goods. One protester was killed when he was run over by a van trying to drive through a picket in a southern city.

The strike, which began Monday, is the most serious labor unrest facing Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero since he came to power in March 2004. It threatens further damage to an economy that is already slowing down owing to a collapse in Spain’s once-booming construction sector.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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