- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 12, 2008

ISRAEL

Link fuels interest in Spitzer scandal

TEL AVIV — The prostitution ring linked to New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer is purportedly run by an Israeli national, according to news agency reports.

It’s the second time in less than four years that an Israeli has been linked to a sex scandal that has compromised a powerful New York-area Democratic governor. In 2004, New Jersey Gov. James E. McGreevy resigned after admitting to a homosexual relationship with Israeli aide Golan Cipel.

Mark Brenner, a U.S. citizen who holds an Israeli passport, has been held since last week without bail, according to the Associated Press.

The Spitzer scandal made the front of a leading newspaper and the evening broadcasts in Israel, where Mr. Spitzer once made a guest appearance in a popular reality-television show.

GERMANY

U.S. to share data to fight terror

BERLIN — Germany and the United States pledged yesterday to allow each other access to DNA and fingerprint databases to try to strengthen the exchange of information on suspected terrorists.

The agreement, initialed by German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff, allows Washington and Berlin to exchange personal data on suspects thought to be planning or to have committed terrorist acts.

CROATIA

Generals face war-crimes trial

THE HAGUE — Three generals regarded as national heroes in Croatia went on trial yesterday, accused of orchestrating the killing of at least 150 Serbs in a 1995 military campaign that unleashed widespread murder and pillage.

Ante Gotovina, Ivan Cermak and Mladen Markac are also accused of responsibility for the expulsion of up to 200,000 people in the offensive, known as “Operation Storm,” to reclaim the Krajina region of southern Croatia from rebel Serbs.

CHINA

Monks stage protest in Tibetan capital

BEIJING — Buddhist monks staged two protests in the capital of Tibet this week in a bold, public challenge to China’s rule, though a senior official said yesterday that no one was arrested.

Champa Phuntsok, an ethnic Tibetan who heads the Tibetan regional government, said authorities briefly detained monks from the Drepung monastery outside Lhasa who tried to march to the city on the anniversary of a failed Tibetan uprising against Beijing’s rule in 1959.

The protest, which overseas rights groups said involved about 300 monks, is believed to be the largest demonstration in the city since Beijing crushed a wave of pro-independence activity in 1989.

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Dubai plans Muhammad museum

DUBAI — The booming Persian Gulf emirate of Dubai announced yesterday it will build the world’s first museum dedicated to the life of the prophet Muhammad.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheik Mohammed bin Rashed al-Maktoum, has authorized construction of the museum to examine the legacy and message of Islam’s founder, state media reported.

Cosmopolitan Dubai is home to more than 150 nationalities and observes a relatively liberal version of Islam compared with elsewhere in the region, such as hard-line Saudi Arabia.

BELGIUM

Holocaust survivors to get payments

BRUSSELS — The Belgian government and banks agreed yesterday to pay $170 million to Holocaust survivors, families of victims and the Jewish community for their material losses during Word War II.

Overall, $54 million will be paid to individual claimants with the rest going to a Jewish trust that will help the poor and keep the memory of the horrors of the Holocaust alive.

Some 50,000 Jews lived in Belgium in the 1930s and about half died in the Holocaust.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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