- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 28, 2008

BURMA

Junta extends Suu Kyi detention

RANGOON - Burma’s military junta yesterday extended opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi’s detention by one year, ignoring worldwide appeals to free the Nobel laureate who has been detained for more than 12 of the past 18 years.

A government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to talk to the press, said her detention was officially extended by one year yesterday afternoon.

GERMANY

Gay victims honored at Holocaust shrine

BERLIN - Germany yesterday inaugurated a memorial to the thousands of gay people persecuted and killed under the Nazis, a monument meant both to honor a long-ignored group of victims and to make a statement against ongoing intolerance.

The memorial sits on the edge of the capital’s Tiergarten Park - across the road from Germany’s memorial to the Holocaust’s 6 million Jewish victims.

The single gray concrete slab is a deliberate echo of the smaller slabs that make up that memorial, but includes a small window that lets visitors see a film of two men kissing.

Berlin Mayor Klaus Wowereit, who is openly gay, inaugurated the memorial alongside Germany’s culture minister, Bernd Neumann.

GEORGIA

Government seeks apology from Russia

TBILISI - Georgia demanded yesterday that Russia apologize after a U.N. report said a Russian air force jet shot down a Georgian spy plane last month, but Moscow said it did not trust the report’s conclusions.

Russia denies any involvement in shooting down the unmanned aircraft, which was brought down on April 20 over Abkhazia, a Moscow-backed separatist region of Georgia.

Georgia’s pro-Western leaders, who have angered neighbor Russia by seeking to join NATO, have described the incident as an act of aggression.

The U.N. report strengthened Georgian accusations - backed by some of its Western allies - that Russia is stoking tension in the volatile region, scene of a separatist war in the 1990s.

RUSSIA

Communists sue over election tallies

MOSCOW - Russia’s Communist Party filed a lawsuit yesterday to challenge the legality of December’s parliamentary election, which was won by former President Vladimir Putin’s ruling party.

The Communists, who won 57 of the 450 seats in parliament in the Dec. 2 election, filed the suit in the Supreme Court seeking to annul the vote.

The Communist Party says the vote was rigged by the authorities to hand victory to the United Russia party, which won 315 seats.

The Kremlin and Russian election officials denied there were significant violations.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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