- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 17, 2009

BRITAIN

Submarines collide in Atlantic

LONDON | Two nuclear-armed submarines from Britain and France collided while on separate patrols in the Atlantic Ocean, but there were no injuries or radioactive leaks, naval officials said Monday.

Analysts said a major disaster could have resulted had the underwater collision ruptured the hulls, set off conventional ammunition or started a fire, although the chances of a full nuclear explosion were virtually nil.

The nuclear-powered submarines collided earlier this month, but there was no damage to the vessels’ weapons, said First Sea Lord Adm. Jonathon Band, head of Britain’s Royal Navy. Both submarines were badly damaged and had to return to port, British newspapers reported.

FRANCE

Role in Holocaust legally recognized

PARIS | France’s top judicial body formally recognized on Monday the nation’s role in deporting Jews to Nazi death camps during the Holocaust but effectively ruled out any more reparations for the deportees or their families.

Jewish groups welcomed the ruling by the Council of State, the clearest legal acknowledgment to date of France’s role in the Holocaust.

The statement legally formalized a historic gesture by then-President Jacques Chirac in 1995, when he became the first French leader to say the nation bore responsibility for the deportation of Jews in wartime France.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. kills militant freed by Karzai

KABUL | A coalition air strike has killed a powerful Taliban commander who broke a promise to renounce violence after village elders persuaded President Hamid Karzai to free him from prison, officials said Monday.

The Sunday night attack destroyed a building housing Ghulam Dastagir and eight other militants in the village of Darya-ye-Morghab, near the Turkmenistan border, the U.S. military said.

Mr. Dastagir was responsible for a surge in violence in the province in recent months, including a November attack on an Afghan army convoy that killed 13 soldiers, the military said.

Across the border, Pakistan agreed Monday to suspend military offensives and impose Islamic law in part of the restive northwest, making a gesture it hopes will help calm the Taliban insurgency while rejecting Washington’s call for tougher measures against militants.

CAMBODIA

Trial for leaders of Khmer Rouge begins

PHNOM PENH | The head of the Khmer Rouge’s largest torture center has been taken from prison to a courtroom to begin the first trial of ultra-communist leaders who engineered the 1970s reign of terror in Cambodia.

Kaing Guek Eav, better known as Duch, was driven in a bulletproof car from a detention center to the nearby courtroom, where the U.N.-assisted genocide tribunal was scheduled to begin later Tuesday.

The tribunal is to try a total of five former Khmer Rouge leaders to punish those responsible for the deaths of an estimated 1.7 million Cambodians. The trial comes 30 years after the Khmer Rouge were toppled from power.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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