- The Washington Times - Thursday, September 16, 2010

RUSSIA

Opposition leaders form coalition

MOSCOW | Some of Russia’s prominent opposition leaders have formed a coalition to challenge the rule of President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

Former Deputy Premier Boris Nemtsov says the coalition will fight to overcome the current election law, which he calls repressive.

The law requires parties to get at least 7 percent of the nationwide vote to get seats in parliament, a barrier opposition groups say effectively shuts them out.

Russia’s liberal opposition forces have been fractured, but Mr. Nemtsov said Thursday the coalition aims to compete in next year’s parliamentary elections and field a presidential candidate in 2012.

EUROPEAN UNION

Expulsions of Gypsies dominate summit

BRUSSELS | The European Union’s justice commissioner insists she may take France to court over Gypsy expulsions as Paris vigorously defended its controversial policy, dashing hopes at an EU summit Thursday that leaders would be able to showcase a continent united.

Justice Commissioner Vivane Reding’s expression of regret over an outburst Tuesday comparing the expulsions to World War II deportations did little to defuse tensions at the summit, whose aim of forging a common EU front on the global stage has been hijacked by the Roma dispute.

SOUTH AFRICA

Hospital charged in organ trafficking

JOHANNESBURG | A major South African hospital chain and its chief executive have been charged after years of investigation into a human organ trafficking case that stretched from Israel to South Africa to Brazil, hospital officials and police said Thursday.

A police spokesman said 11 suspects were ordered to appear in court in November.

CAMBODIA

Khmer Rouge tribunal indicts four leaders

PHNOM PENH | Cambodia’s U.N.-backed genocide tribunal on Thursday formally indicted the four top surviving leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime blamed for 1.7 million deaths in the 1970s, paving the way for the panel’s long-awaited second trial next year.

The frail, elderly defendants, who have been in detention since 2007, deny any guilt for their roles in the radical communist rule during which about a quarter of Cambodia’s population was either executed or died due to starvation or overwork.

SOMALIA

U.N. envoy says more peacekeepers needed

UNITED NATIONS | The international peacekeeping force in Somalia may need to be almost tripled in coming months to 20,000 troops because of the increased insurgent threat, a U.N. envoy said Thursday.

The envoy, Augustine Mahiga, told the U.N. Security Council that more international action is needed to stop foreign fighters and weapons getting into Somalia to help the al Qaeda-linked militia.

The African Union Mission in Somalia, which has been defending the troubled transitional government in Mogadishu, has an authorized limit of 8,000 but is currently about 2,000 short.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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