- - Thursday, February 10, 2011

RUSSIA

Road construction foe detained with her children

MOSCOW | A Russian environmental activist was detained Thursday with her children, colleagues said, claiming she is the latest victim in a campaign to silence opponents of the construction of a Moscow-St. Petersburg highway that is tearing up the old-growth Khimki forest.

After a wave of public protests, President Dmitry Medvedev in August ordered the highway construction suspended so the route could be reassessed, but the Kremlin decided in December to allow the highway to proceed along the original route.

Those involved in the construction are reported to have high-level government connections, and highway construction is one of the most corrupt industries in Russia.

Alla Chernysheva was detained with her daughters, ages 3 and 6, on the same day as authorities announced that highway construction will begin in March.

WEST BANK

Israeli woman gives birth in Palestinian hospital

RAMALLAH | An Israeli woman gave birth in a Palestinian hospital - a rare occurrence that won her flowers and a handwritten note from the Palestinian president.

Nisreen Chayedri, who grew up Jewish but converted to Islam, said she was shopping in the West Bank town of Ramallah on Wednesday when she went into labor. Her husband, an Arab citizen of Israel, rushed her to the nearest hospital, where she delivered a baby boy.

Israel bars its Jewish citizens from visiting Palestinian areas because of security concerns. Its Arab citizens can, though few use the Palestinian medical system, which is far less developed than Israel’s. In contrast, Palestinians often seek treatment at more advanced Israeli hospitals for specialized procedures.

TANZANIA

Study finds Serengeti road will hurt wildlife migration

NAIROBI, Kenya | An environmental impact study on a road that Tanzania wants to build through the Serengeti found that it may affect the famed wildebeest migration and threaten endangered species, according to a copy of the leaked report.

Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, though, says his government will continue with plans to build the 33.5-mile road through the park. Mr. Kikwete said the road will remain unpaved and that Tanzania “will do nothing to hurt the Serengeti.”

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