- - Monday, February 28, 2011

IRAN

Olympic logo offends Tehran

TEHRAN | Iran is complaining that the logo for next year’s London Olympics resembles the word “Zion,” and is warning of a possible boycott of the summer games.

The secretary-general of Iran’s National Olympic Committee objected to the “racist logo” in a letter to the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the official IRNA news agency reported Monday.

He said the 2012 logo spells out “Zion,” a biblical term widely recognized to refer to the city of Jerusalem, now the capital of Israel.

Iran’s brutal theocratic government often calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

The London logo shows the numbers “2012” in four jagged figures and, until now, has been criticized only for its design.

“Our response is as follows: The London 2012 logo represents the figure 2012, nothing else,” the IOC said.

ITALY

Berlusconi back on trial for tax fraud

MILAN | Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi went back on trial Monday on charges of tax fraud, the first of several court cases to resume after Italy’s Constitutional Court watered down an immunity bill sparing the Italian leader from trial.

Prosecutors say Mr. Berlusconi’s Mediaset media empire purchased television rights for U.S. movies through two offshore companies and falsely declared the costs to reduce its tax bill.

Mr. Berlusconi, who was not in court Monday, has denied the allegations. The case immediately was adjourned until April 11.

VIETNAM

Police accuse dissident of promoting uprising

HANOI | Vietnam detained a veteran dissident who the authorities say tried to overthrow the communist government with an appeal for the people to “rise up against the regime,” state media reported Monday.

Nguyen Dan Que, a physician born in 1942 and living in Ho Chi Minh City, was caught in possession of and distributing documents “calling for the overthrow of the regime,” the Vietnam News Agency reported.

Police arrested him Saturday after finding 60,000 “anti-state” items on his home computer, the agency said.

BRITAIN

Jury convicts airline terrorist

LONDON | A jury convicted a former British Airways computer specialist Monday of plotting with U.S.-born extremist cleric Anwar al-Awlaki to blow up an airplane.

Rajib Karim, a 31-year-old Bangladeshi man, was convicted of four counts of engaging in preparation for terrorist attacks. He had already pleaded guilty to other, lesser terrorism offenses.

Prosecutors said he used his position at the airline to plot an attack with the notorious radical imam linked with al Qaeda and thought to be hiding in Yemen.

LITHUANIA

Conservatives avoid crushing defeat

VILNIUS | Lithuania’s Conservatives avoided a crushing defeat in municipal elections, which were seen as a key test for their center-right government amid a biting austerity drive, results showed Monday.

A near-complete count from Sunday’s ballot put the Conservatives second with 14.5 percent of the vote, behind the winning center-left Social Democrats with 16.6 percent.

Opinion polls before the election predicted the Conservatives would get less than 7 percent of the vote.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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