Kohl’s Stasi file can remain closed
BERLIN — Helmut Kohl won a court ruling yesterday blocking the release of his conversations that were secretly recorded by East German spies, a victory in the former chancellor’s attempts to defend his reputation as the leader who reunited Germany.
The Berlin administrative court ruled in Mr. Kohl’s favor after a one-day hearing in which his lawyers argued he could claim protection under provisions shielding the victims of surveillance by the communist-era spy agency, the Stasi.
Chirac urges Japan to honor Kyoto treaty
PARIS — Japan’s new prime minister, Junichiro Koizumi, met with French President Jacques Chirac yesterday as France tried to prevent Tokyo from siding with the United States over changes to the Kyoto climate-change treaty.
Japanese officials said that on the final stage of his first diplomatic tour, Mr. Koizumi had found Mr. Chirac in a determined mood and had been urged not to agree to water down Kyoto’s provisions to appease Washington.
Soviet coup leaders welcome Putin’s rule
MOSCOW — Organizers of the failed hard-line coup against Mikhail Gorbachev, sitting together yesterday in an eerie reprise of their last joint appearance a decade ago, defended their actions and said Russian President Vladimir Putin is working to achieve many of their goals.
The August 1991 coup bid against the reformist Mr. Gorbachev was an attempt to keep the Soviet Union from disintegrating, the organizers said. But it backfired and precipitated the end of the U.S.S.R., whose collapse four months later, eventually spawned 15 independent nations.
“The current leadership is making efforts to restore control over the country,” said former Soviet Prime Minister Valentin Pavlov, flanked by other coup plotters at the offices of the hard-line newspaper Patriot. “Today they are trying to do what we attempted to do in the Soviet Union in 1991.”
Canada to sell pot to chronically ill
OTTAWA — Chronically ill Canadians, dying from such illnesses as AIDS and cancer, will be able to carry government-issued photo identity cards showing they can legally possess marijuana, the government said yesterday.
But officials at Health Canada said that when the cards are first issued — starting July 30 — there will be no legal way for the authorized possessors of marijuana to buy the herb.
It will be sometime next year, said Dr. Jody Gomber, Health Canada’s director-general of controlled substances, before production will begin at a government-authorized marijuana growing facility in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Sudan accepts plan to end civil war
KHARTOUM, Sudan — The Sudanese government has accepted a Libyan-Egyptian peace initiative that aims to end a civil war that has wracked Africa’s largest country for 18 years.
The plan proposes the formation of an interim government representing all political forces, Sudan’s foreign minister said yesterday.
Mustafa Osman Ismail told a news conference in Khartoum that the government “accepts fully” all the points in the nine-point joint peace proposal.