- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 10, 2002

EU to aid Russia on nuclear waste

BRUSSELS International donors began a $1.8 billion program yesterday to help clean up the environment in and around northern Russia, which faces a big threat from nuclear waste.

A one-day conference chaired by the European Union and Russia announced initial funds totaling $110 million for the most urgent projects needed to reduce water and air pollution in the Baltic and Barents Sea regions.

Britain to ease laws against pot smoking

LONDON Britain will respond this week to a dramatic surge in cannabis use by easing laws and allowing millions of marijuana and hashish users to smoke without fear of arrest.

Home Secretary David Blunkett is expected today to downgrade it to a low-risk category C drug, Reuters news agency reported.

The downgrade will put the drug in the same category as anabolic steroids and make possessing small amounts of it or smoking it in private a non-arrestable offense.

Israel to say 'no' to Farrakhan effort

Israel plans to deny Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan entry into the Jewish state, where he wants to help mediate the Arab-Israeli dispute, a leading Israeli newspaper reported yesterday.

Israel fears that Mr. Farrakhan's presence would trigger violence.

During a visit to Baghdad this week, Mr. Farrakhan said American Muslims are praying for an Iraqi victory in a war with the United States.

Mideast peace quartet to study new plan

COPENHAGEN Middle East peace brokers from the so-called Quartet of the United States, Russia, the United Nations and the European Union will meet next week to discuss a plan aimed at reviving the shattered peace process.

Danish Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller told reporters yesterday that the group would meet in New York on July 15 and continue talks with the foreign ministers of Egypt, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

Al Qaeda spokesman predicts new attacks

ALGIERS The spokesman for al Qaeda said the terrorist organization led by Osama bin Laden was thriving and planning new attacks on Americans.

In an interview published yesterday, spokesman Sulaiman Abu Ghaith also called the U.S. campaign to dismantle the group a "Hollywood script."

Poles massacred Jews, investigation concludes

BIALYSTOK, Poland A 20-month investigation has concluded that Poles, not their Nazi occupiers, carried out the 1941 massacre of Jews in a village in the north of the country, but prosecutors said yesterday that there was no evidence to support bringing new charges.

As many as 1,600 Jews are believed to have been killed in a barn in the village of Jedwabne.

War-crimes suspect held in NATO raid

TREBICINA, Bosnia-Herzegovina NATO troops raided a remote village in Bosnia's rugged eastern hills yesterday and arrested a Bosnian Serb war-crimes fugitive accused of enslaving and raping Muslim women and girls, officials said.

Radovan Stankovic, who gave himself up after a 12-hour standoff, is being processed for transfer to The Hague war-crimes tribunal, a spokesman for the NATO-led Stabilization Force said.

Mexican ex-president defends actions

MEXICO CITY Former President Luis Echeverria, currently under questioning by a prosecutor about his suspected role in two student massacres more than 30 years ago, yesterday said his conscience is "totally" clear.

Mr. Echeverria, 80, was forced to retreat inside the prosecutor's office when protesters shouted "murderer."

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