- The Washington Times - Friday, June 7, 2002

Israel bars Palestinians from Islamic meeting

RABAT, Morocco Israel has banned a Palestinian delegation from attending an international meeting on the protection of Christian and Islamic holy shrines in the Middle East, an Islamic body said yesterday.

"Israeli occupation forces have banned Palestinian Culture and Information Minister Yasser Abed Rabbo from attending the international conference," the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization said in a statement.

Russian lawmakers back 'anti-skinhead' bill

MOSCOW Russian deputies yesterday approved a Kremlin-backed "anti-skinhead" bill to clamp down on extremism, despite liberal and communist protests that the sweeping measures lacked safeguards to prevent abuses.

By 271-141, the State Duma, the lower house of parliament, passed a first reading of the draft, dubbed the "anti-skinhead" bill because of mounting concern about attacks by skinhead gangs and neo-Nazis on foreigners and Jewish sites.

Libya, Britain, U.S. discuss Lockerbie deal

LONDON Libyan officials met with representatives of the United States and Britain yesterday to discuss Libya's compliance with U.N. resolutions on the Pan Am Flight 103 bombing, including a $2.7 billion compensation offer to the victims' families, the British Foreign Office said.

Lawyers representing the families of those killed in the 1988 attack said last week that Libya had offered to compensate the families of the 270 persons killed, 189 of whom were Americans. The offer would mean $10 million for each family.

U.N. official says war on terror curbs rights

LONDON The U.S.-led war against terror is threatening civil liberties and human rights around the world, the United Nations said yesterday.

U.N. human rights chief Mary Robinson told an audience at London's Commonwealth Institute that security concerns in the wake of the September 11 attacks in the United States should not be a reason to neglect the rights of individuals or groups.

Venezuela to allow coup suspect to leave

CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuela said yesterday it would allow a naval officer facing rebellion charges in April's brief coup against President Hugo Chavez to leave for political asylum in El Salvador.

Retired Venezuelan Rear Adm. Carlos Molina, under investigation for his role in the ouster, was granted political asylum Tuesday, shortly after Colombia granted refuge to another suspected coup plotter.

Reappointed Ahern says Ulster tops agenda

DUBLIN Incumbent Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, reappointed as head of the government yesterday after last month's general election, said securing lasting peace in British-ruled Northern Ireland was his top priority.

Mr. Ahern, 50, whose center-right Fianna Fail party won a resounding victory in the election, was returned as prime minister at the first session of the new Irish Parliament.

Fianna Fail will resume its coalition with the smaller Progressive Democrats the first time since 1969 that an Irish government has been re-elected.

3,500-year-old tombs unearthed in Egypt

SAQQARA, Egypt Archaeologists have unearthed six 3,500-year-old tombs that they believe reveal important details about the structure of government in a period considered Egypt's golden age, the nation's top archaeologist said yesterday.

Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council of the Antiquities who supervised the dig just outside Cairo, said the six tombs were found at the foot of the famous third dynasty Step Pyramid, believed to be Egypt's first.

The tombs belonged to government officials who worked in northern Egypt at the end of the 18th dynasty and early 19th dynasty (1567-1200 B.C.).

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