- The Washington Times - Wednesday, October 30, 2002

Nigeria vows to block stonings after protests
LAGOS, Nigeria Nigeria vowed yesterday to block Islamic courts from carrying out any executions by stoning, promising to hold the line against sentences in northern states that have provoked international protests and boycott threats.
The assurance by Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dubem Onyia represents the government's sharpest statement on rulings by these courts, which subscribe to Islamic law, or shariah, condemning at least four persons to stoning for adultery or rape.
"Nobody will ever be stoned as a result of shariah law. Nobody," Mr. Onyia said at a news conference on Nigeria's preparations for the Miss World pageant, which faced a boycott by a growing number of contestants about the stoning sentence meted out to a Nigerian woman in March.
Pageant organizers said yesterday that dozens of contestants have dropped their boycott threats.

Porn king praises Europe on Iraq
PARIS Pornography publisher Larry Flynt praised France and Germany yesterday for opposing President Bush on Iraq, saying that the leaders of both countries showed "courage."
"President [Jacques] Chirac did a very courageous thing in standing up to Bush on Iraq, as did Chancellor [Gerhard] Schroeder of Germany," the 59-year-old multimillionaire, who has championed freedom of expression, said at a media conference in Paris. Mr. Flynt, who built a fortune from his porn magazine Hustler, was in the French capital to promote the opening of a strip club this week.

Bosnia orders halt to arms exports
SARAJEVO, Bosnia-Herzegovina Bosnia imposed an indefinite ban yesterday on all exports of arms and military equipment in an attempt to clean up after its Serbian region was found in violation of a U.N. arms embargo on Iraq.
The move followed the removal overnight of the Bosnian-Serb defense minister and army chief, which brought to five the number of Bosnian-Serb officials punished over the export of parts for Iraqi MiG-21 aircraft by the state-owned Orao weapons factory.
The government imposed a ban on military exports until it establishes control over the sector. That move followed U.S. charges in September that Orao supplied the Iraqi air force through the Yugoslav state trading company, Jugoimport.

Vatican to open pre-war archives
VATICAN CITY The Vatican, trying to counter charges that Pope Pius XII was silent in the face of the Holocaust, confirmed yesterday that it would open secret archives from the pre-World War II period.
The archives, including documents from 1922 to 1939 when Eugenio Pacelli was Vatican ambassador in Berlin and before he became Pope Pius XII, will start being made public in January, Cardinal Jorge Mejia said.
"No matter how much they open up their archives, there is one thing they will never find: a public and open declaration opposing anti-Semitism during the war," said Amos Luzzatto, head of the Union of Italian-Jewish Communities.

Sea salt jams Eurostar trains
LILLE, France Salt whipped from stormy seas onto railway lines paralyzed Eurostar train traffic through the Channel Tunnel between France and Britain, stranding thousands of passengers, France's state railway said yesterday.
Short-circuits on power lines at the French entrance to the undersea tunnel on the northern coastal town of Calais halted trains between London and Paris, as well as London and Brussels, that pass through Calais.
Stormy weather and winds of up to 114 mph struck much of northern Europe on Sunday, killing at least 33 persons.


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