- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 4, 2003

RUSSIA

Official says Putin opposes Kyoto

MOSCOW — A top Kremlin official said yesterday he was expressing President Vladimir Putin’s position when he told reporters earlier this week that Russia would not sign the Kyoto Protocol in its current form.

“The way it is now, it poses obstacles to economic growth,” Andrei Illarionov said of the global pact to cut pollution and curb climate change, which needs Russia’s ratification to take effect.

On Wednesday, Deputy Economic Development and Trade Minister Mukhamed Tsikanov said no final decision had been made but that Russia was “moving toward” ratification.

POLAND

Prime minister hurt in helicopter crash

WARSAW — Prime Minister Leszek Miller was hospitalized with back injuries after his official helicopter crash-landed yesterday.

Several government aides and six bodyguards also were injured when the Soviet-made Mi-8 chopper went down near Pilawa, about 15 miles south of the capital, officials said.

“The premier’s condition is good,” said Grazyna Rydzewska, a doctor at Warsaw’s Interior Ministry hospital. “He has two broken vertebrae but without dislocation or pressure.”

EGYPT

Palestinians work on cease-fire accord

CAIRO — Palestinian militants met here yesterday to hammer out a cease-fire agreement aimed at ending three years of violence. A senior Israeli official suggested a reciprocal agreement was being considered to reduce military action in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Success at the talks — which one participant said began in an “extremely positive atmosphere” — could revive the U.S.-backed “road map” peace plan.

NIGERIA

Arrest notice issued for Taylor

LAGOS — Interpol issued an arrest notice yesterday for former Liberian President Charles Taylor, but Nigeria — where he lives in exile — said it would not extradite him on war crimes charges.

“The president has said before that he will not be harassed about Taylor,” a spokeswoman for Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo said. The notice is not an arrest warrant but can be used by police to make a provisional arrest pending extradition.

FRANCE

Floods affect drinking water

MARSEILLE — A quarter of a million people were without drinking water yesterday in the south of France as flooding affected water supplies and disrupted road and rail transportation.

Crowds queued in the Roman amphitheater in Nimes for bottled water after authorities warned that flooding might have contaminated tap water.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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