- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 5, 2003

IRAN

U.N. nuclear chief seeks tougher accord

ROME — Iran should sign up to new treaty obligations allowing tougher inspections to make its nuclear power program more transparent, the head of the United Nations’ nuclear agency said yesterday.

However, Mohamed ElBaradei offered Iran an incentive, saying if it did so, then restrictions on its access to nuclear technology might gradually be lifted, despite grave concerns in Washington.



The Bush administration accuses the Islamic Republic of pursuing a clandestine atomic weapons program, but Iran says its nuclear ambitions are limited to generating civilian electricity.

GAZA STRIP

Palestinian attack tests cease-fire

JERUSALEM — A Palestinian militant opened fire late Friday on Palestinian police trying to detain him on suspicion of ordering a mortar attack against a Jewish settlement, the most serious test to date of the Palestinian police’s vow to crack down on militants.

Three persons were wounded in the Gaza Strip shootout, said unidentified Palestinian police sources.

Palestinian leaders promised to pursue militants violating the cease-fire with Israel, which went into effect a week ago, but Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas — fearing a possible civil war — has said police will not forcibly disarm the militants.

NIGERIA

Unions reject deal on ending strike

LAGOS — Nigeria’s main trade union has rejected a government compromise, the union said yesterday, and was pressing on with a general strike that has paralyzed production in the world’s eighth-largest oil exporter.

Almost a week of economic disruption and sometimes violent protests — days before a scheduled visit by President Bush — has threatened oil production in the west African country still emerging from years of military rule.

KUWAIT

Election brings protests from women

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwaiti men voted yesterday for an all-male parliament as women protested their exclusion from the polls in the conservative pro-Western state.

There have been growing calls for reforms in Kuwait, where the al-Sabah ruling family has been in power since long before the oil-rich Gulf Arab state gained independence in 1961.

Both Islamists and pro-Western liberals have called for the ruling family to loosen its grip on government and allow Kuwaitis to elect a prime minister, a post traditionally held by the crown prince.

SOMALIA

Conference produces deal on government

NAIROBI, Kenya — Somali leaders attending a peace conference in Nairobi yesterday agreed to establish a federal government to rule the Horn of Africa country for the next four years.

The conference brought together more than 300 delegates from the Mogadishu-based Transitional National Government, armed Somali factions under the umbrella Somali Restoration and Reconciliation Council, armed and political groups known as “G8” and the clan-based civil society.

NAMIBIA

Police say “Gods” movie star has died

WINDHOEK, Namibia — N!xau, the diminutive Bushman catapulted from the remote sandswept reaches of the Kalahari Desert to international stardom in the film “The Gods Must Be Crazy” has died, police officials said yesterday.

He was estimated to have been about 59, although he himself said he did not know his exact age. His name is a usual transliteration of his tribal language, which uses clicking noises that have no equivalent in English.

The “Gods Must Be Crazy” became a worldwide hit and a top-grossing foreign film after its release in 1980. Audiences swooned over his portrayal of an earnest Bushman with a sheepish smile whose discovery of a Coca-Cola bottle sets off a comedy of errors.

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