- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 5, 2003

ISRAEL
Troops kill shepherd, 85
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip Israeli troops killed an elderly shepherd near a Jewish settlement in the Gaza Strip and two other Palestinians in West Bank clashes yesterday.
An army spokesman said the shepherd, identified by Palestinians as Abdullah Ashab, 85, was spotted riding a donkey southwest of Netzarim settlement where Palestinian movement is prohibited.
Israel drew rare U.S. criticism for an army raid in Gaza on Monday that killed eight Palestinians, including a pregnant woman crushed under the rubble of her home after troops blew up a nearby house belonging to a militant's family.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher expressed "serious concern about civilian casualties," but said Washington "understands the need for Israel to defend itself against ongoing violence and terror."

IRAQ
Kurdish soldiers kill 5 by mistake
SULAYMANIYAH Kurdish soldiers yesterday fatally shot five members of an allied group whom they mistook for terrorists, the Kurdish autonomous government said.
Officials of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan, which governs half the Kurdish autonomous region, said they had been tracking carloads of militants of the al Qaeda-linked group Ansar al-Islam.
The victims were identified as members of the Islamic Group of Kurdistan.

DENMARK
Greenland base likely to join missile shield
COPENHAGEN Denmark said yesterday that it took a positive view of the U.S. request to include a Greenland radar station in Washington's planned missile-defense shield but would not make a final decision until May.
Foreign Minister Per Stig Moeller said a final decision would be made after a public debate and consultations with the home-rule administration of Greenland, which belongs to Denmark.
The United States asked Denmark in December to approve the upgrading of its Thule radar base in the northwest of the vast arctic island to allow the program to go ahead. Last month, Britain agreed to a U.S. request to upgrade the radar systems at its Fylingdales base in northern England.

ITALY
World far from halving hunger, report says
ROME Seven years after the target was set, the world is well below the goal of cutting in half the number of hungry people by 2015 and may not even reach that goal by 2030, a new study by the United Nations food body said.
The study by the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization said the number of hungry people is expected to decline from about 800 million today to about 440 million in 2030.

NEW ZEALAND
Newspaper receives second cyanide threat
WELLINGTON New Zealand's largest newspaper said today that it had received a second letter threatening a terror attack using cyanide.
The New Zealand Herald last week received a copy of another letter sent to three diplomatic missions by a group calling itself "September 11" and claiming to have 55 pounds of "weapons-grade cyanide."

RUSSIA
Female soldiers parade in beauty contest
MOSCOW Female Russian soldiers strutted in uniform and took questions on army life yesterday as they vied for the title of "Miss Epaulettes 2003," a beauty contest aimed at boosting the appeal of Russia's cash-strapped army.
A Defense Ministry spokesman said 16 finalists, chosen from 90,000 female engineers, liaison officers and medical staff, had to show their military aptitude. The winner will be announced on the eve of March 8, International Women's Day and a public holiday in Russia.

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