- The Washington Times - Monday, November 10, 2003

GEORGIA

Shevardnadze won’t step down

TBILISI — President Eduard Shevardnadze met with opposition leaders yesterday amid growing tension in the former Soviet republic, where demonstrators outside parliament accused officials of rigging last weekend’s elections.

In televised comments, Mr. Shevardnadze said he was “elected by the Georgian people, and I do not intend to resign at the demand of individual politicians and a few dozen young people waving flags.”

BRITAIN

Royal family welcomes baby

LONDON — The youngest son of Britain’s Queen Elizabeth, Edward, Earl of Wessex, became a father for the first time late on Saturday when his wife, Sophie, gave birth to a girl by emergency Caesarean section.

Edward, 39, was on an official trip to Mauritius when the baby was born, but flew back yesterday and visited his wife in the hospital in the evening.

“I’m just thrilled to bits,” he told reporters outside the state-run Frimley Park Hospital in Surrey, southern England, after seeing his wife.

“I’m obviously very sorry that I wasn’t able to be part of it,” Edward said, adding that he was “shocked and delighted” at the unexpected timing of the birth.

The baby was born several weeks premature, weighing in at 4 pounds 9 ounces.

BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA

Families threaten to sue U.N., Dutch

SARAJEVO — Families of some 8,000 Muslims killed by Serb forces in 1995 in the former U.N. “safe area” of Srebrenica will sue the United Nations and the Dutch government if they refuse to compensate them, their attorney said yesterday.

The families will file a lawsuit — which took two years to complete and is similar to that of Holocaust survivors — by the end of February if they fail to reach an out-of-court deal worth at least $587 million, attorney Semir Guzin said.

Lightly armed Dutch peacekeepers stood by in July 1995 as rampaging Serb forces rounded up Muslims before they were summarily executed in Europe’s worst massacre since World War II.

MAURITANIA

Security forces arrest presidential challenger

NOUAKCHOTT — Mauritania’s top opposition leader was arrested yesterday, accused of being part of a plot to overthrow the U.S.-allied president of the Arab-dominated desert nation.

Muhammad Khouna Ould Haidalla was saying his morning prayers when state security agents appeared at his campaign headquarters in the capital, said Abdelrahman Ould Horma, a senior official of the Forces for Change party.

It was the second arrest in four days for Mr. Haidalla, a former military dictator who had tried to win back power through the polls Friday, 19 years after President Maaouyah Ould Sid Ahmed Taya overthrew him in a coup. On Thursday, security forces detained him for five hours, releasing him just hours before Friday’s vote.

ALBANIA

Oldest woman dies at age 123

TIRANA — The oldest woman in Albania, and perhaps the world, died on Saturday at the age of 123 and was buried yesterday beside the husband she resented being forced to marry at 14.

Born on Aug. 22, 1880, Hava Rexha died on Saturday in the picturesque central Albanian village of Shushice, where she had spent her whole life.

Wrapped in a faded shroud that she embroidered for herself when her elderly husband died a few years after World War II, Mrs. Rexha was buried in the wooded Shushice cemetery.


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