- The Washington Times - Monday, November 24, 2003


U.S., Europe end nuke deadlock

VIENNA, Austria — Breaking days of deadlock, the United States and key European countries agreed yesterday on how to balance condemnation of Iran’s past nuclear transgressions with recognition of its newfound openness.

Diplomats said a draft resolution was formally submitted yesterday to the board of governors of the International Atomic Energy Agency. Agreement on the text of a draft set the stage for passage of the resolution tomorrow, when the board meeting was set to resume.


Offer welcomed for Kashmir truce

NEW DELHI — India yesterday said it would respond positively to Pakistan’s offer of a cease-fire on the military line dividing Kashmir and suggested extending the truce to the Siachen Glacier, the world’s highest battlefield.

But as the two sides struggle to revive a peace process, the Indian foreign ministry said Muslim rebels must be stopped from crossing into Kashmir to join a bloody revolt against Indian rule if any cease-fire was to last.


Italian denounces fascist past

JERUSALEM — Italian Deputy Prime Minister Gianfranco Fini denounced Italy’s fascist past and involvement in the Nazi Holocaust during a visit to Israel yesterday to symbolically cut his National Alliance party’s links to fascism.

After laying a wreath at Jerusalem’s Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial, which marks the annihilation of 6 million Jews in the Holocaust, Mr. Fini said he made the pilgrimage to “denounce the shameful pages that are in our past history.”


2 European hostages freed by rebels

VALLEDUPAR — Colombian Marxist rebels yesterday released two European backpackers they kidnapped at jungle ruins more than two months ago.

German Reinhilt Weigel and Spaniard Asier Huegun embraced as they clambered onto a Red Cross helicopter that landed in a secret jungle clearing to fly them to the northern Colombian city of Valledupar en route to the capital, Bogota.

Their release came the same day as the army said it had found the bullet-riddled body believed to be of Japanese auto-parts executive Chikao Muramatsu, who was kidnapped in 2001 by another rebel group.


Pro-Beijing party suffers defeat

HONG KONG — Discontent with Hong Kong leader Tung Chee-hwa moved from the street to the ballot box as voters handed the top pro-Beijing party a stunning defeat in local elections that foretell a fierce fight in next year’s legislative contests.

The opposition Democratic Party claimed 92 contested District Council seats Sunday, up from 86 four years ago, according to results released yesterday. The pro-Beijing, pro-government Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, or DAB, won 62 seats, 21 fewer than last time.


Nine charged in bomb attacks

ISTANBUL — A Turkish court today charged nine suspected accomplices in last week’s Istanbul suicide bombings, saying they aided or were members of an illegal organization.

Three other suspects were released. Four other detainees already had been released yesterday, apparently for lack of evidence.

The charges came five days after the bombings of the British Consulate and a London-based bank in Istanbul. Fifty-seven persons died in those attacks and the earlier bombings of two synagogues in the city.

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