- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 17, 2003

ISRAEL

Arab nations seek U.N. Arafat resolution

NEW YORK — Arab countries asked the U.N. General Assembly yesterday to adopt a resolution calling on Israel to halt threats to expel Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat after the United States vetoed the resolution in the Security Council.

After a closed-door meeting, Arab nations agreed to request an emergency special session of the General Assembly, with some diplomats expressing hope it could take place as early as tomorrow.



The General Assembly secretariat confirmed it had received a letter from the Arab League seeking a special session. No decision had yet been made, said Michelle Montas, spokeswoman for the assembly.

NEPAL

Battle with Maoists takes heavy toll

KATMANDU — At least 35 Maoist rebels were killed and dozens wounded yesterday after troops stormed a guerrilla hide-out in Nepal, the biggest outbreak of fighting since the end of a truce last month, officials said.

They said four government soldiers also died in the attack on the rebel bastion in Kuinkot in Rolpa district, 250 miles west of the capital, Katmandu.

The assault came a day ahead of the start of a three-day general strike called by the Maoists.

SWEDEN

DNA testing used to identify assassin

STOCKHOLM — Swedish police used DNA testing in hopes of linking a 35-year-old drifter now in custody to the slaying of Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. But they said yesterday he wasn’t the only suspect and they were seeking at least five more persons.

A week after Mrs. Lindh, 46, was fatally stabbed in her stomach, chest and arms in a crowded department store, police were under intense scrutiny, particularly because of complaints they had not done enough since the 1986 assassination of Prime Minister Olof Palme, whose killer was never found.

GERMANY

Court OKs release of Stasi files

BERLIN — An administrative court ruled yesterday that the East German secret police files on former Chancellor Helmut Kohl could be released, overturning an earlier decision.

The court decided that a March 2002 federal ruling in favor of Mr. Kohl was no longer valid because of a July law that restores researchers’ access to files on public figures gathered by the hated Stasi. Mr. Kohl plans to appeal the ruling.

SPAIN

Activist judge indicts Osama bin Laden

MADRID — A judge indicted Osama bin Laden and nine others yesterday for their roles in planning the September 11 attacks, saying al Qaeda terrorists used Spain as a base. It was the first known indictment of bin Laden for the 2001 terrorist strikes.

Investigative Magistrate Baltasar Garzon indicted a total of 35 persons for terrorist activities connected to bin Laden’s al Qaeda organization.

Judge Garzon is known for his attempts to prosecute former officials in Chile and Argentina for human rights abuses.

IRELAND

Giuliani cautions against smoking ban

DUBLIN — Ireland should not follow New York’s lead and ban smoking in all workplaces, Rudolph W. Giuliani said yesterday.

The former New York mayor said the recent decision of his successor, Michael R. Bloomberg, to prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars wasn’t fair to smokers.

Ireland has pledged to follow suit in January — a divisive move in a country where pubs remain the hub of communities.

FRANCE

Pricey escort service faces pimp charges

PARIS — A high-class, convent-educated British woman appeared before a Paris court yesterday, accused of running a luxury call-girl ring that charged well-heeled clients up to $1,115 an hour.

Margaret MacDonald, 43, who has two university degrees and speaks Japanese, Arabic and Greek, looked calm on the first day of a two-day trial, although she faces 10 years in prison if found guilty on pimping charges.

Miss MacDonald has spent more than a year behind bars in Paris pending an inquiry into what she has insisted was a legitimate escort agency and not a prostitution ring.

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