First black named chief constable
LONDON — Britain has appointed its first black police constable to head the police force in the southern English county of Kent, a spokeswoman for the force said yesterday.
Michael Fuller, 44, a deputy assistant commissioner in London’s Metropolitan Police, previously served in the Special Branch security force, Criminal Investigation Department and set up the Racial and Violent Crimes Task Force in 1998.
The Metropolitan Police have in the past been accused of racism.
Man is arrested for buying baby
MILAN — Italian police said yesterday they had arrested a 69-year-old Italian man who bought an Albanian baby given away by its father in exchange for a television.
Police in the seaside town of Pescara said the man’s wife was still on the run with the boy, who is now 7 years old, but they had arrested 18 other persons and found evidence of at least 67 other children trafficked into Italy.
New Mideast envoy tapped in peace bid
MOSCOW — Russia, a member of the diplomatic “quartet” trying to create conditions for peace in the Middle East, announced the appointment yesterday of a new envoy to the region, a career diplomat and Arab specialist.
Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov appointed Alexander Kalugin as the new emissary with a mandate to pursue contacts in the region, according to an announcement on the ministry’s Web site.
The statement said his predecessor, Andrei Vdovin, had been transferred to another diplomatic post.
Beer police ensure an honest deal
MUNICH — Drinkers at this year’s Munich Oktoberfest are getting better value for money than ever, say inspectors enforcing strict German standards at the world’s biggest beer festival.
Up to four two-man inspection teams patrol the 85 acre Oktoberfest site to conduct snap tests to ensure that so-called “Mass” glasses contain a full liter, slightly more than a quart, below the foam.
Weekly notes …
The self-proclaimed king of the Gypsies, Florin Cioaba, on Saturday married his 14-year-old daughter, Ana-Maria, off to a 15-year-old boy in a lavish ceremony at Sibiu in central Romania. The bridegroom, Birita, is the son of a wealthy Gypsy family to whom Ana Maria had been promised for 500 gold coins when she was 7 years old. … Police investigating the fatal knifing of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh are pursuing a possible Balkan connection, the daily Aftonbladet said. Mijailo Mijalovic, 24, who is helping police with their inquiries into the murder, was described in the report as a Serbian nationalist with a grudge against Mrs. Lindh for having supporting the NATO bombing of Serbia during the 1996 Kosovo war. … A painting by Dutch master Peter Paul Rubens, which disappeared from Germany during World War II, has been handed over by the Russian authorities. “Tarquinius and Lucretia” was painted in 1610-1611 and belonged to the Foundation of Prussian Castles and Gardens.