- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 28, 2004

PORTUGAL

Abortion boat banned from port

LISBON — Portugal banned a Dutch boat with an abortion clinic on board from entering its territorial waters yesterday, but activists said the exclusion was illegal and they still hoped to find a way to perform abortions.

The floating clinic offers an abortion pill in international waters to women in countries where it is illegal or more restricted than the Netherlands. It planned to allow women to board in a Portuguese port before sailing back out to international waters.

Abortion is legal in mainly Roman Catholic Portugal when the mother’s life is in danger and in a few specific cases.

RUSSIA

Pope gives back Orthodox icon

MOSCOW — A Russian icon that hung for years in Pope John Paul II’s private chapel returned home to the Russian Orthodox Church yesterday, a gesture the ailing pontiff hopes will improve relations between the two churches.

Russian Orthodox Patriarch Alexy II formally accepted the 18th-century replica of the Mother of God of Kazan icon from Cardinal Walter Kasper, who headed the Vatican delegation, at the end of a three-hour Orthodox service in the Kremlin’s Assumption Cathedral.

The 84-year-old John Paul, the Roman Catholic Church’s first Slavic pope, considered returning the icon himself.

BRITAIN

Airline managers work at ticket counters

LONDON — The head of British Airways and top managers helped with passenger check-in yesterday as the airline sought to recover from a week of chaos that stranded thousands of passengers.

British Airways Chief Executive Rod Eddington and other senior executives joined staff on the terminal floors at London’s Heathrow Airport to help during what Britons call the late summer holiday weekend, normally one of the busiest travel periods of the year.

The airline has laid off so many workers in an attempt to cut costs that it is unable to service flights during busy travel periods.

SPAIN

Illegal immigrants caught off coast

GRANADA — Spanish navy and sea rescue authorities yesterday said they had intercepted a vessel carrying 57 would-be immigrants off the southern coastal town of Motril.

One passenger intercepted about 25 sea miles off the shoreline was believed to be a minor, according to regional government authorities at nearby Granada. All on board were said to be male, but their nationalities were not clear.

With thousands of mainly Moroccan or sub-Saharan African migrants a year trying to reach Spanish soil, illegal immigration has become a major concern for Spain’s Socialist government elected last March.

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