- The Washington Times - Friday, December 31, 2004


Government, rebels sign truce accord

NAIVASHA, Kenya — Sudanese government officials and southern rebels signed a permanent cease-fire agreement yesterday and endorsed a detailed plan to end a 21-year civil war blamed for 2 million deaths.

Diplomats said they hoped the agreement also would help resolve the nearly two-year-old conflict in Sudan’s western region of Darfur. A Darfur rebel, however, said that was unlikely.

Yesterday’s agreements cleared the way for warring sides to sign a comprehensive peace deal this month in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.


Man hits Berlusconi with camera tripod

ROME — A man struck Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi with a camera tripod yesterday in a Rome piazza, giving him a slight bruise but no major injuries, his office said.

The prime minister’s bodyguards and police quickly blocked the assailant, believed to be a tourist from the northern town of Mantua, after the attack in Piazza Navona, a large bustling square at the heart of the capital.

Mr. Berlusconi, who had a slight bruise between his right ear and neck, saw a doctor as a precaution, the ANSA news agency said.


Parliament extends Iraq deployment

SEOUL — South Korea’s parliament yesterday approved extending the mission of its 3,600 troops in Iraq for another year.

The National Assembly approved the plan in a 161-63 vote with 54 abstentions just before the troops’ previous mandate in Iraq expired at midnight.

South Korea completed deploying its forces to the Kurdish town of Irbil in November, becoming the third-largest contributor of troops to the coalition after the United States and Britain. The South Korean contingent is not involved in combat operations.


Magazine reveals king’s pay, expenses

RABAT — A Moroccan magazine, testing the limits of press freedom in the Muslim country, has revealed King Mohammed earns $50,000 a month and his court has annual expenses of $277 million.

The 12-page dossier on royal finances in the French-language current affairs weekly, TelQuel, is unprecedented in Morocco and probably in the Arab world. The magazine noted the court’s annual budget traditionally obtains approval in parliament after cursory review.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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