- The Washington Times - Saturday, January 31, 2004


Berlin denounced for not arresting rebel

MOSCOW — Russia slammed Germany last week for failing to arrest Chechen rebel envoy Akhmed Zakayev, whom Moscow considers a terrorist, while he was in Berlin for meetings.

Russia had sent a request via Interpol. “To what extent are certain states which belong to this police organization respecting their obligations?” asked Sergei Yastrzhembsky, a top aide of President Vladimir Putin. “If they continue this way, the existence of Interpol will be in doubt,” he said.


Museum reneges, fears art seizure

ATHENS — A Greek museum has gone back on its promise to lend an El Greco painting to a London exhibition for fear it could be seized over claims it was looted by the Nazis in World War II.

“We didn’t want to risk a provisional seizure,” said Alexis Kalokairinos, director of the Historical Museum of Crete. “Mount Sinai,” painted in 1570, was to appear in an exhibition of the Spanish master’s works at Britain’s National Gallery from Feb. 11. The museum reconsidered after the painting narrowly avoided seizure at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Mr. Kalokairinos said.


Need predicted for skilled immigrants

DUBLIN — Ireland will need about 100,000 skilled graduate immigrants to meet a serious shortfall in qualified workers expected by the end of the decade, according to a study published Thursday.

Demand for workers with higher education qualifications will be similar to the one that touched off a huge wave of immigration into the country during the 1990s, the study by the Economic and Social Research Institute said.

Ireland was formerly a country of emigration but the economic boom of the 1990s resulted in substantial immigration as jobs became plentiful. Many of the immigrants were returning emigrants.

Weekly notes

The lone liberal challenger to President Vladimir Putin in March elections has vowed to become Russia’s new leader after collecting more than 4 million signatures. But polls suggest it would be a stretch even to call Irina Khakamada’s presidential bid a long shot: Her voter approval ratings are in the low single digits, while Mr. Putin’s stand at around 80 percent. Other candidates concede the March 14 contest is for second place, which could help when Mr. Putin steps down in 2008. … A Latvian teenager who made headlines two years ago for swatting Britain’s Prince Charles with a flower is in trouble again. Alina Lebedeva, 18, appeared last week in a district court in Riga on suspicion she and a 21-year-old man started an early January fire at the Education Ministry. It was quickly extinguished and there were no injuries.

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