- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 24, 2004

VENEZUELA

Court overturns recall-petition ruling

CARACAS — A chamber of Venezuela’s Supreme Court dealt a blow yesterday to opponents of President Hugo Chavez by overruling fellow justices on a petition for recalling him from office.

The court’s constitutional chamber struck down a ruling by the electoral chamber, which had ordered election officials to accept 870,000 signatures they had questioned.

Venezuela’s opposition wants Mr. Chavez recalled and says it presented more than 3 million signatures in December, more than the 2.4 million required to hold a recall vote. But the National Electoral Council decided that 870,000 of the signatures could not be deemed valid unless citizens came forward to confirm them.

SWEDEN

Lindh killer jailed for life

STOCKHOLM — The confessed killer of Swedish Foreign Minister Anna Lindh was sentenced yesterday to life in prison, after a court threw out his plea of insanity.

Mijailo Mijailovic, 25, said “voices” in his head had told him to carry out the frenzied knife attack on Mrs. Lindh, who had been tipped as the next prime minister.

Mijailovic, the son of Serbian immigrants, stabbed her 10 times in a Stockholm department store in September. Mrs. Lindh, a 46-year-old mother of two, died a day later.

SERBIA AND MONTENEGRO

U.N., Kosovo officers killed in patrol attack

PRISTINA — A U.N. policeman and a Kosovar police officer were killed in an attack on a U.N. car near Pristina late yesterday, the chief of Kosovo’s police said.

The attack, in the village of Luzane about 12 miles north of the Kosovar capital, followed two days of relative quiet in a region shaken by Albanian-Serb ethnic violence this month. Twenty-eight persons were killed in fighting.

In the worst flare-up of violence since NATO and the United Nations established control of the province in 1999, Albanian crowds attacked and torched Serbian villages and churches last week, forcing 3,200 to flee.

FRANCE

Jewish center attacked in south

TOULON — Attackers set fire to a Jewish community center in southeast France overnight, causing slight damage to the entry hall, police said yesterday.

The assailants broke a window at the center in the city of Toulon and doused the interior with a flammable liquid that was then set on fire, police said.

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