- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 15, 2004

POLAND

New prime minister loses trust vote

WARSAW — Poland’s new prime minister, Marek Belka, lost a parliamentary confidence vote yesterday, prolonging uncertainty over free-market reforms but leaving the country’s mission in Iraq on track.

The lower house of parliament voted 262-188 against Mr. Belka, appointed prime minister on May 2 after his unpopular predecessor, Leszek Miller, stepped down.

Mr. Belka asked lawmakers earlier yesterday to give him a “one-year contract” until elections set for the fall of 2005. But opposition lawmakers said the governing Democratic Left Alliance lost the legitimacy to govern after the corruption scandals and unpopular spending cuts that led to Mr. Miller’s exit.

Mr. Belka resigned shortly after the vote but was immediately charged by President Aleksander Kwasniewski with leading a caretaker government. While the outcome increased the likelihood of early elections, Mr. Kwasniewski said he believed Mr. Belka could still obtain parliament’s backing.

BRAZIL

Lula revokes ouster of N.Y. Times man

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva yesterday reversed his revocation of New York Times reporter Larry Rohter’s work visa after the paper offered what Justice Minister Marcio Thomaz Bastos called a “retraction” of Mr. Rohter’s story questioning the president’s drinking.

“The president asked me to consider the case closed,” Mr. Bastos said.

He said Mr. Lula had “reconsidered his decision” to expel the reporter after hearing the minister’s legal opinion of a letter from the Times.

My “legal opinion was that it was a retraction and that that retraction was effectively a statement that the journalist had not wanted to offend and that he respected the president of the republic and that he lamented the article’s consequences,” Mr. Bastos said.

NIGERIA

Christians flee city as riot rages

KANO — Christians chased out of their homes by Muslims during bloody riots in Nigeria’s northern city of Kano boarded buses to leave town as fresh clashes broke out yesterday.

Hundreds of people, mostly Christians, have been burned and hacked to death by rioting Muslim mobs since Tuesday in a reprisal attack for the slaying of hundreds of Muslims in central Nigeria 10 days ago.

About 1,000 Nigerians have probably died in religious fighting across the oil-exporting country in two weeks, although officials decline to provide credible death tolls.

TURKEY

Troy treasures go on display

ISTANBUL — The Istanbul Archeology Museum threw open the doors yesterday to its ancient Troy exhibition, shut for years due to lack of funds, just in time for the world premiere of the movie “Troy” starring Brad Pitt.

Ancient Troy is located in the northwest of modern-day Turkey, not far south of Istanbul.

The museum hall, which contains ancient Greek relics including a statue of the head of Zeus and Trojan jewelry, was closed in 1995 because there were not enough guards.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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