- The Washington Times - Monday, August 22, 2005

CZECH REPUBLIC

Jaruzelski apologizes for Prague Spring

PRAGUE — Former Polish President Wojciech Jaruzelski apologized yesterday for ordering Polish troops to take part in the Moscow-led crackdown on the Prague Spring socialist reform movement in 1968.

Soldiers from five communist bloc countries stormed into Czechoslovakia on Aug. 21, 1968, to halt a liberalization movement led by Czech Communist Party chief Alexander Dubcek, killing 80 persons.

Mr. Jaruzelski, Polish defense minister at the time, said on Czech state television that he now understood the action was “incorrect, wrong, shameful. … I am now offering my sincere apologies.”

IRAQ

Navy to probe death of envoy’s cousin

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military said yesterday that it has ordered a criminal investigation into the June death of the 21-year-old cousin of Iraq’s ambassador to the United Nations, who said U.S. Marines killed his unarmed relative in cold blood during a raid in western Iraq.

A formal statement said the death of Mohammed al-Sumaidaie has been referred to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, which investigates suspected felony offenses within the Department of the Navy, which includes the Marine Corps.

Mr. al-Sumaidaie was “killed during a search of his family’s home near Haditha on June 25, 2005,” the statement said.

ISRAEL

Sharon plans speech to United Nations

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ariel Sharon plans to make a rare address to the United Nations after Israel completes its pullout from the Gaza Strip and the northern West Bank, a government official said yesterday.

“There is a plan to go to the U.N. It depends on how things go here. Nothing has been finalized,” the official said without elaborating.

Such an address to the U.N. General Assembly would be the first by an Israeli prime minister since 1998, when Benjamin Netanyahu spoke about interim peace talks with the Palestinians. Foreign Minister Silvan Shalom gave a speech there in January.

GREECE

118 persons died on impact in crash

ATHENS — Autopsies on 118 bodies recovered from the Aug. 14 plane crash near Athens show the passengers and crew died on impact, a chief state coroner said yesterday. Three bodies have not been found.

Investigators are examining reports that the plane’s pilots were incapacitated by a possible loss of cabin pressure, but have not determined what went wrong on the flight before it crashed.

Coroner Fillipos Koutsaftis said an examination of DNA, tissue and dental records would continue in an effort to identify bodies too badly damaged by the impact and the ensuing fire for families to recognize them.

ECUADOR

Leaders of oil protests agree to talks, truce

QUITO — Leaders of protests that shut down Ecuador’s oil industry were freed from jail after agreeing to halt their attacks and negotiate with the government, officials said yesterday.

The protesters, who started dynamiting pipelines and vandalizing pumping machinery a week ago, remained on alert while both sides decide on a time and place to start talks.

Demanding jobs and infrastructure investment, protesters invaded oil fields in Sucumbios and Orellana provinces. Many of the protest leaders are mayors and other elected officials in the region.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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