- The Washington Times - Friday, December 2, 2005

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. aid over 5 years may reach $5.5 billion

KABUL — U.S. development assistance to Afghanistan is expected to reach $5.5 billion in the next five years, the Afghan finance minister said on Thursday as the two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on aid agreements.

The agreements involve U.S. support to programs in education, health care and economic and democratic development, among other things. The programs will be implemented by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Afghan government.

“Supporting a prosperous and democratic Afghanistan is vitally important to all branches of the United States government and to the American people,” U.S. Ambassador Ronald Neumann said at the signing ceremony. The United States committed $479.6 million this year.



UZBEKISTAN

58 more on trial for violence in Andijan

TASHKENT — Uzbekistan has confirmed it is trying 58 more persons in closed court proceedings in connection with mass bloodshed last May in the eastern city of Andijan.

The defendants, being tried at four separate courthouses in towns outside the capital, “are accused of carrying out premeditated murders in aggravating circumstances, terrorist acts and other especially serious crimes,” the supreme court said in a written statement Thursday.

PAKISTAN

Six in family hanged for 1989 triple killing

MULTAN — Six members of the same family were hanged at a prison in a central Pakistan early Wednesday in connection with a 16-year-old triple-murder case, jail authorities said.

“This is the first time that so many people have been simultaneously hanged in our jail,” Ghulam Dastgir, superintendent of the prison in Faisalabad, told Agence France-Presse.

The men sent to the gallows at dawn included Manzoor Ahmed, 70, his son, brother, nephew, a grandson and another relative, Mr. Dastgir said.

Weekly notes …

The Tokyo High Court recognized as a refugee this week a 52-year-old man from Burma living in Saitama, Japan, upholding a lower court ruling. Presiding Judge Toshiaki Harada said “it is undeniable he was regarded by the government as an undesirable person” and might have faced oppression if he had returned home. … A 25-year-old Sri Lankan man told a court in Stuttgart, Germany, Wednesday that God had guided him as he slashed at churchgoers with a sword, killing a woman and seriously injuring three other persons. The prosecution said the man, an asylum seeker, was suffering from paranoid schizophrenia; he told the court at the start of the trial that God had told him to attack the Tamil-dominated congregation because some of the female churchgoers were wearing skimpy clothes.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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