- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NORTH KOREA

Light-water reactors signaled in report

SEOUL — North Korea plans to build light-water atomic reactors and develop two other reactors that can produce large amounts of fissile material to boost its nuclear deterrent, official press sources said yesterday.

Six-country talks to try to end North Korea’s nuclear-weapons programs have stalled. Diplomats said the latest comment from the North’s official Korean Central News Agency could complicate an already difficult negotiating process.

Pyongyang previously had not said that it planned to build relatively proliferation-resistant light-water reactors, but had threatened to resume work on two graphite-moderated reactors, which can produce large amounts of material for atomic bombs, said a South Korean Foreign Ministry official.

“There have never been any plans for North Korea to build [light-water reactors] on their own,” the official said.

BRITAIN

Penguin snatched for Christmas gift

LONDON — A baby penguin thought to have been snatched from a British zoo as a quirky holiday gift is unlikely to survive until Christmas Day, his keeper warned yesterday.

Toga, a 3-month-old jackass penguin, was stolen Saturday from Amazon World on the Isle of Wight in southern England.

Zoo manager Kath Bright said the bird, which was taken from a compound where he lived with his parents and four other penguins, probably would die of malnutrition if not returned immediately.

UGANDA

Britain cuts aid over democracy worries

KAMPALA — Britain said yesterday it was cutting direct assistance to Uganda by more than $26 million because of concerns about the state of democracy in its former protectorate and would withhold almost $9 million more until after February elections.

Hilary Benn, Britain’s secretary of state for international development, announced the move in London.

On Monday, Sweden joined a growing list of European donors to cut aid to Uganda amid questions about President Yoweri Museveni’s commitment to democratic reform.

Mr. Museveni is under increasing criticism for the arrest and prosecution on treason, terrorism, rape and weapons charges of Kizza Besigye, the leader of the opposition Forum for Democratic Change, who is seen as the president’s main rival in the Feb. 23 election.

GERMANY

Terror suspect protected from CIA

BERLIN — German police in 2003 shielded a German national suspected of terrorism by the United States from questioning by the CIA, according to a newspaper report to be published tomorrow.

Die Zeit weekly said German police accompanied Reda Seyam, who is of Egyptian origin, back to Germany from Indonesia after he was interrogated by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency in Jakarta, to prevent further questioning by the U.S. intelligence services.

“Berlin asked us to take special care to avoid that Seyam is not apprehended in the transit zone of Singapore airport,” a German police source is quoted as telling Die Zeit, according to an advance extract of the report published yesterday. “It does not matter to the Americans that somebody is German or whether sovereignty is violated.” the source added.

Mr. Seyam was arrested by Indonesian police in September 2002 and subsequently questioned by the CIA.

SOUTH AFRICA

Mugger killed by tigers in zoo

JOHANNESBURG — A South African mugger was mauled to death by tigers after he fled the scene of his crime and took refuge in what turned out to be a tiger enclosure at a nearby zoo, police said yesterday.

The incident took place on Sunday in Bloemfontein, about 250 miles southwest of Johannesburg.

“The guy who was found in the tiger enclosure had been trying to escape after he had robbed a couple with a knife early on Sunday morning,” said police spokesman Sam Makhele.

He said the man had been mauled to death and had bite marks on his neck.

AFGHANISTAN

Delegate stirs angeras parliament opens

KABUL — The first full session of Afghanistan’s new parliament almost broke down yesterday after a lawmaker demanded that authorities bring to justice all warlords, some of whom are delegates.

One delegate, Malali Joya, called for all of Afghanistan’s human rights abusers and “criminal warlords” to be brought to justice. Delegates responded by pounding their fists on the tables to demand she sit down. But she refused, shouting that it was her right as an elected official to speak her mind.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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