- The Washington Times - Thursday, February 24, 2005

NICARAGUA

U.S. told agreement on missiles in doubt

MANAGUA — Nicaragua said yesterday the government may not get lawmakers’ approval to destroy Soviet-made anti-aircraft missiles that the United States fears could be sold on the black market to terrorists.

U.S. officials are in Nicaragua to pressure the government to destroy hundreds of surface-to-air missiles that were left in army stockpiles from the country’s civil war in the 1980s.

But some legislators argue the country should not get rid of its missiles until Central American neighbors like Honduras and El Salvador reduce the firepower of their armed forces.



BRITAIN

Soldiers convicted of Iraqi prison abuse

OSNABRUECK, Germany — Britain convicted two soldiers yesterday for abusing detainees in Iraq, but failed to punish anyone for making Iraqis simulate sex acts and photographing them, in a case echoing the Abu Ghraib scandal.

At the end of a 20-month investigation and five-week court-martial, Cpl. Daniel Kenyon was found guilty of failing to report that men under his command had forced prisoners to simulate sex acts, but was cleared of helping stage the photos.

UNITED NATIONS

Oil-for-food figure seeks more time

NEW YORK — The suspended United Nations head of the scandal-tainted oil-for-food program in Iraq has asked for more time to answer a list of charges made against him, a U.N. spokesman said yesterday.

Benon Sevan, once the director of the now-defunct $67 billion program had been given two weeks to respond to a letter outlining the complaints, including charges he personally profited from the program.

Joseph Stephanides, another U.N. official facing disciplinary action in connection with the program, has replied and his response was being reviewed, the spokesman said.

INDONESIA

Aceh separatists settle for self-rule

HELSINKI — Aceh separatists put aside demands for full independence and agreed to a third round of peace talks in Finland after Indonesia said yesterday that it would consider self-rule for the province.

Finnish mediators scheduled fresh talks for April 12 to 7 and called on both sides to avoid violence in the province on the northern tip of Sumatra island, where more than 12,000 people have died in 30 years of fighting.

AFGHANISTAN

Two aid workers found fatally shot

KABUL — Two Afghan aid workers have been found fatally shot in a region of southern Afghanistan where militants and bandits are active, in a fresh blow to aid and reconstruction efforts.

The two men, who worked for Afghan-run aid agency IbnSina, were found dead on a road in the Maiwand district of Kandahar province, said IbnSina’s director general, Dr. Abdul Majeed Siddiqi.

AUSTRALIA

Illegal immigrant too old to deport

CANBERRA — Australian immigration officials scrambled yesterday to dispel reports they intended to deport a 104-year-old woman after 10 years of living in Melbourne.

Cui Yu Hu went to Australia from China on a 12-month visitor visa in 1995 but, when she went to leave, she found no airline would take her because she was too old and frail.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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