- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 6, 2005

AFGHANISTAN

NATO forces, police fail to reach wreck

CHENARI — Thick cloud cover and deep snow kept NATO helicopters, police and even a seasoned local hunter from reaching the wreckage of an Afghan commercial airliner yesterday, three days after it hit a mountain, killing all 104 persons on board.

Two of the passengers were identified as employees of an American engineering firm rebuilding a key Afghan highway, and a third was an Afghan general.

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul said there was no hope for the 96 passengers and eight crew members on board the Kam Air Boeing 737-200, which was found Saturday about 20 miles east of Kabul.

VENEZUELA

Anti-Chavez general reported as captured

CARACAS — Security forces have captured one of President Hugo Chavez’s most-wanted military opponents, a retired general sought in connection with 2003 bomb attacks on Spanish and Colombian diplomatic offices in Caracas, officials said yesterday.

Dissident National Guard Gen. Felipe Rodriguez was arrested late Saturday by military intelligence officers who raided an apartment in east Caracas, state media reported.

Authorities had been hunting the general, nicknamed “the Raven,” for more than a year in connection with the Feb. 25, 2003, bomb blasts that damaged a technical office of the Spanish Embassy and Colombian Consulate.

KUWAIT

Cabinet approves anti-terror treaty

KUWAIT CITY — Kuwait’s Cabinet, cracking down on militants behind a surge in al Qaeda-linked violence, approved a draft law yesterday that enables it to formally join a U.N. treaty on curbing terror financing.

The draft was referred to the ruler of the country, Emir Sheik Jaber al-Ahmad al-Sabah for approval, before it is moved to parliament for final ratification.

The measure requires U.N. member states to freeze the assets of any person or group suspected of ties to al Qaeda and orders governments to block suspects’ movements and bar them from obtaining arms or funds, among other things.

SOMALIA

Parliament receives warm welcome

MOGADISHU — Thousands of flag-waving Somalis lined the streets of this war-scarred city yesterday to welcome representatives of a new government formed in neighboring Kenya after 14 years of anarchy.

Shariif Hassan Sheikh Aden, who heads a 275-member transitional parliament, and a delegation of 60 lawmakers and Cabinet ministers landed at an airstrip run by one of Mogadishu’s main warlords.

The group will assess conditions for the government’s relocation from Nairobi, Kenya, where it operates because many of its members consider Mogadishu too dangerous. About 30 lawmakers arrived last week to prepare for the visit.

REPUBLIC OF CONGO

War on corruption could save forests

BRAZZAVILLE — African leaders agreed on bold plans over the weekend to preserve the world’s second-biggest rain-forest area, but Kenya’s Nobel prize-winning environmentalist, Deputy Environment Minister Wangari Maathai, told them that they would need to root out corruption to succeed.

Central African heads of state signed a treaty pledging to protect the forests of the Congo Basin from massive poaching and illegal or irresponsible logging, which threaten the flora and fauna of the region.

About 70 percent of the Congo Basin forests might be gone by 2040 unless action is taken, global-conservation group World Wildlife Fund says.


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