- The Washington Times - Monday, January 17, 2005

SPAIN

Researchers to open Columbus’ grave

MADRID — Spanish researchers said yesterday they have won permission to open a tomb in the Dominican Republic purported to hold the remains of Christopher Columbus, edging closer to solving a mystery over whether those bones or a rival set in Spain are the real thing.

A team of two high school teachers from Seville and a leading Spanish forensic geneticist has been testing 500-year-old bone slivers for more than two years to try to pinpoint the final resting place of the explorer, who arrived in the New World by accident in 1492 on an expedition chartered by Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabel.

During a Feb. 14-15 visit to the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, the team will watch the opening of the tomb, housed in a sprawling monument to Columbus, and examine the condition of the bones inside, said Marcial Castro, one of the teachers.

UKRAINE

Court rejects election challenge

KIEV — The Supreme Court rejected an array of motions from defeated Ukrainian presidential candidate Viktor Yanukovich yesterday in the former prime minister’s apparent last legal chance to fend off the inauguration of his Western-leaning rival.

After a day of arguments, the court adjourned until today, leaving open the question of when former opposition leader Viktor Yushchenko might be inaugurated.

Mr. Yushchenko was declared the winner of the Dec. 26 election with almost 52 percent of the vote against Mr. Yanukovich’s 44.2 percent, but he cannot be inaugurated until the Supreme Court resolves the appeal.

THAILAND

Subway trains collide; more than 200 hurt

BANGKOK — A subway train slammed into another one stopped at a station during morning rush hour yesterday, injuring more than 200 people, six months after the subway system opened in the Thai capital, police and officials said.

At a press conference, Transport Minister Suriya Jungrungreunkij described how workers, after disabling an automatic braking system, lost control of a train being taken out of service, which then slid down a hilly area of track and crashed into another, occupied train.

From wire services and staff reports

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