- The Washington Times - Thursday, March 10, 2005

ISRAEL

Palestinian militants to join cease-fire

JERUSALEM — A senior Palestinian security official, Jibril Rajoub, declared yesterday that all militant Palestinian factions, including Hamas, have agreed to halt attacks inside Israel and to accept a cease-fire in the occupied Palestinian territories in order to permit the conduct of negotiations with Israel.

“There is a Palestinian consensus on this,” Mr. Rajoub told Israel Radio. “Israel has to recognize that this is an historic opportunity.”

Although the militant Palestinian organizations have made no such pronouncements, Mr. Rajoub’s remarks appeared to reflect an agreement achieved before a scheduled meeting in Cairo next week between faction leaders and representatives of the Palestinian Authority.

CUBA

Castro allows sale of pressure cookers

HAVANA — President Fidel Castro told Cuban women Tuesday that 100,000 pressure cookers and rice cookers would be available each month at subsidized prices.

In an almost six-hour speech commemorating International Women’s Day, the 78-year old leader announced that the Chinese cookers would be available after being banned a decade ago because of energy and economic crises.

The electric rice cooker is a treasured commodity in a country where the staple diet is black beans and rice. They sell for about $60 on the black market, a price that few can afford.

SERBIA-MONTENEGRO

Ex-Kosovo leader surrenders to tribunal

THE HAGUE — Former Kosovo Prime Minister Ramush Haradinaj surrendered to the U.N. war-crimes tribunal yesterday, a day after resigning to face the charges. He is expected to appear in court within days.

Mr. Haradinaj faces charges of atrocities committed during the 1998-99 war between ethnic-Albanian separatists and Serbian forces for Kosovo’s independence.

SAUDI ARABIA

U.S. mission warns of threat in Jidda

RIYADH — The U.S. Embassy in Saudi Arabia has issued a heightened threat warning in part of the city of Jidda.

The embassy Web site said Tuesday that there was an elevated threat level in Sierra Village, a residential compound, where al Qaeda militants killed five members of the staff at the U.S. Consulate compound in December.

Saudi Arabia has been fighting an al Qaeda-linked wave of violence since triple suicide bombings in the capital in May 2003 killed 35 persons.

NETHERLANDS

Newborn euthanasia found widespread

Euthanizing terminally ill newborns, while still very rare, is more common in the Netherlands than was thought when the startling practice was reported a few months ago, experts say.

Dutch doctors estimate that at least five newborn mercy killings occur for every one reported in that country, which has allowed euthanasia for competent adults since 1985.

SPAIN

Serial killer gets 142 years in prison

MADRID — A Spanish serial killer yesterday received prison sentences totaling 142 years.

Former soldier Alfredo Galan was convicted of six murders and three attempted murders, court sources said. He was nicknamed the “playing-card killer” because he left a card at the scene of his crimes.

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