- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 22, 2005

NAMIBIA

Nujoma steps down after 15 years

WINDHOEK — Namibia’s founding president, Sam Nujoma, stepped down yesterday after 15 years in office, handing power over to successor Hifikepunye Pohamba, who was elected in November in a landslide victory for the ruling SWAPO party.

Mr. Nujoma, a former guerrilla leader who guided the diamond-rich southern African country to independence from South Africa in 1990, waved to thousands of cheering supporters at the national stadium in Windhoek as he took his leave.

BRITAIN

Anglicans, Catholics push abortion issue

LONDON — Anglicans and Catholics have propelled the emotional issue of abortion into Britain’s election campaign, uniting in a bid to tighten the law on termination.

With an election widely expected in May, church leaders have urged the faithful to pressure politicians into lowering the limit in the current law, which allows abortion up to 24 weeks.

ICELAND

Citizenship awarded to chess champ

REYKJAVIK — Iceland’s parliament voted yesterday to grant citizenship to U.S. chess star Bobby Fischer, who is detained in Japan and wanted in the United States for violating international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia.

Mr. Fischer has been in Japanese custody since his July 13 detention while trying to board a flight and is fighting a deportation order to the United States.

YEMEN

Terrorists confess to targeting embassies

SAN’A — Eight suspected al Qaeda members, including an Iraqi with Swiss nationality, admitted in court yesterday to planning attacks on Western embassies here, while six convicted terrorists were sentenced to two years in jail in another case.

The trials were the latest in a series of Yemeni cases involving the terror network of Osama bin Laden, who has ancestral ties to this tribal-dominated Arabian Peninsula country that has long been a haven for Islamic extremists.

IRAQ

Bloodshed continues as terrorists regroup

BAGHDAD — Terrorists killed seven civilians and three Iraqi soldiers yesterday, a day after U.S. soldiers killed 26 guerrillas in the largest insurgent death toll from a single engagement since last fall’s battle of Fallujah.

A roadside bomb in Aziziyah, 35 miles southeast of Baghdad, killed four women and three children, Iraqi police said.

U.S. military officials said yesterday the heavy insurgent losses Sunday came after U.S. soldiers responded to an ambush by dozens of militants near the infamous Triangle of Death, south of Baghdad.

FRANCE

Hate speech, crimes highest in a decade

PARIS — Racist and anti-Semitic violence in France nearly doubled in 2004, reaching the highest level in a decade and showing no sign of slowing, according to a study published yesterday.

Jews and Muslims were the main victims of 1,565 recorded threats and violent attacks in 2004, up from 833 a year earlier, according to the National Consultative Commission of Human Rights annual report, which was being submitted yesterday to Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin.

Anti-Semitic acts rose to 970, compared with 601 the previous year, the report said. Most attackers were from an “Arab-Muslim background,” the newspaper Liberation reported.


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