- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 23, 2005

LEBANON

2 killed by bomb in Christian town

BEIRUT — Two persons were killed and five wounded early today when a bomb ripped through a shopping center in the anti-Syrian Christian heartland north of this Lebanese capital, police sources said.

The explosion, the second in a commercial Christian area in five days, increased concern that a deepening political crisis since the assassination of a former prime minister last month could plunge the country into chaos.

The roof of the center in the coastal town of Kaslik, 12 miles north of Beirut, collapsed and emergency services workers searched through the bomb rubble for other victims.

Police sources said the blast was caused by an explosive placed inside the multistory center, which was closed at the time.

Police sources said the two persons killed were Asian workers at the building.

UNITED NATIONS

Peacekeepers steal$500,000 in calls

NEW YORK — U.N. peacekeepers enforcing a December 2000 peace accord between Ethiopia and Eritrea defrauded the world body of more than $500,000 in telephone calls, U.N. auditors reported Monday.

U.N. soldiers are supposed to pay for personal calls while on a mission.

JORDAN

Terror suspects convicted of smuggling

AMMAN — A Jordanian military court convicted three Iraqis yesterday of smuggling rockets and hand grenades into the kingdom in connection with a plot to attack U.S. and Israeli targets.

The court found insufficient evidence to convict them on a charge of “conspiring to carry out terrorist attacks.”

SUDAN

U.S. aid worker survives shot to face

KHARTOUM — A U.S. aid worker was shot in the face in Sudan’s Darfur region yesterday when gunmen ambushed the aid convoy she was traveling in, aid workers said.

They said the woman, who works for USAID, was taken to Khartoum and that her condition was not life threatening.

SYRIA

Lebanon timetable expected in April

ALGIERS — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said yesterday that Syria’s president has agreed to present a firm timetable by early April for a full withdrawal of his country’s troops and intelligence agents from Lebanon.

Mr. Annan met with President Bashar Assad on the sidelines of an Arab summit in Algiers and said later Mr. Assad confirmed his commitment to U.N. Resolution 1559, which called for a Syrian withdrawal.

CANADA

Minority populations expected to soar

TORONTO — Toronto, once known as a conservative city with strong Anglo-Saxon roots, could be mostly nonwhite by 2017 as the population growth of visible minorities outpaces that of the descendants of white settlers, the government said yesterday.

Statistics Canada said its projections showed that Canada’s population of visible minorities could more than double between 2001 and 2017.

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