- The Washington Times - Friday, May 20, 2005


Pastor who denied God reinstated

COPENHAGEN — A pastor in Denmark’s state Lutheran Protestant Church, suspended last year for saying he did not believe in God, was reinstated yesterday following a talk with his boss, the bishop of Roskilde.

Pastor Thorkild Grosboell repeated his oath and said he did actually believe in God and even signed two documents to that effect, Bishop Jan Lindhardt said.

Denmark’s Lutheran church had accused Pastor Grosboell of sowing “deep confusion within the Church” for saying that he did not believe in God, the Resurrection or eternal life.


U.S. says Syria still meddling in Lebanon

DEAD SEA — The United States said yesterday Syria was still meddling in Lebanon despite pulling out its troops last month, and accused Iran of funneling “millions of dollars per month” to Hezbollah guerrillas.

“We still remain deeply concerned about the level of interference and continued manipulation [by Syria] on the part of the security and intelligence services within Lebanon,” said Scott Carpenter, deputy assistant secretary of state.

Mr. Carpenter, speaking during a World Economic Forum regional meeting in Jordan, made his remarks as Lebanon prepares to hold parliamentary elections starting on May 29, the first in 33 years without Syrian troops present in the country.


Mainlanders will get to visit Taiwan

BEIJING — China is to lift a decades-old ban on mainland tourists visiting political rival Taiwan, state media reported yesterday, a move that could further ease tension after visits to China by two of the island’s opposition leaders.

China has restricted visits by its citizens to Taiwan since 1949 when the Nationalists under Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island at the end of the Chinese civil war. A limited number of mainlanders have been able to travel there on business.

Ultimately, however, it is up to the Taiwan government under independence-leaning President Chen Shui-bian to decide whether the floodgates should be opened. Taiwan has its own rules restricting mainland visitors.


Annan says probe into riots rejected

ANDIJAN — Uzbek President Islam Karimov rejected a U.N. request for an international probe into last week’s government crackdown on demonstrators that reportedly killed hundreds, saying he had the situation under control, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan said.

But Mr. Karimov denied Mr. Annan’s account yesterday, saying the topic of a probe never came up during their phone conversation. Also, hundreds of people protested in the eastern town that government troops regained from Islamic rebels, but security forces did not intervene.


Libya to open embassy in U.S.

SHUNEH — The son of Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi said yesterday his country will soon have an embassy in Washington and expected the U.S. to reciprocate, adding the two had “excellent” intelligence cooperation.

“By the end of this year we will have an embassy in Washington and the United States will have an embassy in Libya,” Seif al-Islam Gadhafi told a conference on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in this Dead Sea resort.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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