- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 26, 2005


U.S. Embassy shut amid terror threat

JAKARTA — The U.S. Embassy and consulates here closed yesterday because of a security threat, and officials repeated an earlier warning to Americans of a terrorist attack in Indonesia.

The U.S. actions come a week after Australia urged its citizens to avoid traveling to Indonesia because of a warning by police in Jakarta about suicide bombings, particularly at embassies, international schools, office buildings and shopping malls.

Indonesian police repeated the warning yesterday, saying two Malaysian terror suspects — Azahari bin Husin and Noordin Mohamed Top — may be planning attacks in Indonesia. Since the September 11, 2001, attacks, the United States has closed its embassy for brief periods because of security threats.


Pentagon suspends search for remains

The U.S. Defense Department says it has suspended operations in North Korea to recover the remains of American soldiers from the Korean War because of problems regarding the safety of recovery teams.

The Pentagon announced Wednesday that the United States is prepared to resume the operations after North Korea creates ?an appropriate environment,? Japan’s Kyodo News reported from Washington.

A spokesman at the Hawaii-based U.S. Pacific Command said the suspension was not due to any skirmish with North Korea, but that there are problems with the safety environment, such as limited means to contact the remaining recovery team. The team’s communications with the United States are cut off and limited to ?daily contact? with U.S. liaison officers.


4,000 protest royal power monopoly

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — About 4,000 people marched in the capital of the South Pacific kingdom of Tonga yesterday calling for greater democracy and to protest rising electricity costs charged by a company owned by the crown prince.

The march, the biggest in the island nation of about 110,000 inhabitants, protested rising electricity prices charged by the Shoreline company, owned by Crown Prince Tupouto’a and two business partners, the online edition of Matangi Tonga newspaper reported.

Weekly notes

Australia revealed this week that up to 200 people have been wrongfully locked up under a contentious policy of mandatory detention for asylum seekers, provoking a rare internal revolt from junior government politicians demanding a more humane approach on immigration. Backbenchers plan to introduce legislation that would release children, their parents and long-term detainees. Some naturalized Australians have been wrongfully jailed by immigration authorities and deported. … The International Monetary Fund said yesterday that Japan’s gross domestic product could grow more than 1.5 percent this year, upgrading an April forecast of 0.8 percent real GDP growth. ?Overall, the near-term outlook suggests moderate growth,? the Washington-based multinational financial institution said at the end of an annual visit to Tokyo.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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