- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 17, 2005

SRI LANKA

Violence mars vote; prime minister in lead

COLOMBO — Rebels burned tires and intimidated voters to keep thousands of minority Tamils from the polls yesterday in a tight election for a new Sri Lankan president to lead peace efforts and oversee the recovery from the tsunami last year.

Balloting was smooth in western and southern parts of the island nation, and overall turnout was 75 percent. But in the north and east — territory of the feared Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam rebels — grenade attacks, roadblocks and fear kept many Tamils from voting.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapakse took an early lead over opposition leader Ranil Wickremesinghe as results trickled in, official figures showed today.

SOUTH KOREA

Withdrawal from Iraq to begin next year

SEOUL — South Korea plans to bring home about one-third of its 3,200 troops from Iraq next year, the Defense Ministry said today.

The announcement comes a day after South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun met President Bush. The leaders insisted that their countries’ alliance was strong and agreed to work together to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions.

AUSTRIA

Historian charged with Holocaust denial

VIENNA — British historian David Irving was arrested last week in southern Austria on a warrant accusing him of denying the Holocaust, the Interior Ministry said yesterday.

Mr. Irving was detained on a warrant issued in 1989 under Austrian laws that make Holocaust denial a crime. The accusation stemmed from speeches Mr. Irving delivered that year in Vienna and in the southern town of Leoben.

Mr. Irving, author of nearly 30 books, including “Hitler’s War,” has faced charges of spreading anti-Semitic and racist ideas.

BRITAIN

Madrid bomb suspect to be extradited

LONDON — A man suspected of involvement in the deadly Madrid train bombings was ordered to be extradited to Spain within the next 10 days, a judge at a British court said yesterday.

Moutaz Almallah Dabas, 39, is wanted in connection with Spain’s worst terrorist attack, which killed 191 persons on March 11, 2004, when 10 bombs went off on four trains.

HAITI

Elections postponed to next month

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haiti’s first elections since the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide have been postponed for the third time this year.

The first round of the legislative and presidential vote will be held Dec. 27, with a runoff on Jan. 31, said interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue.

The presidential elections originally were scheduled for last Sunday, then postponed by a week. Haiti’s constitution requires the new government to take control Feb. 7.

PAKISTAN

Annan seeks quake aid

MUZAFFARABAD — U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan appealed to governments and private donors yesterday to give generously to help millions of Pakistanis rebuild lives and homes destroyed by the devastating earthquake last month.

Despite killing 73,000 people in Pakistan and about 1,300 in India, the disaster has failed to elicit the same outpouring of support from the world community as the Indian Ocean tsunami last year and Hurricane Katrina in August did.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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