- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 23, 2005

INDONESIA

U.S. restores military ties

The United States yesterday restored military ties with Indonesia as a reward for the most-populous Muslim nation’s counterterrorism cooperation and improved human rights record, State Department officials said.

“Indonesia is a voice of moderation in the Islamic world,” State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said. “Indonesia has made significant progress in advancing its democratic institutions and practices in a relatively short time.”

The move comes despite objections from human rights groups that say Indonesia has done too little to punish offenders for violence in East Timor in 1999.



Washington cut off military assistance in 1992 after Indonesian security forces shot at Timorese demonstrators in 1991.

SOUTH KOREA

1994 reactor project for the North scrapped

NEW YORK — KEDO, the Korean Peninsula Energy Development Organization, decided yesterday to scrap a project to build two light-water nuclear reactors in North Korea as its executive board wrapped up a two-day meeting in New York.

The board members are Japan, the United States, South Korea and the European Union.

The project for the reactors pledged under a 1994 U.S.-North Korea nuclear agreement has been suspended since October 2002, when the United States said North Korea had admitted to conducting a secret uranium-enrichment program.

During the fourth round of six-party talks on Sept. 19 in Beijing, North Korea demanded a new light-water reactor under the six-party framework instead of the KEDO program.

The United States has been calling on KEDO members to abolish the reactor project this year.

AFGHANISTAN

Taliban claim killing Indian hostage

KANDAHAR — Taliban guerrillas have killed an Indian road engineer after his company failed to meet an ultimatum to cease operations in Afghanistan, a spokesman for the militants said yesterday.

P.M. Kutty was fatally shot on the orders of the Taliban’s council after a deadline passed for his company to pull out of Afghanistan, Qari Mohammad Yousuf told Reuters.

NEPAL

Rebels prepared to lay down arms

KATMANDU — Nepal’s Maoist rebels said yesterday that they were ready to end years of violence and rejoin the political mainstream.

The move confirms a breakthrough announced by Nepalese political leaders visiting New Delhi last week. But the rebels did detail their conditions for ending the fighting.

Nepal’s seven main parties recently met the Communist Party of Nepal-Maoist to discuss ending years of war and creating a united political front against King Gyanendra, who fired the government and took power in February.

UNITED NATIONS

Millions of children died from hunger

ROME — Hunger and malnutrition kill nearly 6 million children a year, and more people are malnourished in sub-Saharan Africa this decade than in the 1990s, according to a U.N. report released yesterday.

Many of the children die from diseases that are treatable, including diarrhea, pneumonia, malaria and measles, said the report by the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.

In sub-Saharan Africa, the number of malnourished people grew to 203.5 million in 2000 and ‘02 from 170.4 million 10 years earlier, the report states, noting that hunger and malnutrition are among the main causes of poverty, illiteracy, disease and deaths in developing countries.

BRITAIN

Bush wanted to bomb Al Jazeera, paper says

LONDON — A civil servant has been charged under Britain’s Official Secrets Act after the leak of a government memo that a newspaper said yesterday suggested that Prime Minister Tony Blair persuaded President Bush not to bomb the Arab satellite station Al Jazeera.

The Daily Mirror reported that Mr. Bush spoke of targeting Al Jazeera’s headquarters in Doha, Qatar, when he met Mr. Blair at the White House on April 16, 2004.

The Daily Mirror attributed its information to unidentified sources. One source said Mr. Bush was joking, but another said he was “deadly serious, as was Blair.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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