- The Washington Times - Saturday, November 26, 2005


U.N. team allowed to question officials

DAMASCUS — Syria agreed yesterday to allow U.N. investigators to question five officials at the U.N. offices in Vienna, Austria, in connection with the killing of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, a top official said.

The Syrian move was designed to avert a showdown between Damascus and the U.N. Security Council after sources in Lebanon said chief U.N. investigator Detlev Mehlis was close to giving up on Syrian cooperation over demands from Damascus for a legal deal before allowing the questioning.

A Security Council resolution on Oct. 31 demanded Syria cooperate fully with Mr. Mehlis or face unspecified further action.


Police detain 50 in Brotherhood

CAIRO — Police detained at least 50 members of Egypt’s largest Islamic movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, yesterday on the eve of run-off elections to parliament, officials said.

The detentions took place in five provinces. A senior Brotherhood official, Ali Abdel Fattah, said the detainees had been playing an active role in the outlawed group’s election campaign.

“The police are back to their old habits of cracking down on the Brotherhood,” Mr. Fattah said.


Pinochet marks 90th birthday

SANTIAGO — Former dictator Augusto Pinochet marked his 90th birthday yesterday under house arrest on human rights and corruption charges, without the fanfare and pomp that were frequent in the past.

Unlike previous years, Gen. Pinochet did not appear before the scores of reporters and well-wishers stationed in front of his mansion in the upscale La Dehesa Santiago suburb. The family canceled a planned luncheon for nearly 100 guests.

Gen. Pinochet was indicted Wednesday on tax evasion and corruption charges. He made bail the next day, but was almost simultaneously hit by another indictment on human rights charges and placed under house arrest, without bail.


Panel postpones elections again

PORT-AU-PRINCE — Haiti’s electoral board yesterday again postponed the first elections since the ouster of President Jean-Bertrand Aristide, saying it needs more time to organize the vote in the impoverished country.

The nine-member Provisional Electoral Council set a new date of Jan. 8 for presidential and legislative elections, followed by a Feb. 15 runoff.

Council members said they would be unable to set up polling sites by Dec. 27 — the election date announced last week by interim Prime Minister Gerard Latortue. The postponement marks the fourth date set for elections to replace the interim government installed after Mr. Aristide went into exile in South Africa in February 2004.


American terror specialist expelled

JAKARTA — Indonesia expelled an American specialist on Southeast Asian terrorist networks for one year, an official said yesterday, saying her activities could cause public disorder.

It is the second time that Sidney Jones, the project director for the International Crisis Group in Jakarta, has been barred from the country in as many years.

Miss Jones was turned back at Indonesia’s airport Thursday on return from a short trip to Taiwan. She is now in Singapore.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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