- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 3, 2005

ITALY

Berlusconi cites suicide-attack threat

ROME — Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said in comments published yesterday that he was the target of a suicide terror plot.

“I am the object of a direct threat,” Mr. Berlusconi told the Italian daily Libero. Asked what the threat was, he said: “A suicide bomber in the stadium against me.”

Mr. Berlusconi owns the soccer team AC Milan, and frequently watches games at Milan’s San Siro stadium, including a game played Sunday.

BRITAIN

Charges dropped in Iraq killing

COLCHESTER — A judge dismissed murder charges yesterday against seven soldiers accused in the death of an Iraqi civilian, ruling that some Iraqi witnesses lied and that there was insufficient evidence to proceed.

The soldiers from the 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, had faced a court-martial in connection with the death of Nadhem Abdullah on May 11, 2003, in Al U’Zayra in Iraq.

PHILIPPINES

Five Marines accused of rape

MANILA — Five U.S. Marines who participated in counterterrorism exercises were prohibited by Philippine authorities from leaving the country yesterday after being accused of raping a woman at a former U.S. naval base, officials said.

A rape complaint against six Marines that was filed with a state prosecutor said the crime occurred late Tuesday at the Subic free port, a sprawling industrial and recreation hub northwest of Manila. However, only five Marines were identified and blocked from leaving the country, officials said.

Philippine authorities briefly delayed the departure of the warship USS Essex while searching for the Marines. The ship left without the five Marines, who were placed under the custody of the U.S. Embassy.

ETHIOPIA

Toll rises to 42; West urges restraint

ADDIS ABABA — Three persons were fatally shot in the Ethiopian capital yesterday, doctors said, in a third straight day of political unrest that has killed at least 42 and stirred fears for the giant African country’s stability.

The violence has prompted Britain to warn its citizens against nonessential travel to Ethiopia, and both the European Union and African Union urged the government and the opposition in the country, the Horn of Africa’s dominant power, to show restraint.

Witnesses said police in Addis Ababa opened fire to disperse protests against the government in several pockets of unrest across the city, a bastion of opposition groups that accuse Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of rigging his way back to power at polls in May.

EUROPEAN UNION

CIA prisons report to be probed

BRUSSELS — Officials of the European Union said yesterday that they would investigate a report that the CIA set up secret jails in Eastern Europe to interrogate top al Qaeda suspects.

The International Red Cross also said it asked the United States to let a representative visit detainees if such a facility exists, as reported by The Washington Post on Wednesday.

Human Rights Watch in New York said it has evidence that the CIA transported terror suspects captured in Afghanistan to Poland and Romania.

POLAND

Team may have found Copernicus remains

WARSAW — Polish archeologists think they have located the grave of 16th-century astronomer and solar-system proponent Nicolaus Copernicus in a Polish church, one of the scientists announced yesterday.

Copernicus, who died in 1543 at 70 after challenging the ancient belief that the sun revolved around the Earth, was buried at the Roman Catholic cathedral in the city of Frombork, 180 miles north of Warsaw.

Jerzy Gassowski, head of an archaeology and anthropology institute in Pultusk said his team found what appears to be the skull of the Polish astronomer and clergyman. He said police forensic analysts used the skull to reconstruct a face that closely resembled the features on a Copernicus self-portrait.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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