- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005


Editor faces trial on blasphemy charge

KABUL — The editor of an Afghan women’s rights magazine went on trial yesterday charged with blasphemy, and Islamic religious scholars demanded a prison sentence of up to 15 years, a court official said.

Mohaqiq Nasab, a Shi’ite and editor-in-chief of “Hoqooq-e-Zan,” or Women’s Rights, was detained last week on the orders of a religious adviser to President Hamid Karzai after complaints from a group of religious figures.

In his article, Mr. Nasab, 50, questioned the need for harsh Islamic punishment for apostates, thieves and others. Under Islamic law, blasphemy is punishable by death.


Lower house OKs postal privatization

TOKYO — Japan’s powerful lower house of parliament yesterday approved a plan to privatize the country’s vast postal system, plowing ahead with the prime minister’s reform platform after the ruling party’s landslide electoral victory.

The bills met little opposition since Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party and its coalition partner New Komei Party clinched a two-thirds majority in the 480-member lower house in Sept. 11 elections.

The legislation now goes to the upper house for approval, which reportedly could vote as early as Friday. That chamber rejected the proposal in August, prompting snap elections, but officials say the election results had persuaded some former opponents to support the bills.


U.S. Embassy warns of terror threat

NEW DELHI — The U.S. Embassy in New Delhi has warned American citizens of a “possible threat” of terrorist attacks, including suicide car bombings, against U.S. interests in India, a U.S. official said yesterday.

The message, dated Oct. 10, said an attack could be aimed at U.S. interests in the Indian cities of Hyderabad, New Delhi, Bombay and Calcutta.


Independence leader Milton Obote dies

KAMPALA — Milton Obote, who led Uganda to independence from Britain in 1962 and became the country’s president until being overthrown by Idi Amin, has died at age 80.

Mr. Obote died of kidney failure in a hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday.

Mr. Obote returned to power in 1980, but was again overthrown. He fled to Zambia in 1985, where he remained in exile.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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