- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 11, 2005

GERMANY

U.S. relinquishes storied air base

FRANKFURT — The United States returned the Rhein-Main Air Base to Germany yesterday, ending a 60-year chapter of Cold War history with a brass band ceremony on the runway.

The air base that has served as a central hub for U.S. forces in Europe since the end of World War II will be officially turned over to nearby Frankfurt airport at the end of the year.

The airstrip was used to keep West Berlin from the Soviets during the 1948 blockade and served as a major staging point for later conflicts, including Vietnam, the 1990 Gulf War and the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

UNITED KINGDOM

Government seeks ban on terror groups

LONDON — The British government yesterday published a list of 15 Islamist groups it wants Parliament to ban as part of an anti-terror crackdown after the deadly July bombings in London.

Among the groups named were those charged with targeting U.S.-led coalition troops in Iraq or Westerners in Somalia, as well as anti-Libyan and anti-Moroccan groups that also were deemed to be fighting a global Islamic holy war.

Home Secretary Charles Clarke asked lawmakers returning from their 80-day summer recess to “proscribe” such groups under existing laws, ahead of publishing the government’s new anti-terrorism bill tomorrow.

GUATEMALA

Little hope seen for battered villages

GUATEMALA CITY — Authorities had little hope of finding survivors yesterday in Guatemalan communities buried under massive mudslides, as the death toll in the wake of Tropical Storm Stan surged to nearly 770 in Central America and Mexico.

President Oscar Berger declared three days of mourning for the 652 persons confirmed dead in Guatemala alone, while hundreds remained missing in the southwest part of the country hit by floods and avalanches of mud and rocks.

Up to 1,400 people are missing in the communities of Panabaj and Tzanchaj in a lake region 110 miles west of Guatemala City. At least 72 persons were killed in El Salvador, 28 in Mexico and 11 in Nicaragua.

BELGIUM

EU bans imports of birds from Turkey

BRUSSELS — The European Union announced an immediate ban on live bird imports from Turkey yesterday after an outbreak of avian influenza, as Europe heightened its state of alert over the potentially deadly disease.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive arm, also said it was waiting for test results from a suspected outbreak in Romania — like Turkey, an EU candidate state — and could act later in the week.

Also yesterday, Switzerland — which is not an EU member — announced a ban on poultry imports from both Turkey and Romania, while EU member Hungary joined Poland in unilaterally banning poultry imports from Romania.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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