- The Washington Times - Monday, September 19, 2005

UNITED NATIONS

Syria to face international pressure

NEW YORK — The U.S. is using the largest gathering of world leaders to try to keep up international pressure on Syria by branding it meddlesome to its neighbor and a holdout against democratic advances in the Middle East.

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice takes up the charge in meetings with other diplomats this week.

The U.N. meeting winds down with a high-level meeting on Lebanon and a separate gathering of the nations and organizations helping to steer Israel and the Palestinians back to the peace table.

The sessions will be the first major international gatherings on the Middle East since Israel withdrew from the Gaza Strip.

INDONESIA

Troops depart with peace agreement

LHOKSEUMAWE — About 30,000 Indonesian troops sailed out of Aceh province yesterday at the start of a withdrawal reached under a peace deal to end one of Southeast Asia’s longest-running wars.

About 800 chanting troops loaded with kit bags and carrying automatic weapons waved their helmets in the air as they marched aboard the warship, which departed for the city of Medan on Sumatra island, said Lt. Col. Eri Soetiko, a local military commander.

Efforts to end the conflict accelerated after the Dec. 26 tsunami crashed into coastlines, killing 131,000 people in Aceh and leaving a half million others homeless.

GAZA STRIP

Palestinian forces say border is sealed

RAFAH — Palestinian security forces sealed Gaza’s southern border yesterday, ending the chaotic flood of people across into Egypt in recent days after Israel’s pullout from the coastal strip, officials said.

Adnan Barbach, a spokesman for the Palestinian National Security Forces, said that all the gaps in the border have been closed and that 2,000 forces are deployed along the frontier. He said the Palestinians were working with Egypt to make sure all the Gazans can return home.

Thousands of Palestinians crossed freely into Egypt last week with no border controls after Israel completed its withdrawal from Gaza last Monday.

NEW ZEALAND

Prime minister seeks new coalition mates

WELLINGTON — Prime Minister Helen Clark courted coalition partners yesterday after narrowly winning an election that featured a rival bid to strip special rights from indigenous Maori and dismantle nuclear-free laws in favor of stronger U.S. trade ties.

Mrs. Clark’s ruling Labor Party won 50 seats in the 122-seat Parliament, forcing her to form a coalition government. The main opposition National Party was close behind with 49 seats in the poll Saturday.

Mrs. Clark, 55, will become the first Labor leader since World War II to win three terms if she can agree to deals with small parties to support her in the government.

FRANCE

Deer gets revenge on senior hunter

USSEL — A 60-year-old man, head of a local hunting society, was gored to death by a deer yesterday in the Correze region of central France, local police said.

The retiree was returning with a friend from an afternoon’s hunting in the forest of Saint-Etienne-aux-Clos, near Ussel, when the deer burst through trees and charged the men.

Severely wounded in the chest by the long antlers of the deer, the hunter died a short time after emergency services arrived, police said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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