- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

SOUTH AFRICA

Effort to cut poverty seen behind schedule

JOHANNESBURG — The world will miss its targets for reducing poverty, and millions of people will die needlessly during the next decade unless drastic measures are taken soon, according to a major U.N. report released yesterday.

Despite progress globally, many countries are falling behind, especially in sub-Saharan Africa, where the HIV/AIDS pandemic is slashing life expectancy and creating financial and social burdens that slow development.

The stark findings contained in the 2005 Human Development Report were presented to world leaders a week before they meet in New York for a U.N. summit to review progress toward the Millennium Development Goals. The goals include halving extreme poverty, reducing child deaths by two-thirds and achieving universal primary education by 2015.

ISRAEL

Rabbi sees Katrina Bush’s punishment

JERUSALEM — Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment to President Bush for supporting Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon’s pullout from Gaza, one of the country’s most influential rabbis said in an interview broadcast yesterday.

“This is [Mr. Bush’s] punishment for what he did to [Gaza],” said Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, spiritual leader of Israel’s biggest religious party, Shas. “The time will come, and he will receive a pounding on his head.”

The 85-year-old rabbi, who has a history of controversial pronouncements, also said New Orleans was devastated because many people there did not adhere to the Jewish Scriptures.

IRAN

Ahmadinejad granted visa for U.N. session

The United States has granted a visa to Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to attend U.N. meetings in New York next week, but said yesterday it still was investigating whether he had a role in the 1979 U.S. Embassy siege in Tehran.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States had issued a travel visa to Mr. Ahmadinejad Tuesday in Bern, Switzerland, which would allow him to attend U.N. meetings along with other heads of state.

“The decision to allow President Ahmadinejad, as Iranian head of government, to travel to the U.N. is in keeping with past practice and in accordance with our obligations under the U.N. headquarters agreement,” Mr. McCormack said.

UKRAINE

Yushchenko appoints new chief of staff

KIEV — President Viktor Yushchenko appointed a new chief of staff yesterday after the surprise resignation of his predecessor left the Ukrainian leader facing the biggest political crisis of his seven-month tenure.

Mr. Yushchenko named Oleg Rybachuk, 47, a longtime ally, to head the state secretariat.

The previous chief of staff, Alexander Zinchenko, resigned last weekend, accusing top government officials, including National Security Council Secretary Petro Poroshenko, of using their posts for personal enrichment.

JAPAN

At least 17 killed by Typhoon Nabi

TOKYO — Typhoon Nabi faded into a tropical storm and headed out to sea yesterday after killing at least 17 persons in southwestern Japan.

Nine persons were missing and 126 were injured after Nabi drenched parts of Japan’s third-biggest island with more than 40 inches of rain, triggering floods and landslides, NHK television said.

Four persons were also missing in South Korea. At the height of the storm, more than 250,000 people fled their homes in southwestern Japan, the Yomiuri newspaper said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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