- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 7, 2005

PHILIPPINES

Parliament ends impeachment bid

MANILA — Legislators yesterday ended the impeachment case against President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, leaving the streets as the last resort for the frustrated opposition.

Despite suggestions that mass protests loomed, initial public reaction was muted, as it has been throughout the political crisis that erupted in June over charges that Mrs. Arroyo rigged last year’s election.

JAPAN

Strong typhoon ravages region

TOKYO — Typhoon Nabi lashed southern Japan and South Korea yesterday, killing five persons, injuring dozens and forcing tens of thousands to flee their homes.

At least 15 others were reported missing as waves driven by 78 mph winds slammed into coastal barriers and storm surges flooded seaside towns.

CHINA

Blair sees leaders more open to world

BEIJING — British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday he sensed a change in the way communist China was interacting with the world, praising its openness and frankness in lengthy talks with counterpart Wen Jiabao.

“There was a genuine sense of engagement. I don’t want to put that any higher than it deserves, but it’s there,” Mr. Blair said, adding that a large part of their talks yesterday were about democracy and human rights.

Mr. Blair met the Chinese prime minister at the annual EU-China summit, which he attended as part of Britain’s turn at the six-month rotating presidency of the 25-nation bloc.

BRITAIN

AIDS pledges fall far short of hopes

LONDON — International donors pledged $3.7 billion yesterday to a fund to fight AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria — only half the amount the fund needs to meet its goals for the next two years.

“We need $7.1 billion for 2006 and 2007 and we leave with $3.7 billion guaranteed,” Richard Feachem, chief of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria told reporters after a two-day donor conference.

RUSSIA

Putin denies plans to extend term

MOSCOW — Russian President Vladimir Putin said he will not try to alter the nation’s constitution to run for a third term in 2008, a report said.

Mr. Putin, in a two-hours-plus meeting with Western academics and journalists, also said Russia will not tolerate outside interference in former Soviet Union nations, the Times of London reported.

“We are not against any changes in the former Soviet Union. We are afraid only that those changes will be chaotic,” Mr. Putin said.

PAKISTAN

Security beefed up for Afghanistan vote

ISLAMABAD — Security is being increased on both sides of the Afghan-Pakistani border as fears rise that militants are plotting to disrupt Afghanistan’s legislative elections in two weeks, officials said yesterday.

Pakistan has sent 9,500 more troops to the border to prevent militant infiltration, and Afghan- and U.S.-led coalition forces said they killed 12 suspected militants Monday in raids on hide-outs in the southern Zabul province.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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