- The Washington Times - Thursday, August 10, 2006

ITALY

U.S. Navy base to close in 2008

ROME — The U.S. Navy will close a nuclear submarine base on the Italian island of Sardinia in the first half of 2008, the Italian Defense Ministry said yesterday.

The date was agreed on by the Italian and U.S. governments in recent days, a ministry spokesman said. The two agreed in principle in November to close the Maddalena base, which has been in operation since the early 1970s.

Environmentalists have complained for years that the base is a hazard.

AFGHANISTAN

Karzai hints against second term

KABUL — Afghanistan’s first democratically elected president, Hamid Karzai, strongly hinted in an interview that he will not run for another term.

Mr. Karzai became Afghanistan’s transitional leader soon after the Taliban regime’s ouster in late 2001, then was chosen as its first democratically elected president in late 2004, with a five-year term. The next election is slated for 2009.

“Let other people get a chance to run,” Mr. Karzai told Fortune magazine.

CHINA

Money offered to stop slaughter

BEIJING — The Humane Society yesterday said it will give China $100,000 to vaccinate dogs against rabies if it promises to immediately stop their mass slaughter in areas where humans have died from the disease.

The financial aid was offered to help set up a rabies-control program in Jining, a city in the coastal province of Shandong, where officials last week killed thousands of dogs after 16 persons died of rabies over an eight-month period.

MEXICO

Leftists target foreign banks

MEXICO CITY — Thousands of Mexican leftists blocked the offices of three major foreign-owned banks yesterday in a protest to force a full recount in a July 2 presidential election they say was rigged.

Protesters surrounded Mexico City offices of U.S.-based Citigroup’s Mexican unit Banamex, the Bancomer bank owned by Spain’s BBVA and the British giant HSBC. They sat on the ground around the buildings and vowed to block access for several hours.

The leftists are backing Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who narrowly lost the presidential vote to conservative ruling party candidate Felipe Calderon.

ITALY

Mayor apologizes for tourist attack

NAPLES — The mayor of Naples has apologized to a U.S. tourist beaten up by a group of locals after he gave chase to muggers in the southern Italian city.

The tourist tried to pursue thieves who snatched his camera, but instead of helping the victim, a group of bystanders grabbed him and beat him up, Naples police said yesterday.

Naples Mayor Rosa Russo Jervolino said the locals’ protection of criminals darkened the city’s name.

NEPAL

Government, rebels to restrict troops

KATMANDU — Nepal’s government and rebels agreed yesterday to restrict fighters and troops, lock up their weapons and resume a peace process that has been on the verge of collapse, officials said.

Maoist rebels said they would confine their fighters and weapons to their quarters, while government troops would be restricted to barracks, settling a major dispute between the two sides.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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