- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Eight states back emergency summit

CAIRO — Two more Arab governments have backed the call for an Arab summit on the violence involving Israel and Lebanon and the Palestinians, bringing the total to eight, Arab League officials said yesterday.

Lebanon and Djibouti joined Algeria, Egypt, Qatar, Sudan and the Palestinians in supporting the Yemeni proposal of an emergency summit, but the number remains short of the necessary majority of two-thirds of the 22 league members, they said.

Syria said at a meeting of ambassadors at the league’s Cairo headquarters yesterday that a summit must be well prepared so that it comes out with good resolutions, they added.


U.N.: 6,000 civilians killed in May, June

BAGHDAD — About 6,000 Iraqi civilians were killed in the past two months alone as casualties continued an “upward trend,” the United Nations said yesterday.

The estimate, compiled with data from the Baghdad morgue and the Health Ministry, is the latest attempt to give some statistical expression to the daily bloodshed in Baghdad and elsewhere. It was part of a bimonthly U.N. report on human rights in Iraq.

In December, in the first and only official U.S. estimate of the cost of the war in Iraqi lives, President Bush said about 30,000 Iraqis had been killed since the 2003 invasion. A Web site that compiles media reports of casualties now estimates civilian deaths alone at 40,000.


Human rights lawyer gets jail term

TEHRAN — Prominent Iranian human rights lawyer Abdolfattah Soltani said yesterday he had been sentenced to five years in jail on charges of disclosing confidential information and opposing the regime.

Mr. Soltani, a colleague of Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi’s, was arrested a year ago while defending two persons accused of spying on the Islamic republic’s nuclear program. The judiciary said he had shared confidential case details with outsiders.

Weekly notes …

Staff at Israel’s Haifa zoo have locked the lions, tigers, leopards and bears in bomb-proof cages to stop them from escaping if there is a hit from a Hezbollah missile. Hezbollah has been raining rockets on Israel for more than a week after the kidnapping and killing of Israeli soldiers triggered cross-border raids. Like much of the city, Israel’s third largest, the zoo has been shut for days. … A Lebanese woman has named her newborn son Raad in honor of the long-range missile Hezbollah has been firing at Israel. Kawkab al-Akli gave birth to the boy at a hospital in the southern coastal city of Sidon after her family sought refuge in a school to escape an Israeli air raid on their village. Still in pain, the mother of seven said: “I will also bring Raad 2 and Raad 3.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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