- The Washington Times - Sunday, July 2, 2006

SWITZERLAND

WTO talks conclude without breakthrough

GENEVA — Negotiations on a global trade treaty ended in disarray yesterday when major trading nations failed to resolve differences on lowering barriers to commerce.

More than 60 ministers from nations in the 149-member World Trade Organization had met to try to break a deadlock over sensitive farm tariffs and subsidies.

But most of the key negotiators spent much of the three-day meeting publicly blaming each other for the failure to move forward. India’s trade minister, Kamal Nath, walked out in disgust.

VATICAN

Sainthood scheduled for commune founder

VATICAN CITY — Four persons, including a 19th-century woman who founded a religious community in Indiana and a Mexican bishop whose body reportedly did not decay after death, will be elevated to sainthood this fall, the Vatican said yesterday.

Pope Benedict XVI announced the Oct. 15 canonization of Mother Theodore Guerin, Bishop Rafael Guizar Valencia and two others.

Mother Guerin was a French nun who left her homeland in 1840 for the then-frontier state of Indiana, where she founded St. Mary-of-the Woods College near Terre Haute within a year of her arrival. She died in 1856 at age 57.

CHINA

Himalayan railway to connect Tibet

ABOARD THE BEIJING-LHASA EXPRESS — China’s first train from Beijing to Tibet set out yesterday carrying business travelers and thrill-seekers on the world’s highest railway, which critics fear could devastate the Himalayan region’s unique Buddhist culture.

The $4.2 billion railway is part of government efforts to develop China’s poor west and bind restive ethnic areas to the booming east. Critics warn that it will bring a flood of Chinese migrants, diluting Tibet’s culture and threatening its fragile environment.

The specially designed train cars have outlets for oxygen masks beside every seat, for passengers who need help coping with the thin air.

SOMALIA

Ethiopian soldiers said to cross border

MOGADISHU — About 100 Ethiopian troops crossed the border into Somalia yesterday, witnesses said, the latest sign that Ethiopia might try to bolster this country’s weak interim government as an Islamic militia gains power.

The troops entered the border town of Beled-Hawo in eight military vehicles, said Husein Ali Burale, a well-known traditional elder. Several other witnesses confirmed the report.

Thousands of Somalis have taken to the streets in recent weeks to denounce suspected interference by Ethiopia.

JAPAN

Ex-prime minister dies after surgery

TOKYO — Former Japanese Prime Minister Ryutaro Hashimoto, an outspoken politician who jousted with U.S. officials over auto trade and brought “Big Bang” financial reforms to Tokyo, died yesterday at the age of 68.

Mr. Hashimoto, who retired from politics in September citing poor health, had undergone surgery to remove a large part of his intestine after being rushed to hospital on June 4, his son said at a press conference. He died in a Tokyo hospital.

Mr. Hashimoto took office in 1996 and was confronted with financial crisis, political scandals and economic stagnation. He was defeated on his second bid in April 2001 by Junichiro Koizumi.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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