- The Washington Times - Monday, July 24, 2006

ISRAEL

Sharon deteriorates with kidney problems

JERUSALEM — The condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who has been in a coma since January, has deteriorated in the past two days, doctors caring for him said yesterday.

His hospital said Mr. Sharon, 78, was suffering from an accumulation of fluids in his body, problems with the functioning of his kidneys and “changes in brain tissue.”

“The doctors are continuing tests in order to diagnose the changes that have taken place in Sharon’s body and to administer the appropriate treatment,” a statement said.

IRAQ

National Guardsman cleared of charges

BAGHDAD — The U.S. military has dismissed all charges against a Pennsylvania National Guardsman accused of killing an unarmed Iraqi civilian near Ramadi, finding that the soldier had reason to think the man had a weapon.

Spc. Nathan Lynn, 21, of South Williamsport, Pa., was accused of voluntary manslaughter and conspiracy to obstruct justice over the death of Gani Ahmed Zaben during a Feb. 15 raid on a suspect’s house.

Spc. Lynn will return to his unit soon, U.S. military officials in Baghdad said yesterday. An Article 32, the military equivalent of a grand jury hearing, concluded last week.

SOMALIA

682 civilians killed in year of violence

MOGADISHU — Gunmen have killed 682 civilians, including a foreign journalist, in executions over the past year in Somalia, a local rights group said yesterday.

The killings took place largely in the capital, Mogadishu. Some occurred during battles for control of the city, others were because of clan differences, a few were kidnappings and some were for unknown motives, said the report by the Dr. Ismael Jumale Human Rights Center.

Those killings included the June slaying of Swedish journalist Martin Adler as he videotaped a protest in Mogadishu. An unidentified gunman shot Mr. Adler in the back.

WEST BANK

Government workers get portion of pay

RAMALLAH — Palestinian government workers lined up at banks across the West Bank and the Gaza Strip yesterday to receive a portion of their long-overdue salaries.

The $330 payments were made for the first time through the office of President Mahmoud Abbas, bypassing the Hamas-led government.

For many workers, the payment represented about half of what they were owed for the month of April alone. An estimated 165,000 government workers have not received salaries since March, when Hamas took control of the Palestinian Authority and the international community cut off assistance demanding that it recognize Israel, renounce violence and abide by interim peace deals.

IVORY COAST

Pre-election violence kills 1, hurts dozens

ABIDJAN — At least one person was killed and dozens were hurt when rival political activists fought each other in Ivory Coast yesterday, party officials said, in a growing dispute over a pre-election identification scheme.

The scheme is designed to give nationality papers to citizens who do not have them in preparation for elections due by the end of October.

Supporters of President Laurent Gbagbo have protested the scheme, saying hearings to determine who gets papers risk giving nationality and voting rights to opposition-supporting foreigners.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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