- The Washington Times - Saturday, July 29, 2006

UKRAINE

Talks to end crisis reach no agreement

KIEV — Marathon talks to end Ukraine’s political paralysis broke off yesterday without an agreement between President Viktor Yushchenko and the pro-Russian parliamentary majority that has nominated his former Orange Revolution rival as prime minister.

Mr. Yushchenko spent more than 10 hours negotiating with Victor Yanukovych, whose fraud-marred run for the presidency in 2004 sparked the Orange Revolution protests that swept Mr. Yushchenko to power, and the country’s new parliament speaker, Oleksandr Moroz.

Ukraine has been in political turmoil since March parliamentary elections ended without a clear winner. Mr. Yanukovych’s pro-Russian Party of Regions won the most seats, but fell short of a majority.

BRITAIN

U.S. plane lands with Israeli supplies

LONDON — A U.S. plane carrying “dangerous goods” en route to Tel Aviv refueled at a British airport yesterday, a day after Washington apologized to London for breaking rules on Israel-bound flights with bombs on board.

A second U.S. flight to Israel also will stop at Scotland’s Prestwick airport today, said a spokesperson for the Civil Aviation Authority, Britain’s independent aviation regulator.

President Bush apologized to British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Friday in Washington after Britain complained that the U.S. had not followed correct procedures on flying bombs to Israel via Prestwick.

RUSSIA

Clapton concert nixed in Red Square

MOSCOW — Eric Clapton’s scheduled concert in Red Square this week has been canceled after Russian authorities abruptly withdrew their permission, the guitarist’s publicist said.

A Russian promoter had received an official permit for Mr. Clapton to perform in Red Square on Thursday, but officials withdrew that Friday, Mr. Clapton’s publicist, Kristen Foster, said.

“Eric Clapton is extremely sorry to disappoint his numerous Russian fans, but the circumstances of the cancellation are completely beyond his control,” she said.

BRITAIN

McCartney files for divorce

LONDON — Paul McCartney has filed for divorce from Heather Mills McCartney, formally beginning proceedings in what could be one of Britain’s most expensive breakups, newspapers reported yesterday.

The 64-year-old former Beatle blamed his estranged wife for the split, saying her behavior was unreasonable and argumentative, the Sun and the Daily Mirror reported. Her spokesman, Phil Hall, said she was unhappy about the reports.

Mr. McCartney, who does not have a prenuptial agreement to protect his estimated $1.5 billion fortune, has hired lawyer Fiona Shackleton, who represented Prince Charles in his divorce from Princess Diana.

Meanwhile, an American collector has bought Mr. McCartney’s first acoustic guitar for $614,000 at an auction.

The guitar was bought by Craig Jackson at an auction at the Abbey Road Studios late on Friday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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