- The Washington Times - Friday, June 2, 2006

NIGERIA

Foreign oil workers abducted by rebels

LAGOS — Gunmen abducted eight foreign workers in a nighttime raid on an oil rig off the coast of Nigeria yesterday, raising new security fears after a series of militant attacks that cut output from Africa’s top oil producer.

Some 20 to 30 attackers fired shots as they boarded the rig from four speed boats, but no one was injured, security sources familiar with the situation said.

Six of the workers were from Britain, one from Canada and one from the U.S. , said an executive with one of the companies operating the Bulford Dolphin rig.

NEPAL

Huge throng gathers for rare Maoist rally

KATMANDU — Their fists raised in the air and clutching red flags, some 200,000 Nepalis gathered in the capital yesterday for the first Maoist rally in three years to build pressure for a constituent assembly to decide the country’s future.

People filled a public area in Katmandu, many berating King Gyanendra, just 500 yards from the royal palace.

Weeks of violent street protests forced King Gyanendra in April to give up his absolute grip on power, reinstate the parliament he disbanded in 2002 and return power to political parties.

RUSSIA

Kremlin orders ouster of veteran prosecutor

MOSCOW — Russia’s long-serving prosecutor general was dismissed yesterday, which could pave the way for the appointment of an ally of President Vladimir Putin to the key post.

The Russian parliament’s upper house , the Federation Council, took just a few minutes to approve an order delivered from the Kremlin the previous day removing Vladimir Ustinov from his post. The order passed 140-0 with two abstentions and no debate.

Only last year, Mr. Ustinov had been appointed to a second five-year term, seen as a reward for directing the politically charged prosecution of jailed Russian oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

EGYPT

Israel patrol kills 2 border policemen

CAIRO — An Israeli military patrol killed two Egyptian border policemen yesterday in what the IDF described as self-defense after the Egyptians stormed across the frontier firing at them.

Egyptian security sources cast doubt on the Israeli account of the incident near Israel’s Mount Saguy, opposite the Egyptian town of Bir el-Ma’in, saying the policemen were shot after wandering across the unfenced desert border by accident.

DENMARK

Government to fund artificial insemination

COPENHAGEN — Denmark’s parliament yesterday passed a controversial law granting lesbian couples and single women the right to government-funded artificial insemination at public hospitals.

Most members of Denmark’s center-right government opposed the bill, which was proposed by the opposition, but several members of the governing Liberal party defied Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen, ensuring its passage.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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