- The Washington Times - Friday, June 30, 2006

MEXICO

Ex-president held in 1968 massacre

MEXICO CITY — A judge ordered the arrest yesterday of former Mexican President Luis Echeverria for a 1968 student massacre in a surprise move just two days before crucial elections.

The arrest order for Mr. Echeverria, 84, came after two failed attempts in recent years to charge him with genocide. Mr. Echeverria is expected to be held under house arrest due to his age and health concerns.

He was president from 1970 to 1976, at the height of a so-called dirty war against leftists. He was interior minister in charge of national security when government troops stormed a student rally in Mexico City on Oct. 2, 1968, days before the opening of the Olympics here.

KUWAIT

Women fail to win parliament seat

KUWAIT CITY — Powerful Islamist and reformist candidates swept Kuwait’s elections, but women failed to win a single seat in their first attempt to run for parliament, results showed yesterday.

Analysts and newspapers said a strong showing by the opposition — a loose coalition of pro-reform former legislators, Islamists, leftists and liberals — raises the possibility of deeper tension between the new assembly and the government.

VATICAN

1922-39 archives to be released

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI has decided to open all Vatican archives from 1922 to 1939, giving new insight into what the Catholic Church knew and did as Europe saw the rise of Nazism in Germany and the Spanish Civil War.

The Vatican said yesterday it would open its central files, known as the Secret Archives, and files of its Secretariat of State for the pontificate of Pope Pius XI on Sept. 18.

Pius XI remained the pope from February 1922 through February 1939.

RUSSIA

$10 million bounty put on diplomats’ killers

MOSCOW — Russia will pay a $10 million reward for information on the killers of five Russian Embassy staff workers in Iraq, the head of the KGB’s successor agency said yesterday.

The announcement came two days after President Vladimir Putin ordered special forces to hunt down and “destroy” the killers.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry confirmed Monday that four Russians seized in early June had been killed. A fifth staffer was slain during the abduction.

ROMANIA

Plan to pull troops from Iraq rejected

BUCHAREST — Romania’s Supreme Defense Council yesterday rejected plans backed by the prime minister to pull the country’s troops out of Iraq by the end of this year, the president said, in a move effectively quashing the proposal.

President Traian Basescu said, however, that Romania has negotiated with Western allies a reduction of Romania’s 890 troops to 628 — about 30 percent. He did not give a time frame.

ITALY

Troops to stay in Afghanistan

ROME — Prime Minister Romano Prodi’s Cabinet agreed yesterday to keep Italian troops in Afghanistan despite opposition from pacifists in his coalition who have threatened to vote against the military mission in parliament.

The Cabinet unanimously adopted a decree that extends financing for Italy’s overseas military operations, Infrastructure Minister Antonio Di Pietro said. Without the decree, the financing would have expired at the end of June.

Italy has some 1,300 troops operating in Afghanistan under a NATO-led mission.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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