- The Washington Times - Monday, June 5, 2006

SERBIA

Serbia declares sovereignty

BELGRADE — Serbian lawmakers proclaimed their Balkan republic a sovereign state yesterday after tiny Montenegro decided to split, dissolving the remnants of what was once Yugoslavia.

The 126 lawmakers unanimously acknowledged that their state is the heir to the union of Serbia-Montenegro — the last shred of what was once a Yugoslav federation.

IRAQ

Kidnapper’s aide sentenced to life

BAGHDAD — A 30-year-old Iraqi man accused of helping the kidnappers of British aid worker Margaret Hassan was sentenced to life in prison yesterday, while two suspects were acquitted, a court official said.

Mrs. Hassan, the director of CARE international in Iraq and a citizen of Britain, Ireland and Iraq, was abducted in Baghdad in October 2004 and shown later that month on video pleading for her life and urging British Prime Minister Tony Blair to withdraw troops from Iraq. She was killed a month later, and her body has not been found.

IRAN

EU’s Solana makes incentives offer

TEHRAN — Javier Solana, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, arrived in Iran late yesterday to deliver an offer of incentives aimed at persuading the Islamic republic to abandon its plans to make nuclear fuel.

The incentives package, which he will hand over today, is an initiative put together by the three biggest EU states and approved by a forum that also included the United States, China and Russia.

VIETNAMMore research on Agent Orange to come

HANOI — The United States is prepared to do more scientific work with Vietnam on the effects of wartime poisoning of Vietnamese with dioxin, a military official said yesterday during a visit by Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld.

The issue remains a sore point in otherwise friendly relations between former enemies Washington and Hanoi, but the Americans have ruled out paying compensation.

Vietnam says dioxin, commonly known as Agent Orange, still causes illnesses and birth defects, more than 30 years after the spraying of the herbicide. More than 70 million liters of the defoliant was sprayed from 1961 to 1971 to destroy North Vietnamese crops and forest cover for enemy troops in the war with U.S.-backed South Vietnam that ended in 1975.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. soldier cannot be prosecuted here

KABUL — An American soldier driving a military truck that crashed in Afghanistan’s capital, triggering the worst rioting in the country in years, cannot be prosecuted here because of an agreement between Kabul and Washington, the U.S. ambassador said yesterday.

Afghanistan’s parliament has called on the government to prosecute the soldier, even though the U.S. military has said the May 29 crash likely was an accident caused by brake failure.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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