- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 4, 2006


Security service spied on pop star’s dad

LONDON — British security services kept the father of pop star Kirsty MacColl under surveillance for years because of his communist sympathies, documents released yesterday show.

Playwright and folk singer Ewan MacColl first came to the attention of MI5 in 1932 after being reported by police as a Communist Party member of the Ramblers’ Section of the left-wing British Workers’ Sports Federation.

The theater group he later set up with his first wife, actress, director and broadcaster Joan Littlewood, was also monitored because of their left-wing political tendencies, and their home in Manchester was watched.

His daughter, a critically-acclaimed singer-songwriter who had hits with “A New England” and “Fairytale of New York” with the Pogues, was killed in a speedboat accident while scuba diving in Mexico in December 2000.


Terrorists strike after members die

MADRID — A courthouse and a town hall were among targets of attacks in Spain’s Basque country overnight, following the death in prison of two members of the separatist party ETA, authorities said yesterday.

In a statement, ETA accused Spain’s ruling socialist party and “all the parties which collaborate with it” of being responsible for the deaths of Igor Angulo and Ricardo Sainz Olmos.

Authorities said Angulo committed suicide Monday in the prison at Cuenca in the center of the country, while Sainz died of a heart attack at Aranjuez, near Madrid, on Friday.


Swine-fever outbreak prompts slaughter order

BERLIN — German authorities have ordered the slaughter of about 2,600 pigs following an outbreak of classical swine fever, officials said yesterday.

The disease, contagious among animals but not transmissible to humans, was identified in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Classical swine fever is found in pigs and wild boars and is highly contagious. It is passed on through excrement or saliva but does not infect other species, including humans.


Council to monitor presidential election

MOSCOW — The Council of Europe will watch closely the conduct of this month’s presidential election in Belarus, the rights body’s secretary-general, Terry Davis, said yesterday.

Mr. Davis told Moscow Echo radio the European rights body would study the findings of the Vienna, Austria-based Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, which has been invited to monitor the March 19 election.

The run-up to the poll has been marred by incidents, with Western organizations expressing concern last week at the temporary detention of candidate Alexander Kozulin as he campaigned against the former Soviet republic’s hard-line President Alexander Lukashenko.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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