- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 13, 2006

FRANCE

Child murderer confesses to crime

NEVERS — The main suspect in the rape and murder of a 4-year-old boy in a village in central France a week ago “has confessed,” the prosecutor in Nevers said yesterday.

The suspect admitted during his detention “to a number of facts that implicated him and provided a detailed scenario of the act,” said the prosecutor, Christian Gongora, at a press conference.

NORWAY

Government welcomes Hamas Cabinet envoy

OSLO — A top official from Norway’s foreign ministry met yesterday with a Hamas Cabinet minister, the first high-level meeting between a Western country and an official of the Palestinian radical Islamic group’s government.

Atef Edwane, minister for refugee affairs in the Hamas-led Palestinian administration, met with Norway’s head of Middle Eastern affairs, Kaare Eltervaag, for a 45-minute talk, the foreign ministry said.

BRITAIN

Blair’s wife sees ‘grit’ in Catholic upbringing

LONDON — The wife of British Prime Minister Tony Blair said yesterday she has brought up the couple’s four children as Catholics because she did not want them to be “simply part of the establishment.”

In an interview with the Times, Cherie Blair said she decided to raise Euan, 22, Nicky, 20, Kathryn, 18, and 5-year-old Leo in her own faith because of the “little bit of grit” in Catholicism that informs its social teachings.

The degree of influence Mrs. Blair has on her 53-year-old husband in matters of faith has been the source of widespread speculation in Protestant Britain since he came to power in 1997.

FRANCE

Left-wingers protest new immigration bill

PARIS — About 11,000 people according to police and 35,000 according to organizers demonstrated yesterday in Paris against a new immigration bill presented by Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy.

The bill promotes the idea of “selected immigration” and makes it harder for people without specific qualifications to obtain residence papers for France, and easier for the authorities to deport illegal aliens.

AUSTRIA

Fourth mad cow discovered on farm

VIENNA — Austria confirmed yesterday it had found a fourth case of mad cow disease, this time in Upper Austria, the province’s agricultural representative said.

Tests on a 6-year-old cow in the northern Austrian province came back positive for bovine spongiform encephalopathy, the bureau of agriculture representative, Josef Stockinger said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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