- The Washington Times - Monday, November 13, 2006


General steps down over border ambush

JERUSALEM — The military said yesterday that it had accepted the resignation of a tough-talking general whose troops were ambushed by Hezbollah guerrillas, setting off this summer’s war in Lebanon.

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Defense Minister Amir Peretz’s office said Mr. Peretz accepted the resignation of Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch, who was in charge of the unit from which three soldiers killed and two captured by Hezbollah on July 12.

Last week, Doron Almog, a retired general who led an investigation into the incident, told Gen. Hirsch that he would recommend his firing when he presented his report yesterday.


Violent protesters seek election reform

DHAKA — Thousands of protesters demanding electoral reforms targeted major transportation links yesterday, attacking trains and other vehicles and leaving at least one person dead.

About 15,000 security officials deployed around the capital, Dhaka, which was largely cut off from the rest of the country by the blockades.

Thousands of protesters defied a ban on demonstrations that came after a 14-party alliance said Saturday that it would choke roads and rail links to the capital to press for the resignation of election officials accused of bias ahead of January elections.


Senior U.N. official meets rebel leader

RI-KWANGBA — The United Nations’ top humanitarian official landed in a jungle clearing yesterday to meet with a Ugandan rebel leader but failed to win freedom for women and children held by the group.

Jan Egeland waited for two hours before meeting Lord Resistance Army leader Joseph Kony, who emerged from the bush with 30 bodyguards dressed in Wellington boots and ragtag clothes.

The two spoke for 10 minutes under a green tent. Mr. Egeland asked for the release of noncombatants, but Kony denied having abductees or children among his forces.


South Ossetians vote with Russian support

TSKHINVALI — South Ossetia held a referendum yesterday intended to reaffirm independence from Georgia in a vote that the West called illegal but that Russia said should be respected.

Nestled on the Russian border, South Ossetia broke away after a 1991-92 war that killed hundreds and forced tens of thousands to flee.

But amid increased tensions within Georgia, whose pro-Western President Mikhail Saakashvili seeks to regain control over the region, voters went to the polls to reaffirm their independence drive and elect a regional leader. First results are expected today.


Benedict urges bid to fight global hunger

VATICAN CITY — Pope Benedict XVI lamented yesterday that hundreds of millions of people around the world do not have enough to eat and called for changes in consumption and a fairer distribution of resources.

Benedict noted that the Rome-based U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization recently reported that more than 800 million people are undernourished, and that many people, especially children, die from hunger.

He called for efforts to “eliminate the structural causes tied to the system of governing the world’s economy, which earmarks most of the planet’s resources to a minority of the [Earths] population.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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