- The Washington Times - Friday, November 3, 2006


Panama wins Council seat

NEW YORK — Latin American and Caribbean nations unanimously endorsed Panama yesterday as their candidate for a two-year U.N. Security Council seat after weeks of deadlock between Venezuela and U.S.-backed Guatemala.

The agreement in the 35-nation U.N. bloc cleared the way for Panama’s formal election to the 15-nation council Tuesday.

The deadlock was broken this week when Venezuela and Guatemala agreed to withdraw their candidacies for the coveted seat and threw their support behind Panama.


Japan asked to leave six-party nuclear talks

SEOUL - North Korea lashed out today at Japanese officials as “political imbeciles” for saying they will not accept the communist nation as a nuclear power, and said Tokyo should not take part in revived talks on the North’s atomic program.

The North’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement that “there is no need for Japan to participate in [the talks] as a local delegate because it is no more than a state of the U.S. and it is enough for Tokyo just to be informed of the results of the talks by Washington.”

The North said the international community has hailed the agreement on the renewed talks and Pyongyang’s “sincere efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

“But it is only Japan that expressed its wicked intention,” the ministry said, referring to comments that Tokyo won’t accept a nuclear North Korea. “The Japanese authorities have thus clearly proved themselves that they are political imbeciles incapable of judging the trend of the situation and their deplorable position.”


Janjaweed militia kills 50, U.N. says

GENEVA — Sudan government-allied militia fighters killed about 50 civilians this week during an attack in Darfur, and witnesses reported seeing men clad in Sudanese military officers’ garb with the horse-mounted attackers, the United Nations said yesterday.

Citing witnesses, the U.N. said young boys and elderly men made up the majority of the victims in the Sunday attack by 300 to 500 janjaweed attackers who rampaged through seven villages and a relief camp in western Darfur.

It said residents described the attackers as Arabs riding on horseback, wearing camouflage military uniforms and armed with assault rifles and rocket-propelled grenades — a description fitting the janjaweed, who fight on the side of Sudan’s government against rebels.


3 Muslims charged in schoolgirl slayings

JAKARTA — Three Muslim men have been charged in the beheadings of three Christian girls in an Indonesian province fraught with sectarian tension, and the suspects could face death sentences if convicted, lawyers said yesterday.

The three men are charged under Indonesia’s harsh anti-terrorism law for their roles in the girls’ deaths and wounding of a fourth in Central Sulawesi province in 2005, a statement from the attorney general’s office said.

Fierce gunbattles between Christians and Muslims from 1998 to 2002 left at least 1,000 people from both faiths dead in the region.


Governments accuse protesters of plot

BISHKEK — Officials said yesterday that government opponents had planned to seize power by force, and a smaller crowd on the second day of a round-the-clock rally outside the president’s office suggested the protest may be losing momentum.

Shops and markets remained closed in fear of a repeat of the dramatic March 2005 protests that drove the former Soviet republic’s longtime leader Askar Akayev from power — he fled the country as opposition supporters swarmed his headquarters — and were followed by massive looting in the capital, Bishkek.

President Kurmanbek Bakiyev was appointed after the uprising that forced out his predecessor and elected months later, but political tension has persisted.


Joneses of Wales eye Norberg record

LONDON — A new sort of family feud began yesterday, as the Joneses try to keep up with — and surpass — the Norbergs.

More than 1,600 people with the surname of Jones are gathering in Cardiff, Wales, to try to break the world record for the biggest get-together of people with the same last name. Jones is the most common surname in Wales and is Britain’s second most-common, after Smith.

The record is held by the Norbergs, who brought 583 persons together in Sweden in 2004.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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