- The Washington Times - Monday, November 6, 2006


New Cabinet minister seeks ethnic partition

JERUSALEM — Deputy Prime Minister Avigdor Lieberman called yesterday for a near-total separation between Arabs and Jews in the Holy Land, sparking sharp criticism less than a week after he joined the Cabinet.

In an interview with Israel’s Army Radio, Mr. Lieberman said Israel should give Israeli Arab villages near the West Bank to the Palestinians — stripping many of the residents of their citizenship — in exchange for Jewish settlements in the West Bank.

The Arabs remaining in Israel would be allowed to keep their citizenship if they passed a loyalty test, he said. Arabs make up roughly one-fifth of Israel’s population.


Latin leaders rap planned border fence

MONTEVIDEO — Leaders from Latin America, Spain and Portugal yesterday criticized U.S. plans to build a fence on the Mexican border and urged Washington to reconsider the plan, which they said “incites discrimination and xenophobia.”

Ending a summit focusing on migration, the leaders from 24 countries expressed “deep concern” about legislation signed by President Bush last month approving the construction of the 700-mile fence.

The issue dominated the two-day summit’s theme of looking at ways to control the number of Latin American migrants heading to the United States and Europe.


Hezbollah demands prompt crisis talks

BEIRUT — Rival Lebanese leaders begin a week of talks today on Hezbollah demands for a national-unity government, in a last-ditch effort to defuse a crisis that threatens to spill into the streets.

Political sources said chances the “national consultations” would result in a deal to form a new government were slim, but did not rule out a compromise to expand the Western-backed government of Prime Minister Fuad Siniora.

Washington last week accused Syria, Iran and their ally Hezbollah of working to topple Mr. Siniora’s government.


U.N. inspectors visit enrichment cascades

TEHRAN — A group of U.N. nuclear-watchdog inspectors has visited Iran’s second network of centrifuges at its Natanz uranium-enrichment facility, the official IRNA news agency reported yesterday.

Despite U.N. Security Council demands that it halt nuclear-fuel production work, Iran announced last month that it had started up a second group of 164 centrifuges, which spin at supersonic speeds to enrich uranium.

Iran says Natanz will eventually house tens of thousands of the machines, but that it will only use them to enrich uranium to a level suitable for use in atomic-power reactors.


Gospel singer freed after long detention

LONDON — A gospel singer held in a metal shipping container for more than two years without charge has been freed by authorities in Eritrea, Amnesty International said.

Amnesty described Helen Berhane as an evangelical gospel singer belonging to a Christian church that was illegal and unregistered in the Red Sea state and said she was held incommunicado at a military camp until last month.

“There are scores of members of other faith groups who have been kept in indefinite and incommunicado detention without charge or trial,” Amnesty said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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