- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 9, 2006

ARGENTINA

Court orders Iranians’ arrest

BUENOS AIRES — An Argentine judge ordered international arrest warrants yesterday for former Iranian President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and eight other Iranian officials over the July 1994 bombing of a Buenos Aires Jewish community center.

The order by federal Judge Rodolfo Canicoba Corral came two weeks after Argentine prosecutors formally accused the Iranian government of masterminding the attack that killed 85 persons and wounded more than 200.

Tehran has denied involvement in the blast.

FRANCE

Israeli warplanes almost hit in Lebanon

PARIS — The French government demanded yesterday that Israel stop mock raids over Lebanon after French U.N. peacekeepers came within seconds of shooting down Israeli warplanes in what the defense minister called a near catastrophe.

On Oct. 31, Israeli F-15 fighter planes nose-dived repeatedly over French peacekeepers’ positions in southern Lebanon, French Defense Minister Michele Alliot-Marie told lawmakers Wednesday night.

Israeli officials said the flights are needed to monitor Lebanese compliance with United Nations’ resolutions to contain Hezbollah guerrillas, who waged a monthlong war with Israel this summer.

EGYPT

Mubarak opposes Saddam’s execution

CAIRO — Egypt’s president came out strongly against hanging Saddam Hussein, saying in remarks published yesterday that it could make Iraq explode into more violence. But Iraq’s prime minister said the execution could take place by the end of the year.

The statement from President Hosni Mubarak, a regional heavyweight and key U.S. ally, broke an uneasy silence among Arab leaders over Sunday’s verdict by an Iraqi court, which convicted Saddam for the killings of about 150 Shi’ite Muslims after an assassination attempt in 1982.

Analysts suggested that Arab leaders are worried about the precedent an execution would set, and said Arab publics often identify with their leaders.

SOUTH AFRICA

Gay ‘marriage’ bill advances

CAPE TOWN — A parliamentary committee approved proposals for same-sex “marriages” in South Africa yesterday, clearing the way for the passage of legislation that would be unique on a deeply conservative continent.

The compromise, reached after heated public debate, upset religious groups, traditionalists and even some members of the governing African National Congress, while homosexual rights activists said it didn’t go far enough.

Despite the unease in the ANC ranks, the legislation is expected to pass because lawmakers have been ordered to follow the party line and told there is little room for maneuver.

NORWAY

Citizens advised to stop complaining

OSLO — The United Nations ranked Norway as the best country to live in for a sixth consecutive year yesterday, prompting its aid minister to tell Norwegians to stop whining.

Oil-rich Norway, with its generous welfare state, topped the U.N. Development Program’s human development index, based on criteria such as life expectancy, education and income. Iceland was second, followed by Australia, Ireland, Sweden, Canada, Japan and the United States.

Despite wealth, high levels of education, low unemployment and an economic boom, Norwegians often complain of high taxes and of weaknesses in their cradle-to-grave welfare state, such as waiting lists at hospitals and a shortage of subsidized child and elderly care.

From wires services and staff reports


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