- The Washington Times - Sunday, October 1, 2006

INDIA

Pakistan spy agency accused of terrorism

BOMBAY — The police officer leading the investigation into train bombings that killed more than 200 people in the Indian city of Bombay in July accused Pakistan’s spy agency yesterday of masterminding the attack.

Tariq Azim, Pakistan’s minister of state for information, denied the claim, calling it “sad and unfortunate.”

Bombay police Commissioner A.N. Roy said an intensive investigation that included using “truth serum” on suspects revealed that Pakistan’s top spy agency had “masterminded” the bombings.

CZECH REPUBLIC

Athletic blonde crowned Miss World

WARSAW — Blonde, sports-loving beauty Tatana Kucharova yesterday won the Miss World title for the Czech Republic for the first time ever in a glitzy finale of the beauty pageant here that an estimated 2 billion viewers in more than 200 countries watched.

The Czech winner, who wants to pursue a career as a model, is a keen sportswoman who plays tennis and volleyball, rides and skates — the last a sport highly popular in her home country.

A grand total of 400 beauty queens from different countries and regions of the world had competed for the title in the Polish capital.

Now in its 56th year, Miss World claims to be the world’s largest beauty contest, edging out rival organization Miss Universe.

CANADA

Highway overpass collapses; two die

MONTREAL — An expressway overpass collapsed in a Montreal suburb yesterday, killing at least two persons, injuring six, three of them critically, and possibly trapping others beneath a tangle of concrete debris, emergency officials said.

Nearly 10 hours after the collapse, rescuers were painstakingly trying to reach any vehicles caught underneath the rubble and said it could be hours before they manage to get to anyone who may be trapped.

Live video images taken by helicopter and broadcast on Canada’s LCN television network showed a large section of the overpass had collapsed, with three vehicles jammed among concrete beams and slabs of asphalt roadbed. A motorcycle also lay atop the massive fallen slab.

MEXICO

Judge throws out ‘dirty war’ charges

MEXICO CITY — A Mexican judge has dismissed charges against a former domestic security chief accused in the disappearance of six reputed guerrillas at the height of the government’s “dirty war” against insurgents.

Miguel Nazar Haro had been accused of a direct role in the disappearance of six members of Brigada Lacandona, a 1970s guerrilla faction. But the judge found there was not enough evidence to show he was involved.

Mr. Nazar Haro, in his 80s, was arrested in 2004 in the northern city of Monterrey and briefly imprisoned before being returned to Mexico City and placed under house arrest.

GAZA STRIP

Angry workers protest pay delays

GAZA CITY — Thousands of government employees and security officials filled the streets of Gaza yesterday, burning tires, blocking roads and firing in the air to protest delays and complications in receiving their long-awaited salaries.

The Palestinian government on Thursday began paying partial salaries to 165,000 civil servants who haven’t received their full wages in months because of an economic embargo on the Palestinian Authority.

The individual payments of $350 come from money donated to the government by Qatar and Saudi Arabia. But government employees complained that in some cases, the money hadn’t arrived, and in others, they were left with nothing after Palestinian banks deducted commissions and interest and paid off existing loans.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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