- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 17, 2006

RUSSIA

News agency official found killed

MOSCOW — The top property manager for Russia’s ITAR-Tass news agency was found stabbed to death in his Moscow apartment yesterday, prosecutors said.

Investigators suspect a “personal grudge” in the killing of Anatoly Voronin, 55, who was responsible for the state-owned agency’s maintenance, construction, repairs, transport services and employee privileges such as vacations.

Authorities, meanwhile, said police have arrested three suspects in the Sept. 13 killing of Central Bank First Deputy Chairman Andrei Kozlov. That killing is thought to be connected to his campaign against money laundering and criminality in the banking sector.

ERITREA

U.N. sees breach of cease-fire

NEW YORK — The United Nations yesterday accused Eritrea of moving 1,500 troops and 14 tanks into a buffer zone established after a 2-year border war with Ethiopia in “a major breach” of a cease-fire agreement reached in 2000.

Eritrean troops also took over a U.N. checkpoint and forced a platoon of Jordanian peacekeepers to leave, U.N. officials said.

Secretary-General Kofi Annan urged the Eritrean government to withdraw its troops from the buffer zone and to cooperate with the U.N.

ISRAEL

Lebanon rejects Olmert’s call for talks

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Ehud Olmert yesterday invited the Lebanese prime minister to begin peace talks after Israel’s war against Hezbollah guerrillas, but Prime Minister Fuad Siniora dismissed the call, saying Lebanon would be the last Arab state to sign a deal with the Jewish state.

In his address to the opening session of the Israeli parliament, Mr. Olmert ruled out any negotiations with Syria.

VATICAN

Officials confirm pope’s Turkey trip

ROME — Pope Benedict XVI will visit Turkey next month for his first trip to a Muslim majority country, two months after his comments about Islam sparked uproar, the Vatican confirmed yesterday.

Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican secretary of state, said Saturday that the visit from Nov. 28 to Dec. 1 will offer a chance for dialogue between religions.

The pope will arrive in Ankara, then go on to Izmir and Ephesus, ending up in Istanbul.

MALAWI

Madonna’s boy leaves country

LILONGWE — A chartered plane carrying a 1-year-old boy that Madonna is seeking to adopt left Malawi yesterday, an immigration official said.

The boy, David Banda, was accompanied on the plane by two Britons and two Americans, one of whom listed her occupation as nanny, the immigration official at the airport said.

NETHERLANDS

Six Muslims face terror trial

AMSTERDAM — Six Muslims accused of plotting an attack against Dutch politicians went on trial yesterday. They included a man who was acquitted last year on separate charges in a setback for prosecutors.

Since Samir Azzouz’s earlier trial, the government has enacted laws making membership in a terrorist organization a crime and outlawing “recruiting” for a terrorist network. Azzouz, 20, is charged with both, as well as plotting to murder one or more politicians whom authorities said he considered hostile to Islam.

Evidence against him includes a videotaped apparent suicide message, leaked and broadcast on national television, in which Azzouz is shown holding an automatic rifle and saying he wanted to punish the Dutch people for their government’s support of the U.S.-led war on terrorism.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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