- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 5, 2006

MEXICO

President-elect hits U.S. border fence plan

MEXICO CITY — Mexican President-elect Felipe Calderon warned yesterday that a U.S. plan to build new border fences could lead to more deaths as people try to cross a frontier marked by remote deserts and treacherous rivers.

“What it’s going to mean is that a lot of Mexicans and other Latin Americans will assume much greater risks in seeking opportunities in the United States,” Mr. Calderon said in Santiago, Chile. “And that will probably lead to more deaths, more than the level of 400 a year just of Mexicans who try to cross.”

President Bush signed a law Wednesday to pay for hundreds of miles of additional fencing. Outgoing Mexican President Vicente Fox tried unsuccessfully to negotiate an agreement with Washington on immigration, and even urged Mr. Bush to veto the bill. Mr. Calderon takes office Dec. 1.

PAKISTAN

Two rockets found outside parliament

ISLAMABAD — Two rockets rigged with mobile phones and primed to fire toward Pakistan’s parliament were discovered by a construction worker yesterday and safely defused by bomb-disposal specialists, a security official said.

The security scare in Islamabad came hours after a homemade bomb exploded, without causing injuries, in a park in the neighboring city of Rawalpindi, not far from a residence of President Pervez Musharraf.

SUDAN

U.S. asks U.N. council to asses warning

NEW YORK — The United States demanded yesterday that the U.N. Security Council respond to Sudan’s warning that any nation pledging U.N. troops for Darfur was committing a “hostile act” and a “prelude to an invasion.”

U.S. Ambassador John R. Bolton, who called for a special closed-door council session, said he expected the 15-member body to react later in the day to what he called Khartoum’s attempt to intimidate potential troop contributors.

Sudan’s U.N. mission sent an unsigned letter to dozens of states, many of whom attended a meeting on Sept. 25 on troop and police contributions to a future U.N. force in Darfur. Sudan has rejected such a force.

CANARY ISLANDS

20 migrants from Africa drown

SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE — Twenty migrants drowned when their boat split while sailing from Africa to Spain’s Canary Islands, survivors told police yesterday.

The seven adults and four children were picked up by a South African ship about 120 miles south of the Canary Islands and brought to a port on Gran Canaria Island overnight.

The migrants, all thought to be from northwest Africa, told police that there had been 31 persons in their boat before the accident.

SOMALIA

Dozens of lawmakers meet with Islamists

MOGADISHU — A group of Somalian lawmakers met powerful Islamists in their Mogadishu stronghold after leaving the temporary capital because of growing security fears since last month’s assassination attempt on the president.

The Islamists’ most influential leader, Sheik Hassan Dahir Aweys, welcomed the presence of 36 legislators in Mogadishu — of whom 26 met Islamists late Wednesday — saying the movement was ready to work with them.

BRITAIN

Muslim officer excused from guarding Israelis

LONDON — The chief of London’s Metropolitan Police yesterday ordered an urgent review of a decision to excuse a Muslim police officer from guarding the Israeli Embassy.

The order followed a report in the Sun newspaper that Constable Alexander Omar Basha, who worked in the Diplomatic Protection Group, had sought in the summer to be excused because of moral objections to Israeli bombing of Lebanon.

Press reports said the officer had been willing to accept the posting but had feared reprisals against relatives in Lebanon. His wife is Lebanese, and his father is Syrian.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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