- The Washington Times - Monday, October 9, 2006


Qatari seeks to end Palestinian standoff

GAZA CITY — Qatar’s foreign minister said today that he still thinks a Palestinian unity government can be formed, after holding urgent talks here to break the political deadlock amid escalating violence.

Sheik Hamad bin Jassim bin Jabr al-Thani arrived in Gaza City yesterday and went straight into a meeting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, of the moderate Fatah movement.

After emerging from a later meeting with Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, from the ruling Islamist movement Hamas, Sheik Hamad said recognition of Israel remains the main obstacle to an agreement.


Reward offered in reporter’s slaying

MOSCOW — The newspaper where Russian journalist Anna Politkovskaya worked has offered almost $1 million for information leading to her killers amid widespread international condemnation of the slaying.

Mrs. Politkovskaya, one of President Vladimir Putin’s strongest critics, was shot four times as she returned from shopping to her Moscow apartment on Saturday evening. The 48-year-old mother of two died on the spot.

Mr. Putin yesterday gave the first official Russian reaction to the slaying, although his comments were confined to an account of a telephone conversation with President Bush.

“In the course of the conversation, Putin stressed that Russia’s law-enforcement bodies will take every step to investigate objectively the tragic death of the journalist Politkovskaya,” a Kremlin statement said.


King swears in Cabinet

BANGKOK — Thailand’s king swore in post-coup Cabinet ministers yesterday, urging them to work honestly as the country tries to move beyond its political crisis.

The top jobs of the interim government — announced early in the day in a television broadcast while most Thais slept — were given to economists, high-profile civil servants and two retired military officers, all of whom are expected to govern until elections next October.


Protestant politician meets Catholic leader

BELFAST — Northern Ireland’s dominant Protestant leader, who has long called the Roman Catholic Church corrupt and heretical, held talks yesterday for the first time with the leader of the church in Ireland.

Ian Paisley’s meeting with Archbishop Sean Brady, leader of Ireland’s 4 million Catholics, was timed to signal the former’s willingness to work with Catholics on the eve of negotiations to revive power-sharing in Northern Ireland, the central goal of the Good Friday peace accord of 1998.

Britain and Ireland have given the Northern Ireland Assembly a Nov. 24 deadline to elect a Catholic-Protestant administration or be shut down.


Brothers sentenced in 10-year-old’s killing

LONDON — Two teenage brothers were sentenced to eight years in youth custody yesterday over the killing of a 10-year-old boy that sparked outrage in Britain four years ago.

Ricky Preddie, 19, and his brother Danny, 18, were condemned over the manslaughter of 10-year-old Damilola Taylors in November 2000.

Nigerian-born Damilola had been in Britain only a few months when he encountered the bullying brothers after walking home from the library after school.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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