- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Rumsfeld wins pledges of military support

TIRANA — Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld won pledges of military support for the war on terrorism yesterday from Albania and Montenegro, two small Balkan countries eager for NATO membership.

Albania, one of the first countries to provide troops to Iraq after the U.S. invasion in 2003, still has 150 troops serving in northern Iraq and 30 in Afghanistan.

Hours earlier in Podgorica, Montenegro, Mr. Rumsfeld heard another emphatic offer of support in the U.S.-led global war on terrorism from Prime Minister Milo Djukanovic. A tiny remnant of the former Yugoslavia, Montenegro just became independent in June, has a tiny 4,000-strong army that is slated to shrink to 2,500 and no troops in either Iraq or Afghanistan.


Bin Laden alive, Taliban says

DUBAI — Dubai-based Al Arabiya television yesterday quoted a Taliban official as saying al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden was alive and in good health.

The Arabic channel said its Pakistan bureau had received a call from the unnamed official of the ousted Afghan movement a few days after a leaked French secret document said Saudi intelligence thought bin Laden died last month in Pakistan.

A report in French regional daily L’Est Republicain last week quoted a document from the DGSE foreign intelligence service, saying the Saudi secret services were convinced that bin Laden had died of typhoid.

A U.S. intelligence official said Washington thinks bin Laden is alive but added that there is no reason to view the Al Arabiya report as any more credible than the French newspaper account of his death.


Archbishop excommunicated

VATICAN CITY — Archbishop Emmanuel Milingo, the Zambian prelate who angered the Vatican by getting married in 2001, has been excommunicated for again defying the Holy See by installing four married men as bishops, the Vatican said yesterday.

The Vatican said Mr. Milingo, 76, was “automatically excommunicated” under church law for the ordination of the men at a church in Washington on Sunday.

The four men, who claim affiliation with the breakaway Synod of Old Catholic Churches, also were automatically excommunicated for being ordained, the Vatican said.

Mr. Milingo has long had a troubled relationship with the Vatican. In 2001, he was married to a South Korean acupuncturist chosen for him by the Rev. Sun Myung Moon of the Unification Church, in a mass wedding ceremony in New York. Upon appeal from Pope John Paul II a few months later, he renounced that union.


Soldier gets 4 years for brutal bullying

CHELYABINSK — A Russian court yesterday sentenced a conscript to four years in prison for abusing a younger recruit so badly that doctors had to amputate his legs and genitals.

The abuse inflicted on Andrei Sychev was not unusual for Russia’s brutal armed forces, but analysts say a Kremlin faction whipped up a public uproar about the case to discredit Defense Minister Sergei Ivanov, a presidential hopeful.

The military court in the Ural mountains city of Chelyabinsk said junior Sgt. Alexander Sivyakov got drunk as his unit marked the New Year’s holiday and forced Mr. Sychev, 19, to crouch for more than three hours. The crouching cut the blood flow to his limbs. He received no medical care for three days, by which time he had developed gangrene.


Artwork by Hitler fetches $220,000

LOSTWITHIEL — Watercolors and sketches attributed to Adolf Hitler sold for a total of $220,000 at an auction yesterday that was briefly interrupted by a pair of self-styled “comedy terrorists.”

The 21 watercolors and two sketches, most of them landscapes, sold individually for prices from $6,100 to $19,975.

The pieces were found in a farmhouse in Belgium, not far from where Hitler was stationed in Flanders.


Saddam trial adjourns after stormy session

BAGHDAD — Saddam Hussein’s genocide trial adjourned for two weeks yesterday after a stormy session during which the chief judge expelled all seven defendants after a shouting match.

Chief Judge Mohammed Oreibi al-Khalifa declared the recess until Oct. 9 to give defendants time to persuade their attorneys to end their boycott of the trial, or to confer with new ones.


Doctors charged in child HIV deaths

ALMATY — Prosecutors in Kazakhstan have charged eight doctors and senior health officials with criminal negligence over the infections of at least 61 children with HIV and the deaths of five, officials said yesterday.

The children were infected in recent months in a hospital in the south of the country, apparently after receiving transfusions of blood contaminated with the virus.

From wire dispatches and staff reports



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