- The Washington Times - Friday, April 27, 2007

INDIA

Nehru-Gandhi scion saves stabbed teen

NEW DELHI — Indian political hopeful Rahul Gandhi played “Good Samaritan” on Tuesday, rushing a teenage boy who had been stabbed in the stomach to a hospital while out campaigning, the Press Trust of India reported.

Mr. Gandhi, who heads the national ruling Congress party’s campaign in elections in Uttar Pradesh, spotted the boy bleeding profusely along a roadside. The scion of the Nehru-Gandhi dynasty that has given India three prime ministers, told his motorcade to stop and helped lift the boy into his own car.

The car sped the boy, Sushil Kumar, to a nearby hospital in Mr. Gandhi’s constituency of Amethi, and Mr. Gandhi spent some time waiting for news on his condition, the news agency said. At last report, the boy was out of danger.

NEPAL

Maoist chief urges end to monarchy

KATMANDU — The new government celebrated this week the first anniversary of the end of King Gyanendra’s absolute rule as Maoist chief Prachanda called for an immediate end to monarchy.

“We want the interim parliament to declare a republic immediately,” he told thousands gathered at a ceremony Tuesday marking last year’s victory of the “people’s movement” that forced the monarch to relinquish direct rule.

Elections to a body that will decide the future of the monarchy and rewrite the constitution are to be held in June, but the former rebel leader called for scrapping the monarchy without an election. “If [declaration of a republic] doesn’t happen, we will come to the people … to declare a republic,” said the once elusive leftist.

AFGHANISTAN

Canada can check on prisoners it yields

TORONTO — Canada has reached an agreement with Afghan officials to check on the status of detainees amid charges they are being tortured after Canadian troops hand them over, Defense Minister Gordon O’Connor said this week.

Mr. O’Connor said Canadian officials will be allowed to enter detention facilities any time they want. The announcement came two days after a newspaper report that such prisoners were abused led to calls for Mr. O’Connor’s firing.

The Globe and Mail newspaper reported Monday that dozens of detainees told reporters they had been choked, starved and given electric shocks, fueling criticism that Ottawa’s turnover of prisoners is flawed because it gave Canada no right to check on their condition.

Weekly notes …

Pakistani authorities banned a stage play for ridiculing the burqa, the veil traditionally worn by Muslim women, a minister said after Islamist lawmakers raised the issue in Parliament Thursday. “The veil has long been part of local culture and nobody is allowed to make fun of these values,” said Culture Minister Ghazi Gulab Jamal. … Gunfire was heard near Sri Lanka’s only international airport Thursday night, and residents said they saw tracer bullets coming from the main military air base, which shares a runway with Bandaranaike International Airport outside the capital Colombo. The airport was closed a month ago after it came under air attack from Tamil Tiger rebels.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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