- The Washington Times - Monday, April 30, 2007

EGYPT

Arab League slams House vote on Darfur

CAIRO — The Arab League said yesterday that it was offended by a U.S. House of Representatives resolution calling on the league to recognize the conflict in the Darfur region of Sudan as genocide.

The resolution, passed Wednesday, also accuses the 22-member Arab League of obstructing the deployment of U.N. forces in Darfur or seeking to reduce the mandate of the forces.

“The secretariat of the Arab League expresses its extreme astonishment at the resolution,” the league said. “This shows that incorrect information has been submitted to the U.S. Congress on which to base resolutions which are far from reality.”

AFGHANISTAN

Civilians killed in raid, sparking anti-U.S. rally

KABUL — Hundreds of angry protesters demonstrated in eastern Afghanistan chanting “Death to Bush” after six persons — including a woman and a teenage girl — were reportedly killed in a raid by U.S.-led coalition and Afghan forces.

The U.S. said four militants were among the dead, but it was the civilian deaths that infuriated the protesters, who carried five bodies to a main highway and blocked traffic. The bodies of the women were entirely covered by sheets, while the men’s faces were revealed.

“It is extremely unfortunate that militants put others’ lives in danger by hiding among their families,” said U.S. Army Maj. Chris Belcher, a coalition spokesman.

IRELAND

Ahern goes to polls seeking a third term

DUBLIN — Prime Minister Bertie Ahern called a parliamentary election for May 24 yesterday, but opinion polls show his Fianna Fail party faces a close battle to keep control of Ireland’s thriving economy.

Ireland has become one of Europe’s wealthiest nations during Mr. Ahern’s decade in power, but polls show Fianna Fail and its coalition partner, the pro-business Progressive Democrats, are neck and neck with the main opposition alternative.

CHINA

Rights group cites failed Olympic vows

BEIJING — China has failed to live up to promises to improve human rights for the 2008 Olympics despite reforms to the death-penalty system and more freedoms for foreign reporters, Amnesty International said in a report for release today.

The report catalogs a wide range of abuses, from extensive use of detention without trial to the persecution of civil rights activists and new methods to rein in the domestic press and censor the Internet.

The London-based group welcomed improvements on rules for foreign journalists and the handling of death sentences but said that had been matched by moves to restrict other freedoms.

IRAN

Barbers not to give Western-style cuts

TEHRAN — Police have warned barbers against offering Western-style haircuts or plucking the eyebrows of their male customers, the Iranian press said yesterday.

The report appeared to be another sign of the authorities cracking down on clothing and other fashion deemed to be against Islamic values.

It came a week after police cracked down against the growing numbers of young women testing the limits of the law with shorter, brighter and skimpier clothing ahead of the summer months.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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