Thursday, August 9, 2007


Gusmao sworn in amid violence

DILI, East Timor — Independence hero and former President Xanana Gusmao was sworn in as East Timor’s prime minister yesterday amid simmering violence in districts loyal to the former ruling party.

Breaking a deadlock after parliamentary elections more than a month ago, President Jose Ramos-Horta on Monday appointed Mr. Gusmao’s coalition to govern after no single party won a majority.

Mr. Ramos-Horta’s decision sparked violent protests by supporters of the former ruling party, Fretilin, which claims the right to govern and has called the president’s move unconstitutional.


Boxers may miss Chicago championship

HAVANA — Cuba is considering pulling out of the October amateur World Boxing Championships in Chicago to avoid new defections by its boxers, Cuban leader Fidel Castro said yesterday.

“Imagine all the sharks of the Mafia wanting fresh meat,” the convalescing Mr. Castro, 80, wrote in a column published on the front page of the Communist Party newspaper Granma. He was commenting on an attempt by German boxing promoters to hire two of Cuba’s top fighters during the Pan-American Games in Brazil last month.

Guillermo Rigondeaux, two-time bantamweight Olympic champion, and reigning amateur welterweight world champion Erislandy Lara, who was captain of the Cuban boxing team, disappeared on July 22 during the games in Rio de Janeiro. They were arrested by Brazilian police last week and deported back to Cuba over the weekend.


Russian missile ditched, not fired

TBILISI — A missile that landed in Georgia was ditched, not fired, by a Russian jet as it fled Georgian airspace, a Georgian official said yesterday as the United States and Europe urged the two powers to stay calm.

The missile, weighing about a ton, landed — but did not explode — in a farmer’s field Monday, about 40 miles west of Tbilisi, sparking a slanging match between Georgia and Russia and reigniting old tensions.

Georgia initially said the missile was fired by Russian jets. But a Georgian official told Reuters yesterday that the Russian pilot dumped the missile after coming under fire from separatist forces in South Ossetia, a Moscow-backed breakaway region of Georgia, in an apparent mix-up.


Al Qaeda leader killed in raid

SAN’A — Yemeni security forces killed the second most senior leader of al Qaeda’s Yemen wing and three other militants yesterday, a senior security source said, adding they were involved in an attack on tourists last month.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh said the militants were involved in a bombing that killed eight Spanish tourists and two Yemenis last month.

The second most senior member of al Qaeda’s wing in Yemen, Qasem al-Raimi, was killed early Tuesday morning in the raid near the city of Marib about 95 miles east of the capital San’a, the senior security source said.


Giant cross marks site of Stalin purges

MOSCOW — Russian Orthodox priests consecrated a wooden cross yesterday at a site south of Moscow where firing squads executed thousands of people 70 years ago at the height of Josef Stalin’s political purges.

Created at a monastery that housed one of the first Soviet labor camps and brought by barge to Moscow along a canal built by gulag inmates, the 40-foot cross has been embraced as memorial to the mass suffering under Stalin.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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