- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007

FRANCE

Court rejects lesbian adoption

PARIS — France’s appeals court yesterday barred a woman from adopting the child of her lesbian partner, saying it was not in the interest of the child.

Lesbian couples are prohibited under French law from adopting, but adoption has been used as a way of establishing parental rights for partners.

The court ruled yesterday that a lesbian couple could not share parental authority over a child as only the mother held those rights.

RUSSIA

Corruption threatens political stability

MOSCOW — Corruption in Russia has grown so widespread that it could threaten political stability unless urgent measures are taken, a report published yesterday said.

The report’s authors, members of a public chamber set up by President Vladimir Putin to improve ties between officials and citizens, said corruption had seeped into every aspect of life.

The report’s authors gave no estimates of the value of Russian corruption, which some organizations say runs into hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

CANADA

Wealthy Serb faces deportation

OTTAWA — A wealthy Serbian businessman faces deportation from Canada after an immigration tribunal ruled against him, saying he was a “senior adviser” to Slobodan Milosevic during the 1999 Kosovo war.

Canada’s Immigration and Refugee Board said in its decision that Dragomir Karic was a special envoy for the Serbian strongman, who was prosecuted for war crimes at The Hague. Thus, Mr. Karic would be barred from Canada.

Mr. Karic, who was born in Yugoslavia and became a permanent resident of Canada in 1993, denied the accusation, but the immigration panel did not believe him.

WEST BANK

American women kidnapped, released

NABLUS — Three American women were kidnapped yesterday in the West Bank city of Nablus and released later in the evening, Palestinian security officials said.

No one took responsibility.

Officials said the three women were last seen taking pictures on the outskirts of the Balata refugee camp near Nablus before they were kidnapped. They were held briefly before being released, security officials said.

PAKISTAN

Gunman kills female minister

LAHORE — A man suspected of being an Islamist zealot fatally shot a female Pakistani provincial government minister yesterday because he thought women should stay out of politics, officials said.

Zil-e-Huma, social welfare minister of the Punjab government, women’s activist and supporter of President Pervez Musharraf, was about to give a speech to dozens of people when the lone attacker shot her in the head. She died later in a hospital.

The gunman, identified as Mohammad Sarwar, was arrested immediately.

POLAND

Pope pardons communist collaborator

WARSAW — Pope Benedict XVI yesterday pardoned Polish Bishop Stanislaw Wielgus, who last month resigned as archbishop of Warsaw after admitting he had collaborated with the communist secret police.

“I send you a special apostolic blessing,” the pope said in a letter to Bishop Wielgus, who rocked the church in overwhelmingly Catholic Poland when he stood down as Warsaw archbishop last month, amid accusations he had worked with the despised Sluzba Bezpieczenstwa secret police.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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