- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007


Negotiators meet in Germany

The U.S. negotiator at North Korean nuclear talks met yesterday with his North Korean counterpart in Germany to discuss ways to prepare for the next round of talks, the State Department said.

Assistant Secretary of State Christopher R. Hill met with chief North Korean negotiator Kim Gye-gwan in Berlin, where Mr. Hill had traveled for a speech today at the American Academy, State Department spokesman Tom Casey said.

Mr. Hill is scheduled to travel to Asia this week for discussions with his counterparts. He will be in Seoul Friday, in Beijing on Saturday and in Tokyo on Sunday.


Reagan monument planned in Prague

PRAGUE — A Prague mayor wants to erect a monument in the capital city paying tribute to President Reagan’s role in the fall of communism.

Tomas Chalupa, the mayor of Prague’s District 6, who was re-elected to the mayoral spot in November, lobbied for the monument as part of his campaign. The district has set aside $4,661 for a study of the proposal.


U.S. soldiers face arrest in Iraq death

MADRID — Spain has issued an international arrest warrant for three U.S. soldiers after reopening a homicide investigation into the killing of Spanish television photographer Jose Couso in Iraq, court officials said yesterday.

Judge Santiago Pedraz also asked prosecutors to determine whether the soldiers’ assets in the United States could be frozen against any future compensation claims.

Mr. Couso, a photographer for Spain’s Telecinco television station, was killed when a U.S. tank fired a shell at the Palestine Hotel in Baghdad on April 8, 2003. Reuters photographer Taras Protsyuk was also killed.


Mainland mothers to be restricted

HONG KONG — Pregnant women from mainland China who are near their due date will be turned away at Hong Kong borders if they cannot prove that they have appointments in the city’s hospitals, officials said yesterday.

The number of births by mainland Chinese women in Hong Kong nearly doubled in 2005 — from 10,128 in 2003 to 19,538 — according to the city’s hospital authority. Many come to evade China’s one-child policy, take advantage of higher quality health care or earn Hong Kong residency rights for their babies.


Historians appeal ‘Da Vinci’ verdict

LONDON — Two historians who lost a plagiarism case against “The Da Vinci Code” author Dan Brown began an appeal yesterday to have the verdict overturned.

Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh, who wrote “The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail,” which they say Mr. Brown copied, were at London’s High Court to hear the opening of the appeal.

A judge ruled in April that the central themes were too general or abstract to be protected by copyright.


Tiger rebels claim killing 45 troops

COLOMBO — Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tiger rebels yesterday said they resisted a major military offensive against them by killing at least 45 government troops for the loss of 12 of their own fighters.

The rebel Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam said they beat back a three-pronged offensive by government forces in the district of Batticaloa, inflicting heavy losses on the military.

For its part, the Defense Ministry said its forces lost only four soldiers, with 20 wounded. The military placed rebel losses at 30 Tigers killed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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