Sunday, July 29, 2007


Activist held in psychiatric hospital

MOSCOW — A Russian opposition activist and journalist is being detained at a psychiatric hospital in the northern region of Murmansk for her political activities, a fellow activist said yesterday.

Larisa Arap was detained July 6 and held at a clinic in the port city of Murmansk until last Thursday, when she was transferred to a closed psychiatric hospital at Apatity more than 90 miles away, said Yelena Vasilyeva, head of the Murmansk branch of the United Civil Front of former chess champion Garry Kasparov.

Miss Arap had recently published an article claiming abuse of children in psychiatric institutions and had spoken at a June 12 demonstration organized by the front, Miss Vasilyeva said.

The United Civil Front is campaigning against President Vladimir Putin’s leadership ahead of a presidential election next March.


Remains of Muslim war victims reburied

PRIJEDOR — The remains of 147 Muslim victims of Bosnia’s 1992-95 war that were exhumed from mass graves were buried yesterday in the northern town of Prijedor.

Some 3,000 Muslims attended a religious ceremony in the city’s stadium before the remains were buried in a number of different cemeteries.

The majority of the victims were local Muslims thought to have been killed in Serb-run detention camps. Their bodies were found after the war in mass graves around Prijedor and identified by DNA analysis.

On Friday, the remains of 35 Serb soldiers and civilians who had been identified were buried in the northern city of Banja Luka.


Vacationers moved after Canary fires

LA GOMERA — Campers and residents in the Canary Islands had to be evacuated overnight while firemen fought two blazes that raged across several hundred acres, regional officials said yesterday.

In Tejeda, a mountainous and wooded area in the center of Gran Canaria Island, 180 firemen backed up by five water-carrying helicopters battled a fire that had already charred more than 2,000 acres.

Weekly notes

Vidmantas Urbonas, a Lithuanian former triathlete, abandoned his attempt to become the first person to swim across the Baltic Sea yesterday after breaking off the journey the day before due to stormy weather. But he said he was satisfied, since his goal was to attract the world’s attention to its environmental problems. The 1998 world ultra-triathlon champion started on July 22 from Kalmar in southeast Sweden and was heading for Pavilosta in southwest Latvia, about 130 miles away. … A northern bottlenose whale that swam into a river near the eastern English town of Ipswich was killed by veterinarians yesterday after it became stranded, an official said. … Police in Italy are searching for a phony priest who conducted funeral services before making off with hundreds of dollars left by mourners in the collection plate, the London Daily Telegraph reported. Father Marco, as he called himself, told genuine priests at a series of cemetery chapels in Sicily that he had been asked by the families of the deceased to carry out the service. To add to the woes of those involved, the fake services are invalid in the eyes of the church.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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