- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 3, 2007

PAKISTAN

House arrest eased for nuke-secrets seller

ISLAMABAD — Authorities have eased the virtual house arrest imposed on A.Q. Khan, the disgraced scientist who sold Pakistan’s nuclear secrets to Iran, North Korea and Libya, officials said yesterday.

In what is thought to be his first public comment in about three years, Khan told the Associated Press that he was recovering from treatment for cancer, but declined to discuss other topics.

Khan, 71, the architect of Pakistan’s nuclear program, confessed in 2004 to heading an international ring of smugglers that supplied sensitive technology to Iran and others. President Pervez Musharraf pardoned him while confining him to his tightly guarded villa in the capital, Islamabad. He has been permitted few visitors.



ISRAEL

Vanunu jailed after violating ban

JERUSALEM — An Israeli court yesterday sentenced Mordechai Vanunu, who in 2004 completed an 18-year prison term for spilling nuclear secrets, to six more months behind bars after he violated a ban on speaking to foreigners.

Israel has barred Vanunu from traveling abroad and has monitored his movements since he left prison, reporting that he has more details on the Dimona atomic reactor to divulge. Vanunu denies that, but he says he will pursue anti-nuclear activities.

“I don’t want to live here. I have the right to be free,” said Vanunu, 52, after the sentencing at Jerusalem Magistrate’s Court. The court, which also handed Vanunu a six-month suspended sentence, held off on jailing him to allow for appeals.

GAZA STRIP

Hamas makes arrests in BBC kidnapping

GAZA CITY — Hamas said yesterday it had made arrests in Gaza over the abduction of BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who has been held by extremists in the territory for 112 days.

The Interior Ministry in Gaza City, under Hamas control, reported that its self-declared Executive Force police had arrested “certain individuals implicated in the kidnapping of British journalist Alan Johnston.”

“These arrests were carried out after the failure of all negotiations with a view to releasing the captive journalist,” it added, calling on Mr. Johnston’s kidnappers and those who help and protect them to turn themselves in.

FRANCE

Chad leader’s son is found slain

PARIS — Brahim Deby, the son of Chadian President Idriss Deby, once seen as his possible successor, was found slain yesterday in the parking lot of his apartment in the Paris region, sources close to the investigation said.

The body of Mr. Deby, 27, was discovered in the early morning by a security guard in the underground parking lot of the building in the western Paris suburb of Courbevoie.

He had suffered a head wound, and a fire extinguisher was found near the body, sources said.

Prosecutors think Mr. Deby was the victim of a homicide, but were awaiting the results of an autopsy.

The son of the president was convicted in June last year on charges of drug and weapons possession after he was detained outside a Paris nightclub carrying a handgun.

During a search of his home, police found 250 grams of marijuana and two grams of cocaine, and he was given a six-month suspended jail sentence.

MEXICO

Students to get drug tests

MONTERREY — Mexican students will take drug tests in schools as part of an effort to reduce narcotics use among young people, President Felipe Calderon said yesterday.

Mr. Calderon said 8,000 schools will take part in the first stage of the program when the school year begins in August and September. Students ages 12 to 17 whose parents consent will take the test, which will eventually be administered nationwide.

About 5 percent of young Mexicans have tried illegal drugs at least once, a much lower number than in the United States, but narcotics use is on the rise, the United Nations says.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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