- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 14, 2007

UNITED NATIONS

Accord reached on Iran sanctions

NEW YORK — U.N. ambassadors from six world powers agreed in principle yesterday on a proposed new package of sanctions against Iran and were expected to introduce a resolution to the Security Council today if their governments approve it, the U.S. ambassador said.

The package still needs to be considered by the 10 nonpermanent members of the U.N. Security Council before it is approved. However, an agreement by the five veto-wielding permanent members of the council and Germany would be a strong signal that the key nations on the United Nations’ most powerful body want to send a united message to Iran to suspend uranium enrichment.

“We have an agreement in principle based on some additional changes that were introduced and presented today by some delegations,” acting U.S. Ambassador Alejandro Wolff said.

NIGERIA

Delta militants free 2 Italian hostages

PORT HARCOURT — Nigerian militants yesterday released two Italian oil workers they had been holding hostage in remote creeks in the oil-producing Niger Delta for more than three months, a Reuters witness said.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), which demands greater autonomy for Africa’s top oil province, had seized the employees of oil company Saipem, a unit of ENI, in a raid on an oil export terminal on Dec. 7.

MEND, which emerged in late 2005 and forced the closure of a fifth of Nigerian output with attacks on oil facilities in February 2006, said it would step up attacks on the facilities and stage bombings across the delta.

AFGHANISTAN

Suicide bomber hits police convoy

KABUL — A suicide bomber struck near a police convoy yesterday in eastern Afghanistan, killing four persons and wounding 35, officials said.

The officers were patrolling in the city of Khost when the attacker, who was on foot, detonated his explosives, said deputy provincial police Chief Mohammad Zaman. The commander of the patrol unit and three policemen were among the wounded.

Khost provincial health chief Gul Mohammadin Mohammadi said that four civilians were killed and another 35 persons wounded.

ISRAEL

U.S. report urges halt to excavation

JERUSALEM — A report by a U.N. team calls on Israel to halt excavations near Jerusalem’s most sacred Islamic site and proceed only under international supervision, officials said yesterday.

Israel’s archaeological excavations, taking place 165 feet from a religious compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, have sparked protests across the Muslim world.

The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, which sent a team to the site last month, issued the report.

VATICAN

Theologian censured for ‘dangerous’ ideas

VATICAN CITY — The Vatican censured one of Latin America’s leading proponents of liberation theology yesterday, saying his writings gave too much emphasis to Jesus Christ as a mortal man and were “erroneous or dangerous.”

The decision to punish the Rev. Jon Sobrino, a champion of the poor in El Salvador who braved death squad attacks against the clergy there in the 1980s, was made ahead of Pope Benedict XVI’s first trip to Latin America since being elected in 2005.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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