- The Washington Times - Monday, March 26, 2007


More than 160 hurt in strong earthquake

NOTO PENINSULA — A strong earthquake killed one person and injured at least 160 in central Japan yesterday, demolishing houses, buckling roads, triggering landslides and cutting off water supplies to thousands of homes.

More than 1,300 people evacuated to shelters after 44 houses collapsed and about 200 others, mostly wooden with heavy tile roofs, were seriously damaged by the magnitude 6.9 earthquake, officials and reporters said.

The focus of the quake — which was also felt in Tokyo — was 7 miles below the seabed off the Noto Peninsula, about 190 miles west of Tokyo.


New sanctions urged as Darfur worsens

EL-FASHER — The United Nations’ new humanitarian chief said yesterday that efforts to help Darfur could collapse if the situation there gets any worse, and worried EU leaders called for tougher sanctions on Sudan.

As John Holmes toured the region, Germany joined British and U.S. calls for extra sanctions on Sudan for barring U.N. peacekeepers from its vast western region.

British Prime Minister Tony Blair, branding the situation in Darfur intolerable, called for new sanctions on the leaders responsible for the violence and for a no-fly zone to be considered.


Power-sharing deal hangs in the balance

BELFAST — Britain increased the pressure on Northern Ireland’s Catholics and Protestants to agree to a timetable for sharing power after the province’s main Protestant party rejected a deadline set by London.

The Democratic Unionist Party of hard-line cleric Ian Paisley said it wanted power-sharing delayed until May. Sinn Fein, the political ally of the Irish Republican Party guerrilla group, opposes any delay in power-sharing.

Britain’s Northern Ireland Secretary Peter Hain said London stood by its stance that the Northern Ireland assembly would be dissolved at midnight tonight unless Protestants and Catholics agree by then to go into government together by then.


Anti-government rally prompts police action

MINSK — Police clashed with protesters yesterday after about 10,000 people turned out for an opposition rally to call for the ousting of President Alexander Lukashenko.

There were no reports of injuries in the clashes, which came as the opposition marked the anniversary of the short-lived 1918 Belarus republic, which was crushed by Bolshevik troops.

“We are the majority. We will win. The authorities will fall under the pressure of their lies,” opposition leader Alexander Milinkevich told a crowd waving the banned red and white flags of the 1918 republic.


End of slave trade marked amid anger

ELMINA — Africans voiced their anger yesterday at a ceremony to mark 200 years since Britain abolished the slave trade, with some saying they could not forget how the “white man” maltreated their ancestors.

Ghana, which celebrated 50 years of independence from Britain this month, is commemorating the bicentenary with a ceremony at a whitewashed former slave fort at Elmina with singers and performers from Africa, the Caribbean and London.

Many expressed outrage at the brutality of a trade that shipped more than 10 million — some estimates say up to 60 million — Africans into bondage. Many did not survive.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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