- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 4, 2007


Junta arrests more after envoy leaves

RANGOON — Troops in Burma hauled away truckloads of people yesterday after the departure of a U.N. envoy trying to end a ruthless crackdown on pro-democracy rallies that has sparked international outrage.

Witnesses said at least eight truckloads of prisoners were taken from central Rangoon, Burma’s biggest city, where crowds of up to 100,000 people had protested against decades of military rule and deepening economic hardship.

A staff member of the U.N. Development Fund and her husband and brother-in-law were among those arrested, U.N. spokeswoman Michele Montas said in New York.


President urges parties to deal

KIEV — President Viktor Yushchenko ordered Ukraine’s three bickering parties yesterday to strike their own deal on a postelection government, a move likely to aggravate a deadlock that has stalled economic reforms.

As the vote count drew to a close, the president said stability could be reached only through a political understanding including both his allies from the Orange Revolution and his rival, Prime Minister Viktor Yanukovych.


Olmert, Abbas map joint goals

TEL AVIV — Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, in their latest bimonthly meeting, instructed negotiating teams to start hammering out a joint statement for an upcoming U.S.-hosted Middle East conference expected to kick off full-fledged talks.

After meeting privately for about an hour at the Israeli prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem, the two leaders sat down with aides to discuss formulating a set of guidelines for peace talks slated to begin after the U.S. conference. But the sides remain far apart on what to call the statement and how specific the guidelines will be.

The guidelines are envisioned as the centerpiece of a regional meeting sometime next month at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis. The location for peace talks reflects the Bush administration’s desire to strike a different path from the failed Israeli-Palestinian talks at Camp David under President Clinton.


Man sets bus ablaze, killing 27

BEIJING — A suspended bus-company manager sparked a fierce blaze on a bus in southwestern China that killed him, his wife and 25 others and injured 11 persons, the official Xinhua news agency said yesterday.

The bus, with 38 persons on board, was heading downtown in Chongqing on Tuesday when the fire erupted just after 5 p.m. The flames appeared to start from several big bags held by Xiao Yonghua, a 50-year-old employee of the firm that owned the bus, and his wife, 38.


Cat ‘tells’ life story of ‘best friend’ pope

VATICAN CITY — Chico the cat describes the life of his “best friend,” Pope Benedict XVI, in an authorized biography for children released this week.

“Chico and Joseph — A Cat Recounts the Life of Pope Benedict XVI” is narrated by Chico, who took up with the pope in his native Germany when he was Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger.

The illustrated 44-page book is written by Italian author Jeanne Perego and set mostly in Germany in the years before Benedict was elected in April 2005.

Chico is a real cat who belongs to a German couple in the German city of Pentling, where the pope lived until he moved to Rome in 1981.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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