- The Washington Times - Saturday, October 6, 2007


Basque radicals call protests after arrests

MADRID — Radical Basque nationalists called protests yesterday after Spanish police arrested almost all the top members of a party banned for links to ETA rebels.

Police detained 23 leaders of the illegal Batasuna party during a meeting Thursday night in the Basque town of Segura, further enflaming the issue of Basque separatism, which already looked set to dominate next March’s Spanish general elections.

Batasuna’s top leader, Arnaldo Otegi, has been in prison since June for praising ETA (Euskadi Ta Askatasuna, or Basque Homeland and Freedom), which has killed more than 800 people in four decades of struggle for independence from Spain.


Dozens of youths rampage, set fires

SAINT-DIZIER — Dozens of hooded youths battered two police vehicles with metal bars, set fire to more than a dozen parked cars and torched a community center in northeast France, officials said yesterday.

The rampage, in a tough neighborhood in Saint-Dizier, about 120 miles east of Paris, revived memories of a wave of car burnings, vandalism and clashes with police in 2005 fanned by feelings of alienation among French youths of Arab and African origin.

Authorities were not sure what sparked the violence by 30 to 40 youths late Thursday. The trouble began when firefighters escorted by police entered the Vert-Bois neighborhood in response to a fire alarm.


Official fired as toll in crash tops 50

KINSHASA — Congolese President Joseph Kabila sacked Transportation Minister Remy Henri Kuseyo Gatanga yesterday as the death toll from the latest air accident in the Central African country rose to more than 50.

But authorities announced that a Congolese mechanic aboard the Russian-made cargo plane that crashed in Kinshasa had survived the accident.

The Antonov 26 plunged into a neighborhood of the sprawling riverside capital Thursday.


BBC official resigns over queen report

LONDON — The head of the British Broadcasting Corp.’s flagship BBC One television, Peter Fincham, resigned yesterday after a report faulted him for wrongly implying Queen Elizabeth had stormed out of a photo shoot.

The incident was an embarrassment for the British public service broadcaster, which has faced a number of scandals this year including an unprecedented fine for faking the results of a phone-in contest on a popular children’s show.


Rubik’s Cube race attracts hundreds

BUDAPEST — After 25 years, the cube is coming home. Hundreds of competitors met yesterday for the fourth Rubik’s Cube world championship in the Hungarian capital, which hosted the first such event in 1982.

The mechanical puzzle invented by Hungarian Erno Rubik sparked a global craze in the early 1980s. About 7 million cubes were sold last year.

Competitors from 32 countries will take part in the three-day event. Prizes will be awarded in 17 categories, with experts trying to solve the classic 3x3 cube and its variations while blindfolded, with one hand, or with their feet. Prize money totals $28,000.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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