- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 17, 2008


Zimbabwe pressed not to rig vote tally

NEW YORK — The U.N. secretary-general, Britain, the African Union and the United States urged Zimbabwe yesterday to ensure that the outcome of the country’s contested presidential election is not rigged.

“A stolen election would not be a democratic election at all,” British Prime Minister Gordon Brown told a high-level meeting of the U.N. Security Council on African peace and security issues, including the conflicts in Somalia and Congo and in the Darfur region of Sudan.

After 18 days, Zimbabwean electoral officials have yet to say whether President Robert Mugabe or opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai won the March 29 presidential election.

Mr. Tsvangirai says he won the election outright and has accused Mr. Mugabe of withholding the results to maintain his 28-year grip on power. Independent tallies show Mr. Tsvangirai won but not by enough to prevent a runoff.


Ties tightened with Georgia enclaves

MOSCOW — Russia announced yesterday that it would establish legal links with neighboring Georgia’s breakaway regions of Abkhazia and South Ossetia, a move that Georgia condemned as a breach of international law.

NATO’s chief told Russia to reverse the moves, and a senior U.S. official said Moscow was engaging in “political mischief.”

Russia’s decision is likely to create a new irritant in relations between Russia and Western states, which are closely allied to Georgia and suspect Russia of trying to punish the small Caucasus state for its bid to join NATO.


Man, 86, charged with Nazi-era killings

BERLIN — An 86-year-old man who acted as a hit man for a Nazi death squad that executed Dutch civilians during World War II has been charged with three counts of murder, a prosecutor said yesterday.

Dortmund prosecutor Ulrich Maass told the Associated Press that he had charged Heinrich Boere with the 1944 killings of three men as a member of the Waffen SS death squad code-named Silbertanne, or Silver Pine.

The AP was first to report last month that Mr. Maass had quietly reopened the case against Boere in a last attempt to bring him to justice.

Boere was convicted of the same three murders in the Netherlands in 1949 and sentenced to death — later commuted to life imprisonment — but has managed to escape prison so far.


Rebels kill soldiers in ambulance

BOGOTA — Colombian rebels executed two unarmed soldiers traveling in an ambulance after being wounded by land mines set by the guerrillas, the army said yesterday, calling the killings a violation of humanitarian law.

The two soldiers were shot near the town of Yarumal in northern Antioquia province, a rebel stronghold in Colombia’s long conflict.

The driver of the ambulance and the nurse attending the soldiers were set free by the rebels.


41 schoolchildren killed in bus accident

AHMEDABAD — A bus plunged into a canal in western India early yesterday, killing at least 41 schoolchildren going to take an exam and three others, an official said. Fourteen passengers were missing.

The students from a village school were traveling to a nearby town to take an exam when the accident occurred near Vadodara city in Gujarat state.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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