- The Washington Times - Friday, April 18, 2008

FRANCE

Europe pans Bush climate plan

PARIS — President Bush’s plan for reining in U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases fell flat in the international arena, where critics have long accused him of not moving quickly enough on tackling global warming.

“Losership instead of leadership,” Germany’s environment minister said yesterday of Mr. Bush’s new strategy. A major disappointment, South Africa said. Too little and too late, a Chinese official added.

Mr. Bush’s speech Wednesday, in which he said the United States must stop the growth of its emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases by 2025, dominated U.S.-sponsored climate talks in Paris involving the world’s major economies.

AFGHANISTAN

U.N. seeks delay in refugee return

ISLAMABAD — The United Nations urged Pakistan to revise its plan to repatriate 2.4 million Afghan refugees by 2009, saying yesterday that the strategy is unworkable and could fuel militancy.

Pakistan announced the schedule last year after international criticism over cross-border attacks by Taliban militants who Pakistan says often take shelter in refugee camps.

Most of the refugees came during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the 1980s or were born here. The majority work in towns or cities and do not live in camps.

NORWAY

Refugees reach record high

GENEVA — The number of people uprooted in their own country reached a record high in 2007, and governments were often to blame for the displacement, an aid group said yesterday.

More than 26 million people around the world are seeking shelter elsewhere in their home countries — an increase of 3.7 million people from last year, the Norwegian Refugee Council said.

RUSSIA

Nuclear minister freed from prison

MOSCOW — Court officials say that Russia’s former atomic energy minister has been released from prison.

Yevgeny Adamov was convicted of stealing millions in U.S. government funds earmarked for strengthening security at Russian nuclear plants. He was sentenced this year to 5½ years in prison.

But a Moscow City Court spokeswoman said the court revised the sentence yesterday, giving Mr. Adamov a suspended sentence and setting him free.

PAKISTAN

Dutch dodge terrorist threat

ISLAMABAD — The Netherlands has shifted its embassy in the Pakistani capital to a luxury hotel because of security worries after the release of a film criticizing Islam.

The film by right-wing Dutch lawmaker Geert Wilders has triggered street protests in Pakistan and other Muslim countries and calls for a boycott of Dutch goods.

Meanwhile, a Dutch court ordered Mr. Wilders to pay a fine for mischaracterizing a rap artist as a terrorist in the film.

MARTINIQUE

French black poet Aime Cesaire dies

PARIS — French Caribbean poet Aime Cesaire, founding father of the Caribbean “negritude” movement that celebrated black consciousness, died in his native Martinique, France’s Ministry of Culture said yesterday.

Mr. Cesaire, 94, who was mayor of the island’s main city Fort-de-France for more than half a century, was admitted to hospital last week suffering from heart and other problems.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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