- The Washington Times - Friday, April 25, 2008

IRAQ

Parties to rejoin al-Maliki government

BAGHDAD — Parties that walked out of Iraq’s government last year have agreed to rejoin, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said yesterday, in what could amount to a long-awaited political breakthrough.

The main Sunni Arab bloc, the Accordance Front, said it intended to submit a list of candidates for Cabinet positions within days and could be back in Mr. al-Maliki’s government soon. Its return has long been a major goal of the United States.

The Accordance Front quit Mr. al-Maliki’s Shi’ite-led government last year at a time when most violence in Iraq pitted minority Sunni Arabs against majority Shi’ites.

SOUTH KOREA

Cloned dogs to sniff for drugs, bombs

INCHEON — The country that created the world’s first cloned canine plans to put duplicated dogs on patrol to sniff out drugs and explosives.

The Korean Customs Service yesterday announced that seven cloned Labrador retrievers being trained near Incheon International Airport, west of Seoul. The dogs were born five to six months ago after being separately cloned from a skilled drug-sniffing canine in active service.

Because of the difficulties in finding dogs who are up to snuff for the critical jobs, officials said using clones could help reduce costs.

GAZA STRIP

U.N. halts food aid, citing fuel cutoff

GAZA CITY — The United Nations stopped distributing food to Palestinian refugees in Gaza yesterday after its vehicles ran out of fuel because of an Israeli blockade, a U.N. official said.

United Nations Relief Works Agency spokesman Adnan Abu Hasna said 700,000 Palestinians won’t be getting basic food packets because the agency could not bring in new shipments or distribute them to the needy without fuel for its vehicles.

Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza after the Islamist Hamas overran the territory last summer. Israel has shipped fuel for Gaza’s power plant but maintains a ban on gasoline and diesel fuel.

BRAZIL

Search suspended for ballooning priest

SAO PAULO — Brazil’s air force has suspended its search for a Roman Catholic priest who vanished after sailing into the air attached to hundreds of balloons. The cleric’s family chartered a private plane to continue the hunt.

The Rev. Adelir Antonio de Carli has been missing since Sunday, when he lifted off from the port city of Paranagua strapped to 1,000 balloons.

JAPAN

U.S. sailor charged in cabdriver’s death

TOKYO — Prosecutors charged a U.S. sailor yesterday in the stabbing death of a taxi driver, one of a series of purported crimes by U.S. service members that has stirred anger in Japan.

Olatunbosun Ugbogu, a 22-year-old Nigerian citizen serving in the U.S. Navy, was charged with fatally stabbing Masaaki Takahashi, 61, near a U.S. naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, on March 19, Yokohama District Court officials said.

The sailor, who served on the USS Cowpens, faces charges of robbery, murder and illegal possession of a weapon.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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