- The Washington Times - Saturday, August 23, 2008


Drug lord sent to U.S.

SAO PAULO | Colombian drug lord Juan Carlos Ramirez Abadia was extradited to the United States on Friday to face racketeering charges, a year after he was captured in a luxurious hide-out on the outskirts of South America’s largest city.

Ramirez Abadia was flown before dawn from a prison in central Brazil to the jungle city of Manaus, where he was handed over to agents of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency, said Romeu Tuma Jr., a high-ranking Justice Ministry official.

Mr. Tuma said that Abadia was being flown to New York City in a U.S. government plane.


Gadhafi son leaving politics

TRIPOLI | Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi’s son announced he will no longer be involved in politics, calling for political reforms and denying he would succeed his father, as many have expected.

Seif al-Islam Gadhafi gave no explanation for his decision. He acknowledged the move could raise speculation of a rift between him and his father, but denied that was the case. There have been no public signs of any dispute between the two.

Mr. Gadhafi holds no official post but has grown in prominence in recent years, directing economic reforms and playing a major role in negotiations that restored Libya’s ties with the West after decades of isolation.


Group to meet again on nuke deal

VIENNA, Austria | A 45-nation meeting on whether to lift a ban on nuclear trade with India ended inconclusively Friday after many raised conditions for the move, leaving the future of a controversial U.S.-Indian nuclear deal unclear.

The countries in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) will meet again on Sept. 4-5 to try to resolve the matter, diplomats said.

The group must agree to allow nuclear fuel and technology exports to India for its civilian atomic energy program to help seal the 2005 U.S.-Indian agreement.


Maoist leader names Cabinet

KATMANDU | Maoist Prime Minister Prachanda picked a coalition Cabinet on Friday and named ex-guerrilla commander Ram Bahadur Thapa as defense minister in charge of the army that once battled the rebels.

A presidential palace statement said Prachanda, whose birth name is Pushpa Kamal Dahal, also named his deputy Baburam Bhattarai, a Maoist ideologue, as finance minister. He picked Upendra Yadav, chief of the Madheshi People’s Rights Forum, a key ally, as foreign minister.

A potential coalition partner, the Communist UML party, delayed joining the government until a row over Cabinet posts was resolved. The Maoists said four other smaller parties would join the coalition in the future.


Islamist rebels seize port city

KISMAYU | Islamist rebels seized control of this strategic port in southern Somalia on Friday after the worst fighting in the area for months killed 70 people, residents said.

The loss of Kismayu to the al-Shabaab insurgents was another blow for the interim government, which signed a peace deal with some opposition figures this week that has only seemed to stoke violence racking the Horn of Africa nation.

Artillery and gunbattles between the rebels and a pro-government clan militia broke out around the port on Wednesday.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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