- The Washington Times - Monday, February 18, 2008

RUSSIA

Satellite shootdown provokes skepticism

MOSCOW — Russia said yesterday that U.S. military plans to shoot down a damaged spy satellite might be a veiled test of a missile defense system.

The Pentagon failed to provide “enough arguments” to back its plan to smash the satellite next week with a missile, the Russian Defense Ministry said.

The Bush administration said the operation is not a test of a program to kill other nations’ orbiting communications and intelligence capabilities.

U.S. diplomats around the world have been instructed to inform governments that it is meant to protect people from 1,000 pounds of toxic fuel on the bus-sized satellite hurtling toward Earth.

DENMARK

Muslim rage forces Iran trip cancellation

COPENHAGEN — Ten Danish lawmakers yesterday canceled a trip to Iran, two days before their planned departure, after Danish newspapers reprinted a drawing of the prophet Muhammad.

The Danish Foreign Ministry said the parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee aborted the trip after the Iranian parliament demanded an apology because Danish newspapers last week reprinted the cartoon of the prophet that caused outrage in Islamic countries two years ago.

Islamists and their sympathizers consider depictions of the prophet offensive.

ITALY

Former Nazi guard arrives from Canada

ROME — A former Nazi guard extradited from Canada arrived in Italy to serve a life sentence for war crimes committed there during World War II.

Michael Seifert, who had lived in Canada since 1951, landed at Rome’s Ciampino airport before dawn Saturday.

Italian TV footage showed the 83-year-old, wearing a baseball cap and walking slowly with the help of a cane as local police escorted him from the airport.

An Italian military tribunal convicted Seifert in 2000 for torturing and murdering at least 18 persons while serving as a guard at a prison camp in the city of Bolzano between December 1944 and April 1945.

From wire dispatches and staff reports


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