- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 12, 2008


260 tons hashish found in trenches

KABUL | Afghan counternarcotics officials said Wednesday they uncovered 260 tons of hashish hidden in 6-foot-deep trenches in southern Afghanistan in what one DEA official said appears to be the world’s biggest drug bust.

The hashish, found Monday in the southern province of Kandahar, was worth more than $400 million and would have netted the Taliban about $14 million in profits, NATO’s International Security Assistance Force said.

The hashish weighed as much as 30 double-decker London buses, ISAF said. The drugs were burned on site. Hashish is a concentrated form of marijuana.


Brown wins terrorism vote

LONDON | Britain’s Gordon Brown won a crucial vote Wednesday in Parliament to extend the time terrorism suspects can be held without charge, bringing some relief to a prime minister whose leadership is under fire.

Parliament voted 315-306 in favor of extending the pre-charge detention time limit to 42 days from 28 days. But a revolt by members of the ruling Labor Party slashed the government’s majority of 65 to nine votes.

Defeat for Mr. Brown would have seriously damaged his authority at a time when his poll ratings are at a new low and some Labor lawmakers are openly questioning his suitability to lead them into the next general election, planned for May 2010.


Police arrest war crimes fugitive

BELGRADE | Serbian police on Wednesday arrested one of the four remaining war crimes fugitives wanted by the U.N. tribunal in the Netherlands.

Stojan Zupljanin, 57, was arrested in the vicinity of Belgrade, Serbia’s war crimes prosecution spokesman said. He was a Bosnian Serb police commander during the 1992-95 civil war.

The arrest leaves three suspects at large: Bosnian Serb military commander Gen. Ratko Mladic, Bosnian Serb wartime leader Radovan Karadzic, and Serb rebel leader in Croatia, Goran Hadzic.


Upper house censures Fukuda

TOKYO | Japan’s unpopular prime minister, Yasuo Fukuda, suffered an unprecedented censure Wednesday in parliament’s upper house, but the embarrassing opposition move was not expected to force him to resign or call a midterm election soon.

The opposition Democratic Party and smaller allies approved the nonbinding censure motion by a vote of 131-105, the first against a prime minister under the current 1947 constitution, in an effort to build momentum for an early lower house election.

Ruling party officials brushed off the censure, which comes less than a month before Mr. Fukuda hosts a Group of Eight summit, as a political gesture and submitted a confidence motion to the powerful lower chamber as a countermove.


Files on al Qaeda, Iraq found on train

LONDON | Secret government documents on al Qaeda and Iraq were left on a commuter train, prompting a major police investigation into the latest in a series of high-level security breaches, British officials said Wednesday.

The documents belonged to a senior intelligence official in the Cabinet office and were found Tuesday by a passenger on a London commuter train. The envelope was then passed to the BBC.

Seven pages stamped “UK Top Secret” included the latest government intelligence assessment on al Qaeda and Iraq’s security forces, the BBC said. The documents were also stamped “for UK/US/Canadian and Australian eyes only.”

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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