- The Washington Times - Sunday, March 30, 2008


Cities worldwide switch off lights

DUBLIN — From Sydney’s Opera House to Rome’s Colosseum, floodlit icons of civilization went dark yesterday for Earth Hour, a worldwide campaign to highlight the threat of climate change.

The environmental group WWF urged governments, businesses and households to turn back to candle power for at least 60 minutes starting at 8 p.m. wherever they were.

The campaign began last year in Australia and traveled this year from the South Pacific to Europe in cadence with the setting of the sun. Several U.S. cities also planned symbolic blackouts or dimmings at monuments, including at the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Atlanta, Chicago and Phoenix were also to take part.


Rice looks to ease West Bank curbs

JERUSALEM — Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said yesterday she would push for an easing of Israeli restrictions on Palestinians in the West Bank as she began her latest Middle East mission aimed at reviving faltering peace talks.

Before heading to dinner with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Miss Rice said she was looking for “real concrete progress” on several issues, including improving the movement and access of people and goods from the West Bank.

Miss Rice will hold talks today with Palestinian Prime Minister Salaam Fayyad and Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak.


Military says raids killed 15 rebels

ISTANBUL — Turkey’s military hit Kurdish rebel targets in northern Iraq with artillery and air strikes in a two-day operation that killed at least 15 rebels, the military said yesterday.

Turkish military shelled areas in northern Iraq on Thursday after it detected a group of Kurdish rebels preparing to attack Turkish targets from their bases in Iraq, the military said. Turkish warplanes hit rebel targets in a cross-border campaign the following day.

A spokesman for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, denied any rebels had been killed.


EU ministers hold talks with Serbia

BRDO — European Union foreign ministers yesterday vowed to find ways to boost Serbia’s pro-European camp ahead of a May election in their first encounter with a Serbian leader since Kosovo’s secession.

Even the Netherlands, which has vowed to block a pact on closer EU-Serbia ties until Belgrade hands over wartime Gen. Ratko Mladic to a U.N. tribunal, said it would be “creative” in helping Serbia move closer to the EU.

“It is very much in our interest to support the pro-European forces with all the means open to us,” Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier said after the meeting with Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic.


100 flights hit by terminal chaos

LONDON — British Airways canceled more than 100 flights over the weekend following the chaotic opening of its new $8.6 billion terminal at London’s Heathrow Airport.

The launch of the terminal has proved a public relations disaster for the airline, which said it had cut 66 short-haul and European flights yesterday and would cancel 37 more today after Terminal 5’s grand opening on Thursday descended into farce when its new baggage handling system failed to cope.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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