- The Washington Times - Friday, April 10, 2009


Sinn Fein leader meets Hamas leader

GAZA CITY | The leader of Irish Republican Army-linked Sinn Fein met with the head of the internationally shunned Hamas government during a two-day visit to Gaza, and said he plans to brief President Obama’s special Middle East envoy about his contacts.

Gerry Adams, a key player in Northern Ireland’s peace process, met with Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh late Wednesday and planned more talks with officials of the Islamic militant group Thursday.

Mr. Haniyeh’s meeting with Mr. Adams at an undisclosed location in Gaza City was not announced ahead of time. TV footage from a local news outlet showed Mr. Adams sitting in an armchair next to Mr. Haniyeh


U.N. peacekeepers ask for helicopters

UNITED NATIONS | The top U.N. official in Congo complained Thursday to the Security Council that a continued shortage of helicopters would hamper the ability of peacekeepers to protect civilians in the violence-torn nation.

Alan Doss, special U.N. envoy to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, said continuing threats to civilians in the east of the country underlined the importance of a reinforcement to the peacekeeping mission agreed to by the council last year.

In response to renewed fighting in the area, the council in November approved a temporary increase of 3,000 troops and police officers in the mission, known as MONUC, to 20,000. It is already the world’s largest U.N. force.

Mr. Doss told Reuters in an interview Tuesday that none of the peacekeepers and military hardware he had requested had so far arrived.


Officer spills secrets, then quits

LONDON | Britain’s top counterterrorism officer resigned Thursday after appearing in front of photographers with clearly visible secret documents about an operation against what Prime Minister Gordon Brown called a “very big terrorist plot.”

Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner Bob Quick’s blunder Wednesday forced police to launch raids faster than planned against a dozen suspects in northern England.

Mr. Quick, the senior police counterterrorism officer in Britain, was photographed clutching confidential documents as he arrived for a meeting with Mr. Brown at the prime minister’s official 10 Downing Street residence. The document on top showed details of the planned anti-terror operation that were clearly readable in photographs.


Authorities warn of protest casualties

CHISINAU | The prime minister of Moldova said Thursday that authorities in the former Soviet republic were prepared to use all means including weapons if new opposition protests turn violent.

Zinaida Greceanii, in a television address to the nation, said the opposition was planning to stage new rallies Friday and Sunday against the Communist Party’s election victory last weekend and warned that the rallies could lead to casualties.

Thousands of pro-Western demonstrators looted and set fire to parliament and the president’s offices in central Chisinau on Tuesday. They alleged rigging in elections that gave the ruling Communist Party nearly half the vote.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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