- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Gas pipeline to bypass Russia

ANKARA | European countries on Monday sealed an important agreement aimed at diversifying the Continent’s energy sources.

The Nabucco pipeline is backed by some members of the European Union that have been subject to gas cutoffs during commercial disputes between Russia and Ukraine, a key transit route.

Monday’s agreement was signed by Turkey and four EU countries — Austria, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary — to allow the pipeline to cross their countries.

The 2,050-mile pipeline would run from the Caspian Sea across Turkey to Austria and involves investments of $10.26 billion, according to EU data.


Prime minister calls election

TOKYO | Japan’s struggling prime minister called Monday for national elections next month after a crushing defeat for his party in a Tokyo municipal election seen as a barometer of voter sentiment.

With the opposition surging in popularity — on the back of economic malaise and several gaffes by the ruling party — it appeared increasingly likely it could take power after 50 years of almost exclusive rule by Prime Minister Taro Aso’s Liberal Democratic Party.

Mr. Aso told leaders of his party he likely would dissolve the lower house of the legislature next week, with a general election to be held on Aug. 30, a party spokesman said.


Demjanjuk charged as Nazi camp guard

BERLIN | A German court said Monday that 89-year-old John Demjanjuk will be tried for “complicity to murder” 27,900 people, in what could be one of the last cases of its kind.

Prosecutors think the Ukrainian-born Mr. Demjanjuk helped herd tens of thousands of Jews and others into the gas chambers while a guard at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland in 1943.

Mr. Demjanjuk spent five years on death row in Israel before being acquitted in 1993 of being a guard at a different death camp.


Political meeting ends in fisticuffs

HARARE | A Zimbabwean conference to draw up a new constitution descended into chaos on Monday as riot police broke up clashes between rival delegates, underscoring the tensions within a unity government formed this year.

Police drove the delegates out of the venue and cordoned it off, while Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and his old rival, President Robert Mugabe, met to discuss the disruption.

The conference is part of a process that should lead to the adoption of a new national constitution and fresh elections in about two years.


Sudan’s Bashir not welcome

KAMPALA | Uganda said Monday it would arrest Sudanese President Omar Bashir if he enters the country, an unusual stance after a summit of African leaders denounced the international arrest warrant against Lt. Gen. Bashir.

Henry Oryem Okello, Uganda’s minister for international affairs, spoke after meeting with the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor, Luis Moreno Ocampo, in Kampala.

Police “will ensure that he is arrested” if Gen. Bashir arrives, Mr. Okello said.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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