- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Ex-U.S. legislator among the deported

JERUSALEM | Israel has deported a former U.S. congresswoman, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate and other activists who were arrested trying to break the naval blockade of the Gaza Strip, Israeli officials said Monday.

The Israeli navy commandeered the boat last week as it tried to sail from Cyprus to Gaza. It was the latest in a series of trips by activists trying to bring attention to the blockade imposed by Israel and Egypt on the territory after the Islamic militants of Hamas seized power there two years ago.

There were 21 passengers and three tons of medical aid on board. Nobel laureate Mairead Corrigan Maguire and former Rep. Cynthia McKinney, a Democrat, along with six other activists, remained in Israeli custody until Monday, when the Israeli government arranged flights for them, according to Interior Ministry spokeswoman Sabine Haddad.


Main airport shut to all flights

TEGUCIGALPA | Honduras’ interim government closed its main airport to all flights Monday after blocking the runway to prevent the return of ousted President Manuel Zelaya. Clashes with his supporters caused the first death in a week of protests.

Police and soldiers blanketed the streets of the capital early Monday, enforcing a sunset-to-sunrise curfew with batons and metal poles. Civil aviation authorities announced a 24-hour ban on all flights at the country’s main airport starting Monday morning.

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton is expected to meet Mr. Zelaya in Washington on Tuesday, a U.S. official said, according to Reuters news agency.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, meanwhile, in Geneva on Monday urged Honduran authorities to protect civilians, saying they should be allowed to express their opinions without being threatened.


Right wins vote by huge margin

SOFIA | Bulgaria’s conservative opposition won elections by a wide margin as voters punished the governing Socialists for failing to crack down on corruption, according to final results released Monday.

Outgoing Socialist Prime Minister Sergei Stanishev conceded defeat hours after polls closed late Sunday, clearing the way for Sofia Mayor Boiko Borisov to form the next government.

With all ballots counted, the Central Election Commission said Mr. Borisov’s newly founded GERB Party won 39.7 percent, while the Socialists garnered 17.7 percent.

Former Czar Simeon Saxe-Coburg resigned Monday as leader of National Movement for Stability and Prosperity, a junior partner in the outgoing coalition government, after his party lost all of its seats.

“I am taking the responsibility,” Mr. Saxe-Coburg told a news conference.


Mumbai suspect’s release appealed

ISLAMABAD | The Pakistani government appealed a court decision that freed a founder of the group that India blames for last year’s Mumbai terrorist attacks, saying Monday that it thought the man was still a security threat.

Hafiz Muhammad Saeed was released in early June after the high court in the eastern city of Lahore ruled there was not enough evidence to keep the Muslim cleric under house arrest.

Deputy Attorney General Shah Khawar said the government filed an appeal Monday with the Supreme Court.

Saeed, who founded Lashkar-e-Taiba, a banned terrorist group India blames for the November attacks in Mumbai, was detained in December during a countrywide crackdown on purported militants.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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