- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 17, 2009


India, Pakistan leaders meet

YEKATERINBURG | The leaders of India and Pakistan met on the sidelines of a summit in Russia on Tuesday, raising hopes that they may be prepared to improve the strained relations of the nuclear-armed nations. But it was evident that last year’s terrorist attacks in Mumbai remain a big obstacle.

“My mandate is to tell you that Pakistani territory should not be used for terrorism against India,” Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said as cameras flashed and he shook hands with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Indian and Russian news agencies reported.

It was their first meeting since the three-day siege in Mumbai, India’s financial center, killed 166 people in November. India has accused a Pakistan-based militant group of sending the teams of gunmen that rampaged through Mumbai, and Pakistani officials have acknowledged that the November attacks were partly plotted on their soil.


Court frees woman who stabbed official

BEIJING | A Chinese woman who became a folk hero after fatally stabbing a Communist Party official to fend off his demands for sex was freed by a court Tuesday, a decision that likely avoided a storm of public criticism over the case.

Deng Yujiao, 21, was accused of stabbing the official with a fruit knife and injuring his colleague when the two inebriated men cornered her last month at the hotel where she worked in as a karaoke bar waitress. Her popularity reflects widespread anger in China over abuse of power by Communist Party cadres, officials and the security forces.

The Badong County People’s Court on Tuesday found Miss Deng guilty of causing injury with intent, but spared her from punishment, bowing to popular support for a woman portrayed by many as a hero for lashing out against injustice.


Thousands join leader’s funeral

LIBREVILLE | Hundreds of thousands of people lined the streets of Gabon’s capital Tuesday to say farewell to the late President Omar Bongo, whose flag-draped coffin was paraded through the heart of a nation he is accused of pillaging during four decades of rule.

Nearly two dozen African heads of state lined up to pay their respects. Also on hand were Nicolas Sarkozy and Jacques Chirac - the current and former French presidents and the only Western heads of state to attend. They were greeted with slogans criticizing France’s tacit backing of Mr. Bongo’s 41-year rule.

By the time he died in Barcelona on June 8, Mr. Bongo, 73, had been in power longer than any other leader in Africa. Last year, when Cuba’s Fidel Castro resigned after a 49-year rule, that record made Mr. Bongo the world’s longest-serving president.


Diplomat named spy agency chief

LONDON | Britain’s international spy agency has a new chief - a U.N. diplomat who had a senior role in talks about Iran’s disputed nuclear program.

John Sawers will take up his new post in November, the prime minister’s office said Tuesday. He succeeds John Scarlett, whose career has been dogged by concerns over the intelligence used to build the case for the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Mr. Scarlett is retiring after five years at the helm.


36,000 dogs killed after rabies

BEIJING | A Chinese city killed 36,000 stray and pet dogs in a bid to wipe out rabies, state media said Tuesday, as the country considers a draft law recognizing animal rights and making such a cull illegal.

Rabies has killed 12 people in Hanzhong, in the northern province of Shaanxi, where more than 6,000 people had been bitten or scratched since late May, the China Daily said.


40 police face abuse charges

BAGHDAD | Iraq’s interior minister said Tuesday more than 40 police officers face charges after an investigation into prison abuse found inmates incarcerated without warrants and others with their rights violated.

Jawad al-Bolani’s announcement came as the government tried to contain a scandal over charges of widespread torture in Iraqi prisons, which is threatening to become a major issue ahead of Jan. 30 national elections.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.

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