- The Washington Times - Thursday, June 25, 2009


Ex-prime minister of Kosovo arrested

SOFIA | Bulgarian authorities have detained a former Kosovo prime minister on an international arrest warrant issued by Interpol, and Serbia sought his extradition Wednesday.

Agim Ceku, the prime minister of Kosovo between 2006 and 2008, was taken into custody at Serbia’s request at the Gyueshevo border checkpoint while entering Bulgaria from Macedonia late Tuesday, police said.

Mr. Ceku, 48, is wanted for war crimes purportedly committed during the 1998-99 fighting in Kosovo, when he was military chief of the Kosovo Liberation Army, made up of ethnic Albanian guerrillas.

Mr. Ceku’s arrest comes despite repeated requests from U.N. officials in Pristina that the Belgrade-issued arrest warrant be disregarded.


2 former ministers jailed for graft

JERUSALEM | Israeli courts jailed two former Cabinet ministers Wednesday in cases highlighting what judges called a battle against corruption, months after the last prime minister was forced from office over a police graft probe.

Former Finance Minister Avraham Hirchson, an ally of scandal-hit former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, was jailed by a Tel Aviv court for more than five years for theft, fraud and other offenses committed while he was a trade union leader.

In Jerusalem, the highest criminal court handed down a four-year jail term to former Welfare and Health Minister Shlomo Benizri, more than doubling the original sentence issued last year for taking bribes while in office from 2000 to 2003.

Mr. Olmert, then leader of the centrist Kadima party, was forced to resign last year amid a police investigation into purported corruption. He denies all wrongdoing. Prosecutors said in April they were considering laying charges.


Ex-employee sues Abercrombie & Fitch

LONDON | A British woman with a prosthetic arm has filed a discrimination claim against Abercrombie & Fitch Co., saying the U.S. retailer made her work in the stockroom because she didn’t conform to its “look policy.”

Riam Dean is seeking up to $41,000 in damages at an employment tribunal that began Wednesday.

Ms. Dean, a 22-year-old law student at the University of London, told the tribunal she worked at Abercrombie’s store on London’s posh Saville Row and had been given permission to wear a white sweater over the company-issued white polo shirt to cover her prosthetic arm. But in July 2008, several weeks after she started work, a manager sent her to the stockroom.

Abercrombie & Fitch said it “has a strong anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policy.” It called Ms. Dean’s account inaccurate.


35,000-year-old flute found in cave

BERLIN | A bird-bone flute unearthed in a German cave was carved about 35,000 years ago and is the oldest handcrafted musical instrument yet discovered, archaeologists say, offering the latest evidence that early modern humans in Europe had established a complex and creative culture.

A team led by University of Tuebingen archaeologist Nicholas Conard assembled the flute from 12 pieces of griffon vulture bone scattered in a small plot of the Hohle Fels cave in southern Germany.

Together, the pieces comprise a 8.6-inch instrument with five holes and a notched end. Mr. Conard said the flute was 35,000 years old.

His findings were published online Wednesday by the journal Nature.

Other archaeologists agreed with Mr. Conard’s assessment.

Another flute excavated in Austria is thought to be 19,000 years old, and a group of 22 flutes found in the French Pyrenees mountains has been dated at up to 30,000 years ago.

From wire dispatches and staff reports.



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