- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 4, 2009


Archive building collapses

COLOGNE | Cologne’s six-story city archive building rumbled and then collapsed into a pile of rubble Tuesday.

Many people inside were able to flee to safety, but authorities said they were searching for three people missing from nearby buildings.

The collapse about 2 p.m. also dragged down parts of two neighboring buildings in the western German city. Officials initially said nine people were feared missing in one of those buildings - which contained apartments and an amusement arcade - but police later said all but three had turned up safe.

Alerted by sounds that preceded the collapse, staff and visitors at the Cologne archive were able to get out in time with no injuries, fire department director Stephan Neuhoff said.

There was no immediate word on the condition of the archive’s contents, which go back centuries and include manuscripts by communist pioneers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.


Supplies transit through Russia

MOSCOW | The first shipment of U.S. supplies crossing through Russian territory is on its way to Afghanistan, the U.S. Embassy said Tuesday, as NATO scrambles to open up new supply routes for alliance forces.

The shipment most likely contained construction supplies, the embassy press office said. It refused to say when the shipment entered Russia or how far it had traveled.


Property seized from terror suspect

BUENOS AIRES | An Argentine court has ordered a second seizure of property owned by a former cultural attache at the Iranian Embassy in Buenos Aires, who is sought for his purported role in a 1994 terrorist attack.

A judge has approved prosecutor Alberto Nisman’s motion to seize five more buildings owned by Moshen Rabbani owing to his reputed role in a bombing that flattened a Jewish cultural center in Buenos Aires and killed 85 people.

Mr. Nisman told the Associated Press that the action is part of a survivor’s suit for $1 million in damages. Mr. Rabbani’s whereabouts are unknown.


Judge orders lawmaker released

HARARE | A Zimbabwean judge on Tuesday ordered the release of a senior lawmaker who was part of the opposition until a new unity government was formed last month, after nearly three weeks in prison on weapons charges.

High Court Judge Tedias Karwi ruled there was “no merit” in the state’s application for Movement for Democratic Change lawmaker Roy Bennett to be denied bail.

The detention of Mr. Bennett, who was nominated as deputy agriculture minister, has strained relations in the new unity government. He was arrested hours before the new Cabinet was sworn in.


Patience fades over Durban II

GENEVA | European Union countries Tuesday stepped up their opposition to Muslim attempts to shield Islam from criticism and attack Israel through a U.N. conference on racism.

EU members were unusually outspoken in appearances before the U.N. Human Rights Council, saying they were worried about preparations for a global racism conference to be held next month because attention was being diverted from the real problems of racial discrimination.

Muslim countries have been campaigning for wording that would equate criticism of Islam with human rights crimes and also condemn Israel.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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