- The Washington Times - Friday, May 15, 2009


Suu Kyi arrested for uninvited guest

YANGON | Myanmar’s Nobel Prize-winning pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi faced new charges Thursday less than two weeks before her house arrest was due to end after an American man swam across a lake to enter her home, her lawyer said.

Supporters accused the military government of using the incident to keep her in detention ahead of general elections scheduled for next year.

Mrs. Suu Kyi, whose detention was set to end May 27, could face a prison term of up to five years if convicted, said lawyer Hla Myo Myint. The trial is scheduled to start Monday at a special court at Yangon’s notorious Insein Prison, where she was arraigned Thursday.

Mrs. Suu Kyi has spent more than 13 of the past 19 years - including the past six - in detention without trial for her nonviolent promotion of democracy in Myanmar, also called Burma.


U.S. sailors catch pirates red-handed

DUBAI | A team of specialized American sailors apprehended 17 suspected pirates who attacked an Egyptian merchant ship in the dangerous waters off Yemen, the U.S. Navy said Thursday.

The sailors from the guided-missile cruiser USS Gettysburg also seized eight assault rifles and a rocket-propelled grenade launcher when they boarded the pirates’ vessel Wednesday in the Gulf of Aden, said the Navy’s Bahrain-based 5th Fleet.

The Gettysburg launched the operation with the help of the Korean Destroyer ROKN Munmu the Great after the pirates fired at the Egyptian-flagged Motor Vessel Amira about 75 miles south of Yemen’s al-Mukalla port, the Navy said. Both ships dispatched helicopters during the mission.

The Gulf of Aden is one of the world’s most important shipping lanes, connecting Europe and Asia via the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. It is used by 20,000 ships a year and has become the world’s hot spot for pirate attacks.


Arms treaty changes sought

MOSCOW | Russia said Thursday that it was proposing a new version of a key European arms-control treaty it suspended more than a year ago, and could once again honor the agreement if the U.S. and its NATO allies accept the changes.

The statement by Russian Foreign Ministry spokesman Andrei Nesterenko signaled that the Kremlin hopes for better ties with Washington under President Obama.

Mr. Nesterenko said Russia is proposing to negotiate revisions in the Conventional Forces in Europe treaty with the U.S. He added that other nations could also join the talks.

The 1990 treaty limits the number of tanks, aircraft and other heavy non-nuclear weapons that could be deployed west of the Ural Mountains - the edge of European Russia. A new revised version was signed in 1999, but NATO countries have not ratified it and in 2007 Russia suspended its participation.


More alarm over rising seas

MANADO | Rising sea levels, warming waters and spiraling acidity caused by global warming are threatening the world’s oceans and the communities they support, governments warned Thursday, as they sought to include protection for the seas in a new U.N. climate treaty.

Not only marine ecosystems but also the lives of tens of millions of people could be affected as they are forced to leave inundated coastal communities and find new jobs, said officials attending the World Ocean’s Conference in the northern city of Manado.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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