- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Rockets target French, killing 10

KABUL | Afghan insurgents fired a pair of rockets into a crowded marketplace as a French general met local leaders nearby Monday, killing 10 civilians, Afghan and French officials said.

A total of 28 other Afghan civilians were wounded in the attack in Tagab district, Kapisa province, just northeast of Kabul, deputy provincial police chief Abdul Hamid Hakimi told Agence France-Presse.

The attack came as France’s Parliament was due to debate the mission in Afghanistan, amid mounting domestic political concern over a war opposed by a majority of French voters.


Gunmen execute 13 anti-Qaeda tribesmen

BAGHDAD | Gunmen in Iraqi army uniforms launched execution-style attacks west of Baghdad on Monday, killing 13 members of a tribe who took up arms against al Qaeda, a villager and security official said.

Gunmen swarmed into the Saidan district of Zouba, 12 miles from Baghdad, overnight and took six residents from their homes, lined them up in a field and fatally shot them, said resident Mohammed al-Zoubai.

The killers then burst into the home of Attala Ouda al-Shuker, a leader in the Sahwa (Awakening) movement of Sunni tribesmen who joined U.S. forces in 2006, and fatally shot three of his sons and four other relatives, Mr. Zoubai said.


Swine flu becomes a political issue

KIEV | In Ukraine, swine flu is causing electoral fever.

In a hard-fought presidential campaign, critics of Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko accuse her of stirring up panic to grab the spotlight from rivals by closing all schools and banning mass gatherings to combat what experts say is a relatively moderate outbreak of the disease.

Mrs. Tymoshenko announced the arrival of a swine flu epidemic on Oct. 30, when there was only a single confirmed case in Ukraine. The health ministry has since registered about 1.4 million cases of flu and respiratory illness, most of which are swine flu.


Gadhafi lectures women on Islam

ROME | Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi has hosted a soiree in Rome for about 200 young Italian women, but instead of the party they expected, the women were given a lecture on Islam and copies of the Koran, a news report said Monday.

A reporter for Italy’s ANSA news agency went undercover with the women, who were hired for about $75 by a modeling agency for the event Sunday evening.

The women were taken to a villa, where Mr. Gadhafi lectured them on women’s rights and religion, and urged them to convert to Islam.


Pope seeks action on global hunger

ROME | Pope Benedict XVI decried the worsening plight of the world’s 1 billion hungry on Monday as a United Nations food summit rallied around a strategy of more help to farmers in poor nations but rebuffed a U.N. appeal to commit billions to the plan.

About 60 heads of state and dozens of ministers from other nations failed to commit the $44 billion a year for agricultural aid that the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization says will be necessary in the coming decades.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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