- The Washington Times - Tuesday, October 13, 2009

RUSSIA

Clinton seeks plan for Iran

MOSCOW | Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to press Russian leaders for “specific forms of pressure” against Iran if the regime fails to comply with international demands to prove its nuclear program is peaceful.

Mrs. Clinton arrived in Moscow from Belfast on Monday, primed for a heavy schedule of meetings Tuesday with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on the Iran question, Afghanistan and on American efforts to defuse an anti-missile race in Europe. Also on the agenda is nuclear-armed North Korea, which set off another round of short-range missiles in tests earlier Monday.

A senior State Department official traveling with Mrs. Clinton said she intends to speak to Mr. Lavrov and Mr. Medvedev about “what specific forms of pressure Russia would be prepared to join us and our allies in if Iran fails to live up to its obligations.”

FRANCE

Scandals hit top politicians

PARIS | Two-thirds of French people want their Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand to keep his job despite fierce opposition attacks over his past as a sex tourist in Asia, a poll showed Monday.

The nephew of the late Socialist president Francois Mitterrand has been at the center of a storm over a 2005 autobiographical novel “La Mauvaise Vie” (“The Bad Life”) in which he describes paying for male Asian prostitutes.

The 62-year-old Mr. Mitterrand was forced to explain in a television interview watched by 8 million viewers that he did not condone sex tourism and that the Asian “boys” he referred to had been consenting adults.

Meanwhile, the 23-year-old son of President Nicolas Sarkozy is seeking a job overseeing France’s premier business district.

Outraged critics are crying nepotism, and pointing out that Jean Sarkozy has no college degree.

ITALY

Would-be suicide bomber unsuccessful

MILAN | A Libyan man set off a bomb while trying to enter an army barracks in Milan on Monday, seriously injuring himself and lightly wounding the guard who stopped him, Italian law enforcement officials said.

The man attempted to enter the barracks on foot about 7:45 a.m., taking advantage of the main gate opening to allow an authorized car through, said Col. Giuseppe Affini, a chief spokesman for the army in the Lombardy region, whuch includes Milan.

Authorities said the man appeared to be acting alone, and Col. Affini denied initial media reports that the man had shouted “Out of Afghanistan!” He said the man had shouted something in Arabic but that it was not clear what.

CHINA

Six sentenced to death for rioting

BEIJING | Six people were sentenced to death Monday for murder and other crimes committed during riots that killed nearly 200 people in a far western Chinese region of Xinjiang in July.

The cases were the first to stem directly from the riots, China’s worst in decades. Xinjiang has been under heavy security since the unrest, in which minority Muslim Uighurs attacked members of China’s dominant Han ethnic group.

“Six people were sentenced to death and one to life imprisonment in the trials,” Li Jie, a spokesman for the Xinjiang regional government, told the Associated Press.

Police have said hundreds were detained following the rioting in Urumqi, the regional capital, which the government says killed 197 people and injured more than 1,700.

BRITAIN

Expenses scandal hits prime minister

LONDON | Prime Minister Gordon Brown has been ordered to pay back about $20,000 in parliamentary expenses following a review into a claims scandal that rocked British politics, his office said Monday.

The claims were for gardening, cleaning and maintenance at his second home after new limits were imposed on lawmakers’ parliamentary allowances.

His office insisted that he had not broken any rules, but was instead conforming to new limits that have been retrospectively imposed.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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