- The Washington Times - Friday, October 23, 2009

PAKISTAN

Suicide attacker hits military complex

ISLAMABAD | A suicide bomber killed six people Thursday at a checkpoint close to an aeronautical complex in Pakistan reportedly associated with the country’s nuclear weapons program.

The attack took place near a sprawling aeronautical complex in Kamra around 30 miles from the capital Islamabad. The site is often mentioned by foreign military experts and research groups as a likely place for storing parts of nuclear warheads or the planes that can carry them.

Earlier, suspected militants on a motorbike fatally shot an army brigadier and a soldier in the Pakistani capital. The United Nations identified the officer as Brig. Ahmed Moinuddin, deputy commander of the U.N. peacekeeping mission in Sudan.



IRAN

Lawmaker rejects deal on uranium

TEHRAN | Iran’s deputy parliament speaker on Thursday dismissed an internationally backed draft plan to have Tehran ship its uranium abroad for enrichment, the official IRNA news agency reported.

The remarks by Mohammad Reza Bahonar were the first reaction in Tehran on the proposal, presented Wednesday after three days of talks between Iran and world powers in the Austrian capital, Vienna.

The international community sees the plan as a way to curb Iran’s ability to build a nuclear weapon.

Tehran is expected to decide by Friday on whether to approve the plan that calls for shipping Iran’s uranium to Russia for enrichment to a level that renders it suitable as nuclear fuel for energy production - not for nuclear weapons.

“The United States demanded Iran ship uranium abroad, in return for getting fuel back,” Mr. Bahonar said. “But Iran does not accept this.”

BRITAIN

BBC draws protests over far-right leader

LONDON | British far-right leader Nick Griffin on Thursday denied he was a Nazi during a television debate that provoked political uproar, as police scuffled with anti-racist demonstrators outside the studio.

In the first appearance by a far-right leader on the BBC’s flagship political program, “Question Time,” Mr. Griffin said successive British governments had committed genocide against their people with their immigration policies and that Islam was at odds with the fundamental values of British society.

During the hourlong debate, Mr. Griffin, 50, was the subject of jeering and sometimes laughter by a largely hostile studio audience.

About 500 demonstrators protested outside the BBC complex in West London.

Before the debate, protesters surged through a security barrier and a few burst into the building.

ITALY

Berlusconi offends 100,000 women

ROME | More than 100,000 women have signed a petition saying they are offended by Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi - an initiative launched by a newspaper after the prime minister made a sexist remark to an opposition politician.

Mr. Berlusconi, 73, made the jab during a call in to a late-night talk show Oct. 7 that featured, among other guests, Rosy Bindi, a 58-year-old former minister who dresses conservatively, wears glasses and has short, gray hair.

“You are always more beautiful than intelligent,” Mr. Berlusconi told her. She snapped back: “I’m not one of the women at your disposal.”

Mr. Berlusconi’s remark prompted three prominent Italian intellectuals to draft a petition stating that Mr. Berlusconi uses women’s bodies for his political ends, denigrating women and democracy in the process.

“This man offends us. Stop him,” reads the petition, which has been signed by well-known Italian artists, musicians, television personalities and ordinary citizens.

IRAQ

Forces arrest 14 al Qaeda suspects

BAGHDAD | Iraqi security forces arrested 14 suspected al Qaeda members in western and northern Iraq, including three who were formerly detained by U.S. troops in the country, local police officials said Thursday.

Six men arrested in Fallujah were suspected of planning attacks in and around the city, 40 miles west of Baghdad, said the city’s police chief, Col. Mahmoud al-Isawi.

“The group is believed to be behind many murders and attacks against the citizens and the police forces,” he told the Associated Press.

Police detained the other eight suspects, including a woman, during a raid Tuesday on a suspected militant hide-out in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk. Police confiscated roadside bombs and car bombs during the raid.

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