- The Washington Times - Friday, October 9, 2009

CZECH REPUBLIC

Czech leader delays signing EU treaty

BRUSSELS | Czech President Vaclav Klaus raised a new obstacle to the European Union’s Lisbon reform treaty on Thursday, telling EU president Sweden he wants a footnote added to the document before signing it into force.

Polish President Lech Kaczynski will sign the treaty Saturday, an aide said, leaving Mr. Klaus as the only EU state leader holding out against ratifying the treaty intended to give the 27-nation bloc more influence in world affairs.

Mr. Klaus says the treaty would create a European superstate that gives too much power to Brussels, and it is not clear whether he intends to continue resisting the treaty or his new terms are a delaying or face-saving tactic.

“I spoke by phone today with President Klaus … In order to sign the treaty, Klaus asked for a footnote of two sentences concerning, as I understand, the charter of fundamental rights,” Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt told Reuters news agency by telephone.

The treaty’s backers say failure to secure Mr. Klaus’s signature would plunge the EU into crisis, potentially paralyzing the bloc as it tackles a deep economic crisis and power shifts towards China and other emerging powers.

BRITAIN

Tories promise bright future

MANCHESTER | Opposition leader David Cameron, tipped in polls to be Britain’s next prime minister, promised voters a brighter future with more control over their lives Thursday but said they must first endure the pain of sharp cuts in public spending.

Mr. Cameron said that unless quick action was taken to stem a record government deficit, Britain risked prolonging the recession and that British authorities needed to stop printing money to avoid igniting inflation.

Mr. Cameron, who turns 43 on Friday, gave a confident performance in a speech to his party conference seen as crucial to establishing his credentials to govern Britain if his Conservative Party is, as expected, to win an election due by next June.

He pledged to shrink “big government” he said was to blame for many of Britain’s problems.

FRANCE

Minister denies sex with boys

PARIS | France’s culture minister denied Thursday paying boys for sex, in an impassioned response to critics on the right and left demanding that he resign over a candid book recounting encounters with male prostitutes in Thailand.

“I condemn sexual tourism, which is a disgrace. I condemn pedophilia, which I have never in any way participated in,” Frederic Mitterrand, 62, nephew of late President Francois Mitterrand, said in a national prime time television interview.

In a 2005 book, “La mauvaise vie” or “The Bad Life,” Mr. Mitterrand describes Bangkok’s brothels in rich, torrid detail, and the joy and freedom of paying “boys” for sex.

Mr. Mitterrand said on TF1 television that the book was not a strict autobiography.

The exploits described in the book came back to haunt him recently, after he jumped to the defense of filmmaker Roman Polanski. Mr. Polanski is currently in a Swiss prison on U.S. charges relating to his sexual relations with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, when he was 43.

UGANDA

Reward sought for genocide suspect

KAMPALA | A Ugandan official says the country wants to claim a $5 million reward offered by the United States for the capture of a Rwandan genocide suspect.

Ugandan minister Isaac Musumba said Thursday the East African nation would welcome any payment for Monday’s arrest of Idelphonse Nizeyimana in the Ugandan capital. He will be tried in a U.N.-backed tribunal.

Mr. Nizeyimana was wanted for orchestrating the killings of thousands of people in Rwanda’s 1994 genocide, including children, hospital patients, priests and an elderly and revered African queen. More than 500,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in the genocide.

The reward was offered as part of a program to pursue terrorists and those who have committed crimes against humanity.

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