- The Washington Times - Friday, September 25, 2009

VIETNAM

Rights activists cite ‘climate of fear’

GENEVA | Human rights campaigners on Thursday said Vietnam had rejected U.N. recommendations to improve rights and criticized a “climate of fear” they said was stifling freedom of expression.

The International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) and the Vietnam Committee on Human Rights said Hanoi had refused to comply with around 50 suggestions from the United Nations.

“A climate of fear prevails in Vietnam against freedom of expression, of the press and against peaceful assembly,” the two groups said.

The U.N. Human Rights Council made its recommendations after one of its regular examinations of state human rights records.

But Vietnam rejected these suggestions, the Paris-based FIDH and the Vietnamese group said, and pointed to Hanoi’s refusal to overhaul its laws in a number of areas.

BRITAIN

Anglo-Saxon treasure found

LONDON | An amateur treasure hunter prowling English farmland with a metal detector stumbled upon what has been described as the largest Anglo-Saxon treasure ever discovered, a massive collection of gold and silver crosses, sword decorations and other items, British archaeologists said Thursday.

One expert said the treasure would revolutionize understanding of the Anglo-Saxons, a Germanic people who ruled England from the fifth century until the Norman conquest in 1066. Another said the find would rank among Britain’s best-known historic treasures.

The seventh-century hoard, found by 55-year-old Terry Herbert on farmland in western England two months ago, consists of about 1,500 pieces of gold and silver, some inlaid with precious stones. So fine is the craftsmanship that experts say it could have belonged to Anglo-Saxon royalty.

Mr. Herbert, from the town of Burntwood, found the gold on a friend’s farm on July 5 and spent the next five days scouring the field for the rest of the hoard.

PAKISTAN

U.S. drone attack leaves 10 dead

MIRAN SHAH | A U.S. drone attacked an office operated by an Afghan radical on Thursday, killing 10 suspected militants in Pakistan’s tribal belt near the border with Afghanistan, officials said.

“Ten dead bodies were recovered from the debris of the house and two militants were wounded in the attack,” said a Pakistani security official on the condition of anonymity. Another official and residents confirmed the toll.

“The target was a compound of Haqqani’s men. According to our reports all of the dead belong to the Haqqani network,” the Pakistani official said.

The Haqqani network is a powerful group based in northwest Pakistan closely linked to al Qaeda and known for its ruthless and sophisticated attacks, including an assassination attempt on Afghan President Hamid Karzai in 2008.

SPAIN

Kasparov wins exhibition match

MADRID | Garry Kasparov has defeated Anatoly Karpov in an exhibition chess match marking the 25th anniversary of their first title bout.

On the last of three days of play, Mr. Kasparov won five games of speed chess, while Mr. Karpov took one game and two others ended in a draw. That made a final score of 9-3 for Mr. Kasparov in the 12-game match in the eastern Spanish city of Valencia.

On Thursday the two grandmasters played eight blitz games in which each started with five minutes on the clock, with two seconds added after each move.

Mr. Karpov won the first game Thursday even though he was playing with the black pieces. But it was to be his only triumph of the evening.

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