- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 6, 2009

IRAN

Mousavi calls for more protests

TEHRAN | Opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi called Saturday for more protests over Iran’s disputed June election, two days after lawmakers backed most of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s new government ministers.

But a religious ceremony next week that could have become a rallying point for the moderates was canceled after authorities put pressure on its hosts, Iranian media said.

Nevertheless, Mr. Mousavi remained defiant over the election he says was rigged in favor of Mr. Ahmadinejad and urged his supporters to create a wide opposition network using meetings such as family and union gatherings, as well as sporting and cultural events.

“In order to achieve our cause, I do not recommend anything but the pursuit of the green path of hope, which you have followed in the past few months … through small and large gatherings,” he said in a statement on a reformist Web site.

Green was the signature color of Mr. Mousavi’s campaign and the huge protests that followed the election.

PAKISTAN

43 militants killed in Khyber

PESHAWAR | Pakistani troops killed 43 suspected militants in an operation in the Khyber tribal region while air strikes left several more dead Saturday in the stronghold of the new Taliban chief elsewhere in the northwest, officials said.

Militants frequently attack trucks along the famed Khyber Pass, a main route for supplies destined for U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The Taliban-affiliated group Lashkar-e-Islam has been a main target of the latest government offensive in Khyber. The paramilitary Frontier Corps, which announced the latest deaths, said an important headquarters of Lashkar-e-Islam also was destroyed.

MACEDONIA

Sightseeing boat sinks; 15 drown

OHRID | An overloaded sightseeing boat carrying dozens of Bulgarian tourists sank Saturday in a lake on Macedonia’s western border, and 15 people drowned, officials said.

The vessel, called the Ilinden, sank rapidly in just 20 feet of water in Lake Ohrid, police said. The vessel split in two and sank about 650 feet from shore. There were 57 passengers on board. Of those, 15 drowned and 42 were rescued. Four passengers who were recovered unconscious are still in the hospital but are not in danger.

GABON

Violence continues over election

LIBREVILLE | Hundreds of soldiers deployed en masse around Gabon’s soccer stadium for a World Cup qualifier Saturday as the country’s new president attended and postelection violence continued for a third straight day.

On Friday, the country’s constitutional court declared Mr. Bongo the winner of last weekend’s divisive presidential race. Ali Bongo, 50, the son of the now-deceased longtime Gabon strongman Omar Bongo, is accused of having rigged last weekend’s election in which he ran against 17 other contenders.

The country’s second-largest city, Port Gentil, the hub of Gabon’s oil industry, devolved into chaos, with angry protesters torching a police station, a market and the French Consulate over the past few days.

GERMANY

Hitler paintings fetch $60,000

NUREMBERG | Three watercolors thought to have been painted by a young Adolf Hitler were auctioned off for a total of $60,000 in the Bavarian city of Nuremberg on Saturday.

German auctioneer Herbert Weidler said the three paintings were sold to three different phone bidders. Although the exact number of Hitler paintings is unknown, experts think there are about 720, including sketches, in existence.

The paintings are dated from 1910 to 1911 and originate in Vienna, Austria, where Hitler was a struggling artist. He applied to art school in Vienna but was rejected.

There have been a number of other auctions in Germany and abroad for Hitler paintings in the past. The three watercolors auctioned Saturday including depictions of cottages, mills and churches nestled in rural landscapes.

GRENADA

7 convicted of killing leader released

ST. GEORGE’S | Seven men convicted of killing Grenada’s leader in the 1983 coup that triggered a U.S. invasion strode out of prison Saturday - the last of 17 who had been sentenced for the crime.

Dozens of relatives cheered and clapped as former Deputy Prime Minister Bernard Coard and six other men emerged from the crumbling 17th-century prison where they served nearly 26 years. Former co-defendants took their hands and accompanied them.

Leftist Prime Minister Maurice Bishop, four Cabinet ministers and six supporters were dragged before a firing squad and executed on Oct. 19, 1983, by members of their own New Jewel movement - followers of Coard, who demanded more radical policies.

Six days later, thousands of U.S. troops invaded the island on orders of President Reagan, who said he sought to protect American medical students and to sever Grenada’s growing ties with communist Cuba.

U.S. troops arrested the 17 defendants, and 14 were initially sentenced to death. Their sentences were commuted to life in prison in 1991, and the London-based Privy Council, the highest court of appeal for the island, threw out those sentences in February 2007.

At their resentencing, a judge said the prisoners showed remorse and sentenced them to just two more years in prison.

The bodies of Mr. Bishop and 10 men killed with him have never been found.

NEPAL

Maoists protest Indian priests

KATMANDU | Two Indian priests began work Saturday in one of the holiest Hindu shrines in Katmandu, a day after they were beaten up by Maoists demanding important religious jobs be given to Nepalese.

The two high-caste Brahmins from the southern Indian state of Karnataka began conducting rituals at the centuries-old Pashupatinath Temple, even as Maoist activists burned tires on roads, bringing traffic to a halt on several Katmandu streets.

On Friday, some former Maoist rebels entered the temple as the priests, chosen by the government, were performing a purification ceremony prior to assuming their roles.

For centuries, the priests of the Pashupatinath Temple were picked by shrine authorities from among high-caste Hindus in neighboring India, with the consent of the king of Nepal. Since Nepal abolished the monarchy and became a republic last year, the government has taken over the task.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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