- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 29, 2010


Leaders of India, Pakistan to hold talks Thursday

THIMPHU | The prime ministers of India and Pakistan will talk on the sidelines of a regional meeting Thursday, an Indian official said, indicating a possible thaw in relations between the South Asian nuclear rivals.

Peace talks between India and Pakistan were stalled after a terror attack on Mumbai, India’s financial hub, in 2008 in which 166 people were killed. New Delhi blamed the attacks on Pakistan-based militants.


Pope might apologize for abuse by priests

Pope Benedict XVI may say mea culpa for the church’s handling of clerical sexual abuse cases when he attends a meeting of the world’s clergy in June, the Vatican official in charge of handling abuse cases said.

Cardinal William Levada, head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, also said he intended to hold up the U.S. policy dealing with abuse as a model for bishops around the word.


Soldier killed in downtown clash

BANGKOK | Thai troops fired rifles and threw tear gas at a crowd of protesters against the government riding motorbikes down a busy expressway Wednesday, thus blocking efforts to take the demonstrations that have paralyzed central Bangkok into the suburbs.

The hours-long confrontation left one soldier dead — apparently from friendly fire — and 18 others wounded as it transformed the suburban streets into a battle zone.

The bloodshed Wednesday was the first violent confrontation in nearly a week, and protest leaders accused the government of leading the nation to the brink of civil war.


Brown overheard calling voter ‘bigot’

LONDON | Bedraggled Prime Minister Gordon Brown walked into a political buzzsaw Wednesday after forgetting to turn off his microphone.

He described a loyal Labor Party voter as a bigot for asking about immigration, blamed advisers for a “disaster” ahead of next week’s election, then rushed back to the voter’s house to beg her forgiveness.

The debacle created a massive setback for Mr. Brown on the eve of the last TV debate ahead of the May 6 vote.


Bomb explodes at police station

YANGON | A security official says a man detained at a police station in eastern Myanmar has detonated a bomb, killing himself and wounding at least four policeman.

The official said Wednesday the man had been taken for interrogation to a police station in Demawso in Kayah State, 200 miles northeast of Yangon. The official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media, said the man set off a bomb, but was unable to provide further details.

The explosion was the seventh known blast in recent weeks in military-ruled Myanmar. The incidents come as the junta prepares for general elections that its opponents have called unfair and undemocratic.


Premier steps aside; early election ahead

BRUSSELS | Premier Yves Leterme, whose government collapsed last week, stepped aside Wednesday, paving the way for the first woman who could become Belgium’s next prime minister.

Marianne Thyssen, 53, will replace Mr. Leterme and lead Belgium’s long-dominant Dutch-speaking Christian Democrats into early elections, likely in June.


Former trade minister cleared of graft charges

BAGHDAD | A court on Wednesday acquitted the country’s former trade minister of corruption charges, almost 11 months after he lost his job in a scandal over food imports that embarrassed the government.

The criminal appeals court in Baghdad’s Rusafa district dismissed the charges against Abdul Falah al-Sudany for lack of evidence.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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