- - Tuesday, August 17, 2010


EU-U.S. to hold summit in November

BRUSSELS | The European Union and United States will hold a summit in Portugal in November, the EU and the White House said on Tuesday, offering an opportunity to rebuild ties strained by the cancellation of their last meeting.

The summit will take place in Lisbon on Nov. 20, on the sidelines of a NATO gathering, and involve President Obama, European Council President Herman Van Rompuy and the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso.

The agenda is expected to focus on economic issues, trade, security, nuclear nonproliferation and climate change.


Hezbollah turns over data on Hariri murder

BEIRUT | Hezbollah on Tuesday surrendered data purportedly implicating Israel in the murder of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri to the Lebanese government, which in turn gave it to a U.N. court investigating the killing.

Hezbollah spokesman Ibrahim Moussawi confirmed to Agence France-Presse that his party had submitted “documents” to Lebanon’s judiciary after a meeting between Hezbollah officials and Prime Minister Saad Hariri, son of the slain ex-premier.


Gillard says nation should drop monarchy

CANBERRA | Australia should drop its ties to the British monarchy after Queen Elizabeth II’s reign, the prime minister said Tuesday, raising the contentious issue of a republic just days before tightly contested national elections.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard, whose center-left Labor Party has long held that the country should dump the British monarch as its head of state and become a republic, said Australians have “deep affection” for Queen Elizabeth II but that she should be Australia’s final monarch.

Many members of the opposition Liberal Party are monarchists, and its leader, Tony Abbot, said he sees no need to change the status quo.


Briton will fight extradition to U.S.

LONDON | A retired British businessman accused by the United States of attempting to sell equipment to Iran for use in surface-to-air missiles said Tuesday he will fight attempts to extradite him to stand trial.

Christopher Tappin, 63, faces three charges filed in El Paso, Texas, in relation to an alleged deal to ship specialized batteries for Hawk missiles to Tehran, his attorneys said.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency says the weapons deal was exposed in a sting by undercover customs agents.


Would-be ‘hostage taker’ shot at embassy

JERUSALEM | A man carrying a knife and a toy gun broke into the Turkish Embassy on Tuesday and tried to take a diplomat hostage before being overpowered by security.

The Palestinian reportedly was the same man who was overpowered by Israeli police in 2006 after he entered the compound of the British Embassy in Tel Aviv, threatening to commit suicide if he were not granted asylum.


N. Korea rejects unification offer

SEOUL | North Korea on Tuesday rejected a new unification proposal from South Korea, calling it a “ridiculous” plan aimed at weakening the North in preparation for a U.S.-assisted invasion.

On Sunday, South Korean President Lee Myung-bak proposed a three-stage unification process — peace and denuclearization, economic integration, and an eventual “community of the Korean nation.” Mr. Lee also proposed a special tax to finance the costs of unification.

North Korea criticized the proposal for making nuclear disarmament in the North a precondition for unification.


Report: Bribes fuel corruption

LAGOS | Nigeria’s federal police officers use illegal arrests and torture to demand bribes from the innocent, sometimes killing people over as little as 13 cents, according to a report released Tuesday by an international human rights group.

The report by Human Rights Watch highlights how the oil-rich nation’s police force shakes down crime victims for money to buy stationery and bus fares, while a $50,000 flat-screen plasma television adorns one office.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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