- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 6, 2010

UKRAINE

Communists unveil Stalin monument

KIEV | Communists unveiled a monument to Soviet dictator Josef Stalin on Wednesday, sparking the anger of Ukrainian nationalists.

The 8-foot-tall monument shows Stalin from the waist up and is mounted on a pedestal in front of the Communist Party’s office in the city of Zaporizhya.

The unveiling comes ahead of Sunday’s 65th anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany. Many communists revere Stalin as commander in chief during the war.

About 200 demonstrators protested the monument’s unveiling. Nationalists denounce Stalin as an oppressor of Ukraine, as he was the Soviet Union’s leader during the state-induced famine that killed millions of Ukrainians in the 1930s.

THAILAND

Thais cast politics aside, honor king

BANGKOK | Thais put aside their political animosity Wednesday to honor the country’s ailing monarch on the 60th anniversary of his coronation, and his rare public appearance inspired thousands lining the streets to chant “Long live the king!”

The highly revered King Bhumibol Adulyadej emerged in a wheelchair from a Bangkok hospital to preside over the ceremonies. The 82-year-old king, the world’s longest reigning monarch, has been hospitalized for the past nine months with what the palace initially described as a lung inflammation.

The monarch made no comment on the paralyzing stalemate pitting Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva’s government against protesters who have occupied parts of Bangkok and built barricades over the past eight weeks to demand his resignation. Clashes with soldiers and other violence have killed 27 people and injured nearly 1,000.

IRELAND

Volcanic ash snarls Celtic air services

DUBLIN | A new wave of dense volcanic ash from Iceland snarled air traffic Wednesday in Ireland and Scotland, stranding tens of thousands of people and threatening to spill into the air space of England.

Ireland’s key hub, Dublin Airport, admitted defeat for the day and canceled all flights until 4 a.m. Thursday, marooning more than 30,000 passengers in the process.

More than a dozen other airports throughout the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and Scotland shut down, too, as unseasonal winds pushed the engine-wrecking ash southwest back toward the Atlantic rather than northeast into the unpopulated Arctic.

The renewed volcanic-ash threat in the skies of Britain and Ireland this week, following a two-week lull, has tested the more precise safety rules adopted by European aviation authorities following the unprecedented April 14-20 closure of most Northern European airspace.

MYANMAR

Opposition’s last event as a legal party

YANGON | The party of detained pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi, founded more than 20 years ago to challenge military rule in Myanmar, held a final gathering Wednesday at its headquarters before its forced dissolution.

The National League for Democracy, which won a 1990 election but was denied power by the army, held an early celebration of Ms. Suu Kyi’s June 19 birthday, an occasion on which it gives children of political prisoners financial aid for their education.

The NLD declined to reregister as a party this year, which new election laws required to contest an election supposed to be held sometime later this year. It says the laws are undemocratic and unfair, and its non-registration is tantamount to an election boycott.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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