- - Monday, September 26, 2011


Finance minister quits to protest Putin plan

MOSCOW – Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin resigned on Monday after rebelling against a plan to install President Dmitry Medvedev as prime minister when Vladimir Putin returns to the Kremlin in 2012.

Mr. Kudrin is the first top official to quit in connection with the scheme, announced over the weekend, for Mr. Putin, currently prime minister, and Mr. Medvedev to swap jobs after the March 2012 presidential elections.

The resignation brought a dramatic end to Mr. Kudrin’s career as finance minister, which started in 2000 and had seen him become the longest-serving current finance minister of any world power.


Prime minister slams Ergodan’s ‘outrageous’ remarks

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday described as “outrageous” remarks by Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan in which he claimed Israel had killed “hundreds of thousands” of Palestinians.

The Israeli prime minister expressed anger over comments made by Mr. Erdogan in a weekend interview with CNN, the Jerusalem Post reported.

In the CNN interview, Mr. Erdogan said there are no accurate statistics about the number of Israelis killed in the Arab-Israeli conflict but claimed “hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were killed.”

“These are outrageous charges against Israel that have nothing to do with the facts,” Mr. Netanyahu said.


Parliament dissolves with Socialists losing support

MADRID — Spain dissolved its parliament on Monday and officially set Nov. 20 as the date for an early general election, which polls predict the ruling Socialists will lose by a wide margin.

Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, who announced last year that he will not seek a third term, said he had no plans to remain in politics after the election.

His popularity has plunged as the unemployment rate has soared to around 21 percent, the highest in the developed world, following the collapse of a labor-intensive property boom in 2008.


Six suspects in court facing terrorism charges

LONDON — Six men appeared in a London court Monday on terrorism charges, with three of them accused of plotting suicide bomb attacks in Britain.

The men were arrested in the central England city of Birmingham last week as part of a “major operation” by counterterrorism police. They were charged late Sunday.

Four are accused of planning a terrorist act. Three of them - 30-year-old Irfan Nasser, 26-year-old Irfan Khalid and 26-year-old Ashik Ali - are accused of planning a bombing campaign, making explosives and stating an intention to become suicide bombers.

Mr. Nasser and Mr. Khalid also are accused of traveling to Pakistan for terrorism training.

Two others are charged with failing to disclose information and one with funding terrorism.


Defense ministry tests nuclear-capable missile

NEW DELHI — India successfully test-fired a short-range nuclear-capable missile on Monday, the Defense Ministry said.

The Prithvi missile was fired from a testing range in Chandipur in Orissa state and hit its target in the Bay of Bengal with high accuracy, a spokesman said.

The surface-to-surface missile has a range of 220 miles and can carry a warhead weighing up to 1,100 pounds.

India’s missiles are mostly intended for any confrontation with rival Pakistan. Both South Asian neighbors routinely test missiles, and Monday’s launch was unlikely to aggravate tensions.

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