- - Monday, June 11, 2012


The U.S. team that tried for more than a month to negotiate a reopening of blocked Pakistani supply routes into Afghanistan is coming home without an agreement, U.S. officials said Monday.

The U.S. recalled the team after the top Pakistani general refused to meet with a top Pentagon official.

“We remain ready to conclude this agreement as soon as Pakistan is ready,” said U.S. Embassy spokesman Robert Raines in Islamabad.

Officials in Washington and Islamabad would not detail what led to the break in the talks, but a senior U.S. official familiar with the negotiations said the Pakistanis were holding out for an apology for the deaths of 24 Pakistani soldiers in a U.S. airstrike.

Pakistan closed the key supply routes in November in retaliation for the air assault that killed 24 Pakistani soldiers. The U.S. has insisted it will do no more than express regret for the deaths and will not apologize.


Authorities move against Putin protesters

MOSCOW — Russian investigators searched the apartments of several protest leaders and ordered them to come in for questioning, making it difficult if not impossible for them to lead a mass demonstration Tuesday against President Vladimir Putin on a key Russian holiday.

Mr. Putin has taken a harder line against the opposition since returning to the presidency in May, seemingly no longer willing to tolerate the peaceful protests that drew tens of thousands onto the streets of Moscow ahead of the March election that handed him a third term.

A measure he signed into law on Friday raises fines against those who take part in unauthorized protests 150-fold, to nearly the average annual salary in Russia. Tuesday’s protest has city approval, but any actions that violate the allowed location and time could give police a pretext to make arrests.

Opposition activists predict the government crackdown on dissent and the anger it has fueled will bring out more protesters on Tuesday, a patriotic holiday called Russia Day, commemorating June 12, 1990, when Russian lawmakers declared independence from the Soviet Union.


Mubarak accuses jailers of trying to kill him

CAIRO — Egypt’s ousted President Hosni Mubarak, now serving a life sentence over protester killings, said the authorities “want to kill” him in jail as his health deteriorates, his lawyer told AFP on Monday.

“He says: ‘They want to kill me. Save me, Mr. Farid, find me a solution,’ ” said Farid al-Deeb, his chief lawyer in the murder and corruption trial that ended this month with his conviction.

Mubarak’s health has deteriorated since his incarceration on June 2, and he was defibrillated twice to revive his heart on Monday, a prison hospital source said.

The 84-year-old former strongman was sentenced to life behind bars for suppressing a revolt against his rule in early 2011 in which nearly 850 protesters were killed.


Police gather bodies from religious attacks

SITTWE — Security forces patrolling a tense town in western Myanmar collected bodies Monday from homes burned to ashes in some of the country’s deadliest sectarian bloodshed in years.

The conflict along ethnic and religious lines has left at least seven people dead and hundreds of homes torched since Friday and poses one the biggest tests yet for Myanmar’s new government as it tries to reform the nation after generations of military rule.

President Thein Sein declared a state of emergency in the region late Sunday and pleaded for an end to the “endless anarchic vengeance.”


EU envoys to study Tymoshenko case

KIEV — Two high-profile EU representatives arrived in Kiev on Monday to observe the legal proceedings against jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

Former European Parliament President Pat Cox and former Polish President Aleksander Kwasniewski will be monitoring proceedings against Mrs. Tymoshenko, who has been sentenced to seven years for abuse of office and also faces several other charges.

The West has condemned the prosecution of Mrs. Tymoshenko, the country’s top opposition leader, as politically motivated and has called for her release. Senior EU officials are boycotting European Championship soccer matches hosted by Ukraine to protest the case.

Mrs. Tymoshenko said President Viktor Yanukovych, her longtime foe, threw her in jail to bar her from the parliamentary election in October.

Mr. Cox and Mr. Kwasniewski were expected to meet Mr. Yanukovych and other top officials Monday. They also hoped to visit Mrs. Tymoshenko, who is being treated for a spinal condition in a hospital, and attend an appeal hearing in her case in late June.

• From wire dispatches and staff reports

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