- - Sunday, September 2, 2012

LONDON — British Prime Minister David Cameron vowed Sunday to “cut through the dither” and breathe new life into the nation’s recession-mired economy with a series of new initiatives.

With lawmakers returning to Parliament on Monday after their summer break, Mr. Cameron also pledged that he would continue cutting debt amid the ongoing eurozone debt crisis.

“We will return this week with new government bills for economic development,” he wrote in the Sunday edition of the London Daily Mail newspaper.

Mr. Cameron said his Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition government will introduce measures to boost growth by relaxing regulations on new-home construction.

“We’re on a hard road to balancing Britain’s books,” Mr. Cameron said.

Tutu wants Bush, Blair charged with war crimes

LONDON — Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Desmond Tutu wants former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and former President George W. Bush tried before International Criminal Court for their role in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion of Iraq

Mr. Tutu, the Anglican Church’s retired archbishop of South Africa, wrote Sunday in an Op-Ed piece for the Observer newspaper that the ex-leaders of Britain and the United States should be made to “answer for their actions.”

He accused Mr. Blair and Mr. Bush of fabricating “the grounds to behave like playground bullies” and said the Iraq war destabilized the Middle East more than “any other conflict in history.”

Mr. Tutu, a staunch critic of the Iraq war, last week withdrew from a conference in South Africa because Mr. Blair attended the event.

The United States does not recognize the court, but Britain does.


No need for bailout, says head of OECD

BLED — Slovenia needs no financial bailout, but politicians need to act urgently to improve the economy, a top European official said Sunday.

OECD chief Angel Gurria insisted Sunday that Slovenia did not yet need bailout aid, but he urged politicians to act to bring the eurozone country out of crisis.

“There is a lot of room and a lot of work to be done,” Mr. Gurria, secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, told journalists at a conference at Slovenia’s northern lakeside resort of Bled.

Mr. Gurria added that Slovenia’s politicians know what measures need to be taken. He urged them to “find the necessary level of consensus in order to do them.”

Last week, Slovenia’s center-right Prime Minister Janez Jansa warned the country may need a bailout. He also announced his government will put pension and labor reform at the top of its priorities in an attempt to restore the confidence of international markets.

Slovenia’s public deficit reached 6.4 percent of gross domestic product in 2011, but Mr. Jansa said he hopes to reduce it to between 3.5 percent and 4 percent this year with recent austerity measures.

The national debt, although low by eurozone standards, also almost doubled over the past four years to 45.5 percent of GDP in 2011, according to the European Commission.


Illegal immigrants reach Spanish island

MADRID — Some 70 illegal immigrants have reached a tiny, normally uninhabited Spanish island off the northern coast of Africa, while a separate group of 60 migrants, possibly in a coordinated action, tried to breach a fence to reach another Spanish territory, officials said Sunday.

The rocky, 4-acre outcrop known as Isla de Tierra is just 100 yards off the Mediterranean coast of Morocco at low tide.

The migrants swam or waded across to the island early Sunday, according to the regional office of the Interior Ministry located in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, which lies on the North African coast.

Three minors and 17 women were part of the group. An additional 19 migrants reached the archipelago Wednesday.

Around the same time Sunday morning, a group of about 60 migrants tried to rush a fence separating Melilla from Morocco. They were repelled by the fence and Spanish border guards “acting in collaboration with Moroccan security forces,” the regional office statement said.

Every year migrants from Africa try dangerous crossings to reach Spanish territory illegally in hope of gaining work and a better life.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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