World Digest


October 10, 2006

Maps of Lebanon minefields handed over to U.N. by Israel

BEIRUT, Lebanon -- Israel handed over to United Nations peacekeepers yesterday maps of minefields it laid in southern Lebanon during its nearly two-decade occupation, meeting a key requirement of the U.N. cease-fire resolution that ended this summer's war with Hezbollah militants, a U.N. statement said.

Disclosing the locations of several hundred thousand mines that were laid during Israel's 1982-2000 occupation of a border zone in southern Lebanon has been one of the main demands of the Lebanese government and Hezbollah guerrillas.

Israel has provided maps twice before, after its withdrawal from the border zone in 2000 and as part of a prisoner swap with Hezbollah in 2004. But the Lebanese government and Hezbollah repeatedly demanded that Israel provide full disclosure.

Israel's army gave the maps to peacekeepers during a meeting of Lebanese, Israeli and U.N. generals at the headquarters of the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon in Naqoura, near the Israeli border, the statement said. UNIFIL handed over the maps to the U.N. Mine Action Coordination Center and the Lebanese army for review.

Associated Press

Paisley meets with Irish archbishop

BELFAST, Northern Ireland -- Northern Ireland's dominant Protestant leader, who has long denounced the Roman Catholic Church as corrupt and heretical, held talks yesterday for the first time with the leader of the church in Ireland. Ian Paisley's meeting with Archbishop Sean Brady, leader of Ireland's 4 million Catholics, was timed to signal Paisley's willingness to work with Catholics on the eve of negotiations to revive power-sharing in Northern Ireland, the central goal of the Good Friday peace accord of 1998. Britain and Ireland, which are leading three days of multiparty negotiations starting tomorrow in Scotland, have given the Northern Ireland Assembly until Nov. 24 to elect a Catholic-Protestant administration or be shut down.

For want of axes, helicopter crashed

KABUL, Afghanistan --A helicopter crash that killed 10 U.S. troops in May was caused by a series of mishaps, a new report concluded. Problems included a nighttime landing on a small mountaintop zone, trees that were too close to the runway and soldiers who lacked axes to cut them down. The CH-47 Chinook - a large transport helicopter with two overhead rotors - had such a small landing zone that only its two rear wheels could touch down, while its front two wheels hovered off the mountain's side, the report from the Accident Investigation Division of the U.S. Army Combat Readiness Center found.

Muslim clerics condemn videos

COPENHAGEN, Denmark --Videos showing anti-immigrant party members mocking the Prophet Muhammad were pulled from Web sites yesterday as two youths seen in the clips were reported to be in hiding and the Foreign Ministry warned Danes against traveling to much of the Middle East. Muslim clerics from Egypt and Indonesia condemned the video broadcast in Denmark last week showing members of the Danish People's Party youth wing with cartoons of a camel wearing the head of Muhammad and beer cans for humps. A second drawing placed a turbaned, bearded man next to a plus sign and a bomb, all equaling a mushroom cloud.

From wire reports

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