2 Gulf Daily News Saturday, 16th May 2009
Jordan calls for
57-state solution
Jordan’s King Abdullah
yesterday pushed the
idea of expanding an
Arab initiative for peace
with Israel to include the
entire Muslim world.
The king told the Times of
London earlier that US
President Barack Obama
wanted to promote a peace
plan involving all Muslim
countries and not just Arab
nations. The 57-nation
Organisation of the Islamic
Conference is due to meet
in Syria on May 23.
“The Arab peace initiative has offered Israel a
place in the neighbourhood
and more — acceptance by
■Egyptian boy
hit by bird flu
CAIRO: A three-year-old
Egyptian boy has contracted the
highly pathogenic H5N1 bird flu
virus, the 71st case in the populous Arab country, said a Health
Ministry spokesman. The boy,
from Mahalla in the Nile Delta
north of Cairo, was in a stable
condition in hospital and being
treated with Tamiflu, he said.
It is the second case in as many
days in Egypt, which has seen a
surge in infections this year.
■Inquest curbs backed
LONDON: The British government abandoned plans yesterday to exclude the public from
inquests into controversial
deaths. Justice Secretary Jack
Straw said in a written statement to lawmakers that the
proposals did not have enough
support in parliament and
would be scrapped. The decision was welcomed by military
veteran groups and human
rights campaigners.
■Head bullet removed
■The Crown Prince with King Abdullah, Mr Nazif and Mr Schwab
57 nations, the one-third of the
UN members,” King Abdullah
told a World Economic Forum
meeting in Jordan. “This is true
security that barriers and armed
forces cannot bring,” he said.
The new American commitment has now opened a new
opportunity, he added.
The Arab peace initiative
offers Israel normal relations
with the 22 countries of the
Arab League in return for
returning lands to Lebanon,
Syria and the Palestinians.
Kuwait to boost stake – 21
Crown Prince in key talks
AMMAN: Crown Prince and Economic Development Board chair-
man Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa yesterday hailed the
World Economic Forum (WEF) for focusing on economic issues
from a Mideast perspective this year.
His comments came as he held talks with political leaders and
captains of industry on the sidelines of the forum.
The Crown Prince is heading Bahrain’s delegation to the conference.
At a meeting with WEF founder and executive chairman Klaus
Schwab, he hoped the forum would come up with concrete ideas
to help the region tailor its response to the global financial crisis.
The Crown Prince discussed regional development during a
meeting with forum host, King Abdullah of Jordan.
He also held talks with Egyptian Prime Minister Dr Ahmed
Mohammed Nazif and Egyptian National Democratic Party assistant secretary-general and policies secretary Jamal Mubarak.
The Crown Prince later attended a dinner banquet hosted by
King Abdullah in honour of the leaders and officials taking part
in the forum.
●Finance Minister and Mumtalakat chairman Shaikh Ahmed
bin Mohammed Al Khalifa will outline today the measures
Middle East nations must take to make their economies resilient
during the current global financial crisis.
Economic Development Board chief executive Shaikh
Mohammed bin Essa Al Khalifa will take part in a forum on the
rightful place of the region in the global economic structure.
Tigers ‘giving up’
Sri Lanka’s
President Mahinda Rajapakse
vowed to end the decades-old
war against the Tamil Tiger
rebels by tomorrow morning as
the military battled last night to
take complete control of the
country’s coastline.
The rebels are “slowly giving up” their fight against
advancing government troops,
the military said.
A military spokesman said
10,000 civilians had managed
to flee to government areas
yesterday, and that there was
now “hardly anybody left” in
the rebel zone.
The military claimed that
navy stopped a suspicious boat
off the northeastern coast and
arrested the wife, son and
daughter of the rebels’ sea
wing leader. As the fighting
raged, top UN official Vijay
Nambiar headed on an urgent
mission to safeguard civilians.
Meanwhile France and
Britain joined forces to urge
Sri Lanka to live up to its commitments and avoid using
heavy artillery.
BEIJING: Doctors in southwest
China have successfully
removed a bullet from a
woman’s head 42 years after she
was shot, putting an end to
decades of increasingly unbearable pain, said a report.
Staff at a hospital in Chongqing
municipality extracted the 2.5cm-long bullet from the right
temple of He Wenying, 65.
She was hit by the ricocheting
bullet during a gun battle at the
start of the Cultural Revolution,
which lasted from 1966 to 1976.
■Spacewalk success
Spacewalking astronauts had
to install a refurbished pair of
gyroscopes in the Hubble
Space Telescope yesterday
after one of the brand new
ones refused to go in. The
struggle had Nasa on edge for
about two hours. The gyroscopes are needed to point the
19-year-old observatory, and
getting them in was the top
priority of the repair mission.
■Waterboarding row
Congressional Republicans yesterday defended the CIA after the
leader of the US House of
Representatives, Speaker Nancy
Pelosi accused the spy agency of
misleading her and other legislators about its use of waterboarding
during the administration of
George W Bush. The top
Republican on the Senate,
Intelligence Committee, Senator
Kit Bond, yesterday questioned
her criticism of the spy operations.
■‘Pink Panthers’ held
PARIS: Two key members of
the “Pink Panthers” international gang of jewel thieves
were arrested in Paris this
week, Interpol said yesterday.
It said the men arrested were
“dangerous individuals” whom
it named as Nicolai Ivanovic,
36, and Zoran Kostic, 38.
Probe as UK minister quits
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LONDON: The scandal over the
expenses of British MPs claimed its
first ministerial victim yesterday and
the police said senior officers and
lawyers would examine allegations as
public anger grew.
Prime Minister Gordon Brown suspended junior justice minister Shahid
Malik while his expenses claims are
investigated, in the latest escalation of
the embarrassing row.
The announcement came after The
Daily Telegraph revealed that Malik
claimed tens of thousands of pounds
from public funds for a second home
while paying below-market rent for
his main house.
The allowances claims is a new
blow to Brown as he grapples with
dismal poll ratings.. A new survey put
his Labour party on 22 per cent,
against 41pc for the Conservatives.
The potential implications of the
scandal were laid bare when London
police announced that a panel of officers and lawyers would examine complaints about the claims to see if they
merited a criminal investigation.
■Malik ... row