tampabay.com

Musharraf says foes conspire against him

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 22, 2007


PAKISTAN - President Pervez Musharraf accused opponents Monday of using his ouster of Pakistan's chief justice to conspire against him and said it would be a sad day if "lies and deception" prevail in the crisis threatening his grip on power. Lawyers and opposition parties have marshaled growing protests against Musharraf since he suspended the head of the Supreme Court on March 9. Musharraf, a key U.S. ally against terrorism, also faces a challenge from Islamic militants. In a defiant speech Monday, he defended his government's record and accused unidentified opponents of hijacking a legal issue - allegations that the chief justice abused his office - for political ends.

 

Iran signs deal on oil reserves

BELARUS - Iran granted Belarus greater access to oil reserves as the presidents of the countries, both at odds with the United States, met Monday in Minsk to cement what the Belarusian leader called a "strategic partnership." Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad hailed the "huge potential" for cooperation between the nations.

 

Cargo ship balks at delivering food

SOMALIA - A cargo ship carrying food for poor Somalis refused to leave Kenya on Monday because of rampant piracy, and the U.S. Navy warned vessels to stay clear of Somalia's lawless waters. The U.N. World Food Program has appealed for international action to stamp out Somali pirates threatening the delivery of humanitarian supplies. The ship was loaded with 850 tons of food, but the shipping agency contracted by the WFP demanded the Kenyan government provide security for travel into Somali waters.

Elsewhere

Yemen: One of the FBI's most-sought terrorism suspects, Jaber A. Elbaneh, has surrendered to authorities in Yemen, more than a year after tunneling out of a prison in the country, a Yemeni spokesman said Monday. A former resident of Lackawanna, N.Y., he is wanted on a 2002 charge of providing material support to a terrorist organization.

Vatican City: The Vatican and Israel on Monday resumed high-level negotiations aimed at settling disputes over property, taxes and the legal status of the Roman Catholic Church in the Holy Land. It was the first such meeting in five years.

Spain: Fourteen defendants in the Madrid train bombings trial have ended a hunger strike they were staging to denounce the terrorism charges they are facing, the National Court said Monday.

Sri Lanka: Six people were killed Monday during deepening fighting between soldiers and rebels in the volatile north, the military said.