U.S. Seeks Russia's Help

On U.N. Resolution on Iraq

MOSCOW -- National security adviser Condoleezza Rice told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Saturday that the United States wanted Russia's cooperation in working out a U.N. resolution on Iraq.

"She made it clear that we want to work closely with the Russians on the text of the Security Council resolution, which we will soon be drafting and sharing with our Russian friends," a U.S. Embassy spokesman said.

Russian officials had said on the eve of the talks with Rice that they were willing to work with Washington on a Security Council resolution to underpin the handover of limited power but wanted a clear outline of post-occupation arrangements.

The Russian Tass news agency reported that Rice gave Putin a message from President Bush. A Russian government statement said the talks focused on bilateral cooperation and "key international issues, including the situation in Iraq and in the Middle East."


* SOFIA, Bulgaria -- Bulgarian protesters burned a three-yard-high gallows in central Sofia to protest the death sentences imposed on five Bulgarian nurses for infecting Libyan children with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS.

The protesters also released six white doves in the capital as tens of thousands of medics staged silent protests in front of hospitals across the country in support of the condemned nurses, who say they are innocent. A court in the Libyan port of Benghazi sentenced the five women and a Palestinian doctor to death by firing squad in early May on charges that they deliberately infected 426 Libyan children with HIV.

the middle east

* RIYADH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi security forces arrested four suspected gunmen and were pursuing others after a shootout in a residential neighborhood of the capital, security officials said. Gunshots were heard near the Kingdom Complex, apartments that are home to Saudis and foreign residents. Security officials said an unknown number of gunmen fled the scene after the gunfight with security forces and were being pursued.

The Kingdom Complex, owned by Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire nephew of King Fahd, is guarded by members of the Saudi National Guard.

* DAMASCUS, Syria -- The alleged leader of a group that detonated a car bomb in the Syrian capital on April 27 said in a televised confession that the attack was motivated by what he said was U.S. and Israeli aggression against Muslims. Four people were killed in the attack. Ahmad Shlash Hassan, who is hospitalized in police custody, said he did not belong to any political group and that the attack was aimed at foreign interests.


* UNITED NATIONS -- The U.N. Security Council intends to adopt a formal statement this week that could lead to prosecution and sanctions against human rights abusers in Ivory Coast and those thwarting a peace accord, diplomats said. On Friday the council put out a brief statement condemning rights violators but avoided blaming the government for the deaths of some 120 demonstrators in Abidjan on March 25-26.

The office of the U.N. human rights commissioner said in a recent report that security forces and pro-government militia were responsible for the deaths during a crackdown on a banned opposition protest.

-- From News Services