German Chancellor Pays Tribute
To Victims of Warsaw Uprising
WARSAW -- German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder paid tribute on Sunday to thousands of Poles killed in the Warsaw Uprising against Nazi forces 60 years ago, making a landmark gesture of reconciliation toward a new European Union partner.
Historians call the 1944 Warsaw Uprising one of the most tragic episodes of World War II. About 40,000 outnumbered and ill-equipped Polish resistance fighters challenged 140,000 German regular and elite SS troops in a failed bid to wrest control of the Polish capital.
Schroeder, the first German head of government to attend an anniversary of the uprising, twice bowed low in front of a monument to the insurrection under the gaze of elderly Polish survivors who stood at attention as they marked their bloody 63-day battle.
"On this spot of Poland's pride and Germany's shame we hope for reconciliation and peace," Schroeder said at the closing ceremony.
More than 150,000 civilians were killed in the fighting, 165,000 were sent to Nazi labor camps and 350,000 were displaced. Six million Poles, half of them Jews, were killed in the war.
* KABUL, Afghanistan -- Nine out of 10 eligible Afghans have registered for national elections set for October, the United Nations said, a resounding endorsement of a democratic experiment intended to help Afghanistan move beyond years of debilitating war.
First tallies since the eight-month registration drive began winding down on Saturday showed that 8.7 million of an estimated 9.8 million eligible voters have collected identification cards for the Oct. 9 election. Forty-one percent of those who registered were women.
Afghans have flocked to register in the north, west and center of the country, where regional leaders, including opponents of President Hamid Karzai's drive for a centralized state, have encouraged their supporters to sign up.
U.N. figures suggested there was a far lower registration rate in five southern provinces dominated by the country's main Pashtun ethnic group.
In the northern city of Mazar-e Sharif, U.N. spokesman David Singh said the number of those registered had exceeded the projected total, suggesting either fraud or that the estimate of the electorate was far too conservative. Officials acknowledge cases of people registering more than once, but contend that indelible ink on every voter's finger would limit fraud on election day. Many underage Afghans also might have registered to vote.
* ALGIERS -- Three people were killed by a bomb blast in Algeria in an attack bearing the hallmarks of Islamic rebels, state radio said. The victims, all Algerians, belonged to a private security firm working for a power company installing high-voltage lines in the mountainous region of Jijel, more than 150 miles east of the capital, local reporters said.
* KHARTOUM, Sudan -- The Sudanese cabinet condemned the 30-day deadline for action on Darfur set by the U.N. Security Council, but said it would implement a 90-day program agreed to earlier with U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan. The Security Council, in a resolution passed Friday, demanded that the Sudanese government take action within 30 days to disarm Arab militias blamed for creating a humanitarian crisis in the western region.
Roger Winter, assistant administrator of the U.S. Agency for International Development, said that in addition to the estimated 30,000 people killed in violence in Darfur, as many as 50,000 more may have died from hunger and disease.
* PARIS -- A judge ordered four Frenchmen, returned to France after more than two years in the U.S. military prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to be kept in jail, judicial officials said.
The four were turned over to French authorities Tuesday. Authorities here struggled for months to secure their release and are still negotiating the return of three other Frenchmen held by the United States. On Sunday, a judge ordered the four suspects jailed provisionally in France.
* PRAGUE -- An explosive device thrown from a passing car exploded near a casino in a crowded shopping district at the heart of Prague's historic center. Officials said 18 people were injured, including one child, five British citizens and three Irish citizens. A spokesman for the Prague emergency department said four were seriously injured. Prague's deputy mayor, Rudolf Blazek, said the attack might have been a robbery attempt.
THE MIDDLE EAST
* CAIRO -- Builders laying the foundations for a mosque in northeast Cairo found an intact tomb dating from the Pharaonic period submerged in groundwater up to the ceiling of the tomb, officials said.
The tomb contains an unopened basalt sarcophagus, slivers of gold dedicated to the ancient Egyptian gods Isis and Horus, and inscriptions showing the tomb belonged to a man called Ankh Khansu Derat Hor, the official MENA news agency reported.
It also has the four canopic jars in which ancient Egyptians tried to preserve the liver, stomach, lungs and intestines.
The head of the Supreme Council for Antiquities, Zahi Hawass, said the tomb dated from the 16th to the 11th century B.C.
"The walls of the tomb are beautifully inscribed, with reliefs, so I think it could be an important person," he said.
* JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia -- Saudi officials said any Muslim and Arab deployment to Iraq must have Iraqi consensus, operate under a U.N. umbrella and replace U.S.-led troops in the war-torn country.
The Saudi foreign minister, Prince Saud Faisal, told reporters that his country's proposal, announced last week, also stipulates that the United Nations oversee the political process in Iraq, including elections for a new Iraqi government.
"These won't be fighting or invading troops but to help serve the Iraqi people so that they return to a normal life. This would also require that coalition forces withdraw from Iraq," Saud said after talks with Arab League Secretary General Amr Moussa.
"This proposal responds to demands by many Muslim nations that coalition forces quit Iraq," he said.
The Saudi proposal, which has received a cool response so far, called for troops from Pakistan, Malaysia, Algeria, Bangladesh and Morocco to help quell the unrest in Iraq.
Algerian Foreign Minister Abdelaziz Belkhadem said his country had no intention of sending troops to Iraq, according to official news media reports.
-- From News Services