20 March 2008 Edition

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International News in Brief

British PM’s Iraq inquiry pledge

THE BRITISH Prime Minister has said he will hold an inquiry into the war in Iraq – but only after a British withdrawal.
In a letter to the leftist Fabian Society, published on Monday by The Independent newspaper in London, Prime Minister Gordon Brown wrote, “There will come a time when it is appropriate to hold an inquiry,” but added, “Whilst the whole effort of the government and the armed forces is directed towards supporting the people and government of Iraq as they forge a future based on reconciliation, democracy, prosperity and security, we believe that is not now.”

UN policeman dies after Kosovo clash

A UKRAINIAN police officer serving with the United Nations in Kosovo has died of injuries from a hand grenade thrown by Serbian rioters in Kosovo on Monday, 17 March. Twenty Ukrainian police officers were injured in the worst outbreak of violence since Kosovo declared independence from Serbia on 17 February. A Serb demonstrator who was shot in the head was said by doctors to be in a coma with a severe brain injury and fighting for his life.
The UN personnel came under attack as they removed Serbian protesters occupying a UN courthouse in north Kosovo.
There are 44 Irish personnel serving in Kosovo with the EU-led Eufor mission.

Bear necessities

A MACEDONIAN court has convicted a bear of stealing honey.
The bear took the honey in a raid on Zoran Kiseloski’s bee hives before being frightened off by Zoran blasting out ear-thumping, Serbian ‘turbo folk’ music.
The stung bee-keeper has now won his year-long court battle for compensation with a court in the city of Bitola ruling that, because the wild bear has no owner and bears are a protected species, the state must pay for the €2,240 (£1,760) damage to Zoran’s hives.
The bear was not in court to hear the verdict.

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