After Delays, U.N. Envoy To Meet Myanmar Leader
A U.N. envoy was to meet with the leader of Myanmar’s junta Tuesday as authorities continued a crackdown after crushing huge peaceful demonstrations last week.
The leader, Senior Gen. Than Shwe, had kept the envoy, Ibrahim Gambari, waiting since his arrival in Myanmar on Saturday, although he was allowed to visit Sunday with the pro-democracy leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, who has been under house arrest for 12 of the past 18 years. Diplomats said Gambari might meet with Aung San Suu Kyi again, raising hopes that Gambari might engage in some form of shuttle diplomacy.
After more than a month of swelling protests, the streets of major cities were quiet, but there were many unconfirmed reports of further arrests, mass detentions and abuses, including of the monks who had formed the heart of the peaceful uprising.
Barbed-wire barricades were being removed from the streets and an exile Web site, Irrawaddy, reported that 70 people had been released from detention as authorities sought to restore a sense of normalcy to the battered country.
The junta has shut down access to the Internet in an effort to further isolate the country and has placed troops in the streets to intimidate people from renewing the protests that had begun Aug. 19 after a sharp increase in the price of fuel.
The demonstrations swelled to as many as 100,000 in the country’s main city, Yangon, until troops began opening fire on Thursday and Friday. Western governments said the death toll was certain to be much higher than the 10 acknowledged by the junta, but specific numbers could not be confirmed.
Nazi Suspect to Be Deported
Federal officials said Monday that they planned to deport an elderly German man living in Georgia who they said was a guard and dog trainer in Nazi death camps.
Officials in the Office of Special Investigations in the Justice Department identified the man as Paul Henss, 85, of Lawrenceville, a document in the case said.
The document said Henss admitted in March in a sworn statement that he had worked for the SS at the Dachau and Buchenwald death camps, guarding forced labor details of prisoners at both camps while armed. The file charges that he used attack dogs to keep prisoners from escaping and that he trained other guards to use the dogs.
Henss has not decided whether to fight deportation, said Douglas S. Weigle, an immigration lawyer in Cincinnati who said he had spoken to Henss and his family, but had not been retained.
Speaking to reporters outside his house Monday, Henss said he had committed no war crimes. “The training of dogs was no crime,” Henss said, according to The Associated Press. “I was not training them to hurt people.”
Federal officials said he was an important functionary in the death camps. “The brutal concentration camp system could not have functioned without the determined efforts of SS men such as Paul Henss, who, with a vicious attack dog, stood between these victims and the possibility of freedom,” said Eli M. Rosenbaum, director of the criminal division of the Office of Special Investigations.
Rivals for Prime Minister Claim Victory in Ukraine
Leaders of the two main political parties in Ukraine both claimed victory on Monday in crucial parliamentary elections, but the vote appeared so tight that it could be many days before a new prime minister takes office.
Supporters of Yulia V. Tymoshenko, the former prime minister who was a stalwart of the Orange Revolution of 2004, insisted that the final tally would show that she was the victor. But her chief rival, Prime Minister Viktor F. Yanukovych, dismissed those statements as premature.
With no convincing winner in Sunday’s contests, the situation remained relatively unstable, especially given Ukraine’s recent history. Close elections in the past three years have produced political stalemates, large-scale demonstrations, extended legal battles, back-room maneuvering and accusations of voting fraud — all of which have left this nation ballot-weary.
Officials said late Monday night that with 93 percent of the votes counted, Yanukovych’s party had 34 percent and Tymoshenko’s had 31 percent. But those numbers could fluctuate as polling places finish reporting.
Tymoshenko’s party said she would become prime minister again by reaching a deal with President Viktor A. Yushchenko’s party, which received 14 percent, rekindling an alliance that was triumphant in the Orange Revolution, but collapsed in acrimony later on.
China Joins Inquiry Into Steroid Ring
The Chinese government is investigating whether companies in China are shipping the raw materials for illegal steroids to factories in the United States.
The government said it was cooperating with the American authorities, who are conducting a crackdown on steroid manufacturers in the United States and other parts of the world.
The Drug Enforcement Administration and other American authorities announced the arrests of more than 120 people last week and said they had closed dozens of small laboratories and seized cash, drugs and other assets.
The authorities, who called the case Operation Raw Deal, did not disclose who used the steroids but said they had a large database of names and thought that many of the users were athletes and bodybuilders.
The U.S. authorities say 99 percent of all the materials used to produce anabolic steroids in the country come from China.