WORLD IN BRIEF

The Washington Post Sunday - - World News -

K JERUSALEM — Is­rael’s prime min­is­ter said he’s not ready to or­der a large-scale mil­i­tary op­er­a­tion in the Gaza Strip, de­spite the mil­i­tary’s warn­ings of a Ha­mas arms buildup in the coastal ter­ri­tory.

Is­rael fears that the Is­lamic mil­i­tant group Ha­mas is try­ing to copy the tac­tics of the Le­banese guer­rilla group Hezbol­lah, which fought Is­rael to a draw in last sum­mer’s war in Le­banon.

Ha­mas has ex­ploited a pe­riod of rel­a­tive calm to smug­gle large num­bers of an­ti­tank mis­siles and 30 tons of weapons-grade ex­plo­sives into Gaza, us­ing tun­nels un­der the border with Egypt, Is­raeli se­cu­rity of­fi­cials said, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymity be­cause they were not au­tho­rized to dis­cuss the is­sue.

Ha­mas dis­missed the claims as Is­raeli pro­pa­ganda. K HANOI — Viet­nam’s prime min­is­ter has or­dered a global in­ves­ti­ga­tion into mys­te­ri­ous oil spills that have black­ened some of the coun­try’s most pop­u­lar beaches af­ter rul­ing out the coun­try’s oil rigs.

“We have run thor­ough checks us­ing ves­sels and air­crafts on our seas and found that our oil wells are safely op­er­ated and are not the cul­prit of the oil spills,” Nguyen Tan Dung told del­e­gates at the Na­tional As­sem­bly in a live television broad­cast. Dung was re­fer­ring to two spills that oc­curred this year, one in Jan­uary that hit beaches along the cen­tral coast and the sec­ond de­tected

MADRID — Po­lice found more than 300 pounds of ex­plo­sives Satur­day in the Basque and Navarra re­gions in north­ern Spain, the sec­ond such haul in four days, of­fi­cials said.

Basque po­lice are on max­i­mum alert fol­low­ing the ar­rest of eight sus­pected mem­bers of the armed sep­a­ratist group ETA and the dis­cov­ery of ex­plo­sives and other bomb­mak­ing equip­ment Wed­nes­day.

ETA has waged a cam­paign for in­de­pen­dence for the Basque re­gion over four decades, killing about 800 peo­ple. Spain’s gov­ern­ment is work­ing to end the vi­o­lence but froze con­tacts with ETA in De­cem­ber af­ter the group broke a nine-month cease-fire by blow­ing up a Madrid air­port park­ing garage, killing two peo­ple.

THE MID­DLE EAST

ASIA Span­ish Po­lice Un­cover New Ex­plo­sives Cache

March 11 along the south­ern coast. K NEW DELHI — Women who sur­vived the De­cem­ber 2004 South Asian tsunami face height­ened risks of vi­o­lence, im­pov­er­ish­ment and lack of pri­vacy at re­lief camps in sev­eral na­tions, a new re­port says.

In many places, women were more vul­ner­a­ble to abuse by men af­ter the tsunami up­rooted their tra­di­tional way of life, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, is­sued by 174 or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing Ac­tionAid In­ter­na­tional.

More than 7,000 women were in­ter­viewed for the study, which looked at con­di­tions in Sri Lanka, the Mal­dives, Thai­land, In­dia and So­ma­lia. K LA­GOS, Nige­ria — Gun­men in two speed­boats ab­ducted a Bri­tish oil worker in a pre-dawn raid on a drilling rig 40 miles off the coast of Nige­ria, of­fi­cials said.

The For­eign Of­fice in Lon­don con­firmed the ab­duc­tion.

Kid­nap­pings of for­eign work­ers for ran­som or to press po­lit­i­cal de­mands are com­mon in the lawless delta, which ac­counts for all of Nige­ria’s roughly 2.5 mil­lion bar­rels a day in crude oil pro­duc­tion. K BRE­MEN, Ger­many — The Czech for­eign min­is­ter said that he would lis­ten to Rus­sian con­cerns over a planned U.S. mis­sile shield but that they were of mar­ginal im­por­tance.

The United States wants to de­ploy a radar sys­tem in the Czech Repub­lic and 10 in­ter­cep­tor mis­siles in Poland by 2011 or 2012. It says the mis­sile shield would counter threats from “rogue states” such as Iran and North Korea.

Rus­sia re­gards the mis­sile shield as an en­croach­ment on its for­mer sphere of in­flu­ence and says it could un­der­mine global non­pro­lif­er­a­tion. K AM­S­TER­DAM — Am­s­ter­dam’s sex work­ers came to work early to of­fer a free look at the city’s famed red­light dis­trict.

Hun­dreds of wide-eyed vis­i­tors lined up in the sun­shine to en­ter the dimly lit sex clubs and peep shows and to snoop around pros­ti­tutes’ neon-lit boudoirs.

Or­ga­niz­ers staged the event to counter bad pub­lic­ity sur­round­ing the 800-year-old dis­trict af­ter re­ports of forced pros­ti­tu­tion, hu­man traf­fick­ing and or­ga­nized crime.

More than 30 broth­els are fight­ing clo­sure af­ter of­fi­cials re­voked their li­censes last year over sus­pected links to money laun­der­ing and drug deal­ing.

AFRICA

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