Foreign Desk

This article is from the archive of The New York Sun before the launch of its new website in 2022. The Sun has neither altered nor updated such articles but will seek to correct any errors, mis-categorizations or other problems introduced during transfer.

The New York Sun



MOSCOW – An Armenian plane carrying at least 100 people crashed in bad weather early today off Russia’s Black Sea coast as it was headed in for landing, emergency officials said. There was no sign of survivors.

The Airbus A-320, which belonged to the Armenian airline Armavia, disappeared from radar screens just under four miles from the shore and crashed after making a turn and heading toward the Adler airport near the city of Sochi in southern Russia, Emergency Situations Ministry spokesman Viktor Beltsov said.

Wreckage from the plane was found not far from the shoreline, Mr. Beltsov said. The Interfax news agency reported that rescue teams at the site pulled the body of a woman from the sea, and cited a coast guard official, Vladislav Kozlitin, as saying body parts were also found.

Mr. Beltsov said preliminary information indicated there were 114 people aboard. Earlier, Russian news agencies reported the plane was carrying 92 passengers, including five children, and eight crew.

Rescuers found parts of the plane some four miles from the shore, along with empty lifejackets – an indication that passengers had no time to put them on, ITAR-Tass quoted an unidentified local emergency official as saying.

– Associated Press



ROME – Premier Berlusconi, the longest-serving leader in postwar Italy, resigned yesterday to make way for a center-left government led by Romano Prodi that must re-energize a moribund economy. President Ciampi asked Mr. Berlusconi to remain on as caretaker prime minister during their 30-minute meeting at the Quirinale Palace.

“The president of the republic, Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, has met this morning with Premier Silvio Berlusconi, who has handed in the resignation of the Cabinet over which he presides,” the president’s office said in a statement.

After the meeting, Mr. Berlusconi returned to his private residence and told about 20 flag-waving supporters of his Forza Italia party that, “everything is fine.” He refused to make any other comment.

Mr. Berlusconi had steadfastly refused to concede defeat since the country’s April 9-10 elections. Earlier yesterday, he presided over a brief Cabinet meeting during which he announced his intention to resign.

– Associated Press


An independent inquiry into whether the BBC provides a fair and accurate account of Middle Eastern news has found that “in important respects, [it] presents an incomplete and in that sense misleading picture,” the BBC reported on its website.

The panel, chaired by Sir Quentin Thomas, examined only the corporation’s UK domestic output.

“[The BBC] could and should do better to meet the gold standard which it sets itself,” Sir Quentin said.

“Apart from individual lapses, sometimes of tone, language or attitude, there was little to suggest systematic or deliberate bias,” the report concluded. “On the contrary, there was evidence, in the programming and in other ways, of a commitment to be fair, accurate, and impartial.”

But the range of stories and perspectives was too narrow and reporters’ use of language was often inconsistent. That included the use of the words “terrorism” and “terrorist”.

The BBC advises its journalists to avoid “terrorist” because it can be “a barrier to understanding,” but the panel said the BBC should use “terrorism” to describe violence against civilians with the intention of causing terror for ideological objectives, “whether perpetrated by state or non-state agencies”.

“It seems clear that placing a bomb on a bus used by civilians intending death or injury in supposed furtherance of a cause is a terrorist act and no other expression conveys so tersely and accurately the elements involved,” the report said.

– Staff Reporter of the Sun

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