March 13, 2005 in Nation/World

No bombs found at Indonesian mall

Compiled from wire reports The Spokesman-Review

Jakarta, Indonesia Bomb squad officers searched Saturday for explosives in a Jakarta shopping mall known as the World Trade Center complex – the focus of a U.S. terror alert – but found no suspected bombs, so shops resumed business as usual.

On Friday, the U.S. Embassy warned American citizens to avoid the mall because of a “possible bomb threat” over the next three days. The Australian government released a similar warning Saturday.

Bomb squad officers searched the complex and 100 extra plainclothes officers were deployed at the facility, mall security officers said.

“Some police officers have been here since last night after they informed us about the threats,” said Muhammad Ardhan, security chief at the mall. “But in fact, they found nothing after searching the entire complex.”

Juli Bakti Irvanto, a spokesman for the building management, said they had requested additional police security.

The 12-story mall, which sells mostly discount designer goods, is well outside the downtown district and is not especially popular with foreigners.

Protesters scale pillars at Buckingham Palace

London Protesters scaled pillars alongside gates at Buckingham Palace on Saturday, unfurling a banner over the palace railings, police said.

London’s Metropolitan Police said two people spent about 90 minutes atop pillars outside Queen Elizabeth II’s residence in central London.

They hung a banner saying “Basque youth defending civil and political rights” between them. The two men came down of their own accord and were taken to a police station, police said. Two other demonstrators who chained themselves to the palace railings were cut free by police and arrested.

None of the protesters entered the palace grounds, and police said they did not know if they had a connection with the Basque separatist group ETA in Spain.

Earlier protests have raised concerns about security at the palace.

Last year, Fathers 4 Justice, a group that campaigns for greater access to children by divorced fathers, had one man scale the palace’s main gate dressed as Santa Claus, and two others climb onto a balcony dressed as Batman and Robin.

In late 2003, a reporter for the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace, and then published embarrassing revelations and photos on the eve of President Bush’s visit to the royal residence.

Nazi march marks bombing anniversary

Frankfurt, Germany Hundreds of neo-Nazis marched through the streets of Dessau on Saturday, marking the 60th anniversary of the Allied bombing of the east German city last week.

City officials officially marked the anniversary with a memorial service on Monday, but church and other leaders called 500 peaceful demonstrators to march Saturday against the far-right extremists.

Roughly 300 neo-Nazis participated in Saturday’s protest marking the March 7 anniversary of the 1945 bombing that destroyed 80 percent of the city and killed hundreds of residents.

The march came a day after the German parliament tightened laws making it easier for authorities to ban neo-Nazi gatherings near memorials to victims of the Nazis, such as former concentration camps, if the demonstration seems likely to “harm the dignity of the victims.”

Saturday’s march did not fall under that law.

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