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The world at a glance . . . Europe

Europe

Wiltshire, U.K.Stonehenge vandalized: Two men with a hammer and screwdriver gouged a small piece out of one of the Stonehenge megaliths, police reported this week. The vandals removed a small chip from the ancient monument’s Heel Stone, and left a 2.5-inch scratch. “Thanks to the vigilance and quick action of the security team at Stonehenge, very minimal damage was caused,” said a spokeswoman for English Heritage, which maintains the site. There has been no recorded vandalism at Stonehenge since at least 1989, when a fence was built to control entry into the 5,000-year-old site. Prior to 1900, visitors actually were given chisels and encouraged to take souvenirs.

Bremen, GermanyRecalling Guantánamo: Testifying before the U.S. Congress via video from his home in Germany last week, former Guantánamo Bay inmate Murat Kurnaz told lawmakers that he had been detained at the U.S. military prison for five years, even though his captors knew he was not an enemy combatant. A declassified German document from 2002 said “USA considers Murat Kurnaz’s innocence to be proven,” and U.S. documents back that up. Kurnaz, a Turk arrested in Pakistan in 2001, said he underwent a variation on waterboarding in which his captors dunked his head in a bucket then punched him in the stomach, forcing him to inhale water. The Pentagon called Kurnaz’s account “unsubstantiated and implausible.” But California Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher, a staunch defender of Bush administration interrogation policies, said it appeared that “mistakes were made in this case.”

ViennaNuclear agency accuses Iran: In an unusually blunt report this week, the International Atomic Energy Agency accused Iran of withholding crucial information about its nuclear program. The report demanded a response to U.S. intelligence evidence that Iran’s nuclear scientists have worked with its military to research explosives and missile design. Although the IAEA acknowledged that it “has not detected the actual use of nuclear material in connection with the alleged studies,” the agency said that Iran’s stonewalling is “a matter of serious concern.” Tehran said it could not respond to the allegations about its military programs because the U.S. will not let it see the documents that form the basis for the charge.

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