Putin: U.S. foreign policy like Nazis'

MOSCOW - President Vladimir V. Putin obliquely compared the foreign policy of the United States to that of the Third Reich in a speech yesterday commemorating the 62d anniversary of the defeat of Nazi Germany, apparently in an escalation of anti-American talk within the Russian government.

Putin's analogy was a small part of a larger Victory Day speech, otherwise unambiguously congratulating Russian veterans of World War II. Putin spoke from a podium in front of Lenin's mausoleum on Red Square before troops mustered for a military parade.

"We do not have the right to forget the causes of any war," Putin said. In new threats, he said, "as during the time of the Third Reich, are the same contempt for human life and the same claims of exceptionality and diktat in the world."

Sergei A. Markov, director of the Institute of Political Studies, who works closely with the Kremlin, said Putin had been referring to the United States and NATO.

- N.Y. Times News Service

British arrest 4 in transit probe

LONDON - British police yesterday arrested three men and the widow of a suicide bomber involved in the 2005 London transit attack on suspicion they helped kill 52 people.

Three of the arrests, the second round in six weeks, were in Britain's West Yorkshire region, where three of the four suicide bombers lived;the fourth was in the West Midlands.

The arrests suggest that after a long investigation, with little early success, the police were beginning to learn how the plot worked and who else, aside from the four suicide bombers, was responsible.- AP

Pius XII moves closer to sainthood

ROME - Pope Pius XII, the wartime pontiff whom some have accused of remaining largely silent in the face of the Holocaust, has taken another step toward possible sainthood, the Vatican said yesterday.

A panel of bishops and cardinals approved a declaration on Pius' virtues Tuesday and passed it to Pope Benedict XVI, said a Vatican spokesman, the Rev. Ciro Benedettini.

If Benedict signs the document, it will be the first major step toward possible beatification. The Vatican would then have to confirm a miracle attributed to Pius for him to be beatified, and another miracle for him to be made a saint.

Pius, who reigned from 1939 to 1958, has been criticized for not doing enough to save Jews from the Nazi Holocaust. Supporters say he helped Jews and others in his diplomacy.- AP

Elsewhere:

About 3,000 Palestinian police began fanning out across Gaza City late yesterday, in the first phase of a security plan approved by the Cabinet, a Palestinian official said.

Hundreds of police in Berlin raided the offices and apartments of left-wing activists suspected of planning to disrupt next month's Group of Eight summit.

North Korea's military said yesterday that it was willing to let trains cross the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone next week, a South Korean official said.