|W O R L D||
Thursday, May 13, 1999
|NATO fails to justify
THE HAGUE, May 12 Belgrade today complained that none of the 10 NATO nations it accuses of genocide in connection with the military campaign against Yugoslavia had come up with legal arguments to back up their action during the hearing at the International Court of Justice.
28 die as Congo jets bomb rebel towns
KIGALI (Rwanda), May 12 A Congolese Government aircraft bombed two rebel eastern strongholds yesterday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 15 others in an escalation of the nine-month war, rebels said.
Court blocks PLO offices closure
JERUSALEM, May 12 Israels High Court dealt a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus reelection campaign by barring him from closing Palestinian offices in East Jerusalem ahead of next weeks polls.
Bodies of Chinese scribes
to review talks with LTTE
UN envoy for East Timor
Lama for end to air strikes
NATO fails to justify air strikes
THE HAGUE, May 12 (DPA) Belgrade today complained that none of the 10 Nato nations it accuses of genocide in connection with the military campaign against Yugoslavia had come up with legal arguments to back up their action during the hearing at the International Court of Justice.
Belgrade launched the legal battle against Natos air strikes before the World Court at the Hague, saying they amounted to genocide.
Oxford Professor Ian Brownlie, a lawyer representing Yugoslavia, said on the third day of the hearing today that the right to launch a humanitarian intervention cited by Nato was not backed up by international agreements on the non-use of force, he said.
Prof Brownlie, in his response to the arguments of the 10 Nato nations, reiterated charges that the military action was a grave violation of international law and conventions for the protection of civilians.
The attacks amounted to an illegal attempt to politically punish an entire community, he said.
The court was due to hear the arguments of the Nato nations Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Britain and the USA for a second time later in the day.
Yugoslavia wants the court to order the 10 nations to end the bombing immediately and pay compensation for the damage. Representatives of Belgium, Canada and France already rebuffed the charges before the court on Monday.
A court ruling was not expected immediately.
Beijing: German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder apologised to Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji with no ifs or buts in Beijing on today for the Nato bombing of Chinas embassy in Belgrade.
The matter must be thoroughly investigated, said Mr Schroeder, who said the apology was also on behalf of Nato.
To add emphasis to his apology, Mr Schroeder called the bombing of the embassy, in which at least three Chinese journalists were killed and around 20 diplomats injured, a violation of international law.
Mr Schroeder, the first leader of a Nato member country to come to Beijing since the incident, asked Mr Zhu to convey the apology to victims of the attack and their families as well as to the Chinese people.
United Nations (IANS): U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan has convened a high-level meeting in Geneva which is considered critical in defining the world bodys humanitarian role in the Balkans following the NATO airstrikes on Yugoslavia.
Mr Annans spokesman Fred Eckhard told reporters here that the two-day meeting beginning Thursday would discuss the challenges faced by the U.N. system in addressing the Balkans crisis.
Before the meeting, Mr Annan will have his first meeting with his two special envoys for the Balkans, Mr Carl Bildt and Mr Eduard Kukan.
BELGRADE: Unmoved by Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevics promise to withdraw some of his troops from Kosovo, NATO continued bombing Yugoslavia, killing at least seven people and pounding bridges, roads and rail links.
Yugoslav state-run media reported strong NATO attacks in central, southern and northern Serbia and in its Kosovo province. International monitors in Albania also spoke of heavy fighting between Serb forces and ethnic Albanian rebels in southern Kosovo.
Other NATO attacks killed at least six people, including an elderly married couple and a four-year-old girl in a Serb village in Kosovo, the Yugoslav media reported.
Serbian state television said NATO missiles hit a central residential area in Vladicin Han in southern Serbia. The private Beta news agency said an attack on a bridge killed two people who were crossing it.
An attack by Yugoslav Mig warplanes near the Albanian border with Kosovo killed three Kosovo Liberation Army fighters and wounded 20, rebel sources said on condition of anonymity. They said one Serb plane was shot down.
NATO said there was no evidence that Mr Milosevic has withdrawn any of the estimated 40,000 troops and special police he deployed in the Serbian province.
If it is a substantial withdrawal I think it will be pretty obvious, NATO spokesman Jamie Shea said in Brussels. There will be plenty of dust on the track. We will know it when we see it.
WASHINGTON: In what can be termed as a sensitive military revelation in the vexed Kosovo issue, the US military attache in Tirana has reported to the Pentagon that the Albanian government is stepping up support for the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA), The Washington Times said.
Significantly, under the US proposals, the rival forces should be disarmed when an international security force is voted for Kosovo. The report states that some 2,300 volunteers for the KLA are training at a secret base in Albania, thereby altering the situation.
Bodies of Chinese scribes brought home
BEIJING, May 12 (PTI) Chinese Vice-President Hu Jintao today led 1.2 billion Chinese people in mourning the death of three Chinese citizens killed during NATO missile attack on the Chinese Embassy in Yugoslavia on Friday.
A special plane carrying the ashes of the three journalists, six seriously wounded diplomats, senior foreign ministry officials and other Embassy staff arrived here this morning from Belgrade, the official Xinhua news agency said.
Chinas national flag over Tiananmen Square here was flown at half-mast today to mourn the death of the three Chinese citizens.
Mr Hu, member of the powerful Politburo of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC), government and military officials received the Chinese delegation from the Yugsolavia.
NATOs missiles killed Xinhua correspondent Shao Yunh Uan and Xu Xinghu and Zhu Ying, a young couple and journalists with the official Guangming daily.
Lanka to review talks with LTTE
COLOMBO, May 12 (PTI) Sri Lankan President Chandrika Kumaratunga has ordered a review of political and legal implications of future negotiations with the LTTE to thrash out a solution to the countrys bloody ethnic conflict in the wake of the Indian Supreme Courts judgement in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case.
The government would also have a fresh look at its future course of discussions with the Tamil guerrillas, accused of plotting and assassinating the former Indian Premier, in the wake of yesterdays apex courts verdict confirming death sentences to four accused, life imprisonment to three and acquittal of 19 others, official sources told PTI.
They said soon after the judgement was pronounced by the Supreme Court, Ms Kumaratunga along with Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar and other senior ministers held immediate consultations to take stock of the situation.
The main issue that concerned the Sri Lankan leaders was the legal implication arising out of the judgement on future negotiations with the LTTE, they said.
Already the Indian Governments request for extradition of LTTE Chief V. Prabhakaran and other rebel leaders, who were proclaimed as offenders in the case by a Chennai court is pending before the Sri Lankan Government.
The extradition request itself had put tremendous pressure on the Chandrika government when it settled down for six-month negotiations with the LTTE in 1994. The talks broke down later.
With the judicial process in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case completed, the Sri Lanka Government wants to make fresh assessment on whether it can negotiate with the LTTE anymore which has now been judicially held responsible for the assassination of the former Indian Premier.
The sources said Ms Kumaratunga also consulted her colleagues on Indias possible reaction to any future negotiations beteen the Sri Lanka Government and the LTTE.
28 die as Congo jets bomb rebel towns
KIGALI (Rwanda), May 12 (AP) A Congolese Government aircraft bombed two rebel eastern strongholds yesterday, killing at least 28 people and wounding 15 others in an escalation of the nine-month war, rebels said.
The Russian-built Antonov aircraft dropped bombs on Goma and Uvira starting at 7 p.m. (local time) hitting civilian buildings, said Gen Celestin Ilunga.
The bombing is the first attack on the two rebel strongholds, where Rwandan-backed Congolese rebels took up arms nine months ago.
In Goma, the target was the local radio station and a communication relay station. Also hit were the Virunga and Matonga neighbourhoods, he said.
They are targeting
civilians. This is a desperate act of somebody who is
losing the war,. General Ilunga told AP on a
satellite phone from Goma. The bombing appeared to be in
response to fresh rebel advances in southern Congo, where
rebel troops captured President Laurent Kabilas
hometown at Manono and Bene Dibele on the river Sakuru.
Cloning worries experts
UNITED NATIONS, May 12 (IPS) Recent developments in the life sciences, including cloning and genetically-modified organisms, made it imperative that ethical concerns be at the core of research in the 21st century, according to the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).
Undirected scientific research can no longer benefit society. Todays development of science and technology is radically changing the way scientific questions are being posed, says Georges Kutukdjian, director of UNESCOs division of the Ethics of Science and Technology.
There is no real change in the nature of science itself, he points out.
UNESCO and the International Council for Science (ICSU) will hold a world conference on science in Budapest in June, bringing together more than 2,000 scientists, inter-governmental and, non-governmental organisations and other representatives of civil society.
This first global conference on science in 20 years planned to adopt a world declaration on science and the use of scientific knowledge and a framework for action, intended to provide scientist and politicians with new ground rules for common thinking and joint action.
According to UNESCO, new developments in the life sciences including cloning and genetically modified organisms had provoked great public concern.
This stemmed from the birth of dolly the sheep in April 1996 in Scotland a living being produced by cloning a single mammary cell. The world-wide attention that followed raised urgent questions on the consequences of research in the life sciences sector.
Ethical issues, such as the potential misuse of genetic information, the question of who owns genes and genetic code and the acceptability of cloning human beings for reproductive or other purposes need serious reflection, UNESCO said.
The question of whether the birth of Dolly opened the way to cloning a human being remained a highly debated issue.
Earlier, in 1993, UNESCOs 55-member International Bioethics Convention (IBC) drafted a universal declaration on the human genome and human rights that explicitly outlawed human cloning for reproductive purposes as contrary to human dignity.
The declaration, the
first in the field of genetics within the United Nations
system, was adopted unanimously by UNESCO member states
in November 1997 and subsequently by the UN general
assembly in December 1998.
Court blocks PLO offices closure
JERUSALEM, May 12 (AFP) Israels High Court dealt a blow to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus reelection campaign by barring him from closing Palestinian offices in East Jerusalem ahead of next weeks polls.
Justice Dalia Dorner yesterday issued a temporary injuction demanding that the government indefinitely suspend orders to close three offices at Orient House, the PLO headquarters in occupied East Jerusalem.
The ruling prompted celebrations by hundreds of Palestinians at Orient House and European consuls paid congratulatory visits to Mr Faisal Husseini, the Palestinian leader in Jerusalem, in defiance of Israeli opposition to such diplomatic encounters at Orient House.
decision came in response to an appeal by a group of
Israeli intellectuals who claimed that the closure
orders, issued on Monday night, were a campaign ploy by
Mr Netanyahu that could spark bloodshed if implemented.
The petitioners noted that senior security officials,
including Internal Security Minister Avigdor Kahalani,
had criticised the decision to shut the Orient House
offices so close to the elections and warned that such a
move would likely spark Palestinian protests.
Sorabjee UN envoy for East Timor
UNITED NATIONS, May 12 (AP) As the United Nations gears up for an august ballot on the future of East Timor, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights appointed Mr Soli Sorabjee has personal envoy to assess the human rights situation in the troubled territory.
Mr Soli Sorabjee, a UN human rights investigator for Nigeria, is expected to visit Jakarta and Dili between May 14-24 and make recommendations for initiatives to improve the rights situation, a UN statement said yesterday.
Dalai Lama for end to air strikes
LONDON, May 12 (Reuters) Tibets exiled spiritual leader the Dalai Lama has voiced rare agreement with China, endorsing calls for a halt to NATO air strikes just days after the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade was hit.
With Chinese relations with Britain already frosty after the embassy bombing, the ties were further strained by the Dalai Lamas meeting with Prime Minister Tony Blair this week described by officials as spiritual not political
|Jackson fined for plagiarism
ROME: An Italian judge has ruled that Michael Jackson in composing his will you be there, plagiarized an Italian songwriter. Judge Mario Frigenti immediately suspended a four million lire (2,200 dollars) fine, but ordered the American pop star to pay court costs, Italian state TV reported on Tuesday. After the verdict was announced, a beaming Al Bano, whose real name is Albano Carrisi, invited Michael Jackson to do a concert together and have the proceeds go to children from Kosovo. AP
BBC film on Pak
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