Saturday, March 4, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

Drug trade: clean chit for India
WASHINGTON, March 3 — The Clinton administration has given a clean bill of health to India and Pakistan, along with 18 other drug-producing or drug-transit countries, in the annual US assessment of the level of cooperation in international anti-narcotics efforts, making them eligible for most forms of American aid.


HAVANA: Cuban diplomat Jose Imprecatory, 46, walks with Cuban leader Fidel Castro at Jose Marti international airport in Havana on Thursday. Imperatori left the Cuban Embassy in Ottawa four days after being expelled from the USA over espionage suspicions. — AP/PTI

China’s human rights record ‘deteriorating’
BEIJING, March 3 — China has to make very significant changes to comply with international standards of human rights, UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson has said.

US offer for arrest of war criminals
WASHINGTON, March 3 — The USA will put up 10,000 wanted posters across Bosnia offering up to 5 million for information leading to the arrest of the three best-known indicted war criminals, including Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the State Department said on Thursday. The other two indictees are former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic.



EARLIER STORIES
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  German gets maximum votes IMF straw poll
WASHINGTON, March 3 (AFP) — German candidate Caio Koch-Weser has received the largest share of votes from the International Monetary Fund Executive Board in a straw poll to name a new managing director for the Fund, according to an IMF statement.

Gore’s supporter convicted of illegal fund-raising
WASHINGTON, March 3 — A jury in a federal court has convicted Democratic fundraiser Maria Hsia for violating campaign financing laws, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Eight killed in B’desh school violence

20 Russian cops killed in ambush

Boy suspect in cyber crime case


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Drug trade: clean chit for India

WASHINGTON, March 3 (UNI) — The Clinton administration has given a clean bill of health to India and Pakistan, along with 18 other drug-producing or drug-transit countries, in the annual US assessment of the level of cooperation in international anti-narcotics efforts, making them eligible for most forms of American aid.

It again ruled that Afghanistan and Myanmar are not cooperating against the international drug trade and would be denied US assistance. “For several years now Afghanistan and Myanmar have been world headquarters for the heroin business. This past year they retained that deadly dishonour,” Secretary of State Madeline Albright told a press conference here on Wednesday.

President Clinton on Wednesday determined that 20 major illicit drug producing and or major illicit drug transit countries (and certain jurisdictions) had cooperated fully with the USA, or had taken adequate steps on their own, to achieve full compliance with the goals and objectives of the 1988 UN convention against illicit traffic in narcotic drugs and psychotropic substances.

The US Drug Administration’s annual report, made public here on Wednesday, says illicitly produced Indian opium is diverted to the illicit market. The exact extent of this diversion is nuclear. India has had an elaborate and expensive-to-maintain system in place to counter this threat of diversion for years and took additional steps to avert diversion this year, it says.

It, however, says still, credible reports suggest that diversion may have increased during the 1998-1999 growing season.

It says India is certainly meeting its responsibilities to take adequate steps to prevent significant diversion. But, there are a few steps the US Government would recommend to improve India’s control regime. India has not yet agreed to US suggestions to undertake a comprehensive joint illicit opium yield survey, which would provide a firmer scientific basis for India to set minimum qualifying yields (MQYs) for farmers.

The report says the problem of illicit opium cultivation is cantered in areas such as Jammu and Kashmir where the Government of India’s control is challenged by insurgent groups and in some remote areas of Uttar Pradesh and the Northeast of India.
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China’s human rights record ‘deteriorating’

BEIJING, March 3 (PTI) — China has to make very significant changes to comply with international standards of human rights, UN Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson has said.

Expressing dismay at deterioration in China’s rights record since she became the first commissioner to visit the Communist country in 1998, Ms Robinson said here yesterday, Beijing would have to make very significant changes to ensure compliance with international standards of human rights.

China had gone backwards in fundamental areas, especially the rights to freedom of expression, religion and association, she told journalists.

“It is my responsibility to air these concerns both in discussions with officials and also publicly,” she said after meeting Chinese Vice-Premier Qian Qichen and Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Guangya.

However, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhu Bangzao was quick to reject the charges saying: “The 1.2 billion Chinese people are most eligible to comment on whether the situation of human rights in China is deteriorating or improving.”

He claimed that Chinese enjoyed full guarantees of all fundamental rights, including freedom of speech, assembly and religious belief. The Chinese people are satisfied with this, Zhu said.

“We hope that the UN High Commissioner on Human Rights can abide by the principle of fairness and justice, to work with the Chinese side to push in depth the cooperation between the two sides on the basis of equality and mutual respect,” Zhu said.

Earlier, Ms Robinson acknowledged that she failed to sign a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Chinese government on a programme of technical cooperation to help it ratify two key international rights treaties. However, Ms Robinson said she hoped to sign a MoU later this year and emphasised her desire to work closely with the Chinese.

She presented Chinese officials with an aide memoir summarising the concerns of various UN bodies, and raising individual cases - including dissident Xu Wenli who is serving a 13-year sentence for subversion.

Ms Robinson, however, declined to comment on the US plan to censure China at the upcoming session of the UN Human Rights Commission, scheduled to begin on March 20 in Geneva.
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US offer for arrest of war criminals

WASHINGTON, March 3 (Reuters) — The USA will put up 10,000 wanted posters across Bosnia offering up to 5 million for information leading to the arrest of the three best-known indicted war criminals, including Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, the State Department said on Thursday. The other two indictees are former Bosnian Serb political leader Radovan Karadzic and his military chief Ratko Mladic, both of whom the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has accused of genocide during the Bosnia war.

The reward of up to $ 5 million has been on offer since last May, when the tribunal indicted Milosevic for Serbian attempts to carry out ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, but the USA does not think the offer has received enough publicity.

The reward offer also applies to the other 27 persons indicted of war crimes and are still at large, but the posters carry photographs and details of the famous three.

“We are putting a sharp focus on these three indictees because it is time they should face justice for the heinous crimes for which they are charged,’’ said Mr David Scheffer, the US Ambassador-at-large for war crime issues.
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German gets maximum votes IMF straw poll

WASHINGTON, March 3 (AFP) — German candidate Caio Koch-Weser has received the largest share of votes from the International Monetary Fund Executive Board in a straw poll to name a new managing director for the Fund, according to an IMF statement.

The informal poll which took place yesterday does not confirm Koch-Weser as IMF Managing Director and was taken simply to give the 24-member executive board an initial assessment of the three candidates to replace Michel Camdessus, who stepped down from the post on February 14.

Koch-Weser, a German finance official backed by the European Union but opposed by Washington, is being challenged by interim IMF Head Stanley Fischer of the USA, who came in second in the straw poll.

In third place was former Japanese Finance Minister Eisuke Sakakibara.

Board members holding a total of 36 per cent of the voting power abstained, according to the IMF.

“On the basis of the poll, (IMF) executive directors will continue their consultations with each other and their national authorities on the next steps,” the statement said, adding that no decision had been made on a further poll.

Meanwhile, US President Bill Clinton has said he would welcome a German national as Head of the International Monetary Fund, despite Washington’s rejection of Caio-Koch-Weser, who was proposed by the European Union.

“I am completely committed to having a European head of the IMF,” Mr Clinton said here yesterday. “And it would suit me if the person was from Germany. I’d like to see Germany play a bigger role in all these international institutions.”

The USA on Monday publicly rejected the candidacy of Koch-Wesar, a German finance official. In rejecting Koch-Weser, the White House suggested he was not sufficient stature internationally to command broad support from the IMF’s 182-member states. But US officials also made it clear they wanted to adhere to tradition and were looking for a European to replace Frenchman Michel Camdessus as IMF Managing Director.

BERLIN (Reuters): German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder said consensus was possible on who should be the next chief of the International Monetary Fund despite the lack of agreement in a ballot of IMF board members.
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Gore’s supporter convicted of illegal fund-raising

WASHINGTON, March 3 (AFP)— A jury in a federal court has convicted Democratic fundraiser Maria Hsia for violating campaign financing laws, the Justice Department said in a statement.

Hsia, a Los Angeles immigration consultant, was charged in February, 1998, with conspiring to defraud the USA and causing false statements to be submitted to the Federal Election Commission.

She was among 22 persons charged by the Campaign Financing Task Force, established by Attorney-General Janet Reno to investigate allegations of campaign financing abuses in the 1996 election cycle.

“Today’s verdict sends a clear message that the Department of Justice will not tolerate violations of our federal campaign finance laws and that we will vigorously investigate and prosecute such violations,” Reno said in a statement yesterday.

The trial of Hsia, a long-time supporter of Vice-President Al Gore, opened on February 7 this year. The court heard claims that she had illegally channelled more than $ 100,000 to Democratic candidates.

According to the prosecution, the funds had included money raised at an event Mr Gore attended in 1996 at the Hsi Lai Buddhist temple, in Hacienda Height, California.
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Eight killed in B’desh school violence

DHAKA, March 3 (PTI) — Eight persons, including a woman teacher, were killed and 100 injured in examination-related clashes and stampede after outsiders seeking to supply ready-made answers to examinees used violence during high school examinations in Bangladesh, reports said today.

Six persons, including two examinees and a woman teacher, died and 50 others were injured, many critically, in a stampede at an examination centre at Kalaroa in southern district of Sathkhira, 300 km from here, yesterday, official BSS news agency and newspapers said quoting eye-witnesses.
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20 Russian cops killed in ambush

MOSCOW, March 3 (AFP) —Twenty Russian security policemen were killed and 29 injured in an ambush on a road, 5 km north-west from the Chechen capital Grozny, Interfax reported today.

The group had been travelling from the North Ossetian town of Mozdok to a base in Chechnya yesterday when they were attacked by a group of Chechen militants in the Staropromyslovski area of Grozny, Russian private television channel NTV reported.

ORT television put the number of injured at 35.

“We never expected such a strong attack in the Grozny area,” Mr Mikhail Simashkin, one of the policemen, told NTV
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Boy suspect in cyber crime case

WASHINGTON, March 3 (AP) — FBI agents investigating last month’s attack on prominent Internet sites seized a 17-year-old boy’s computer, and prosecutors are considering charging him with cyber crimes unrelated to those disruptions, according to a federal law enforcement official.

The 17-year-old, who lives in New Hamphire, told FBI agents that he had hacked into 100 websites, including one based in Los Angeles, officer Joes Buscaino of the Kos Angeles Police Department said yesterday.
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WORLD BRIEFS

‘Spy’ diplomat gets hero’s welcome
HAVANA: A Cuban diplomat, who hid out in the Cuban Embassy in Canada after being expelled from the USA over espionage suspicions, received a hero’s welcome when he returned home after five days of uncertainty. Cuban President Fidel Castro, Foreign Minister Felipe Perez Roque and Mr Ricardo Alarcon, President of the National Assembly were among a delegation of about 50 persons who greeted Mr Jose Imperatori upon his return on a special flight from Ottawa. — AP

Criminals injected after being hanged
LONDON: War criminals in Germany were given a lethal injection after being hanged in order to speed up the execution process, according to official British records released. The Home Office (Interior Ministry) papers released on Thursday by the Public Record Office as part of Britain’s open government initiative included an account of the hangings of dozens of war criminals. — Reuters

Hitler’s speech notes sold
LONDON: Handwritten notes for a speech by Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, which were swapped for a packet of cigarettes at the end of World War II, sold at an auction for more than 11,700. Hitler used the pointer cards to guide him through a speech to the Reichstag German Parliament in 1939. They were originally bought by Wing Commander Ronald Mason, now 79, from Swindon, Wilts. He swapped the cards for a packet of cigarettes when he arrived in Berlin as an RAF Flight Lieutenant at the end of World War II in 1945. — DPA

No Aussie apology to aborigines
CANBERRA: Most Australians support reconciliation with aborigines, but fear that a formal apology for past mistreatment could lead to huge compensation claims, new research showed on Friday. “The abstract idea of reconciliation is widely supported,” said the research, commissioned by the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation and published in the Australian newspaper. The research found Australians supported reconciliation, but associated it with fears over land rights, compensation for past wrongs and welfare handouts. — Reuters

Step up security, says ex-hacker
WASHINGTON: Just out of jail, unemployed and barred from many jobs by a ban on his using computers, America’s most notorious former hacker has told lawmakers that people, not machines, are the weak link in security. Describing how he easily duped employees at top firms and government agencies into divulging key information, Kevin Mitnick, 36, told senators on Saturday that he was “so successful in that line of attack that I rarely had to go to a technical attack”. — AP

Carnival time for pets
RIO DE JANEIRO: Rio’s pampered pets can now get into the spirit of the city’s world-famous carnival with party costumes, including tutus and wedding gowns to take them through five days of revelry. The options are limitless for those owners wanting to indulge their dogs, hamsters or parrots with the ultimate holiday treat. A ballerina or a bridal outfit? a bow-tie or a veil? “Whatever the customer asks for we will make it,” said Monica Morgata, owner of the “Mon Amie” pet store in Rio’s fashionable Ipanema district. Carnival kicks off on Friday evening with a street parade in the city centre and will continue next week. — Reuters

Fired over skimpy uniforms
LOS ANGELES: Three waitresses who worked at a swanky strip club have sued the owners after they were fired for refusing to wear skimpy outfits that exposed their bellies and buttocks, news reports have said. The waitresses said their job had been to serve food rather than titillate customers, and that male waiters at the club were not asked to wear revealing clothing. They were asked to change their uniforms of black pants and white shirts to sexy form-fitting outfits that would have invited sexual harassment. — DPA

Woman accused of sexual harassment
HONG KONG: A woman boss at computer giant IBM has appeared in court in Hong Kong accused of sexually harassing a male subordinate, newspaper reports said on Friday. Tamara Rus, 29, made “unwelcome physical contact” with senior information technology specialist Ray Chen, 31, and requested sexual favours from him, the South China Morning Post reported. She also repeatedly made remarks “of a sexual nature” to Chen at work, he claims. Chen claims his repeated complaints about transition manager Rus’s behaviour were ignored by the IBM, which refused to discipline her and eventually terminated his contract. — DPATop

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