|Thursday, March 9, 2000,
Barak meet again
merchant ships with LTTE: Lloyds
|Lankan PM, UNP leader to meet
COLOMBO, March 8 Sri Lankas arch political rivals President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe are to meet here tomorrow after prolonged acrimony to work out a consensus on the countrys new draft constitution.
Pass gun-control law: Clinton
no threat to Russia: Putin
Bush surge ahead
|Rebels getaway plane
MOSCOW, March 8 Russian fighter jets today destroyed a small plane on the ground near Vedeno in which Chechen rebel leaders were believed to have been planning to escape from the war zone, military officials said.
Arafat, Barak meet again
RAMALLAH (West Bank), March 8 (Reuters) Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat met today for a second time in less than 24 hours and a diplomat said they would announce that peace talks are to resume in Washington.
Mr Barak and Mr Arafat arrived at a hotel in the Palestinian-ruled town of Ramallah in the West Bank for further talks on restarting negotiations frozen since February. U.S. peace envoy Dennis Ross was also expected to participate in the meeting.
We are apparently on the way to a breakthrough with the Palestinians, Mr Barak told reporters in Jerusalem before leaving for the summit.
The leaders are going to announce the resumption of talks in Washington, a western diplomat, speaking on condition of anonymity, said before the Ramallah summit.
The diplomat did not give a starting date for the negotiations, deadlocked over differences on transferring 6.1 per cent more West Bank land to Palestinian self-rule.
A Palestinian official said Mr Barak and Mr Arafat would hold talks on Thursday with Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in Egypts Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where an interim Israeli-Palestinian peace deal was signed last September.
JERUSALEM: Mr Barak and Mr Arafat met late last night in a bid to relaunch peace negotiations frozen for the past month, sources from both sides said.
Palestinian sources said the meeting took place close to the central Israeli town of Lod. It was also attended by Palestinian Parliament Speaker Ahmed Qorei and David Levy from the Israeli Foreign Ministry.
Israeli Radio said the meeting took place in central Israel and the Prime Ministers Office declined all comment.
The radio said Mr Barak would be putting forward certain confidence-building measures in an attempt to persuade the Palestinians to return to the negotiating table.
The meeting came hot on the heels of a promise by Mr Arafat to declare an independent state in six months despite Israeli warnings that he was playing with fire and should not threaten to sidestep negotiations with unilateral declarations.
The Palestinians have vowed not to resume talks until Israel consults them about a delayed transfer of 6.1 per cent of occupied West Bank land.
Later, a statement after
the two-hour summit said: It was a constructive
meeting and during the meeting some of the problems were
solved. It was agreed to make an effort to try to solve
the other problems in the coming days.
MAPUTO, March 8 (Reuters) Weary military crews of a multi-national force were trying to forget politics and focus on aid efforts in stricken Mozambique today as UN head Kofi Annan called for a massive international rescue effort.
But as warnings rang out that the flood death toll could reach thousands, one glimmer of hope emerged forecasts of yet more rain seem to have been exaggerated.
But the row about whether major nations reacted too little and too late when floods hit last month was rekindled by Dr Nelson Mandelas new wife, a Mozambican, who blamed the international community for being slow to react.
Ms Machel, widow of revered Mozambican liberation leader and former President Samora Machel and now former South African President Mandelas wife, castigated the West, the Organisation of African Unity and the Southern African Development Community for their slow response.
...Therell always be a question why people took so long, she told the South African Broadcasting Corporation in Maputo.
Major nations were already on the defensive over the issue, admitting that in the early days they underestimated how Mozambiques rivers would be swollen by rain in neighbouring countries like Zimbabwe. Rights of international transit as well as logistic and maintenance problems in getting helicopters and planes to the area also caused delays.
In what appeared a bid to bring order to the situation, the commander of newly arrived US military forces stressed that his contingent would try to focus the relief effort. US Major-Gen Joe Wehrle said that the first priority would be to map hot spots where people were at risk.
Using infra-red cameras, the 600-person US contingent would also identify road and rail breaks that could be repaired quickly so that aid could be speeded up instead of relying almost solely on air-lifts.
The USA said it was prepared to write off the southern African states bilateral debt.
The gesture involves a relatively small amount of money Washington has already said it was prepared to forgive 90 per cent of Mozambiques US debt and will be implemented in conjunction with international debt-relief arrangements.
Mozambique has foreign debts of some 5 billion, much of it to Russia, a close ally during the cold war.
11 merchant ships with LTTE: Lloyds
COLOMBO, March 8 (PTI) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) have developed considerable amount of naval power to counter the Sri Lankan fleet, a leading international shipping and insurance publication said, adding that the rebels own 11 merchant ships operating under various flags of convenience.
Details of the Lloyds List were carried today by a Sri Lankan tabloid Daily Mirror which said besides channelling arms supplies to the LTTE, the 11 vessels spent 95 per cent of their time on freight forward commercial work.
But its real role is to supply explosives and other materials to support the Tiger guerrilla efforts the list said.
The LTTE, besides the Irish Republican Army and the Palestinian Liberation Organisation, was the third guerrilla group to own a well-equipped modern fleet of deep-sea-vessels, the mirror quoted an international report The Arms Fixers: Controlling the Brokers and Shipping Agents as stating.
The merchant fleet was reportedly registered in Panama, Honduras and Liberia and operated by LTTE front companies across Asia, the Lloyds report said.
The shipping service is managed by front line LTTE leader Kumaran Pathmanathan alias KP who operates from several South-East Asian countries.
Though the Sri Lankan newspaper prominently published the news of LTTEs shipping vessels, the details of the Tiger shipping capabilities were well documented by intelligence agencies in India and Sri Lanka long time ago.
Lankan PM, UNP leader to meet today
COLOMBO, March 8 (PTI) Sri Lankas arch political rivals President Chandrika Kumaratunga and the main Opposition United National Party (UNP) leader Ranil Wickramasinghe are to meet here tomorrow after prolonged acrimony to work out a consensus on the countrys new draft consitution.
The meeting between the two leaders, who slugged it out at the presidential elections barely two-and-half months ago, is the first after Mrs Kumaratunga defeated the UNP leader with a margin of over 3 lakh votes.
Though consensus on the draft constitution, which is to replace the presidential system by Westminster democracy, and working out a broad package of autonomy to grant regional self rule to minority Tamils are main aims of the meeting, focus would be on transitory provisions like whether to permit Mrs Kumaratunga to retain presidential powers for the next six years.
Pass gun-control law: Clinton
WASHINGTON, March 8 (AP) Looking to break a stalemate over gun control legislation, President Bill Clinton invited members of the US Congress and the mother of the slain six-year-old girl to the White House.
How many people have to get killed before we do something? he asked yesterday.
Mr Clinton chided lawmakers for failing to meet to work out the differences between the House and Senate versions of a juvenile justice bill since last summer, saying that the American people have waited long enough for new protections.
He challenged Congress to produce final legislation for his signature by April 20, the anniversary of the massacre at Columbine High School in Colorado.
I know the gun lobby is cranking up pressure on Congress again, Clinton said. But when first-graders shoot first-graders, its time for Congress to do whats right for Americas families.
Later, Mr Clinton met Mrs Veronica McQueen in private. Ms McQueens daughter, Kayla Rolland, was shot dead in her first-grade classroom last week, allegedly by another six-year-old.
USA no threat to Russia: Putin
MOSCOW, March 8 (UNI) Acting President Vladimir Putin, has pooh-poohed US threat to Russian security by saying that if the Americans know that one-third of our missiles can reach the USA. In response to its strike, no one will dare attack us, the daily Komosloskaye Pravda reports.
In a long-ranging interview to the daily, Mr Putin and National Security Council Secretary-General Sergei Ivanov slammed attempted to portray Mr Putins image as a threat to democracy saying that lately everyone came to realise that Russia has lost its voice, but suddenly it became clear that we are able to snap back, who can like this?, he asked.
Earlier in a televised interview Mr Putin said he had no liking for the pageantry of the job in the KGB and recalled that Soviet propaganda never laid emphasis on the pageantry but concentrated on patriotism and the love for ones native land.
Mr Putin is a strong contender for Russias presidential elections and has been under constant attacks from the intelligentia at home in particular and the West in general on the eve of the March 26 contest for the top slot in Kremlin.
Mr Ivanov was more
forthright in his criticism of the charges of revival of
Stalinism and threat of dictatorship in Russia. He
reminded the critics that those in the KGB were the cream
of society, a fact which was conceded by the father of
Russian Hydrogen Bomb, Andrei Sakharov.
Gore, Bush surge ahead
WASHINGTON, March 8 (Reuters) Vice-President Al Gore and Texas Governor George W. Bush savoured coast-to-coast victories today in U.S. primaries and set their sights on the presidential race in November.
Mr Gore all but sealed the Democratic nomination and beat opponent Bill Bradley in all of the super Tuesday primaries, sometimes with a three-to-one margin. Mr Bradley was expected to formally drop out of the race, probably by tomorrow.
I want to ask all of those who have supported others to look at this campaign as their cause. An awful lot is at stake and we need to keep our prosperity going, Mr Gore said in an interview with ABCs Good Morning America show.
Mr Bush, the son of former President George Bush, dealt a possibly fatal blow to now underdog Arizona Senator, John Micatin and swept up all of the major Republican races, including delegate-rich California and New York.
There is a really good chance for us to take the White House ... People are hungry for a message of reform and renewal, Mr Bush said in his victory speech in Austin, Texas.
In the biggest primary day ever held, Americans voted in 16 states and one territory, from Maine in the north-east to American Samoa and Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
By 7 a.m. Mr Gore had won 1,419 delegates to 410 for Mr Bradley, according to an unofficial count by CNN. The magic number to secure the Democratic nomination is 2,168.
Mr Bush had 681 delegates to 225 for Mr McCain on the way to the 1,034 delegates needed for the Republican nomination.
Both Mr Bush and Mr Gore had convincing wins in delegate-rich California, by far the biggest prize in the election with 162 delegates to the Republican National Convention.
In the Republican race in California, Mr Bush had 60 per cent of the vote while Mr McCain trailed with 36 per cent. Among the Democrats, Mr Gore took 81 per cent while Mr Bradley had just 18 per cent.
In a direct match-up in California, Mr Gore was ahead of Mr Bush in a non-bonding beauty contest, with 91 per cent of precincts reporting, Mr Gore had 36 per cent, Mr Bush had 28 per cent, Mr McCain took 23 per cent and Mr Bradley trailed with 9 per cent.
Mr Bradley was expected to formally drop out of the race after losing in all 16 states where Democratic primaries and caucuses were held.
In his concession speech, the former basketball star was blunt. He won, I lost, Mr Bradley said he would consult supporters around the country and make his plans known shortly.
Mr McCain, a three-term Arizona Senator, who has mounted a spirited challenge against Mr Bush, could also drop out, but his aides strongly denied reports a decision had already been made.
Mr Bush could wrap up the Republican nomination by winning nine state primaries and caucuses scheduled in the next week.
Mr McCain told supporters he would pause to reflect on the future of his campaign but his crusade to get big money out of politics would go on.
We won a few and lost a few today ... I want to assure you all that our campaign continues tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, as long as it takes to restore Americas confidence and pride, he declared.
In his victory speech, Mr Bush called for Republican unity to end eight years of Democratic control of the White House.
Rebels getaway plane destroyed
MOSCOW, March 8 (DPA) Russian fighter jets today destroyed a small plane on the ground near Vedeno in which Chechen rebel leaders were believed to have been planning to escape from the war zone, military officials said.
Russian Caucasus forces spokesman Genially Alekhin said on NTV television said that warplanes destroyed the aircraft and about 15 Chechen horsemen guarding the area.
Other military sources said the rebels were probably planning to evacuate Chechen leaders, including the wounded field commander Shamil Basayev, Interfax news agency reported.
meanwhile continued in the Argun valley between Russian
troops and rebel units which are surrounded in various
pockets. Special police units said they detained 22
Chechens suspected of involvement in an ambush last week
that left 20 Russian officers dead.
lawsuits against Pinochet
45 killed in
2 die as subway
CDs for cancer
reach nudist voters
scared of marriage?
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |