|Tuesday, March 28, 2000,
Assad fail to reach pact
Oscars for American Beauty
women meet Musharraf
colluded with hijack of airliner
Vietnam to sign pact
|Pope ends pilgrimage
JERUSALEM, March 27 Pope John Paul II ended his historic week-long pilgrimage with powerful spiritual visits to three of old Jerusalems most sacred sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians on the final day of his whirlwind tour.
Clinton, Assad fail to reach pact
GENEVA, March 27 (AP) US President Bill Clinton and Syrian President Hafez Assad failed during three hours of face-to-face negotiations to nail down an agreement to restart negotiations between Israel and Syria for a landmark peace treaty.
The differences are significant and important and obviously more work needs to be done to bridge them, White House spokesman Joe Lockhart said yesterday.
He characterised the meeting between Mr Clinton and Mr Assad their first face-to-face summit in six years as very useful. But at the same time, he said, we dont believe it would be productive for Syrian-Israeli talks to resume at this point.
It is impossible to predict when those talks might resume, he said.
Mr Lockhart said Mr Assad articulated his position clearly and forcefully throughout two businesslike sessions. Mr Clinton spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak both before and after the Assad meeting, Mr Lockhart said.
Syrian presidential spokesman Jubran Kourieh said during the talks Mr Assad stressed the importance of Syrias long-standing demand for an Israeli pullback to the countrys 1967 borders.
Mr Clinton left Geneva shortly after the meeting broke up, leaving Mr Lockhart behind to speak to reporters.
The spokesman said the USA would will continue to mediate between Israel and Syria and that both sides were committed to reaching peace.
Expectations had been high going into the negotiations, in part simply because the 69-year-old Assad, who rarely travels, made a special trip to Switzerland to see Mr Clinton.
But as the day wore into evening, hopes diminished that the talks at a luxury hotel overlooking Lake Geneva would produce an agreement.
5 Oscars for American Beauty
LOS ANGELES, March 27 (AP) American Beauty, a dark comedy about suburban alienation and family dysfunction, won five Academy Awards, including for Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor.
This is the highlight of my day. I hope it is not all downhill from here, Spacey who won the award for Best Actor said jokingly, a racy reference to the films opening. It was his second Oscar. He won for Best Supporting Actor of 1995 for The Usual Suspects.
Alan Ball picked up the Oscar for original screenplay, and Conrad L. Hall won as the films cinematographer at last nights awards ceremony.
Hilary Swank, who portrayed a woman passing as a man in Boys Dont Cry, won as Best Actress. Everyone put their heart and their soul into this movie, Swank said.
She thanked the real-life inspiration for her role, Brandon Teena, who was murdered when the deception was discovered.
Michael Caine, the kindly orphanage headmaster in The Cider House Rules, won his second Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Angelina Jolie, the disruptive mental patient in Girl, Interrupted, won for supporting actress a generation after her father, Jon Voight, took home an Oscar.
The Matrix, the story of a computer hacker who discovers life is a big illusion, won four Oscars for film editing, sound, sound effects editing and visual effects.
The Cider House Rules also won the adapted screenplay Oscar for John Irving, who wrote the novel.
Irving offered thanks for recognition of a film that deals with abortion and concluded by thanking everyone at planned parenthood and the national abortion rights league -which got a thunderous applause.
Caine (67), who previously won as supporting actor for Hannah and Her Sisters in 1986, seemed overwhelmed by the applause that greeted the announcement by Judi Dench and he saluted his fellow nominees.
I am basically up here guys to represent you as what I hope you will all be a survivor, Caine told the star-studded Shrine Auditorium audience.
The 24-year-old Jolie thanked her father, a Best Actor winner for 1978s Coming Home and a nominee for 1969s Midnight Cowboy, saying Youre a great actor, but a better father.
Pop star Phil Collins scored the Best Original Song Award for his sentimental Youll be in My Heart from the animated Disney film Tarzan. It was his first win in three nominations. Collins thanked his three children who, he said, really wrote this song for me.
The Best Original Score went to John Corigliano for The Red Violin. The art direction trophy went to Sleepy Hollow.
Spains all About My Mother won the Best Foreign Film, prompting one of the nights humorous moments. When director Pedro Almodovars acceptance speech began to run long, presenter Antonio Bandera pretended to pull him off the stage.
Topsy-Turvy, a drama about the creation of the Gilbert and Sullivan operetta The Mikado, won two awards for makeup and costume design.
The live action short award went to My Mother Dreams the Satans Disciples in New York and animated short Oscar went to The Old Man and the Sea. Documentary honours went to the short King Gimp and the feature One Day in September.
American Beauty topped most critic lists going into the ceremony, and it was named the Best Picture in Fridays controversial Wall Street Journal poll of 356 of the 5,607 voting Academy members.
Scientific or not, the survey was American Beautys clincher for best buzz going into the Oscar show, broadcast on with Billy Crystal as the host.
The awards show capped one of the most bizarre Oscar seasons. First, a large number of the ballots were delayed in the mail, and the academy had to print new ballots. The Academy also extended the voting deadline a few days to last Thursday, meaning the accountants had to work overtime.
Then a shipment of 55 shiny new Oscar statuettes from the Chicago manufacturer disappeared from a loading dock at Roadway Express on March 8. Salvage man Willie Fulgear stumbled across 52 of the missing awards while rummaging through a trash container. Three Oscars remain missing.
The academy earlier
announced the evenings special awards: Warren
Beatty was named for the Irving Thalberg Award for a high
level of producing, and Andrzej Wajda, premier director
of Poland, won an honorary award For showing both
the loftiest heights and the darkest depths of the
Indian women meet Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, March 27 (AP) Several Indian women met Pakistans military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf to plead for peace between New Delhi and Islamabad, a Pakistani peace activist said today.
According to Nasreen Sultana, a member of the Pakistan-India Peace Forum, the message to Musharraf during yesterdays meeting was that the people of both countries want peace and are against nuclear weapons.
The 39 women were former Indian Paliamentarians, members of human rights groups, aid organisations and journalists.
The leader of the Indian peace activists, a former Indian Parliamentarian, Nirmala Desh Panday, left the meeting with Musharraf satisfied that Pakistans military ruler favoured peace between the two nations, said Sultana.
Musharraf told them that he wanted peace between Pakistan and India, said Sultana.
The women peace activists arrived in Pakistans eastern border city of Lahore on Saturday having taken a bus from India, which began operating last February following a meeting between Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Pakistans deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif.
The meeting was hailed as the beginning of a more friendly relationship between India and Pakistan, which saw a bitter dispute last summer in the Kargil region.
In a written statement following their meeting with Musharraf, the Indian peace delegation said: We want peace and better relations. Both the governments should allow their people to meet each other without any problem.
Sultana said Indians and Pakistanis should demand their governments restart talks.
People on both sides of the border are campaigning for peace, she said. The Indian womens visit here is a part of this effort.
Germany colluded with hijack of airliner
LONDON, March 27 (DPA) The German government allowed Palestinian terrorists to hijack a passenger airliner to secure the release of three of their comrades captured during the 1972 Munich Olympics debacle, according to a report in Britains Observer.
Black September, the Palestinian terror group that killed 11 Israeli athletes at the games, was allowed to hijack a passenger jet two months later to provide a cover story for the release of the captured gunmen.
According to a documentary film, One Day in September, to be released in Britain in May, Bonn indicated to the terrorist group that it would give in to their demands should a certain aircraft, carrying only adult men, be hijacked.
The Germans were keen to release the three jailed terrorists to avoid Black September fulfilling threats to carry out a series of bombings and hijackings.
On October 29, some eight weeks after the Munich attack, a Lufthansa Boeing 727 on its way from Damascus to Frankfurt was hijacked by two terrorists as it left Beirut.
There were only 11 passengers on board, all male. The pilot was told to fly to Munich and the terrorists demands were relayed to Bonn.
Within hours the German Chancellor Willy Brandt gave in and the three men were handed over. The Israelis were not consulted.
All three Black September men had been arrested during a botched attempt by German authorities to rescue the Israeli athletes taken hostage in the Olympic Village.
Nine hostages and five terrorists died in the shoot-out. Two of the surviving terrorists were later killed by Mossad, the Israeli Secret Service, but Jamal al-Gashey survived in hiding and gave an interview to the film team.
An agreement had been made with the German government for our release after the hijacking of a Lufthansa plane. I found out later, he said.
Though Brandt denied any deal, Al-Gasheys allegations are supported by a range of senior German, Palestinian and Israeli intelligence and political sources.
India, Vietnam to sign pact
HANOI, March 27 (PTI) India and Vietnam will sign an agreement tomorrow paving the way for institutionalising military cooperation between the two countries with Hanoi to train Indian Army officers in jungle warfare and counter insurgency.
The agreement to be signed by visiting Indian Defence Minister George Fernandes and his Vietnamese counterpart Senior Lt-Gen Pham Van Tra will also provide for regular exchange of security perceptions and intelligence and visits by the top military brass, official sources said here today.
Briefing newsmen after two rounds of discussions between the Indian and the Vietnamese military delegations, officials said the agreement would provide for Vietnamese Army instructors to run special jungle warfare courses for the Indian Army at the Mizoram-based counter-insurgency school and Indian Army officers undertaking similar courses in Vietnamese jungle warfare schools in central highlands.
Officials said the main
bottleneck in going ahead with starting such military
exchanges was the language barrier and it was agreed
after todays talks that Vietnamese officers would
run special crash language courses at Tirupati University
as well as utilising Hanoi-based Indian language experts
in training Vietnamese army officers here.
Pope ends pilgrimage
JERUSALEM, March 27 (PTI) Pope John Paul II ended his historic week-long pilgrimage with powerful spiritual visits to three of old Jerusalems most sacred sites for Jews, Muslims and Christians on the final day of his whirlwind tour. At the Western Wall Judaisma holiest site and the symbol of Jewish dispersion and suffering for 2,000 years the pontiff, keeping with the Jewish tradition, put his plea with trembling hands in a crack amid ancient yellowed stones in the wall and begged Gods forgiveness.
The Pope also visited
the hilltop mosque complex where Muslims believe Prophet
Mohammed ascended to heaven. Sacred to Muslims and Jews
alike the site is home to Dome Ohe Rock Mosque,
and for Jews it is Temple Mount for the Biblical temples
that is believed to have stood there once.
Seven killed in
held for robbery
makes emergency landing
9 die in Nepal
attack on Miami
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