|Friday, April 28, 2000,
warning on talks with India
ready to lay down arms
|Bin Laden in Kosovo
BELGRADE, April 27 Islamic Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, wanted for terrorism by the USA is in Kosovo, the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said. After hiding out for several years in Afghanistan, the agency said yesterday in a despatch from Kosovos capital Pristina, bin Laden has found a new refuge in the Balkans, precisely in Kosovo, the nest of European terrorism.
Nuclear leak claims second victim
rebel leader seeks pardon
Burton was gay
Merrick dies at 88
Lashkars warning on talks with India
MURIDKE (Pakistan), April 27 (AP) Hundreds of Islamic clerics warned Pakistans military rulers today against peace talks with India saying jehad or holy war was the only way to settle the Kashmir dispute.
They also warned the army, which seized power from Pakistans civilian government last October, to resist demands from the US to shut down some of the more militant Islamic groups headquartered here.
The leaders of these groups, like Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, were among an estimated 1,200 clerics attending a one-day meeting held to support jehad.
The meeting, organised by Lashkar-e-Toiba, one of the militant groups active in Jammu and Kashmir, was attended by clerics from a village in Muridke, 25 kms west of the Punjab provincial capital of Lahore.
War is clear. Instead of diplomacy and holding talks we should resist and tell the nation that jehad is the only solution to retrieve Kashmir, said Maulana Sibgatullah Shirwani, the speaker who opened the conference.
Lashkar-e-Toiba said groups active in Jammu and Kashmir should be helped by the government, not attacked.
We are trying to make our leaders realise that they should not succumb to American pressure to put pressure on freedom fighters by trying to ban their organisations said Yahya Mujahed, a leader of Lashkar-e-Toiba.
Pakistans military ruler General Pervez Musharraf has so far rebuffed US demands to shut these groups down saying they have not broken any Pakistani laws.
Maskhadov ready to lay down arms
MOSCOW, April 27 (UNI) In a significant move, President of the breakaway Chechen republic Aslan Maskhadov has said that he is prepared to visit Moscow and lay down arms before President-elect Vladimir Putin, according to media reports quoting official sources.
This was conveyed by Maskhadov through his emissaries, the report said adding he had sought amnesty.
Sources said the defiant rebel leader had not referred to any of the demands put forward by the Kremlin which included the handing over of warlords Shamil Basayev, Col Kataab and other field commanders to Russia for trial, release of all hostages and nabbing all those who had indulged in terrorist activities in Russia.
However, Maskhadov was threatened by other rebel leaders with dire consequences if he entered into any kind of negotiations with the Kremlin, according to Voice of Russia quoting highly placed sources.
They even threatened to liquidate his family if he dared to defy them, it said.
In Moscow, the Presidents aide, Mr Sergei Yastrzhembsky, dismissed the reports of talks between Maskhadov and Kremlin as a figment of the imagination. He is a criminal and should be treated as such, he told Russian TV channel Veesti last night.
According to Novosti the main opposition to any reconciliation with the rebels comes from the army. Maskhadov had never dissociated himself from the dreaded rebel leaders Shamil Basayev and Col Kataab, it said quoting the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Russian armed forces, Gen Valery Manilov.
Reuters adds: Chechen rebels killed at least 10 Russian troops in an ambush on Wednesday, military officials said today, in a new setback to Russias campaign in the breakaway province. In response, President-elect Putin told ministers he would boost commando numbers in the southern mountains, where the rebels have stepped up lightning attacks on his troops.
Commandos will work in the mountainous part, where there are still bandits, and they will double their efforts, Tass news agency quoted Mr Putin as saying during a cabinet meeting to consider how to rebuild Chechnya.
The rebels yesterday
said they had killed up to 20 Russians in the attack near
the village of Serzhen-Yurt, 25 km south-east of Grozny.
A weekend ambush in the same village left 15 Russians
dead, Moscow said.
Window on Pakistan
ADEMOCRATICALLY elected Prime Minister was overthrown, charged with terrorism in October, 1999, and sentenced to life imprisonment in early April. There was no public outcry, no protest rallies and no breast-beating except by a handful of women, mostly blood relations. Mind it, Mr Nawaz Sharif had a clear two-thirds majority in the Pakistani parliament and his brother was the all-powerful chief minister of the most populous and influential province of Punjab. How does one understand this kind of mood?
One reason could be that the military rulers had banned any protest rallies and public meetings. But have the people lost all the will and all the guts and become just pussycats that only mew a bit here and there? There was some cacophony before the trial court pronounced life sentence. That obviously was that Mr Sharif might not be sent to the gallows.
In the last 50 years of its existence the independent state of Pakistan has seen the tragic phenomena of alienation of people from the rulers. Whether these were elected Prime Ministers like Zulfikar Ali Bhutto or his daughter Benazir Bhutto or military dictators like Yahya Khan, Ayub Khan or Zia-ul-Haq or the present ruler, Gen pervez Musharraf, they all made tall promises and cheated the people of their peace, prosperity and democratic rights. They led Pakistan to two major wars with India. Lust for power and more power has been the primary motive of Pakistani leaders. They have only injected the hate India-sentiment.
Media and most politicians, including the self-exiled former Prime Minister, Ms Benazir Bhutto, heaved a sigh of relief when the judge did not send Mr Sharif to the gallows. But now the military leadership has sought the same punishment from the Sindh High Court. The people did not react. How could they forget the misery inflicted by a totally self-serving corrupt regime of Mr Sharif. There was open loot, defiance of the rule of law, ransacking of the economy and usurpation of all powers by those who had been democratically elected. Mr Sharif forgot the strong desire among the people for peace and development. The people can not thus draw a line between the government led by Mr Sharif and the one by General Musharraf. The theatre of the absurd is having full run while people suffer in utter poverty, deprivation and want.
Ms Bhutto these days is churning out columns sitting in her palatial home in London and is crying for justice. In her latest article in Dawn, she, while tracing the reasons for the current malaise, did not touch the core economic issues. But she did say something on the political plane which could help the Pakistani society come out of the current morass.
She wrote: The pursuit of political vendetta, and the thirst to seek their rivals elimination by abusing the judicial process complicates the crisis in Pakistan. It has four political fallouts: First, it boxes the rulers into a corner. Fear of retribution prevents the development of an exit strategy to take the country back to normality. Second, it weakens civil institutions further as the Army takes over administrative jobs. Third, it leads to misgovernance and the prospect of popular discontent giving rise to new dangers. Dangers that the rulers might seek an external diversion from domestic woes which may lead to yet another armed conflict between India and Pakistan. Fourth, in pursuing a child of the establishment, the establishment itself is trained and a revolt within its fold becomes a possibility.
Ms Bhutto further said, The fourth martial law in Pakistan presents General Musharraf with an opportunity to work with the political forces for an orderly transition back to civil society. In his ability to abandon persecution and embrace reconciliation, he can pave a fourth way forward for the military to withdraw. The previous withdrawals leave much to desire.
The first martial law dictator, Ayub Khan, withdrew, amidst street riots calling for his hanging, by handing power over to his subordinate, Gen Yahya Khan. The second martial law dictator, Yahya, was forced to withdraw from power after humiliating the country with a shameful policy in East Pakistan which led to surrender before India. The third clung on to power until he went up in a ball of fire when his military aircraft crashed. This is how she summed up.
Bin Laden in Kosovo
BELGRADE, April 27 (AFP) Islamic Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, wanted for terrorism by the USA is in Kosovo, the official Yugoslav news agency Tanjug said.
After hiding out for several years in Afghanistan, the agency said yesterday in a despatch from Kosovos capital Pristina, bin Laden has found a new refuge in the Balkans, precisely in Kosovo, the nest of European terrorism.
Tanjug said Bin Laden, whom the agency described as a terrorist and Islamic fanatic, arrived from Albania after having formed a group of 500 Islamic fighters in the eastern region around Korce and Pogradec to carry out terrorist acts in Kosovo.
He also planned similar acts in the southern region of Serbia bordering on Kosovo, including Presevo, Medvedja and Bujanovac, the Yugoslav agency said.
Tension has been mounting in the region over the past 10 days, with many armed incidents and increasing ethnic Albanian demands. Its population includes some 70,000 ethnic Albanians, many of whom have complained of being harassed or maltreated by the Serbian police.
Tanjug said Bin Laden arrived in Kosovo accompanied by a close collaborator, Abu Hassan.
Nuclear leak claims second victim
TOKYO, April 27 (AP) A worker exposed to excessive radiation in Japans worst nuclear accident died today morning, a hospital spokesman said.
Masato Shinohara, 40, died at 7:25 a.m. at the University of Tokyo Hospital, said spokesman Tamotsu Watanabe.
Mr Watanabe said details of shinoharas death would be announced at a press conference today morning. NHK television reported that he died after a general worsening in his condition compounded by pneumonia and weakened kidney functions.
Shinohara had been at the University of Tokyo Hospital since April 10 after being transferred from another medical facility run by the university. He had been on a respirator since February.
Shinohara was the second plant worker to die since the accident on September 30 last year at a uranium-processing facility in Tokaimura, 110 km northeast of Tokyo.
Naga rebel leader seeks
BANGKOK, April 27 (Reuters) A leader of North-East Indias Naga Rebels, jailed in Thailand for entering the country illegally, today said he should be released so he could help broker a political solution for his troubled homeland.
Thuingaleng Muivah, (66), who heads a faction of the banned National Socialist Council of Nagaland (NSCN), was sentenced in February by a Thai court to a year in jail for travelling with a fake passport.
Muivah told Reuters during a court appearance in Bangkok on further charges related to his immigration violations, that the Thai authorities should pardon and release him.
I would like to appeal to the Thai Government to pardon my mistakes and release me in order to allow me to pursue my political struggle for a peaceful solution in my homeland, Muivah said.
Richard Burton was gay
LOS ANGELES, April 27 (Reuters) American celebrity biographer Ellis Amburn has never interviewed Elizabeth Taylor but he figures he understands her better than most.
Amburn never met Richard Burton either, yet he claims the hell-raising actor whose tempestuous love affair with Taylor spanned two marriages and two divorces was secretly gay.
His assertion that Burton, an alcoholic who died in 1984 after a life chasing pretty women, had a clandestine affair with leading British actor Sir Laurence Olivier is the most astounding claim in his book, The Most Beautiful Woman in the World (Harper Collins).
Like much of the material in the latest unauthorised biography of Taylor, Amburns conclusions about Burton result from snippets from other biographies, memoirs and interviews Amburn conducted with minor Hollywood players.
I put together things including Burtons own statements that had been previously written off as having no significance, Amburn said, rejecting suggestions that his evidence was flimsy.
Burtons brother Graham Jenkins has called Amburns claims rubbish, telling British media this month If Richard was a homosexual, then Im a nun. If you had ever met my brother, you wouldnt have a moments doubt he loved women and was heterosexual through and through.
I just wish Elizabeth Taylor would make a public comment about this, but I know she wont Jenkins added.
The 68-year-old screen diva, who has survived eight marriages, a brain tumour and treatment for drug and alcohol addiction to emerge as a champion of AIDS awareness, has chosen to remain silent on that claim and others in the book. Requests by Reuters for comment on the book went unanswered.
Amburns requests for an interview with Taylor while writing his book also went unanswered, but he said he never wanted to write an official biography about Taylor anyway.
I like my freedom. I wanted to go get the real story rather than some self-serving version, he told Reuters.
Amburn, whose previous books include biographies of Buddy Holly and Jack Kerouac whom he also portrays as a homosexual in denial believes he has come up with some fresh insights into Taylors emotional life, which he describes as the most misunderstood erotic voyage of the 20th century.
Taylors romance with Burton she has called him one of only two real loves in her life was doomed, not because they were both heavy drinkers with quick tempers and broken marriages already behind them but mainly because Burton was not entirely heterosexual, asserts Amburn.
His alcoholism and homosexuality fed into each other and drove him to seek out women and then abuse them, he writes. Richard, like Elizabeths father, exploited her even as he resented her, insanely jealous because her notoriety and income exceeded his own.
Amburns thesis is that Taylors childhood with an alcoholic father, who she says batted me around a bit, affected her so deeply it endangered every love relationship of her adult life.
Amburn groups her eight marriages and 17 romances into two distinct groups: sexual but lacking in love such as her marriages to Eddie Fisher and Larry Fortensky, and asexual but loving with men of ambiguous sexuality such as Montgomery Clift, James Dean and Malcolm Forbes.
Seemingly drawing on
almost every comment, account or interview by anyone who
ever met Taylor or those close to her, he paints a
picture of a woman more sinned against than sinning whose
efforts in later life to stay sober, lose weight and
spearhead a celebrity campaign for AIDS care and research
represent a stunning turnaround.
David Merrick dies at 88
NEW YORK, April 27 (AP) David Merrick, Broadways most successful producer whose flair for showmanship and publicity helped create such hits as Gypsy, Hello, Dolly! and 42nd street has died. He was 88.
Merrick, who suffered a stroke in the early 80s that severely affected his speech and forced him to use a wheelchair, died early Tuesday in London, according to a statement released here yesterday by the David Merrick arts foundation.
Merrick produced over 80
plays or musicals on Broadway including such shows as
Fanny, Look Back in Anger,
Irma La Douce, Play It Again,
Sam, and Stop the World - I Want to Get
woman becomes allergic to sperm
Pak tax dodgers
Mom takes a bite
for a bite
entitled to US documents
and held hostage
hominid pair unveiled
die of asphyxiation
held for graft
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