|W O R L D||
Friday, December 25, 1998
|Koirala sworn in PM
KATHMANDU, Dec 24 Mr Girija Prasad Koirala was today reappointed the Prime Minister of Nepal after King Birendra administered the oath of office.
UN council fails to agree on Iraq
NEW YORK, Dec 24 The UN Security Council failed yesterday to agree on the next steps it should take on the situation in Iraq following last weeks US-British air strikes.
KATHMANDU: Newly appointed Prime Minister Girija Prasad Koirala (left) takes the oath in front of Nepalese King Birendra during a ceremony at Royal Palace in Kathmandu on Thursday. Mr Koirala came back to power with the help of a communist group despite losing majority in Parliament. AP/PTI
ex-chief found guilty of graft
judge hates to waste time
under attack on tritium
puts ban on terminator knowhow
Koirala sworn in PM again
KATHMANDU, Dec 24 (PTI) Mr Girija Prasad Koirala was today reappointed the Prime Minister of Nepal after King Birendra administered the oath of office ending a fortnight-long political crisis in the Himalayan kingdom.
Mr Koirala, who quit earlier this week, is expected to form a new cabinet shortly after he formed a fresh coalition in the 205-member House of Representatives with his former foes, the Communist United Marxist-Leninist (UML) party and the Nepal Sadbhavana Party (NSP).
Mr Koirala, head of the centrist Nepali Congress Party, told a news conference after the swearing-in ceremony that he was reappointed after King Birendra received written confirmation of the support of 135 MPs.
Mr Koirala, who had been Prime Minister since last April, resigned on Monday after a small Communist faction, separate from the UML, pulled out of the cabinet.
King Birendra refused to accept Mr Koiralas recommendation to dissolve Parliament and order fresh elections and initiated efforts to form a new government.
The 72-year-old Koirala struck a power-sharing deal with UML, the largest Communist group in Parliament, which has agreed to back him on condition that he appoint its members to the cabinet and call early elections.
UNI adds: Meanwhile, the Pratinidhi Sabha, too, met this afternoon briefly in a special session which, as a result of the recent turn of events, was only a formality. Requisition to seek a censure of the erstwhile Koriala-led minority government, the special session lost its unity in view of that government having resigned and having been replaced by another.
Speaker Ram Chandra Poudyal made this very observation immediately after the session convened. Thereafter given the floor, Mr Bamdev Gautam, general secretary of the CPN(ML) - chief sponsors of the censure move - concurred that the special session had lost its relevance following the recent political developments. He, however, indicated that his party would act as a responsible main opposition in relating to the new government thereby ruling out his partys joining the new coalition.
The present Pratinidhi Sabha, elected in mid-term elections in November, 1994, is a hung House. The Nepali Congress is the single-largest party having 89 members in the 205-seat House currently suffering two vacancies.
Other party strengths are: CPN (UML) 49, NSP three, RPP (Thapa-led) 10, new RPP (Chand-led) eight, and CPN (ML) 40.
Besides, the House has two members of the Maoist Nepal Mazdoor Kisan Party and two ultra-Left Independents.
Prime Minister Koirala told newspersons that he would be forming his Council of Ministers within the next few days to include representatives from the CPN (UML) and the NSP. My offer to other parties to join in government remains open... We would like to ensure participation of all parties in conducting freely, fairly and peacefully the next parliamentary polls...
UN council fails to agree on Iraq
NEW YORK, Dec 24 (DPA) The UN Security Council failed yesterday to agree on the next steps it should take on the situation in Iraq following last weeks US-British air strikes against Iraqi military installations.
The 15-nation council held its third meeting in as many days this week to agree on a statement stipulating preliminary programmes to revive the disarmament of Iraq, which was halted by the air strikes.
Diplomats said a draft statement prepared by Russia and amendments submitted by some countries would have to be studied by the national capitals.
The Council President, Bahraini Ambassador Jassim Mohammed Buallay, said following the meeting, Russia had promised to hold consultations in the coming days and submit an agreed text next week.
The draft could not be agreed due mainly to opposition from the USA and Britain. The draft criticised the air strikes while reaffirming the councils strong preference for political settlement through its resolutions rather than by the use of force.
The USA demanded the deletion of all criticism of the air strikes from the draft.
The Iraqi Government decided after the air strikes to terminate its cooperation with UNSCOM after accusing it of working for US interests.
WASHINGTON (UNI): The USAs new Iraq strategy is to contain President Saddam Hussein in the short and medium terms, by force if necessary, and to work towards a new government over the long term.
National Security Adviser to US President Bill Clinton Samuel R. Berger, who spelt out the new strategy here on Wednesday, said: Change will come to Iraq, at a time and in a manner that we can influence but not predict.
Despite the destruction that four days of US air strikes inflicted on Mr Husseins military assets, there was little likelihood that the Iraqi leader could be toppled through air power alone, Mr Berger observed.
Jiang Zemin orders crackdown
BEIJING, Dec 24 (PTI) President Jiang Zemin has ordered swift action to crush any factors that could destabilise China even as pro-democracy activists today began a 100-day relay fast against the jailing of top Chinese dissidents.
Any factors that could jeopardise our stability must be annihilated in the early stages. This policy has been proved ... and is very important and effective, Jiang said while addressing a national conference of top law enforcement officials here yesterday.
Citing mounting socio-economic problems, Jiang said if certain social and economic problems were not tackled without delay, Chinas overall stability could be threatened.
China swiftly sentenced three leading dissidents this week on the charges of subversion and plotting to overthrow the Communist Party-led government.
Two pro-democracy activists began a 24-hour fast in the northern province of Liaoning to protest against the crackdown on the dissidents, the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China said.
More would join the relay fast in 16 provinces over the next 100 days in batches of two, it said.
In his second hardline
speech in a week, Jiang asked the Judicial and Public
Security Departments to remain vigilant next year and
take tough measures against crime since 1999 marked the
50th anniversary of Communist rule in China.
NATO ex-chief found guilty of graft
BRUSSELS, Dec 24 (AP) Former NATO Secretary-General Willy Claes received a three-year suspended jail sentence on Wednesday after being convicted of corruption in two defence contracts he awarded in the late 1980s when he was the Economics Minister.
After a four-month trial, the Supreme Court also gave two-year suspended sentences for corruption to former Defence Minister Guy Coeme, former Vice-Premier Guy Spitaels, and Serge Dassault, head of Frances Dassault Aviation concern.
Eight former aides and associates received suspended sentences of up to two years, also for corruption. All defendants lost the right to vote in elections or run for office for up to five years.
The court said Mr Claes (60) had to know that Italys Agusta Spa offer to pay $ 1.37 million to win a December-1988 contract for 46 army helicopters was a bribe for his Dutch-speaking Socialist Party.
He said Mr Claes and others bent the rules at the expense of Frances Aerospatiale Sa, which was also bidding for the contract.
The court also found
Dassault Aviation Sas gift of $ 1.62 million to
grease a June 1989 deal to equip Belgian F-16 jets with
new electronics was a bribe to beat a US rival, Litton
Industries Inc. Another $ 900,000 from Dassault ended up
in the coffers of French-speaking socialists.
Impeachment judge hates to waste time
WASHINGTON, Dec 24 (AP) Its a short walk across the street from the Supreme Court to the Capitol, where Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist will preside over US President Bill Clintons impeachment trial. However, the trip will take him from the relative anonymity of the television-free court into millions of US living rooms.
Justice Rehnquist will be only the second Chief Justice to preside over a presidential impeachment trial, but the first to conduct at least some of the proceedings on TV.
He will run a very fair, efficient proceeding and he will not allow it to get out of control, said Washington lawyer Theodore Olson, who has often argued before the highest court.
Mr Charles Cooper, a former law clerk to Justice Rehnquist and a frequent advocate before the high court, predicted the Chief Justice would use his authority to keep an impeachment trial focused on the facts that were relevant and keep the extraneous or purely political stuff to a minimum.
Justice Rehnquist is keeping his thoughts about an impeachment trial to himself. However, at the court, he is known for his calm, gentlemanly manner and ability to run a tight ship.
The 74-year-old Rehnquist, nominated by President Richard Nixon, joined the high court in 1972. He is one of the courts most conservative members but is well-liked by colleagues of all ideologies.
Justice Rehnquist seemingly hates to waste time. He keeps oral arguments to a strict one-hour limit and has shortened the justices At the Supreme Court, the Chief Justice acts as presiding officer and has one of nine votes. At a Senate impeachment trial, Justice Rehnquist would have no vote and a limited role as presiding officer. He would rule on questions involving evidence and other incidental matters, but a simple majority vote of Senators could override his judgement.
Justice Rehnquist already is somewhat of an expert on impeachment. His 1992 book, Grand Inquests, detailed the 1868 Senate impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson, presided over by Chief Justice Salmon Chase, and the 1805 impeachment trial of Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase. Both were acquitted.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reported that President Clinton says he is reconciled to his impeachment, is confident that history will vindicate him and has purged himself of the anger he felt toward his attackers.
The Times, in a front-page report on Tuesday on the Presidents mood as he faces a possible Senate trial that could remove him from office, said Mr Clinton made the comments while talking to one of its reporters and other guests at a White House Christmas party on Sunday.
The Times quoted Mr Clinton as joking that negotiating a peace accord in Northern Ireland earlier this year was easier than trying to pry a censure resolution from congressional Republicans.
But The Times story, by Washington reporter Elizabeth Shogren, said a worried look briefly crossed his (Clintons) face when he said that the Senate stage of the process remains unpredictable.
The Times said that when asked how he felt to have been impeached, Mr Clinton replied: Not bad. And then added that he believed that within 10 or 20 years would be on the right side of history and that historians would not give undue weight to the impeachment when they analyse his presidency.
Octuplets given names
HOUSTON, Dec 24 (AFP) The worlds only living octuplets have been named as the three-day-old infants struggled for life in critical but stable condition.
Doctors were encouraged as the smallest of the infants, initially named Baby E, needed less oxygen from a ventilator, a statement from Texas Childrens Hospital said yesterday.
The infant girl was named Odera, which means God has my life in the Ibo tribal language.
Mother Nkem Chukwu gave birth by caesarean section to seven babies five girls and two boys on Sunday after giving birth naturally to a girl on December 8.
The octuplets Nigeria-born parents gave the babies names from the Ibo tribal tradition. The girl, born on December 8, formerly known as Baby A, was named Chukwuebuka Nkemjika Louis and will be known as Ebuka, meaning God is great.
Baby B was named Chidinma Anulika Louis and will be nicknamed Chidi. Her name means God is beautiful. Baby C was named Chinecherem Nwabugwu Louis and will be nicknamed Echerem, meaning God thinks of me.
Baby D was named Chimaijem Otito Louis and will be nicknamed Chima. The name means God knows my way. Baby F, the first boy, was named Chukwubuikem Maduabuchi Louis and will be nicknamed Ikem, meaning God is my strength.
Baby G was named Chijioke Chinedum Louis and will be nicknamed Jioke, meaning God is my leader. Baby H was named Chinagorom Chidiebere Louis and will be nicknamed Gorom. Her name means God is merciful.
However, the holiday mood surrounding the worlds only living octuplets dimmed with reports that the infants father has been charged with assaulting his mother-in-law in a domestic quarrel three months ago.
Iyke Louis Udobi is scheduled to be tried on the misdemeanour charge in February and faces a $ 4,000 fine and a year in jail if convicted, prosecutors said according to reports in the local and national media yesterday.
Todays Washington Post quoted Udobis lawyer as saying the charge was bogus. A police report indicated that Udobis wife was present but was not hit in the incident, it said.
USA under attack on tritium
WASHINGTON, Dec 24 (PTI) The Clinton administration has come under severe attack for its decision to use its state-run nuclear reactors to make tritium, a key hydrogen bomb material.
Democratic Congressman Edward Markey, ranking minority member of the House Commerce Subcommittee that oversees the US civilian nuclear reactors, condemned the decision to modify three nuclear power reactors of the Tennessee Valley Authority to also make tritium.
If we are mixing our civilian and military nuclear programmes in the US, then the rest of the world will not pay much heed to our admonitions to them that they should refrain from using their civilian nuclear energy programmes for military purposes, Mr Markey said in a statement.
We have breached the 53-year separation between atoms for peace and atoms for war. We cannot credibly preach nuclear temperance, he said.
CGIAR puts ban on terminator knowhow
WASHINGTON, Dec 24 (PTI) The Consultative Group on the International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), an umbrella organisation for 16 research institutions across the world to improve the worlds food production, has banned teminator technology that prevents seed germination.
The companies and governments of the developed nations that back the technology want farmers to buy seed for each crop every year and not save some of the old production to germinate the new crop.
Madhuris ignorance decried
KATHMANDU, Dec 24 (AFP) Some 150 angry students yesterday rallied in the Nepalese Capital of Kathmandu against leading actress Madhuri Dixit over comments she made about the Himalayan state.
At a function here on Tuesday, Madhuri said she never realised Nepal was not part of India.
Nepal is a beautiful country and it was once a part of India, she was quoted as saying by the English-language Kathmandu Post.
The remarks caused a storm here, with the largest-circulation Nepalese daily, Kantipur, running the story on its front page with the headline: Ignorance or indifference of Madhuri?
|Russia, USA sign food aid deal
MOSCOW: The USA and Russia signed a $ 625 million food aid agreement on Wednesday after months of negotiations, clearing the way for deliveries of American food to prevent hunger among Russias needy. The USA will donate 1.5 metric tons of wheat to Russia free of charge, and provide another 1.5 metric tons of various agricultural commodities under a long-term loan. An additional 100,000 tons of various foodstuffs will be distributed directly to the poor. AP
Persona non grata
Land Bill rejected
26 killed in
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