|W O R L D||
Saturday, July 25, 1998
|Obuchi set to be
TOKYO, July 24 Japans Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi was today elected as President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) clearing the decks for his appointment as next Prime Minister of the country on July 30.
Indian nuclear sub by 2006: Jane's weekly
LONDON, July 24 India will launch its first nuclear-powered submarine by 2006, Janes Defence Weekly has reported.
Clinton overrules Albright on Israel
WASHINGTON, July 24 The Clinton administration has decided not to put pressure on Israel to reach a settlement with the Palestinians on the basis of the Albright plan, media reports here said.
PPP to protest if Benazir is arrested
ISLAMABAD, July 24 The Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) today threatened to take to the streets if the government arrested Benazir Bhutto on her planned return from abroad on Sunday.
Jaswant Singh (left) deputy chairman of India's Planning Commission, is being welcomed upon his arrival at the Manila hotel on Friday. Singh participates in the 31st ASEAN ministerial conference. AP/PTI
USA sees India, Pak
WASHINGTON, July 24 The USA is developing a missile defence system assuming a threat could develop from India and Pakistan.
Iraq, UN again on
UNITED NATIONS, July 24 Iraq and the United Nations are on a collision course once again with Baghdad declining to allow UN inspectors to copy a document.
|Obuchi elected LDP chief
TOKYO, July 24 (PTI) Japans Foreign Minister Keizo Obuchi was today elected as President of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) clearing the decks for his appointment as next Prime Minister of the country on July 30.
Obuchi, 61, swept the elections winning 225 of 441 votes of the LDP delegates to become the party choice as the next premier replacing Ryutaro Hashimoto, an LDP official announced here today.
Veteran politician Seiroku Kajiyama, a favourite of global financial markets, was second with 102 votes and while the young reformers choice Health Minister Junichiro Koizumi got 84 votes.
The much-anticipated decision was taken by all the LDPs members of parliament and 47 provincial representatives.
Obuchi, Foreign Minister since last September and leader of the LDPs largest faction, led the delegates in celebration cries of banzai when the result was announced.
The hours leading up to the vote were marked by a growing drama about a potential split in the LDP that could lead to some of its young reformers leaving over Obuchis win.
The ruling LDP has a 13-seat majority in the Lower House of parliament which will formally decide on the next Prime Minister at the end of the month.
Japan might join other G-8 members if the group decided to favourably respond to Pakistans plea for relaxing economic sanctions imposed against it for doing nuclear tests in May, Mr Obuchi told newsmen here.
Pakistan badly needs financial support from the IMF while the economic conditions in India are relatively better, Mr Obuchi said.
The G-8 foreign ministers meeting in London last month decided to order sanctions against both Pakistan and India.
Although Pakistan is not a member of the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), Islamabad should be heard at the forums Manila meet beginning on July 27, Mr Obuchi said while expressing apprehensions regarding Indias objection to the issue.
Mr Obuchi reiterated pledges for an income tax cut worth 6 trillion yen ($ 42.6 billion and 10 trillion yen ($ 70.9 billion) in new spending to kickstart economic growth and spur lagging consumption.
Japans most glaring problems are economic. Unemployment is at a record high of 4.1 per cent. Bankruptcies are mounting at their fastest rate since the end of second World War. Japanese banks are saddled with 84 trillion yen ($ 604 billion) in bad loans. US Credit rating agency Moodys Investors Service announced Thursday it will review its rating for Japans government debt.
|Indian nuclear sub by 2006:
LONDON, July 24 (AP) India will launch its first nuclear-powered submarine by 2006, Janes Defence Weekly has reported.
Following nuclear tests in May by India and Pakistan, Delhi is now pressing ahead with the submarine programme which was started in the late 1970s so that it can deliver nuclear weapons, the weekly reported on Wednesday.
The nuclear reactor for the submarine, built by the Department of Atomic Energy at the Bhabha Atomic Research Centre in Trombay, would begin tests at the Kalpakkam Atomic Research Centre near Chennai within 12 months, it said.
Quoting official sources, the respected military magazine said the submarines keel would be laid by 2002, two years after the completion of land tests on the nuclear reactor.
The first nuclear-powered submarine would be launched in 2006 and commissioned a year later, the weekly quoted the sources as saying.
The submarine would serve as a platform for nuclear-armed missiles like the Sagarika, a cruise missile which is in an advanced stage of development, official sources were quoted as saying.
Mr Rahul Roy Chaudhury, a naval analyst at the Institute for Defence Studies and Analyses in Delhi, was quoted as saying the submarines capabilities would outstrip those of Pakistans Navy.
Pakistan would soon bring into service three French-designed Agosta 90B submarines equipped with independent propulsion systems for enhanced submerged endurance, he was quoted as saying.
The emerging strategic challenge from China would give the new Indian submarine a crucial role in surveillance and deterrent operations off the eastern straits of Malacca and Singapore by 2010, Janes Defence Weekly quoted Mr Roy Chaudhury as saying.
|Clinton overrules Albright
WASHINGTON, July 24 (PTI) The Clinton administration has decided not to put pressure on Israel to reach a settlement with the Palestinians on the basis of the Albright plan, media reports here said.
President Clinton, backed by Vice-President Albert Gore has ordered that no more pressure be put on Israel to reach a settlement on the basis of the Albright plan which would give 13 per cent more of West Bank territory to the Palestinian authority as a prelude to final settlement talks, The Washington Post reported.
Mr Clinton signalled retreat on Israel by saying in a letter to Mr Malcolm Hoenlein, Executive Vice-Chairman of the Conference of Presidents of major Jewish organisations in the USA, the reports said.
It is not our intention to second-guess Israeli decisions on security, Mr Clinton said in his letter released by Mr Hoenlein. At no point have I given an ultimatum to either party, the reports quoting him said.
Describing the US stand as a startling retreat, the paper, quoting US and European officials, said that Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was now advising Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat to secure the best deal he could from Israel by direct negotiations.
The retreat was immediately welcomed by Israel and bitterly denounced by the Palestinians.
They (the Clinton administration) really reneged on their promises. They neither declared publicly what their proposals were, nor have they brought Israeli approval comparable to the approval we have given. Nabil Shaath, one of Mr Arafats closest advisers said in a telephone interview to the paper from his Gaza city home.
Mr David Bar-Illan, Mr Netanyahus Director for Communications and Policy Planning, told the paper: We feel the Americans now realise that we have gone a very long distance to make this doable.
A senior official of an Arab government said bitterly: They (Americans) have reached the end of the line as far as moving the Israeli position.
|USA sees India, Pak missile
WASHINGTON, July 24 (PTI) The USA is researching and developing a missile defence system on the assumption that a threat to its mainland could develop from India and Pakistan as well as other countries, State Department spokesman James Rubin has said.
We are putting ourselves in a position so that by the year 2000, if these threats from China, North Korea, India, Pakistan, West Asia really materialise.... we can make a decision to deploy such a system and have it ready three years later. That is our plan to deal with this threat, he said at an American studies programme last week.
To meet the possible threat, Mr Rubin said we are researching and developing such a system. But we dont want to deploy it before the technology is ready.
|Iraq, UN again on collision
UNITED NATIONS, July 24 (PTI) Iraq and the United Nations are on a collision course once again with Baghdad declining to allow world bodys inspectors to copy a document on Iraqi munitions used during its war with Iran.
The document is said to contain record of the type of munitions used by Iraq for delivering chemical and biological agents during war with Iran.
The inspectors discovered the document during inspection of the operations command of Iraqi Air Force on July 18.
Iraqi officials were said to have first agreed to allow the copying of the document but then changed mind and told inspectors that they could only take notes.
Finally, the document was sealed to await joint scrutiny by chief weapons inspector Richard Butler and Deputy Iraqi Prime Minister Tareq Aziz when the former visits Baghdad early next month.
Mr Butler sent a letter to Security Council President Sergey Lavrov of Russia detailing the incident. But the council is unlikely to take any action until after the Aziz-Butler meeting to resolve the issue.
This was the first major incident since Secretary-General Kofi Annan negotiated an agreement with Iraq under which it opened eight presidential sites for inspections.
The USA and the special commission charged with the elimination of Iraqi weapons of mass destruction are likely to see in the incident another proof that Baghdad is withholding information.
PPP to protest if Benazir is
US House panel okays legislation
WASHINGTON: A committee of the US House of Representatives has approved legislation, originally introduced by Democratic Congressman Frank Pallone, authorising the Government of India to establish a memorial to honour Mahatma Gandhi here. The legislation, co-sponsored by Congressman Bill Mccullum, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on India and Indian-Americans, and 17 other members of the Caucus, now goes before the full House of Representatives. UNI.
AL-NAMEL (Iraq): Iraqi archaeologists have discovered a circular 5,000-year-old temple that appears to have been used by Mesopotamians of a little-known culture, the head of the excavation team said on Thursday. Burhan Shakir, an archaeologist with Iraqs Antiquities Department, said the building, which is 600 sq metres, was discovered in March. AP
WASHINGTON: The US Senate has voted 90-10 to ban gambling on the Internet. The amendment by Sen Jon Kyl would extend the current US ban on interstate gambling on sports by telephone or wire to most other forms of gambling, including virtual casinos that allow interactive betting. AP
WASHINGTON: President Bill Clintons former top bodyguard and his former Deputy White House Chief of Staff have appeared before the grand jury investigating alleged presidential sex and cover-up. Larry Cockell, who until recently headed Mr Clintons secret service detail, arrived at the Federal courthouse at midday on Thursday shortly after Harold Ickes, a former top aide to Mr Clinton, who has testified before a different grand jury looking into another facet of the Monica Lewinsky case. Reuters
Viagra kills 39
NEW YORK: At least 39 men have died in the USA after taking the sex potency pill Viagra, reports said on Thursday. An additional 38 deaths which may be linked to use of the drug are being investigated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the New York Post said. DPA
McCurry to step down
WASHINGTON: Chief White House spokesman Michael McCurry, considered Washingtons master of spin, will step down later this year. The long-awaited coup in the Press office is finally taking place, President Bill Clinton joked to reporters who were startled when he suddenly appeared at their regular daily briefing on Thursday to announce the move. Mr McCurry will be replaced by his deputy, Mr Joe Lockhart, a longtime Democratic operative who served as the spokesman for Mr Clintons 1996 re-election campaign. The transition will take place at the end of the congressional session, which is expected in September, and before the November 3 mid-term legislative elections. AFP
PARIS: French actor Gerard Depardieu, often a villain on the screen, has been sentenced in real life for a drunk-driving accident in May when he crashed his motorcycle while driving to a film set. Depardieu was fined $1.664 and given a three-month suspended sentence and a 15-month driving ban. The maximum sentence would have been two years in jail and a five-year driving ban. Reuters
WASHINGTON: The hubble space telescope has discovered a cluster of big, baby stars, the youngest-ever observed in a galaxy close to ours, NASA has said. The huge and embryonic stars, enveloped in a thick cloud of luminous gases, are located in a small galaxy some 200,000/- light years from earth known to astronomers as Magellans little cloud, said the National Space and Aeronautics Administration on Thursday. AFP
KHARTOUM: Between 40 and 50 persons die daily in the famine-hit southern Sudanese town of Wau, a government minister said on Thursday. Most of the persons coming to the town from the rural areas arrived too malnourished to respond to treatment, the Minister of State in the Social Planning Ministry, Gen Hassan Dhahawi, said in a statement carried by the Sudan News Agency. DPA
LONDON: Upto 30,000 patients critically ill because of burns or shock have been killed by a treatment used as standard for more than 50 years, press reports said here on Friday. The research, described in the British Medical Journal and reported across the Press, suggested that two people a day have died since World War II after being treated with human albumin solution. AFP
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