|W O R L D||
Saturday, November 21, 1998
|Starrs ethics adviser
WASHINGTON, Nov 20 Mr Kenneth Starrs ethics adviser, Mr Sam Dash, resigned today saying Mr Starr had "unlawfully intruded on the power of impeachment".
Israeli troop pullback begins
JENIN (West Bank), Nov 20 Israeli troops today began pulling out from parts of the northern West Bank, with army trucks deploying large black-and-yellow cement road markers at intersections to delineate the new boundaries, the Israeli army spokesman said.
Taliban closes Laden case
KABUL, Nov 20 The man the USA has declared enemy No 1 is a man without sin, Afghanistans hard line Islamic Taliban militia declared on Friday, saying that the case against Osama bin Laden was closed.
PoK group seeks Indias backing
LONDON, Nov 20 Another Kashmiri group has made a demand for Indian support to Kashmiris fighting for their rights in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir.
|Basic rights put on hold in
KARACHI, Nov 19 Pakistans Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today called in the army to quell violence in Karachi and suspended all fundamental rights in the southern Sindh province.
Lanka rules out mediation
charge against Yeltsin
Korea alert on border
Starrs ethics adviser quits
WASHINGTON, Nov 20 (Reuters, AFP) Mr Kenneth Starrs ethics adviser, Mr Sam Dash, resigned today saying Mr Starr had "unlawfully intruded on the power of impeachment".
In a resignation letter sent one day after Mr Starrs marathon testimony to the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee on possible impeachment of Mr Bill Clinton, Mr Dash accused Mr Starr of abusing the office of independent counsel.
"Against my strong advice, you decided to depart from your usual professional decision-making by accepting the invitation of the House Judiciary Committee to appear before the committee and serve as an aggressive advocate for the proposition that the evidence in your referral demonstrates that the President committed impeachable offences," he wrote.
"Frequently you have publicly stated that you have sought my advice in major decisions and had my approval," Mr Dash wrote in conclusion, "I cannot allow that inference to continue regarding your present abuse of your office and have no other choice but to resign."
In an impromptu news conference at his home, Mr Starr praised Mr Dash as "a total man of principle," adding, "when people do have principled disagreements ... The honourable thing to do is to say, I respect you but you have not taken my advice ... And so I respectfully resign."
earlier, the US President, Mr Bill Clintons private lawyer fired tough, rapid-fire questions at Mr Starr as a historic impeachment hearing drew to a close.
"Nothing in this overkill of investigation amounts to a justification for the impeachment of the President of the United States," Mr Kendall said in his opening statement yesterday to the House Judiciary Committee.
The behaviour of Mr Clinton the third US President to face impeachment hearings was peripheral to Mr Kendalls argument which sought to make out the independent counsels conduct at issue.
Mr Clintons allies have long sought to discredit Mr Starr, whose massive September report to Congress prompted the impeachment hearings.
A brief ripple of laughter through the chamber, when the two high-power rivals greeted each other by their first names, quickly dissipated as Mr Kendall began to cross-examine Starr, charging him with prosecutorial misconduct.
A gruelling day of
testimony and withering questioning at times seemed to
have taken its toll on Mr Starr, who briefly lost his
composure at one point and snapped "that is false
and you know it to be false."
Israeli troop pullback begins
JENIN (West Bank), Nov 20 (AP) Israeli troops today began pulling out from parts of the northern West Bank, with army trucks deploying large black-and-yellow cement road markers at intersections to delineate the new boundaries, the Israeli army spokesman said.
The pullback, which will give the Palestinians full or partial control of an additional 9.1 per cent of the West Bank, came a day after Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahus hard-line government reluctantly approved stage one of the new West Asia peace accord.
The withdrawal marks a point of no return for Mr Netanyahu who, since coming to power in May 1996, had zig-zagged on the peace process and now faces the loss of support of key allies and possibly early elections.
At 7.30 a.m. (local time), Israeli army trucks loaded with border markers began pulling out of the Dotan army base near Jenin, said the Israeli army spokesman, Lt-Col Sharon Grinker. Soldiers were to deploy the 130 markers at road junctions throughout the morning.
At the same time, the Israeli West Bank commander, Major Gen Moshe Yaalon, and the commander of the Palestinian forces, Brig-Gen Ismail Jaber, reviewed the redeployment plans at an Israeli-Palestinian liaison office near Jenin.
Two per cent or 110 square km, of the west bank is being transferred from sole Israeli control to joint jurisdiction. In addition, 7.1 per cent of the land, or 400 sq km, moved from joint jurisdiction to sole Palestinian control.
Todays withdrawal marks stage one of a three-phase pullback that is to be completed by the end of January. By then, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat will have full or partial control of 40 per cent of the West Bank and will have moved a significant step closer to establishing an independent state.
As part of the agreement, Israel also pledged to release 750 Palestinian prisoners, with the first group of 250 to be freed later today.
At Qabatieh, a town of 17,000 Palestinians just south of Jenin that would come under full Palestinian control today, most residents were more concerned about jailed relatives than about the arrival of the Palestinian authority forces.
Our happiness depends on the release of our son, said Awad Ali Kamil, whose son, Ahmed, was sentenced to 16 life terms by an Israeli military court in 1993 for killing Palestinians accused of collaborating with Israel. What is the meaning of peace? It is the release of prisoners, he said.
To Jewish settlers in the area, the pullback meant new anxiety, and some were toying with the idea of returning to Israel.
We moved here for peace and quiet, but if we dont feel safe, we are wasting our time, said Miri Deutsch, (47), a woman at Ganim settlement of 51 families which after the pullback will be surrounded on three sides by Palestinian-controlled areas.
The beginning of the withdrawal was expected to give new impetus to government hardliners to try and topple Mr Netanyahu. Early elections are in the air, said Emanuel Rosen, a political commentator on Israel TVs channel II. If Mr Netanyahus coalition unravels, he could be forced to hold new elections, he added.
JERUSALEM (Reuters): Israel and the Palestinian Authority signed an accord today on opening the first airport on Palestinian-ruled land, the Palestinian Chief of Aviation said.
An agreement has been reached on the airport, Mr Fayez Zaidan, Aviation Authority Director, said, adding that the airport on Gaza Strip, an economic lifeline which Palestinians see as a symbol of sovereignty, would be inaugurated on Sunday.
Mr Zaidan said the airport would be inaugurated with the arrival of a Royal Air Maroc plane from Casablanca, (Morocco) along with Palestinian President Yasser Arafats plane from El-Arish in Egypt, where it had been kept.
Since Arafats arrival in self-ruled Gaza four years ago, he has travelled by land to El-Arish to catch his plane before flying abroad.
Israeli aviation officials
said countries formally at war with Israel, such as
Syria, would be barred from using the airport although
planes from countries lacking ties with Israel would be
allowed under the new peace deal.
Taliban closes Laden case
KABUL, Nov 20 (AP) The man the USA has declared enemy No 1 is a man without sin, Afghanistans hard line Islamic Taliban militia declared on Friday, saying that the case against Osama bin Laden was closed.
A three-week inquiry headed by Afghanistans Chief Justice Noor Mohammed Saqib into allegations that Laden is waging a war of terror against the USA ended today.
Its over and America has not presented any evidence, Saqib said in an interview at the Supreme Court building in the Afghan capital.
Without any evidence, Laden is a man without sin ... he is a free man, he said Laden has been living in Afghanistan for years with the permission of the Taliban, who control most of the country.
A US court has indicted Laden in connection with the August 7 bombings of the two US embassies in East Africa that killed 224 persons. Two weeks ago, Washington offered a $ 5 million reward for the capture of Laden, something the Taliban said was tantamount to encouraging terrorist activity inside their war-shattered country.
Mr Saqib said he waited in vain in this cavernous office, stark but for a large ornately carved wooden desk and a bouquet of brightly coloured plastic flowers, for American officials to provide evidence of Ladens involvement in terrorist activity.
It is their shame that they have been silent, said Mr Saqib.
America is wrong about Laden ... Anything that happens now anywhere in the world they blame Osama, but the reality is in the proof and they have not given us any.
Laden, a Saudi Arabian who was thrown out of his homeland for advocating the ouster of the Saudi royal family, is believed by the USA to be using bases in Afghanistan to train and finance Islamic terrorist groups worldwide who target US interests and US citizens.
Space station put into orbit
BAIKONUR (Kazakstan), Nov 20 (AP) A Russian proton booster rocket carried the first part of the international space station into orbit today, heralding the start of a new era in international space colonisation.
Russian space officials and others cheered as ground control announced that the capsule had separated from its booster rocket and reached its first orbit at about 200 km above the earth.
Success, shouted one exultant official some 10 minutes after the giant rocket blasted off and entered orbit.
The heads of the space agencies of 16 nations participating in the project watched the lift-off from a distance of about 5 km. Strategic rocket forces troops who had prepared the launch were in underground bunkers to avoid poisoning by the highly toxic rocket fuel.
The launch went smoothly, with the giant rocket soaring into the cloudy sky above the central Asian Steppes. The huge roar of the rocket reverberated for dozens of kilometres across the empty plain around the base.
The mood at the launch pad was tense before the launch, with space officials and workers anxiously making last-minute checks to ensure there were no problems.
PoK group seeks Indias
LONDON, Nov 20 Another Kashmiri group has made a demand for Indian support to Kashmiris fighting for their rights in Pakistan- occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The demand this time comes from the Jammu and Kashmir Peace Committee headed by Mohammed Anwar Khan. It follows as similar call made earlier by several pro-independence groups on the Pakistani side.
Khans outfit, which claims to represent many groups opposing Pakistani rule in Kashmir, has called for the Indian Government to take this matter directly to the right party the people of Kashmir on the other side of the Line of Control, without any further delay.
If Pakistan can send troops and terrorists across the Line of Control, Khan said in a statement issued here, there is nothing wrong in the Indian government developing peaceful political contact with the secular democratic Kashmiris in the Pakistan side of Kashmir.
If the Indian government can do so openly and effectively, it can help find a speedy solution to the ongoing trouble in Kashmir, Khan said. For the last 51 years, he said, the Indian Government has been negotiating with the wrong party the trespasser.
Shaukat Ali Kashmiri, who had led the pro-independence groups similar demand a little over a year ago, went missing soon after. Kashmiri, who has not been seen or heard of since, had spoken of being let down by the Indian Government which, he alleged, lays claim on all of Kashmir but ignores Kashmiris on the Pakistani side.
The fresh demand by Khans group highlights the unrest brewing in PoK for fundamental rights. In the northern areas under Pakistani occupation, people cannot vote in the Pakistani assembly and they do not have a state assembly of their own.
Khan said his group is speaking for a growing secular movement in the Pakistani side of Kashmir. Support for any jihad (religious war) across the border in India has declined significantly in recent years, he told IANS.
The groups also say that as Pakistan is occupying their land without any talk of giving it up, it is Islamabad and not New Delhi that is blocking plebiscite in the region.
Basic rights put on hold in Sindh
KARACHI, Nov 19 (AP) Pakistans Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif today called in the army to quell violence in Karachi and suspended all fundamental rights in the southern Sindh province.
Mr Sharif announced setting up of military courts in Karachi the capital of Sindh province to try trouble-makers. These courts will decide cases within days, not weeks and months, he said.
The decision has been taken to protect lives of the people and is in the larger interest of the city and the country, the Prime Minister told reporters.
Mr Sharif last month dismissed the elected provincial government of Sindh after widespread political violence killed more than 1,000 people in Karachi this year, paralysing economic activity.
Lanka rules out mediation
JOHANNESBURG, Nov 20 (PTI) Sri Lanka has ruled out third party mediation to bring about a peaceful settlement with the LTTE but offered a fresh round of peace talks with the rebels.
Colombos refusal to third party mediation comes after British Deputy Foreign Secretary Derek Fatchett, who visited the island nation last week, offered Britains willingness to step in for mediation if approached by the Lankan Government.
Sri Lanka did not
believe in mediation at the moment because mediation
often created a great deal of problems, Sri Lankan
Foreign Minister Lakshman Kadirgamar told PTI during his
just-concluded South African trip.
Bribery charge against Yeltsin
MOSCOW, Nov 20 (AFP) The Russian state Duma will investigate allegations that several business-men ceded their right to revenue from shares in the semi-private ORT Television, to President Boris Yeltsin, in what is claimed as a disguised bribe arrangement, Interfax reported.
Mr Yeltsin is allegedly entitled to benefit from 26 per cent of the shares of ORT, according to Communist Deputy Viktor Ilyukhin, one of the Presidents fiercest opponents.
Speaking on Wednesday in the lower chamber of Parliament, Mr Ilyukhin said the power of attorney given by several business men to Mr Yeltsin, amounted to a bribe in disguise.
S. Korea alert on border
SEOUL, Nov 20 (Reuters) South Korea today issued a high security alert on its sea border with North Korea after firing warning shots at an unidentified ship which had sailed into its waters, the Defence Ministry said.
We issued a high level of security alert on the Kangwha island around 1800 GMT as we need to investigate whether an unidentified ship which appeared in our waters early in the morning is linked with North Korea, a ministry spokesman said.
|Shockwaves over boys suicide
BONN: The suicide by a 16-year-old Indian boy lodged in a German prison has shocked the Indian community in Germany and led the authorities to take another look at the way asylum seekers are currently dealt with. The boy, whose name is being withheld because he was a minor, hanged himself in his cell in Halle in Saxony-Anhalt state on November 16. According to the Justice Ministry, he had been in prison since September 20 pending deportation and was to have returned to India on or before February 1, 1999. The authorities said the boy had been smuggled into Germany on September 18 via Moscow and Prague. IANS
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