|W O R L D||
Wednesday, September 2, 1998
Chernomyrdin to retain
halts food aid to
HANOVER : German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (center) surrounded by election posters of himself saying: "Worldclass for Germany," walks through a crowd of supporters of his Christian Democratic Party during an election rally in Hanover, northern Germany, on Monday night. AP/PTI
threaten British Govt
Teresas sainthood may
for ceasefire in Congo
place for Monica in comics
Chernomyrdin to retain 4 ministers
MOSCOW, Sept 1 (PTI) Amidst a standoff between Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Communist-dominated Lower House of Parliament, acting Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin today proposed a list of ministers for approval, even as his own nomination was shaky in the wake of the Communists determination to reject again his candidature in the Duma.
According to the list put forth by Mr Chernomyrdin to Mr Yeltsin for approval, the Ministers of Defence, (Igor Sergeyev), Interior, (Sergei Stopashin), Foreign Affairs (Yevgeny Primakov) and the all-powerful Federal Service looking after Internal Security, would retain their posts, the news agency Itar-Tass said quoting government staff.
The development came even as the President and the Communist Party asserted their firmness to stand by their positions.
While Mr Yeltsin said he would insist on Mr Chernomyrdin as his choice for Prime Minister despite the resounding rejection of his nomination yesterday by the Duma, Communist Party Leader Gennady Zyuganov said his faction would again reject the Prime Minister-designates candidature in the second vote scheduled next Monday.
I insist that Chernomyrdin be confirmed as Prime Minister as soon as possible... He is my candidate and I will insist on it. I, of course, will fight so that, literally in the course of the week
He will be confirmed as Prime Minister, Mr Yeltsin declared at a Moscow school to mark the start of Russias new academic year.
In a related development, chief of the Federal Security Service (FSB) Gen Vladmir Putin, ruled out use of force to defuse the political crisis, but warned that any attempts to rock the boat through unlawful means would be severely dealt with.
In an interview to NTV channel, General Putin said he had no instructions from either the Kremlin or the government to use force to deal with Mr Yeltsins Communist rivals.
We have plenty of force, but no desire to use it against our own people, said the chief of FSB, an offshoot of the dreaded Soviet KGB.
Earlier, the leader of Russias Communist Party, Mr Gennady Zyuganov, said his faction would again reject President Boris Yeltsins nominee for Prime Minister.
Our decision is firm we shall vote against the candidacy of (Victor) Chernomyrdin, Mr Zyuganov told reporters in the state Duma (Lower House of Parliament).
A third rejection of Mr Yeltsins nominee by the Duma would lead to the chambers dissolution and an early parliamentary election an expensive option at a time of deep economic crisis and one virtually certain to return a chamber even more hostile to Mr Yeltsin.
Asked about the prospect of an early dissolution, Mr Zyuganov said: What is at stake is not the dissolution of the Duma but the dissolution of the country.
Mr Zyuganov, whose party demands a radical change of economic policy and Mr Yeltsins resignation, ruled out the possibility of any Communists serving in a Yeltsin-backed Cabinet.
Duma hardliners, who are demanding greater control over key appointments and posts, yesterday rejected Mr Chernomyrdins candidature 251-94 votes, forcing ailing President Boris Yeltsin, (67) to re-nominate him setting the stage for a fresh showdown between the two sides.
Duma is to hold the repeat vote on September 7 amid a call by Speaker Gennady Selznyov to Mr Yeltsin to make up his mind on whether he intends to stick to the old economic policy, widely blamed for Russias troubles, or fundamentally alter it.
Japan halts food aid to N. Korea
TOKYO, Sept 1 (PTI) An enraged Japanese Government today halted food aid and other assistance to North Korea and suspended normalisation talks after a ballistic missile test-fired by Pyongyang overshot its airspace.
The government also decided to immediately review its policy towards North Korea at the hastily-convened security meeting following yesterdays test that strained ties between the two neighbours and attracted wide criticism.
Moving quickly to defuse the crisis, Washington, a key mediator in the region, called upon Pyongyang to exercise restraint while Russia and China expressed concern and called for talks to resolve the issue.
Japan also sent ships to the Pacific Coast to scour the seas for remnants of the missile tested by North Korea in an attempt to perfect its weapons, Kyodo news agency said.
Besides, Tokyo will seek to hold bilateral talks under US mediation with North Korea at the highest level to defuse the crisis, it said. At present, the two countries have no official contacts.
Tokyo agreed to jointly study with North Koreas arch rival South Korea, the reclusive Stalinist countrys missile programme. Seoul, has already condemned the tests as reckless and a threat to the region.
Muslims threaten British Govt
LONDON, Sept 1 (PTI) A self-styled umbrella organisation of a million strong Muslims in the UK, the Muslim parliament, has threatened the Labour Government of serious consequences if the new terrorism law was used against Islamic groups in the country.
The leader of the parliament, Dr Ghayasuddin Siddiqui, in a letter to Britains Prime Minister Tony Blair has threatened that Muslims in the country would reconsider their support to the Labour Party unless the new terrorism legislation was diluted.
The threat by self-claimed Muslim leaders here came as Mr Blair wrote to his party backbenchers warning them of urgent need for such a legislation to counter the growing threat of international terrorism.
The leglislation is being brought before the House of Commons tomorrow and its passage is expected by Thursday night.
The new legislation seeks to empower the state to keep tabs, take action, stop fund raising and fund networking of terrorist groups. The legislation provides for the prosecution of individuals and groups based here who organise terrorist and violent strikes elsewhere in the world.
The Muslim parliament and most of the Muslim dissident groups here are believed, by western intelligence agencies, to be fronts for radical terrorist as well as dissident groups. They are also said to be partly propped by intelligence agencies of oil rich Arab states and countries like Pakistan to keep tabs on them.
The Muslim parliament, which is a front organisation for Pakistani groups here, labelled Saudi millionaire Osama bin Laden, worlds most wanted international terrorist, as a Muslim dissident and termed the new legislation as a knee jerk reaction to Bin Ladens terror strikes world over.
Threatening to take to streets in Britain, Dr Siddiqui expressed the fear that the new legislation would affect all Muslim dissidents and the entire community, while admitting that the British security agencies could easily find evidence to prosecute Muslim groups.
He warned the Blair government that the legislation would make it an offence to support the movement in Kashmir and other lands and declared they planned to defy the law by indulging in open fund-raising in mosques for the purpose.
You would be
jeopardising relations with the Muslim community that
helped install your party into office. Confrontations and
civil disobedience may well become
inevitable, the Muslim groups threatened the
British Prime Minister.
Teresas sainthood may take time
VATICAN CITY, Sept 1 (AFP) While many may already think of Mother Teresa as a saint, any official canonisation will have to wait, under Vatican rules that require a five-year interval after a candidates death.
With the first anniversary of her death at the age 87 on September 5 last year, tributes to the diminutive yet media savvy nun who catered to Calcuttas poorest of the poor have again brought the question to the Vatican.
Even a person like Mother Teresa, whose selfless devotion to the downtrodden and oppressed helped win her the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize, cannot justify speeding up the process, said a Vatican spokesman.
All candidates for sanctification are equal before God, he said. The rules require a five-year wait before the path towards sainthood is started.
After her death, many voices within the Roman Catholic church tried to push for an exception in Mother Teresas case and urged her immediate canonisation. Among them was her close friend Italian Cardinal Pio Laghi, now 76, who argued that Mother Teresa had done what Jesus did 2,000 years ago.
In Rome, however, members of her Missionaries of Charity, a community of 2,500 nuns around the world who minister to the poor, sick and abandoned, uphold Vatican rules and have not pressed for any early start to the canonisation procedure.
Though Pope John Paul II simplified the process in 1983, the path towards sainthood is still a long one.
It starts with the local bishop in the diocese where the candidate lived, who must conduct a full inquiry into the acts, writings, and possible martyrdom of an individual whose reputation for holiness has been brought to the attention of religious authorities.
In the case of Mother Teresa, this would fall to the Calcutta diocese to collect of what the church refers to as the heroic virtue of the candidate, meaning their practice of the Christian virtues of faith, hope and charity to an outstanding degree.
Should this initial inquiry prove worthy in the bishops eyes, the file will be transferred to a special Vatican committee for a second look to see if it is deemed worthy enough to send on the Pope, who marks the final decision.
In his 20 years as
pontiff, John Paul II has broken church records for
pronouncing the most number of beatifications a
first formal step of the road to sainthood and
actual canonisations. As of August, he has beatified 803
people and canonised 279 saints.
UN for ceasefire in Congo
UNITED NATIONS, Sept 1 (Reuters) The Security Council has called for a ceasefire, the withdrawal of all foreign forces and the start of a political dialogue to end the war in the Democratic Republic of Congo.In a statement read at a formal meeting yesterday, the council also supported the territorial integrity of Congo and all regional diplomatic attempts aimed at a peaceful settlement of the conflict in the central African country.
The council called again for an international conference on peace, security and development in the region to be organised by the UN and the Organisation of African Unity (OAU).
It also said UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan should consult with regional leaders and the OAU about ways of bringing about a peaceful and durable solution to the conflict.
was the first official reaction from the 15-member body,
besides informal press statements, about the month-old
rebellion against President Laurent Kabilas
Kinshasa Government, which has drawn in troops from five
100 prisoners escape
JAKARTA, Sept 1 (AFP) About 100 prisoners escaped from a jail in the troubled Indonesian province of Aceh amid unrest following the pullout of soldiers and are still on the run, a prison official said today.
The prisoners broke out of the jail fearing their safety as rioters threatened to torch the penitentiary in Lhokseuawe, the main town in the North Aceh district, prison chief Kustopo Widodo told AFP.
No place for Monica in comics
WHEN I flew out of San Francisco Americans were basking in the warmth of an economically glowing summer. But by the time the plane hit the tarmac in London, Monica Lewinsky had produced her stained dress. The stock market crashed and the Washington Post began chorusing for a presidential replacement.
Unless those stocks rise soon, the American public, suddenly anxious about house payments and expensive vacation plans, may join the press in its next impeachment surprise.
The oddest element of the story is that British comics arent joking about this current political turmoil. At least not at the Edinburgh festival. Perhaps these comics are too afraid of risking their Perrier potential. Or maybe their middle-class, male sensibilities are offended by sperm in the Oval Office. How dreadful! They might say to one another in the Observer Assembly bar, while sipping a pint bought by a female fan they will probably forcibly handle later. We must keep sex out of politics, and in the public school toilets, where it belongs!
British comics are just not as political as their American counterparts. Which is strange, since American audiences are notoriously less politically savvy than the average British punter.
Its more important
for these boys to discuss some demanding slapper
theyve just shagged than to write jokes about a
well-educated woman, like Monica, who is challenging
sexual abuse in the workplace, and in so doing, is
changing the way Americans, and the rest of the world,
perceive the role of perhaps the most powerful person on
Writing jokes about this would be hard for the lads. Theyd have to find women interesting and worthy of respect. Better just stick to needy bitches. But if only the British boys would look a bit deeper, theyd find disapproving elements of the female sex within the Lewinsky/Clinton debacle. Take it from me, a fame-seeking white trash loud-mouth: while the questions she raises about impropriety are important, Ms Lewinsky, though steady and cool as a corpse, is a bit of a media whore.
|I mean, what
kind of girl keeps a date-soiled dress in a bag for 18
months? A poor girl with no money for dry cleaning? Or
perhaps the tackiest, most glory-hungry monster to hit
the headlines since Olympic figure-skating hopeful Tonya
Harding had her boyfriend attempt to eliminate her
horse-faced competition, Nancy Kerrigan, with a
tyre-iron. That story, seething in lasciviousness,
provided reams of material for many award-winning comics.
And this Lewinsky matter is just as ripe. The dress is
Monicas tyre-iron. If the DNA test proves
conclusive, that spunky cotton sheath will bring Clinton
to his knees. Or perhaps the existence of such evidence
will bring Lewinsky down. She already seems to know too
Im worried that if that husky girl doesnt shut up, she might wind up in a neck brace. Or worse. The President has some powerful friends. In school, they were called bullies. In Washington, theyre called the Secret Service.
Other than that, he shouldnt have bothered. And Monica Moo-insky. Shes as big as a house. Shes a blow-up doll with a helmet. I mean, he could do better. Hes the King of the World, for Christsake. His choices make American women look bad.
Maybe Clinton wants to be the pretty one in the relationship. And who doesnt? I know I do. Which means Ive had some pretty ugly guys in my lifetime. I have shared a bed with men who were so ugly I couldnt sleep. They looked like there shouldve been a foundation named after them. After I came, I wanted to donate something. Like a kidney.
I think I speak for the
comedy world when I say, Thank you, Monica. Just
keep it coming!
Dianas letter on sale
Scribe to be freed
Porn on Internet
Bank chiefs on
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