|W O R L D||
Sunday, August 29, 1999
|Pak declares strikes as terrorist
ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 Amidst growing threats of a mass movement by opposition parties in Pakistan, a nervous Nawaz Sharif government has declared as "terrorist acts" creation of any "internal disturbance" through "illegal" strikes.
Rouge trial deal elusive
KAMPALA: The King of Uganda's Buganda tribe, one of Africa's most glorious and powerful 19th century kingdoms, Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi II, and his new wife, Queen Sylvier Nagginda, step out of church after their wedding at an Anglican cathedral near Kampala, Uganda, on Friday. the girl in front is an unidentified bridesmaid. AP/PTI
Mir crew back on earth
MOSCOW, Aug 28 The final full-time crew of Russias Mir space station landed safely in a deserted steppe in Kazakstan today, after bidding farewell to the rusty, leaky, 13-year-old orbiter in preparation for its abandonment next year.
US probe into Russian
for better ties with Mongolia
rail link snapped
Pak declares strikes as terrorist act
ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 (PTI) Amidst growing threats of a mass movement by opposition parties in Pakistan, a nervous Nawaz Sharif government has declared as "terrorist acts" creation of any "internal disturbance" through "illegal" strikes, go-slows or lockouts.
The government ordinance, which warned that such acts would be tried in a special anti-terrorist court, was promulgated by President Mohammad Rafiq Tarar last night.
The Anti-Terrorist (second amendment) Ordinance, 1999 replaces an earlier ordinance which could not be passed by Parliament and expired yesterday after its 120-day constitutional life.
The new ordinance slightly softens the definition of "creation of civil commotion", described as a terrorist act, by deleting such actions like wall-chalking and printing, distributing and pasting of handbills.
However, in the face of a barrage of onslaught from almost every opposition party, the government described in it strikes, lockouts and go-slows as "terrorist acts"
"The ordinance describes "creation of civil commotion" as a "terrorist act" and defines civil commotion as "creation of internal disturbance in violation of law, commencement or continuation of illegal strikes, go-slows, lockouts."
An opposition leader
alleged that the governments latest move was part
of its plan to crush the general strike called by
Pakistan Peoples Party and Muttahida Qaumi Movement
on September 4 in Sindh and Karachi and similar plans by
other parties in the first week of next month.
PoK police station burnt
ISLAMABAD, Aug 28 (UNI) An irate 20,000 strong mob burnt down a police station and blocked the Kerakoram highway in the northern part of Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) yesterday.
The mob, which was demanding the release of 15 persons, whom the police had arrested in connection with agitations for food, became violent when the police retaliated with heavy tear-gas firing.
The incident has occurred at a time when parts of PoK, which Pakistan calls northern areas, are tense because of the presence of Islamic militants in these areas. Early this month there were clashes between locals, who are mainly Shias, and the the militants, who are Sunnis, in Skardu.
The locals complain that despite the Supreme Courts order, Pakistan refuses to give them fundamental right. But when it came to the infiltration of Kargil they were given a call in the name of patriotism to fight in Kargil. However after the fight an impression was created that it was an exclusive show of the Islamic militants.
Khmer Rouge trial deal elusive
PHNOM PENH, Aug 28 (Reuters) Agreement on a proposed tribunal for Khmer Rouge leaders eluded Cambodian and UN negotiators today but both sides said they shared some common ground and would continue talks.
Control of a court for leaders of the 1975-79 Killing Fields regime remained the crucial issue.
Cambodia insisted that it should run what would be a potentially explosive trial and the United Nations was adamant that international standards of justice be met.
"There is some common ground between our two positions but there are also some differences which remain which have to be worked out, UN Assistant Secretary-General for Legal Affairs Ralph Zacklin told reporters.
"We will continue to work on these issues and we have agreed to exchange drafts in the next few weeks on the basis of the exchange of views that took place here today, he said after the two-and-a-half-hour talks.
The Cambodian team leader, senior minister without portfolio Sok An, said there was agreement on some points but the sides had failed to narrow the gap over who will be in charge of the trial.
"Each side maintains its own position but we understand each other more, Mr Sok An told a news conference.
The Cambodian side on Thursday presented the UN team with its own plan for a tribunal within the existing legal system with Cambodian judges and prosecutors keeping full control.
Mr Zacklin, in written comments on the Cambodian proposal obtained by Reuters today, acknowledged that the make-up and control of the court was the "fundamental divergence.
It was essential the court have a substantial international component for any trial of Khmer Rouge leaders to be judged fair and legitimate in the eyes of the world, Mr Zacklin wrote.
"This cannot be achieved by merely adding a number of foreign judges to the composition of the existing court system. he added.
Security Council meeting
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 28 (PTI) India has demanded that the UN Security Council and the international community take effective and meaningful measures to prevent the Taliban from committing inhuman crimes against the Afghan people and turning areas under their control into a breeding ground for international terrorism.
Participating in the day-long debate in the Security Council on the situation in Afghanistan, its UN Ambassador Kamlesh Sharma asked the council to send a loud and clear message to the perpetrators of these crimes that they would be made to face the consequences of their acts.
Without naming Pakistan, he also demanded an end to foreign interference in Afghanistan from across its southern borders.
Mr Sharma criticised the Taliban for spurning the offer of other Afghan leaders for the formation of a broad-based government which truly represents all political forces and ethnic groups and was dedicated to the task of national reconstruction.
He expressed Indias determination to play a positive role in bringing peace to the country and called for the formation of a broad-based government.
Emphasising that the Taliban and their foreign mentor could not be allowed to create and perpetuate ethnic divisions to pursue their vested interests, Mr Sharma said cessation of interference from across the southern borders was essential for the return of peace.
AP adds: Pakistan came under criticism in the Security Council on Friday for allegedly supporting Afghanistans Taliban militia and helping fuel its recent offensive with weapons and warriors.
China called for an arms embargo on all of Afghanistan, with monitoring mechanism to implement it a suggestion backed by Pakistan.
But Pakistan denounced recent suggestion by Russia to impose punitive sanctions against the Taliban, saying the move would only further impoverish Afghanistans long-suffering people.
including those from the USA, Russia and the Netherlands,
specifically asked Pakistan to end intervention in the
Afghan conflict a rarity in most council and
official UN comments.
Mir crew back on earth
MOSCOW, Aug 28 (AP) The final full-time crew of Russias Mir space station landed safely in a deserted steppe in Kazakstan today, after bidding farewell to the rusty, leaky, 13-year-old orbiter in preparation for its abandonment next year.
With grief in our soul .... were abandoning a piece of Russia, abandoning something we constructed in space, and its unclear what well build next, crew commander Viktor Afanasyev said in a televised communications session from the Mir late yesterday.
Moments later, Afanasyev, cosmonaut Sergei Avdeyev and French astronaut Jean-Paul Haignere climbed from the Mirs main module into a cramped Soyuz escape capsule and heaved the hatch shut. The Soyuz then smoothly detached from the Mir and headed for earth at 0247 IST today.
Doctors, colleagues and Haigneres astronaut wife met the crew when they landed at 0604 IST, said Valery Lyndin, spokesman at mission control north of Moscow. They hit the ground smoothly about 1,100 km northwest of Almaty, Kazakstan, and were being flown to the cosmonaut training centre near Moscow.
Mission control will soon switch off most of Mirs systems, including the central computer that keeps the stations solar panels facing the sun. Next spring, the Mir is scheduled to leave outer space, frying up in the atmosphere and scattering some remnants in the Pacific Ocean.
The crews departure marked a sad day for the space programme, which put the first satellite, first man and first woman in the cosmos - and now has no cash, no new projects entirely its own and a dim view of the future.
The Mirs demise will mark the end of by far the worlds longest-serving space station, which has hurtled around the earth more than 77,000 times, hosted more than 100 persons and survived more than 1,600 breakdowns, including a near-fatal collision with a supply ship in 1997.
But the Mir is also costing the cash-poor Russian Government more than it can handle - some estimates put it at $ 250 million a year - prompting the decision to abandon it.
The Russians are also under pressure from the US space agency NASA, which has long urged Russia to bring the Mir down and concentrate its scarce resources on a new NASA-led international space station which is behind schedule because of Moscows failure to build key components.
Yet Russian space
officials are reluctant to say goodbye to this last major
symbol of the Soviet space era, despite its age and
blemishes. They also fear that Russia will be left
playing second-fiddle to the USA on the new station.
US probe into Russian money scam
EDGARTOWN, (Massachusetts), Aug 28 (Reuters) The Federal authorities have briefed the White House on a widening investigation into allegations that Russian crime groups laundered money through US and European banks, a US official has said.
The White House also defended Vice President Al Gore against Republican criticisms that he should have known more about the alleged activities in his capacity as head of a broad-ranging US-Russia commission.
I can characterise most Republican criticism of the Vice President, its political, said White House spokesman Joe Lockhart, who was in Massachusetts vacationing with President Bill Clinton on Marthas Vineyard.
USA today reported that the investigation into possible money laundering was being expanded to include a wide variety of aid programmes to Russia, including concessionary grain sales, and that the full extent of the money laundering could exceed $ 15 billion.
Mr David Leavy, spokesman for the White House National Security Council, said Justice Department officials briefed senior NSC officials on the investigation at a meeting that lasted about an hour.
National Security adviser Sandy Berger was on vacation and did not take part, but would be filled in later, Mr Leavy said by telephone from Washington.
Kant for better ties with Mongolia
ULAAN BAATAR (Mongolia), Aug 28 (UNI) While reaffirming its desire to continue to cooperate positively in the economic growth of Mongolia, India today favoured working together closely at the multilateral level in the wake of a technological and information revolution.
Speaking at a banquet, hosted by Mongolian President N. Bagabandi, Vice-President Krishan Kant said joint efforts were needed to identify new opportunities and forge greater links in the economic field between the two countries. Mr Kant also offered to assist Mongolia in its newly-launched white revolution programme since India was the largest milk producer in the world.
Though our trade and economic relations have expanded in recent years, there is considerable potential for (greater) expansion. We are happy to note that Indian companies have won contracts in Asian Development Bank and World Bank aided projects in Mongolia, Mr Kant said, and added that signing of an agreement on tourism cooperation and air services recently would assist in promoting greater contact between the two countries.
satisfaction over the Indias economic
liberalisation programme, resulting in 6 per cent
economic growth, the Vice-President said the foundation
of Indias economy was sound and it was in the
process of integrating its economy with the international
Russia-Chechnya rail link snapped
MOSCOW, Aug 28 (UNI) All train services between the breakaway region of Chechnya and Russia were snapped today by Kremlin, according to a Novosti despatch from the Chechen capital Grozny.
The airlink between Chechnya and Russia had been terminated earlier. Chechnya is now completely isolated.
Though Kremlin has said these steps were taken due to technical difficulties, political observers are of the view that rising militancy was the real reason for Moscows drastic move.
|Concern over Popes Iraq trip
WASHINGTON: The US State Department has said the Vatican should consider the political implications of a possible visit by Pope John Paul to Iraq to celebrate the millennium. We have expressed our concerns in diplomatic channels because of the likelihood that the regime in Iraq would attempt to manipulate the visit for political purposes, State Department spokesman James Foley said on Friday. We have urged the Vatican to take this reality into account, he added. Reuters
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