|W O R L D||
Sunday, January 10, 1999
|Clintons trial from
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 The US Senate has unanimously approved a historic impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, starting next week, but left the issue of calling witnesses unresolved even as the White House vowed to defend him vigorously.
FREETOWN, Jan 9 The leader of a ruthless guerrilla army roaming the streets of Sierra Leones capital has rejected a proposed ceasefire.
charges: Butler questions USA
|USA to maintain weapons superiority
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 The USA has drawn up a strategy to maintain its weapons superiority over potential enemies in a world marked by fast spread of technology, a defence news report said.
is not over-emotional, says mother
Clintons trial from Jan 13
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (PTI) The US Senate has unanimously approved a historic impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton, starting next week, but left the issue of calling witnesses unresolved even as the White House vowed to defend him vigorously.
The trial will begin on Wednesday with 13 House Republican prosecutors and Mr Clintons defence team being given 24 hours each to present their cases and Senators 16 hours to put questions, according to the plan approved by 100-0 votes.
Following the decision, the Senate Sergeant of Arms, Mr James Ziglar, delivered the summons notifying Mr Clinton of the impeachment trial to White House counsel Charles Ruff who received the four-page document on behalf of the President.
Mr Clinton has to reply to the summons, which outlines the charges against him perjury and obstruction of justice in the Monica Lewinsky case by noon on Monday.
The Senate, however, left the issue of summoning the witnesses during the trial unresolved, with a decision being taken to have a vote on it, assuming the House votes to proceed with the trial.
The White House, meanwhile, vowed to conduct a "vigorous, successful and complete" defence of Mr Clinton.
White House special counsel Greg Craig told reporters that Mr Clintons defence team was optimistic and confident that the trial would not go beyond the opening phase.
"The Senate has decided how it wants to proceed. We respect that, and in accordance with procedures adopted by the Senate, we plan to present on behalf of the President a vigorous, successful and complete defence," he said.
"We are optimistic and confident that the Senators, once they see and hear this defence in this opening phase of the trial, will conclude that the articles (of impeachment) do not justify or warrant conviction or removal from office. We remain hopeful that this matter can be resolved expeditiously and fairly," he said.
According to the Senate plan, there will also be a vote on whether the witnesses should be heard in closed or open session. All these votes require only a simple majority in a House where the Republicans control 55 out of 100 votes.
Only a vote to remove the President from office requires a two-thirds majority.
It is reported that those who contributed to the Senate decision included Democrats Robert Byrd, Thomas Daschle who is the party leader in the Senate, and Edward Kennedy.
What the White House reportedly dreads is the possibility of former White House intern Lewinsky testifying in public on her alleged affair with Mr Clinton.
If that happens and she contradicts Mr Clintons grand jury testimony, he could be in real trouble, according to analysts.
Meanwhile the summons notifying President Bill Clinton of his impeachment trial in the Senate arrived at the White House on a snowy evening, but the President was not home.
White House counsel Charles Ruff received the four-page document on Mr Clintons behalf in the White House Staff Secretarys office, and there was little ceremony to the event, White House spokesman Amy Weiss said.
A White House photographer took a picture, but it would not be released, she said.
Ms Weiss said it was not known whether Mr Clinton could see the summons, which demanded a response by Monday evening.
The summons was affixed with a Senate seal and witnessed by US Senator Strom Thurmond, the 96-year-old South Carolina Republican serving as President Pro Tempore of the Senate.
It spells out the two articles of impeachment approved against Mr Clinton by the US House of Representatives, on charges of perjury and obstruction of Justice in connection with the Presidents affair with Monica Lewinsky.
Rebel commander rejects ceasefire
FREETOWN, Jan 9 (AP) The leader of a ruthless guerrilla army roaming the streets of Sierra Leones capital has rejected a proposed ceasefire and vowed his fighters would continue an offensive against government troops.
Gen Sam Bockarie of the Revolutionary United Front announced that within 24 hours his forces would attack the western parts of Freetown still under government control and then move against the international airport at nearby Lungi, an important military base.
Already, parts of this West African capital have been set ablaze.
There is no ceasefire, General Bockarie told the Associated Press in a telephone interview. We will take the rest of the city and save our country, he added.
General Bockarie has been demanding the release of the rebels patriarch, Foday Sankoh, who has been jailed by the government and sentenced to death on charges of high treason. He dismissed the seven-day ceasefire announced on Thursday by Sankoh and elected President Ahmed Tejan Kabbah.
We do not recognise Kabbah, we will not talk to Kabbah, he is ousted, General Bockarie declared.
With eastern and central parts of Freetown in rebel hands, UN efforts to mediate peace in this nation of 4.5 million people have fallen on deaf ears.
Sierra Leones defence forces have failed to dislodge the insurgents, who have successfully employed such tactics as hiding among civilians and using them as human shields. The latest fighting erupted a month ago.
The UN, which pulled out of Sierra Leone earlier in the week, returned for a few hours on Friday to evacuate its last remaining representative and aid workers from other relief agencies.
What is important is that there is a ceasefire, said the UNs special envoy to Sierra Leone, Mr Francis Okelo, who returned for brief consultations with government leaders before heading back to neighbouring Guinea.
The West African defence force that is defending Kabbahs government has been scrambling to reinforce its positions with supplies and arms.
Aboard a military transport helicopter, gunmen at the ready peeked through potholes on Friday as the chopper moved ashore and skimmed a small hill, banked hard to the left and settled to the ground in a roaring blast of dust and sand.
For the return trip across the water to Lungi airport, a dozen civilians and government functionaries crammed into the Russian-made MI-8 to flee Sierra Leones shattered capital.
Hundreds of rebels, who advocate a vague mixture of agrarian democracy and revolutionary socialism, battled their way into Freetown earlier this week.
The result is a city in flames. Homes, schools, a hospital and even police headquarters have been burned. Terrified residents have been dragged from their homes.
Civilians who managed to escape are worried about their uncertain future.
If they take over,
they will kill us all, said Saidu Koroma,
who escaped the city to Lungi aboard a military
evacuation flight on Friday. Id rather be
dead, Id rather they kill everyone in the country
before we see them in power, he added.
Panel blames US agencies for lapses
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (PTI) A government probe into the August bombings of two US embassies in East Africa has held several security agencies responsible for security lapses and has asked the security budget for embassies be raised by $ 1.4 billion.
The commission headed by retired Admiral William Crowe, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, yesterday condemned the collective failure of the US Government over the past decade to prepare for terrorist attacks of the kind that levelled the embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam.
Responsibility for this failure can be attributed to several administrations and their agencies, the National Security Council, and the Office of Management and Budget as well as the US Congress, it said in a report.
The Crowe panel, appointed by Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, recommended the government should spend $ 1.4 billion a year over the next 10 years to improve security at US embassies.
That is in addition to the $ 1.4 billion added to the State Departments security budget by the Congress and the Clinton Administration after the August bombings.
The panel asked that all overseas US facilities should be brought up to the standards recommended in 1985 by a similar panel headed by former CIA Deputy Director Bobby Inman.
Systematic and institutional failures in Washington were responsible for a flawed process for assessing threat levels worldwide which underestimated the threat of terrorism in Nairobi, it said.
The Crowe panel said US Ambassador in Nairobi Prudence Bushnell had drawn attention to terrorist threats well before the bombings.
US officials, it charged, had tended to ignore general warnings and relax their guard in the absence of intelligence reports describing specific dangers.
Despite that the US marine
barracks and US Embassy in Beirut had been blown up in a
truck bombing in 1996, US officials failed to take
precautions against such truck bombings in Nairobi and
Dar Es Salaam, it added.
UNITED NATIONS, Jan 9 (PTI) Controversial UN Chief Arms Inspector Richard Butler has sought an explanation from the USA about reports that Washington used his inspectors for its own spying purposes in an apparent bid to clear his name.
Mr Butler, who angrily brushed off rumours last week that he passed on classified Iraqi information to the USA, held talks with US Ambassador to the UN Peter Burleigh yesterday over allega-tions that Washington used the UNSCOM to spy on Iraq.
I have consulted today and last night with senior US officials with respect to assistance provided by the USA to the UNSCOM, Mr Butler said in a statement shortly after the meeting.
I call attention to the statement made by the State Department spokesman on January 7, namely that US support was specifically tailored to facilitate the UNSCOM, the UN inspectors mission, and for no other purpose and was done at the direct request of the commission, he said.
This accords with the facts known to me, he said leaving the door wide open to speculation that the USA might have used its expertise in some fields to spy on Iraq without his knowledge.
A Butler aide said the statement was so worded because its upto the Americans to speak for themselves on the issue of whether Washington piggy-backed on the UN operations for spying purposes.
USA to maintain weapons superiority
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (PTI) The USA has drawn up a strategy to maintain its weapons superiority over potential enemies in a world marked by fast spread of technology, a defence news report said.
The authorities are making a strategy to maintain US technical superiority over potential enemies, the paper said, quoting Deputy Defence Secretary John Hamre.
Hamre, in a memo to the Defence Secretarys strategic study group has asked officials to study four principal issues concerned with the US defence technology in an age dominated by the rapid worldwide dissemination of hi-tech.
The group will study about US ability to sustain threats from potential enemies, its ability to develop trade and security policies that control the flow of key technologies, implication of migration to open networks essential for military applications.
However, the US industry is worried that the Hamre approach will lead to new controls, placing it at a commercial disadvantage against competitors.
Tintin turns 70 on Sunday
BRUSSELS, Jan 9 (AP) Tintin turns 70 on Sunday, and though the cartoon character has almost outgrown his target audience, children from seven to 77, his appeal remains timeless.
Since the reporter with the blond tuft of hair first appeared on January 10, 1929, in The Adventures of Tintin in the Land of the Soviets, he and his talking dog, Snowy, have confronted mad scientists and spies around the globe and earned the adulation of millions.
Tintin is there to keep justice and promote friendship, so it is a very humanitarian theme, said Tchang Yi-Fei, who runs a boutique in Brussels devoted to Tintin. She also is the daughter of Chang Chong-Jen, the consultant who became a character in the Tintin adventures.
Hes getting ever more popular, said Yuriko Naruse, a fan from Nagano, Japan, who was at the store purchasing Tintin birthday cards and T-shirts.
To commemorate the anniversary, publisher Casterman is republishing the original Tintin book, long out of print.
Although the book is artistically removed from the beauty of later volumes and features an elementary, sometimes incoherent, storyline, some, like French lawmaker Andre Santini, call Tintin creator Herge a visionary considering the later breakup of the Soviet Union.
In the book, Tintins newspaper sends him to the Soviet Union to check out whats happening. The Soviets are seen showing off thriving factories to British Communists who all take it in with comments like very nice and beautiful
Dashing Tintin, however, does investigative reporting and finds out that factories are fake potemkin plants, with nothing behind the facade.
He goes on to protect farmers from soldiers who come and steal their wheat, making sure they will not starve. Later, he finds wheat is used for export with the proceeds used for Soviet propaganda.
While the Russian people are dying, vast amounts of wheat are being exported to show the so-called riches of the Soviet paradise, Tintin comments.
The 5,00,000 printing is only in French, unlike some volumes, which have been published in 58 languages.
Russians have been asking for a translation, but they still have to wait, Tchang said.
Tintins adventures took him to the Soviet Union and Africa, the opium dens of the Far East and the skyscrapers of America, and even the moon. Herge, the pen name for Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, used a unique style of solid, unbroken lines that make dramatic perspectives.
Tintin may be Belgian to the core, but the French have adopted him as their fictive son.
In Paris, the National Assembly is preparing a February 3 discussion with the heady title: Tintin: Is he from the Left or from the Right? The socialists and the right-wing parties are already sharpening their knives.
The late French President, General Charles de Gaulle, even once grumbled that deep down, my only international rival is Tintin.
The series was so successful that after the end of Tintins adventures in the Soviet Union, his return home from Russia to Brussels was re-staged in 1930 with actors. Hundreds of children showed up.
Hillary is not over-emotional, says mother
WASHINGTON, Jan 9 (AFP) US First Lady Hillary Clinton does not confide anything personal in her mother, the older woman revealed in a rare interview out t his week, and she isnt over-emotional.
But the popular wife of beleaguered President Bill Clinton is a very sensitive person, Dorothy Rodham reportedly told the glossy magazine Vanity Fair in its February edition.
But she is able not to over-emotionalise it. She doesnt go into one of these horribly overwrought kinds of tizzies. Thats one thing I never did either, she said.
In a lengthy profile of
the First Lady, the sort of work for which she is famous,
journalist Gail Sheehy tries to understand what keeps the
Clinton together despite the Presidents admitted
2 new solar systems
AUSTIN, Jan 9 (AFP)
Armed with unprecedented images from the powerful Hubble
telescope, US astronomers said they had unique
information of the formation of two new solar systems.
The images show two rings, similar to those around
Saturn, around two stars within our galaxy, which could
contain one or more, as yet invisible, new planets.
The rings surrounding the Ginat planets in our own
solar system are held in place by the gravitational force
of moons orbiting nearby, said Mr Brad Smith of the
University of Hawaii.
|India only free country
in S. Asia
WASHINGTON: Pluralistic India is the only free country in South Asia, a leading US think tank that ranks nations as per the comparative degree of political freedom and civil liberties enjoyed by its citizens has said. All other nations in the region fall either under the category of not free or partly free as per the latest ranking of Freedom House made public last week. The Maldives and Bhutan are not free while Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are partly free, it said. PTI
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |