|W O R L D||
Sunday, June 20, 1999
|G-7 to cut poor nations debt
COLOGNE, June 19 Wealthy industrial countries reached an agreement on a plan to offer as much as $100 billion in debt relief to 33 of the worlds poorest countries.
to end aggression
HELSINKI: US Secretary of Defence William Cohen (right) and Russian Minister of Defence Igor Sergeyev sign the agreement on Russia's participation on Kosovo's KFOR peacekeeping operation. AP/PTI
IMF threat to Russia
MOSCOW, June 19 Still not fully recovered from the shock of Russian paratroopers taking over Pristina airport, the West has indicated that if Moscow does not coordinate its military contingents movements with those of NATO in the Kosovo peace-keeping operations, it might be deprived of $ 4.5 billion promised credit from the International Monetary Fund.
USA to restrict access to
G-7 to cut poor nations debt
COLOGNE, June 19 (AP) Wealthy industrial countries reached an agreement on a plan to offer as much as $100 billion in debt relief to 33 of the worlds poorest countries.
U.S President Bill Clinton called the action a historic step, but religious groups that have pushed the rich nations to be more generous complained that the initiative fell far short of what is needed to relieve a crushing burden of debt on the worlds most destitute.
Mr Clinton and other leaders of the worlds seven largest economies the United States of America, Japan, Germany, France, Britain, Italy and Canada approved the debt proposal yesterday during the opening session of their 25th annual economic summit.
The G-7 agreement we reached today is historic step to help the worlds poorest nations achieve sustained growth and independence while targeting new resources for poverty reduction, education and combating aids, Mr Clinton said in a statement. It represents a sound, human effort to promote widely shared prosperity in the new millennium.
The debt relief represented the leaders response to an aggressive global lobbying campaign led by Jubilee 2000, a coalition of religious groups. They expressed disappointment that the G-7 leaders did not go further.
Mr Gene Sperling, Director of Mr Clintons National Economic Council, told reporters that the new debt initiative would expand the current 26 countries eligible for debt relief to 33, and greatly increase the amount of debt eligible for reduction.
Figures on the debt reduction effort differed slightly in the fact sheets distributed by the various G-7 nations. But in broad outlines, the programme would take $127 billion of debt being carried by the 33 nations the bulk of them in sub-Saharan Africa and reduce it by $89 billion, according to a U.S. fact sheet.
The Group of Seven yesterday agreed on recommendations to strengthen financial regulation in industrial countries and bolster the financial systems of emerging nations. In a departure, they also outlined ways in which private investors can help to stop financial crises before they happen an idea that had been resisted by U.S. President Bill Clinton.
However, many of the measures outlined by leaders involved tighter enforcement of existing rules in the financial markets.
The leaders agreed to promote stability of the international monetary system and exchange rates among major currencies that are in line with fundamentals. A focus of new regulatory efforts should be highly speculative hedge funds and so-called offshore banking centres, they said.
The G-7 said its strategy also requires that private creditors and investors bear responsibility for the risks that they take, and are involved appropriately in crisis prevention and crisis management.
The leaders urged private firms to strengthen their own risk management and countries with close relations to offshore centres to exert pressure on them to comply with international regulatory standards.
Pak told to end aggression
WASHINGTON, June 19 (PTI) US Democratic Congressman Sherrod Brown has asked Pakistan to end all aggression in the Indian side of the Line of Control (LoC) and recognise the principle of peace and security in the region.
In a statement issued by Mr Brown after Indian Ambassador Naresh Chandra called on him yesterday, the senior member of The US House International Relations Committee said: Pakistan must end all aggression against India in the region (the Indian side of LoC).
While the dispute over Kashmir continues, the people and Government of India abide by the principle of stability, peace and security. It is long past time the Pakistani Government also recognise this principle, the statement said.
On relaxing the US sanctions imposed on India and Pakistan after they conducted nuclear tests last year, the Chairman of the India Caucus Health Task Force said there was need for Congress to approve suspension of the sanctions.
Stating that India
already has taken enormous strides to control the
escalation of nuclear weapons testing in South Asia and
reduce regional tension, Mr Brown said it was
important that Congress retain The Pressler Amendment
preventing US sale of arms to Pakistan.
Pact on Russian role in Kosovo
HELSINKI, June 19 (Reuters) The USA and Russia signed an agreement ending a stand-off over Moscows peacekeeping role in Kosovo as Serb forces raced to meet the deadline for their pullout from the Yugoslav province.
U.S. Defence Secretary William Cohen and Russian Defence Minister Igor Sergeyev signed the agreement in Helsinki last night after three days of intense negotiations.
Mr Cohen said the agreement giving the Russians a role in the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping force met two fundamental requirements.
It preserves the unity of command necessary to make KFOR an effective military force and gives Russia a unique role by providing for operations of Russian forces within KFOR sectors run by the United States, France and Germany, Mr Cohen said.
He said the two sides had also agreed to reopen the airport at the Kosovo capital, Pristina, to all members of the peace force. A small contingent of Russian troops had seized the airport in a move that caught NATO by surprise a week ago.
Mr Sergeyev said Russia would provide 3,600 troops for the peacekeeping force, which is due to total around 50,000.
The Russian contingent will remain under the complete political-military control of the Russian side, he said.
Mr Cohen said KFOR officers would have tactical control over the Russians.
A delighted U.S. President Bill Clinton said in the German Rhine city of Cologne that he expected the agreement would be honoured.
IMF threat to Russia
MOSCOW, June 19 (UNI) Still not fully recovered from the shock of Russian paratroopers taking over Pristina airport, the West has indicated that if Moscow does not coordinate its military contingents movements with those of NATO in the Kosovo peace-keeping operations, it might be deprived of $ 4.5 billion promised credit from the International Monetary Fund.
The money was being planned to be released by December, sources here disclosed. They were referring to the prospects of east-west collaboration in the background of the G-8 summit that began in Cologne yesterday.
The political world is awaiting tomorrows meeting between Presidents Bill Clinton and Boris Yeltsin.
Novosti correspondent Yuri Phillipov opines that besides the Balkans the talks will look into the situation in West Asia, Kashmir, Afghanistan and Korea. The last summit between the Presidents took place here nearly a year ago in a different political climate, observes the recently-launched Russian journal Vlast. This time the sides face situations fraught with unforseen political pitfalls.
Russia has been denied an air corridor by Hungary and Bulgaria, allegedly at NATO insistence. The corridor would have enabled sending of reinforcements to Pristina where some 200 Russian paratroopers are facing the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
To overcome the problem, the defence ministry is planning to adopt different routes, indicates the daily Segodnya. It speaks of the 11,500-km route via the United Arab Emirates and Libya.
Another alternative is sending naval vessels via Dardanelles. The Kremlin realises the political hurdles from adopting such a course, but is determined to safeguard its interests in the Balkans, note official sources.
That political circles here are sore over NATOs role in Serbia was confirmed by a Duma resolution passed yesterday which unanimously supported a demand by Cuba to declare NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana a war criminal.
Cuba had demanded on June 1 that Mr Solana be punished for being instrumental in carrying out genocide on Serb land.
Voice of Russia disclosed last night that the Serb church had made an urgent appeal to the Vatican to bring all churches and monasteries in Kosovo under its protection, as ethnic Albanians have begun destroying them.
USA to restrict access to labs
WASHINGTON, June 19 (PTI) In the face of alleged leaking of US nuclear secrets into China, a special investigative panel of the Presidents Foreign Intelligence Advisory board has recommended strong enforcement of restrictions on sensitive foreign visitors to the countrys nuclear weapons labs.
The weapons labs foreign visitors programme is a productive one and should continue but both the agency and the weapons labs, in concert, must ensure that secrets are protected, the panel says in its report.
The recommendations are
assumed to be an indirect reference to the fact that the
Chinese either stole or obtained from US companies the
designs and test results on all modern American nuclear
and thermonuclear weapons and Americas unrivalled
guidance system for both civilian rockets and military
Einsteins brain was
Size matters in science. Einsteins brain, according to new research, was not bigger than most, but it was 15 per cent wider in the crucial areas which are responsible for mathematical thought.
The first study of the anatomy of Albert Einsteins brain, measured and preserved after his death at the age of 76 in 1955, represents a venture on to sensitive terrain.
Sandra Witelson and her colleagues from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, focused instead on the Parietal lobes where the generation and manipulation of three-dimensional spatial images and the mathematical representation of concepts essential to thinking through the theory of relativity are thought to take place.
In their study, published in the Lancet medical journal in the UK, the scientists found that Einsteins brain weight was not different from that of controls, clearly indicating that a large (heavy) brain is not a necessary condition for exceptional intellect.
Because of extensive development of the inferior parietal region on both sides of his brain, his brain was 15 per cent wider than other brains studied.
Visual-spatial cognition, mathematical thought, and imagery of movement are strongly dependent on this region, the researchers say.
A costly comma
LONDON, June 19 (AP) The US-based aerospace group Lockheed Martin Corporation lost $ 70 million because a sales contract had a comma in the wrong place.
An international contract for the groups C-130J Hercules had the comma misplaced by one decimal point in the equation that adjusted the sales price for changes to the inflation rate, The Financial Times reported yesterday.
It was a mistake, the newspaper quoted James a. Micky Blackwell, President of Lockheeds aeronautics division as saying. But the customer, whom Lockheed refused to name, held them to the price.
|Anti-capitalist riots in London
LONDON: London saw one of its most violent protests in a decade on Friday, as anti-capitalist demonstrators clashed with riot police, burned cars and stormed a major financial exchange. Almost 50 persons needed hospital treatment, the BBC said, after a day of violence which ended with police herding protesters away from Londons financial district into Trafalgar Square in the West End late in the day. Reuters
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