|W O R L D||
Monday, November 22, 1999
|Chinas first indigenous
BEIJING, Nov 21 Chinas space industry today achieved a breakthrough with its indigenously-made experimental unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou.
Russians tighten noose on Grozny
GROZNY, Nov 21 Russian troops have surrounded 80 per cent of the Chechen capital, Grozny, where more than 5,000 guerrillas are preparing to repel a federal offensive.
A Long March rocket lifts off from the Jiuquan launchpad in north-western Gansu province in China's first un-manned test of a manned spacecraft early Saturday. The spacecraft, named "Shenzhou," separated from the rocket 10 minutes after launch and returned to China's Inner Mongolia region early on Sunday. AP/PTI
backs Putin for Presidency
test to identify crash victims
out of mayoral race
kill six in Indonesia
proclaims 12 new saints
bear devours child
Chinas first indigenous spacecraft
BEIJING, Nov 21 (PTI) Chinas space industry today achieved a breakthrough with its indigenously-made experimental unmanned spacecraft, Shenzhou, completing a brief space odyssey.
Chinas first experimental spacecraft, part of the countrys manned space flight programme, touched down in the central Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in north China at 1.11 a.m. (IST) today, successfully concluding its first flight, Xinhua news agency said.
The space vehicle was launched with a new model of Long March carrier rocket at 4 a.m. (IST) yesterday from the Jiuquan satellite launch centre in northwest Chinas Gansu province.
The success is a major step toward Chinas manned space flight cause, an official of Chinas manned spaceflight programme said, adding China deserves a place in the world in the area of high technology.
The successful launch demonstrates that China is fully capable of independently mastering the most advanced technology, the unnamed official said in an obvious reference to allegations that China illegally acquired US space/rocket technology.
Based on todays flight, China will conduct more unmanned test flights before putting its astronauts in space, he said.
So far, only the USA and Russia have the technology to conduct manned space flights. Before launching their manned spacecraft, the two countries had conducted a series of unmanned test flights in space.
During the spacecrafts flight in orbit, it was traced, monitored and controlled by ground monitoring and controlling system and four surveying ships stationed at high seas. They successfully conducted a series of experiments, the official said.
He said China launched preliminary studies of manned spaceflight technology as soon as it was in command of technologies on launching, monitoring and controlling low-earth recoverable satellites, earth-synchronous communication satellites and solar-synchronous meteorological satellites.
Yesterdays launch was the 59th of the Long March carrier rocket series, and its 17th successful launch in a row in the past three years.
The ruling Communist Party of China, the state council (the cabinet) and the Central Military Commission lauded the scientists for completing the maiden experimental space flight.
Russians tighten noose on Grozny
GROZNY, Nov 21 (AP) Russian troops have surrounded 80 per cent of the Chechen capital, Grozny, where more than 5,000 guerrillas are preparing to repel a federal offensive, military officials said today.
The Russian forces were moving onto the towns of Urus Martan and Achkhoi Martan, south and southwest of Grozny, to complete the encirclement of the city, a Defence Ministry spokesman in Moscow said.
He said 5,000-6,000 militants were barricading themselves inside Grozny as Russian troops approached the city.
At some places, the Russians have taken positions as close as five kilometres from the city, the press centre of the Russian command in the northern Caucasus said.
Russian aircraft and artillery continued to attack suspected rebel bases, with warplanes flying 50 missions over Chechnya over the past 24 hours despite poor weather, the ministry said. Helicopter gunships flew 32 missions.
Air and artillery attacks targeted suspected guerrilla positions in the towns of Bamut, to the west of Grozny, and Argun and Urus Martan, east and south of the capital.
Despite mounting criticism from the West, Russia has not scaled back its military operation in Chechnya, and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin ruled out any easing of the intensity of the anti-terrorist operation.
There will be no pauses, Mr Putin said in an interview on National Television last night. We will continue the way we have been doing.
He said the Russian
campaign in Chechnya, which began in September, was not
tantamount to war. We are talking about an
anti-terrorist operation, not about a war in
Chechnya, the Prime Minister said.
Malaysian Oppn may emerge stronger
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (Reuters) Few doubt that Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad will win Malaysias elections this month, but his opponents may end up claiming a moral victory that muddies the results.
Investors looking for a clear-cut verdict in the November 29 vote could be disappointed by an outcome that leaves Mr Mahathir firmly in office but facing a substantially stronger Opposition. Both sides could end up claiming a victory of sorts, said Mr Abdul Razak Baginda, executive director of the Malaysian Strategic Research Centre.
Much has been made of the two-thirds threshold in the lower House of Parliament which Mr Mahathirs Barisan Nasional (BN) has never failed to hold since the coalition was formed in 1974.
That margin in the 193-seat Parliament is needed to amend the Constitution.
A two-thirds victory, while substantially below the BNs 1995 romp, could strengthen Mr Mahathirs position ahead of his United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) leadership elections in mid-2000, and perhaps lessen the chances of an early challenge to his rule.
But its significance is as much symbolic. The four-party opposition alliance agreed months ago that it could not achieve an outright victory, and would instead aim to deny Mr Mahathir that benchmark and look to the next polls for power.
Mr Mahathir agrees that his 14-party multi-ethnic coalition must win at least 129 of 193 seats to stand proud.
But the task is complicated by the BNs awesome performance in 1995, which gave it 166 seats in the outgoing Parliament -more than 86 per cent of the seats.
The opposition held only 22 seats and Independents three in the 192-seat Parliament, while one spot was vacant. Another constituency has been added for this years elections.
The Opposition would need to win 65 races on November 29 to reach the magic one-third threshold almost tripling its current standing.
That would give the opposition by far its strongest toehold in the federal Parliament since the BN was formed in 1974, topping its score of 53 seats in 1990 when Mr Mahathirs United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) split.
If the opposition gets 50 seats, it will be something of a rebuke to Mr Mahathir, a diplomat said.
While Mr Mahathir would continue to control the levers of power, he would be facing an opposition which for the first time has put up candidates under a common banner in each constituency.
That was no mean feat given the gaping differences between the Parti Islam Se-Malaysia (PAS), which seeks to establish an Islamic state, and the Democratic Action Party, which mainly represents urban Chinese.
Primakov backs Putin for Presidency
MOSCOW, Nov 21 (UNI) Former Prime Minister and the leading favourite to win the forthcoming June presidency elections Yevgeny Primakov has surprisingly backed Prime Minister Vladimir Putin for the Presidents post.
On his candidature for the presidency, Mr Primakov said, I have not yet decided whether I will join the presidential race. Such a decision depends on several factors and prevailing circumstances.
The 70-year-old former Premiers support to Mr Putin has baffled observers as till now he was considered to be the natural choice of the people for the presidential post. Even Kremlin acknowledges that there exist just two serious contenders for the post - Mr Primakov and Mr Putin, the latter for his recent bold steps on the Caucusan crisis.
The third to figure somewhere down in the race is Yabloko Party chief Grigory Yavlinski. But his attack on the governments action in Chechnya has seen his credit rating dwindle by leaps and bounds. Mr Yavlinski while flaying military action has demanded an immediate opening of a dialogue with Chechnyan President Aslan Maskhadov, who is leading an open rebellion against the Russian federation.
Meanwhile, the all Russia public opinion trends survey has showed more than 62 per cent of the people polled stood behind the governments action in Chechnya.
Mr Primakov and his
Fatherland All Russia party has also
supported the governments military operations in
Chechnya but added that in the long run a military
solution to the problem was not the answer.
Crushing terrorists with military might is
justified, he declared and added, Anyone
could fall victim to terrorism which should be checked at
DNA test to identify crash victims
NEWPORT (Rhode Island), Nov 21 (AP) Relatives of Egyptair flight 990s victims came here more than two weeks ago with photos of loved ones and the hope they could identify their bodies and bring them home.
It has not been that simple.
Three weeks after the October 31 crash killed all 217 persons on board, none of the human remains pulled from among the debris has been identified. There are no whole bodies.
Scientists at the former navy base where the Boeing 767 is being reconstructed have been painstakingly cataloguing the remains and preparing them for shipment to an armed forces lab in Maryland.
There, DNA experts will map the samples genes and compare them with the DNA of the victims relatives.
It could be several months before any of the deaths are confirmed. Federal sources said DNA matching wont begin until the salvage operation is nearly complete.
So far, a partial torso and three feet found on the ocean surface south of Nantucket are the largest links to the victims.
The rest of the recovery
effort has yielded only tiny fragments of human tissues,
and experts hold out little hope of finding any complete
body given the force at which the plane hit the water as
it plummeted from 9,900 meters.
Archer out of mayoral race
LONDON, Nov 21 (AFP) Best-selling novelist Jeffrey Archer has pulled out of the race to become Londons mayor amid newspapers reports of his alleged relationship with a prostitute 13 years ago.
Archer, an opposition Conservative party nominee, said he was unwilling to put his wife and family through what was likely to be six months of sustained attack in the run up to the Mays mayoral elections. The tabloid News of the World revealed that Archer had asked a friend, Ted Francis, to lie about his whereabouts on September 9, 1986, the evening the novelist was alleged to have spent with a prostitute.
Troops kill six in Indonesia
JAKARTA, Nov 21 (AFP) Indonesian troops shot dead at least six persons and wounded 20 others while trying to quell a fresh outbreak of Muslim-Christian violence in the riot-torn eastern Indonesian province of Maluku, police and hospital officials said today.
The clashes, which broke out on Friday and continued until yesterday, killed at least six Muslim and Christian residents of the Baguala sub-district, 15 km east of the capital Ambon, a female officer on duty, said.
Blair: baby more important than poll
LONDON, Nov 21 (AFP, Reuters) Britains Prime Minister and father-to-be Tony Blair today said his baby was more important than winning an election.
Mr Blair (46) said he was shocked at learning that his wife Cherie, a top barrister, was pregnant with their fourth child at the age of 45.
If its possible to be delighted and shell-shocked at the same time, that is what I was because it was not expected, not expected at all, he told Observer newspaper in an interview. Its lovely, but a little bit unnerving at our age, he added.
Anwar attends brothers funeral
KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 21 (AFP) Malaysias sacked and imprisoned Deputy Prime Minister, Anwar Ibrahim was today allowed to leave jail to attend the funeral of his brother, a spokesman for Anwars wife Wan Azizah said.
$ 1 m for millennium celebrations
WASHINGTON, Nov 21 (PTI) Multi-millionaire non-resident Indian (NRI) Vinod Gupta has donated $ 1 million to enable the US capital hold a glittering celebration on December 31 to usher in the new millennium.
The 53-year-old Omaha businessman, founder of $ 300-million InfoUSA Inc, said he would have loved a quiet New Year Eve but this is definitely worth it.
Pope proclaims 12 new saints
VATICAN CITY, Nov 21 (AFP) Pope John Paul II proclaimed 12 new saints in a ceremony in St Peters Basilica here today.
Among them Saint Hector, is the first Argentinian to be canonised.
Hector Valdivielso Saez, was one of a group of nine, known as the "Brothers of Turon" who were shot by Spanish Left-wing revolutionaries in November 1934 during a failed uprising in the northern province of Asturias.
All were declared saints today, in a service attended by Argentinian President Carlos Menem and hundreds of pilgrims from Spain and Argentina.
A tenth Spaniard, who was killed during the civil war in 1937, and two Italians were also canonised.
After exhaustive enquiries, Roman Catholic officials decided that the brothers of Turon had interceded in 1990 to save a 24 year-old Nicaraguan woman who recovered inexplicably from cancer of the uterus.
Papers on Bofors forged: Hinduja
LONDON, Nov 21 (PTI) Srichand Hinduja, non-Resident Indian and Chairman of the Hinduja group of companies, has claimed that the document linking his family to Bofors gun deal is forged.
"First of all it is a false document. They have made a photocopy and put our name. Who has made it? I dont know," Mr Hinduja said in an interview published in Sunday Times.
Mr Hinduja has appointed Ernst and Young, the accountant, to look at the evidence and has told the Swiss authorities he will show them everything. "This is a vendetta. It is a totally political game," he said.
Mr Hinduja said he had made enemies by fighting for Indian parties to disclose their donations. "Now I am a very good target... This is a judicial trap against us," he said.
Zoo bear devours child
LAHORE, Nov 21 (AFP) A black Himalayan bear today killed an 18-month-old boy in a zoo in Lahore, the police said.
The child, who was with his parents, tried to shake hands with the caged bear. But the animal pulled the boy into the cage and tore him apart, the police said.
Witnesses said the boy identified as Abdullah died in front of his screaming parents.
An angry crowd tried to kill the bear but the police intervened to bring the situation under control.
|China to take over Macao
BEIJING: China is ready to embrace the tiny territory of Macao on December 20, ending 443 years of Portuguese rule, a senior Chinese leader has said. All preparations have been accomplished for the transfer of government in Macao, the inauguration of the Macao Special Administrative Region (SAR) government and celebrations, Vice Premier Qian Qichen said. China has already appointed the first Chief Executive of Macao SAR, Mr Edmund Ho Hau, Wah, who will take over from Portugal-appointed Governor-General Vasco Rocha Vieira. PTI
Teething at 87
Boy shoots at
| Punjab | Haryana | Himachal Pradesh | Jammu & Kashmir |
| Chandigarh | Editorial | Business | Sport |
| Mailbag | Spotlight | 50 years of Independence | Weather |
| Search | Subscribe | Archive | Suggestion | Home | E-mail |