|Sunday, January 16, 2000,
Russian planes bomb Grozny
US official for better trade ties
Solitary black holes
Terrorists using Canada as haven
58 Chechens killed
GROZNY, Jan 15 (AP) Rrussian warplanes bombed Grozny today setting ablaze an oil depot at the main refinery that spewed thick black smoke over the battered Chechen capital.
Russian soldiers continued to pound the city with artillery and mortar fire, and heavy fighting was reported at a canned meat factory and several other parts of the city.
The Interfax news agency quoted Russian military authorities as saying 180 bombing raids had been carried out over the past 24 hours, including raids over Grozny, Argun and Vedeno in the mountains.
Isa Munayev, the rebel commandant in Grozny, said 28 Russian scouts were killed in the city today morning. Russia claimed it had killed 58 rebels from a group trying to make its way overnight yesterday from Grozny to Chechen bases in the southern mountains, the itar-Tass news agency reported.
Russia yesterday launched heavy air and artillery strikes on Chechen rebel positions and claimed to have killed scores of fighters. The Defence Ministry sharply denied media reports of growing Russian casualties.
Russia claims to have regained its momentum after its offensive in Chechnya stalled early this week in the face of rebel attacks on Russian-held towns and fierce resistance by fighters.
Despite Russian reports of high rebel deaths, news media have begun increasingly questioning the Chechnya offensive amid reports of a sharp rise in Russian casualties.
Russia generally has reported only a few deaths each day, but this week reports surfaced of tens of soldiers dying daily.
In a press release, the Defense Ministry called media reports of higher casualties "conscious lies."
Also yesterday, a leader of pro-Moscow Chechens, Malik Saidullayev, reached an agreement with rebel field commanders to surrender the area around Nozhai-Yurt, a sizable village in the southern mountain where rebels are based, Interfax said.
Nonetheless, rebels were showing apparently high morale and a commander said Grozny was far from falling.
"Grozny is an ideal place for street fighting; it is possible to defend it for years," rebel commander Khizir Khachulayev said. "Russian soldiers will find their death here."
nazran (russia), (Reuters): Russian troops killed 58 Chechen fighters as they tried to break out of besieged Grozny and warplanes destroyed rebel heavy weapons in 180 raids over the past 24 hours, Russian news agencies said.
They said the regional capital and mountain villages in the southern part of the rebel republic had borne the brunt of Russias latest air and artillery attacks.
Russian air force jets striking Chechen territory over the past day destroyed a range of rebel targets including two anti-aircraft systems, seven mortar units and three armoured personnel carriers.
Itar-Tass news agency said 58 rebel fighters dismissed by moscow as bandits and terrorists were killed while trying to escape from Grozny into the southern mountains.
"After losing a third of their men, the bandits were forced to retreat into Grozny, leaving on the battlefield bodies, as well as a lot of weapons and ammunition, Tass quoted the Russian Interior Ministry as saying.
The agencies said Russian troops had cemented their control of the Sharoi district in southern Chechnya near the administrative border with Dagestan after clashes yesterday. Which had left "several dozen rebels dead.
Ria news agency said
Chechen leader Aslan Maskhadov had organised an estimated
1,500 fighters remaining in Grozny into small hit squads
of five to 10 men each in order to streamline and boost
resistance to the federal troops advance.
US official for better trade ties with India
WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters, PTI) India is an increasingly important player in the global economy and is not receiving the attention from the USA that it deserves, US Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers said yesterday.
Mr Summers, who is scheduled to visit India next week, told reporters that Washington was eager for a deeper and more cooperative relationship with the worlds biggest democracy.
"India does not receive the attention in USA thinking that it probably deserves given its importance, he said.
"Theres an opportunity for the USA to forge a relationship with India which goes substantially beyond particular concerns on the subcontinent, he added.
He said a US-India dialogue was needed on how "international economic integration can be managed", particularly since India had a long tradition of being a major voice for the developing world as a whole.
He added he expected trade issues to be discussed during his three-day visit to Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore but that he had no plans to announce any new initiatives.
Meanwhile, an official US commission has predicted India to be a key player in Asia in the next 25 years, growing militarily and becoming an economic giant, even as it sought to foresee the breakup of Pakistan.
"The US Commission on National Security in the 21st century", chartered by defence secretary and endorsed by the White House, also predicts India getting engaged in wars with Pakistan, China and Afghanistan during the period.
India may become the economic giant of Asia by 2025 whose interests will be compatible with those of the USA, says the commission, co-chaired by former Senators Warren Rudman and Gary Hart and comprising 28 commissioners including prominent former figures in government, legislature and non-governmental organisations.
It considers it likely
that India will have gross national product (GNP) equal
to that of China and ASEAN combined if, as expected, with
her vast human resources, her economy grows between 6 and
9 per cent a year.
Solitary black holes found
WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (UNI) Two international teams of astronomers using the Hubble space telescope and ground-based telescopes have, for the first time, discovered isolated black holes adrift among the stars in our galaxy, NASA has reported.
All previously-known stellar black holes have been found in orbit around normal stars, with their presence determined by their effect on the companion star. The two isolated black holes were detected indirectly by the way their extreme gravity bends the light from a more distant star behind them, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration today said yesterday in a statement.
These results suggest that black holes are common, and that many massive but normal stars may end their lives as black holes instead of as neutron stars, Dr David Bennett of the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana said.
Dr Bennett presented his teams results today in Atlanta at the 195th meeting of the American Astronomical Society. This suggests that that stellar mass black holes do not require some sort of interaction in a double star system to form, but may also be produced in the collapse of isolated massive stars, as has long been proposed by stellar theorists.
Terrorists using Canada as haven
WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (UNI) International terrorists are using Canadas immigration system to sneak into the country, and set up bases and raise funds for their activities abroad, the ABC News has reported.
"With perhaps the single exception of the USA, there are more international terrorist groups active here than any other country in the world, Mr Ward Elcock director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), which produced the report, was quoted as saying by ABC news.
On Thursday, the Los Angeles times citing intelligence sources and experts, said terrorists were shifting their activities to North America following a massive crackdown on their bases across Europe.
The Canadian intelligence report, written in July 1999 and accessed now by a freedom of information request, said, "This (terrorism) is of chief concern for Canadas national security.
According to the report over 50 terrorist groups are believed to be operating from Canada. Prominent among them are sikh extremists, Tamil Tigers, Algerian Armed Islamic Group (GIA), the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, the Hezbollah, the Kurdistan Workers Party, and extremist Irish groups.
The GIA has been linked to Ahmed Ressam, who was arrested last month by US officials while allegedly trying to smuggle explosives into Washington state from Canada.
ABC News, quoting an expert, said Canada is especially susceptible to terrorists entering, either legally or illegally, because it accepts hundreds of immigrants and refugees. For instance, in 1997, it took in 216,039 immigrants and 24,101 refugees.
"Canadas immigration system, because it is both open and accessible, is vulnerable to exploitation and abuse, the report said.
The report, titled Exploitation of Canadas Immigration System: an overview of security intelligence concerns, said the country is being used as a safe haven for the terrorist groups to raise funds, plan or support overseas activities and also as a way to obtain Canadian travel documents which makes it easier for them to criss-cross the globe.
In a related developments yesterday, CIA director George Tenet was quoted in the media as saying that the USA will never forget an act of terrorism against its citizens and will bring those responsible to justice no matter how long it takes.
Pentagon officials were
quoted as saying that 17 national guard teams are being
created to help state and local officials respond to
chemical and biological attacks. The 22-member, specially
trained teams will be formed by July in Virginia and 16
US policy on terrorism flayed
MOSCOW, Jan 15 (UNI, DPA) Russia has accused the USA of adopting a double-edged policy on terrorism in light of a recent meeting between a rebel minister and US officials which it says may impede improvement in their bilateral relations.
Foreign Minister Igor
Ivanov said the meeting between Chechen Foreign Minister
Ilya Ahamedov with US officials at the State Department
in Washington this week gave "respectability to
(the) outlawed terrorists.
Hollywood producer Sam Jaffe dead
LOS ANGELES, Jan 15 (AFP) Sam Jaffe, a Hollywood producer and agent who represented the likes of Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall, Richard Burton, Zero Mostel, Mary Astor, Barbara Stanwyck and Stanley Kubrick, died here on Monday. He was 98.
2 shot for
100 persons to pose nude
drug suspects release
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Film on Pope
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