|Sunday, January 23, 2000,
Resolve "core" issue of
USA may sell arms to Taiwan
Laden reappears in Kandahar
USA, Russia end talks
Ecuador President flees
West calls for negotiated
CDU scraps Kohls life
Wonder drug for common cold?
Lunar eclipse turns moon red
Resolve "core" issue of Kashmir: Musharraf
ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (UNI) Chief Executive Gen Pervez Musharraf has said the resolution of the "core" issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan is key to ending terrorism in South Asia, and called for the USA mediation "to promote peace in the region".
At a dinner hosted in honour of the visiting US Senator Tim Johnson on Thursday, General Musharraf said: "When we talk about terrorism we just think that there was terrorism by the Irish Republican Army and terrorism in Europe by certain West Asian groups. But all such problems were resolved because the core issues were addressed.
"The Irish issue has been addressed, the Palestinian issue has been addressed. So if we address the core issue of Kashmir between India and Pakistan, I am sure we will be attacking the root of terrorism," General Musharraf said.
"We would like President Bill Clinton to play a role they played in Ireland, Bosnia, Kosovo and the role they are playing to promote peace in West Asia. They should play a role in South Asia to promote peace between India and Pakistan by resolving and addressing the core issue of Kashmir," he added.
Yesterday, a day later, the USA told Pakistan to crack down on terrorist groups operating from its soil which it said were giving the country a bad reputation.
But Pakistani Foreign Minister Abdul Sattar told Assistant Secretary of State for South Asia Karl Inderfurth that the region would remain "mired in conflict" so long as the Kashmir issue remained unresolved.
However, at the same time, a Foreign Ministry statement said that Pakistan would "continue to cooperate with the international community in combating the menace of terrorism".
USA may sell arms to Taiwan
WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (PTI) The Pentagon is likely to sell a batch of advanced weapons to Taiwan, including warships that can be equipped with anti-missile defences, even though the issue has sparked off a debate in the u s administration, a media report said.
The USA is obliged to provide four aegis destroyers and at least six other high-technology weapons, for which Taiwan had made a request late last year, under a legislation passed by the Congress to protect the latter against mainland China, the Washington Post reported yesterday quoting administration officials.
However, a final decision on the weapons to be transferred to Taiwan is not expected until April, the officials said.
The issue of the US obligation to comply with Taiwans defence needs has touched off a debate in the administration with the Pentagon and the US Pacific Command in Hawaii favouring the sale arguing the arms were needed to counter Chinas growing military power.
The State Department and the White House National Security Council have opposed the move citing its possible impact on ties with Beijing, the report said.
Laden reappears in Kandahar
ISLAMABAD, Jan 22 (PTI) Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden, wanted by the USA for terrorist attacks, has resurfaced in Kandahar, which he had left on the "advice" of Taliban soon after the hijacked Indian Airlines plane landed there on December 25 last.
Bin Laden arrived back in Kandahar a few days ago, following the "successful" handling of the hijack episode which saw the release of three hardcore terrorists in exchange for the 155 hostages, English daily The Frontier Post reported today quoting Afghan sources.
"After the successful handling of the hijacking drama, Taliban authorities have again shifted Bin Laden to Kandahar," the sources told the daily.
Taliban authorities had asked Bin Laden to leave Kandahar for a "safe place" inside Afghanistan following the landing of the hijacked plane and the arrival of foreign envoys and journalists, the newspaper said.
GENEVA, Jan 22 (AP) Top US and Russian officials have ended three days of talks to break the deadlock in nuclear disarmament with the Kremlin still insisting on the importance of maintaining the Anti-ballistic Missiles (ABM) treaty.
In Moscow, the Foreign Minister released a brief statement when the meeting ended yesterday saying, "The Russian side underlined the tight inter-relatedness between the process of reducing strategic arms and the ABM Treaty of 1972."
The Russian agency Itar-TASS quoted diplomatic sources as saying the talks were constructive and helped each side understand the others position.
US officials, who declined to comment on the talks to reporters, would say only that the two sides had continued their discussions in "an open, businesslike" atmosphere.
The series of talks was begun after an agreement reached between US President Bill Clinton and former Russian President Boris Yeltsin last June.
The talks aim to revive the deep cuts in each sides nuclear arsenals and to work out differences over the ABM Treaty.
Washingtons desire to reopen the ABM Treaty to develop a limited nuclear defence has met strong opposition from the Kremlin as well as China and other contries who say it is a cornerstone on which other treaties depend.
The USA says it needs a limited missile defence to ward off attacks from rogue nations and insists it poses no threat to Russia. Moscow says this would upset the strategic balance and launch a new arms race.
The talks were conducted
between each countrys top disarmament specialists
John Holum of the State Department and Yuri
Kapralov, acting head of the Russian Foreign
Ministrys Arms Control Department.
Ecuador President flees palace
QUITO, Jan 22 (AFP) Ecuadors embattled President Jamil Mahuad has fled the presidential palace for a more secure location amid an apparent military coup, one of his government ministers told the local television.
Mr Mahaud was escorted yesterday to a safer place by troops, Minister for government Vladimiro Alvarez said on Ecuavisa television.
He said Mr Mahuad had quit the Carondelet Palace, Ecuadors Seat of Government, but was still in the capital.
"The President of the Republic is well and accompanied by a number of his ministers, myself included, in a gesture of loyalty," he said.
West calls for negotiated settlement
MOSCOW, Jan 22 (Reuters) Russian troops are inching forward under intense rebel fire in their drive to restore control over the Chechen capital Grozny and mountain areas in the South of the separatist region.
Meanwhile, Western ministers visiting Moscow have limited their chiding of the campaign to calling for a negotiated settlement, indicating that acting President Vladimir Putin has managed to take the heat out of foreign criticism.
A military statement reported by news agencies on Friday evening said Russian troops were "mopping up" areas of Grozny under their control and had advanced to a bridge over the river Sunzha.
It said 30 separatist fighters had been killed in Grozny and in the Argun gorge to the South, and put the Russian militarys losses at, three dead and three injured.
Footage on ORT public television showed Russian soldiers firing continuously from gutted buildings, their positions established alongside piles of rubble.
The private NTV channel showed Russian armoured vehicles in snow-covered terrain near the mountain village of Vedeno and said the army controlled the area, critical to rebel defences.
It said heavy fighting had occurred near the village of Serzhen-Yurt, close to Grozny.
But Movladi Udugov, spokesman for Chechnyas separatist government, said Grozny remained in rebel hands. He said battles had died down somewhat during the day, but Russian artillery fire had proceeded with little respite.
Grozny, which once held more than 400,000 people, has been reduced to a wasteland by the current campaign and Russias disastrous 1994-96 war against the separatists which culminated in its withdrawal from the region.
Between 10,000 and 40,000 civilians are still trapped, and about 2,500 rebels are dug in, working in small groups of snipers, machine gunners and mortar grenadiers.
The rebels repeated that they had captured Gen Mikhail Malofeyev, Deputy Commander of one of three fronts. Russia has confirmed he went missing and says he may have been killed.
Some Russian media suggested the armys delay in reporting the Generals disappearance two days after he went missing and only after the rebels said they had seized him showed commanders could be understating other losses too.
In Moscow, German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer said at the end of two days of talks that he and Mr Putin had failed to see eye to eye on Moscows military operation. But he added: "We dont need to pretend, we dont have differing opinions about this...we say this as friends."
He said Mr Putin had told him his proposal to establish permanent human rights monitors in the region would be "considered and then discussed by Foreign Ministers".
Italian Foreign Minister Lamberto Dini had taken part in talks the previous evening and added his support to calls for a negotiated settlement.
CDU scraps Kohls life insurance
HAMBURG, Jan 22 (DPA) Germanys former Chancellor Helmut Kohl suffered another indignity over the widening funds scandal when his party said it has stopped life and accident insurance payments and related taxes for him and his wife, a news report said today.
The Opposition Christian Democrats (CDU) had until now paid some 20,000 German marks (about $ 10,500) per year for the multi-million-dollar policies for him and his wife Hannelore, The Bild tabloid reported.
Kohl who was the partys leader for a quarter-century stepped down on Tuesday as honorary party chairman over the scandal and may face charges and a damages suit by his party over his refusal to tell who was behind millions of dollars in secret donations to the party.
A new poll released today showed support for the CDU in Freefall, with only 33 per cent of respondents backing the Conservative Party a 5 per cent drop from a week earlier compared to 41 per cent support for the ruling Social Democrats, the newspaper said.
Another report said party finance official Wolfgang Huellen, who killed himself last week, had left a second suicide note in which he admitted to colleagues that he defrauded the party of funds for personal gain.
Quoting unnamed legal sources, Bild reported Huellen apologised for stealing the money and said he feared the theft would be discovered in the audit of party finances launched over the scandal, which has reportedly found 11 million marks unaccounted for.
BERLIN (AFP): Former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl has told a meeting of his Christian Democratic Union party in Bremen that he would not name donors to secret party funds since he had promised them anonymity.
"Its an outdated principle, but I am outdated ... I must keep my word," said Kohl, repeating a position for which he has been sharply criticized by national CDU leaders in the illicit funding scandal.
Kohl was presenting New Years greetings on Friday to a partisan crowd in Bremen, northern Germany, who cheered him as he took the podium and frequently interrupted his speech with applause.
The event was broadcast by Phoenix television.
"I was and I am,
not corruptible and not for sale," said Kohl, who
has admitted to running secret funds of up to two million
marks but claims he did not profit personally or let it
influence his political decisions.
Wonder drug for common cold?
EXTON, Pennsylvania, Jan 22 (AP) Certainly a cure for the common cold would be a big story all by itself. But how about a medicine that also stops viral meningitis? The summer flu? Deadly newborn infections? Even polio?
One drug that does all this is surprisingly close. It is called pleconaril, and if large-scale testing turns out well, it could be in drugstores within a year.
Pleconaril is the latest in a short list of medicines that kill viruses. This drug, in fact, blocks an entire category of them, a collection of 169 distinctly different nasties that together cause more human disease than any other.
The drug was not so much
discovered as designed. It is the latest example of a new
way of creating medicines. It is an exquisitely precise
sort of monkey wrench. The drug fits neatly into a groove
on the surface of the virus, gumming up the machinery it
needs to infect the bodys cells.
Lunar eclipse turns moon red
WASHINGTON, Jan 22 (Reuters) The moon turned red over the western hemisphere early yesterday in the years first total lunar eclipse.
"I had a great view, out in my backyard with a couple of telescopes," said Mr Fred Espenak, a NASA astronomer who specialises in eclipses and is known for his photo-packed web site, www.mreclipse.com.
The total phase of the eclipse, in which earths shadow completely covers the moon, leaving only a red glow, began at 04.05 GMT yesterday and ended at 05.22 GMT.
Re-elected Uzbek President sworn in
TASHKENT, Jan 22 (Reuters) Uzbek President Islam Karimov was today sworn in for five more years at the helm of his pivotal central Asian state, vowing economic and political reforms which western diplomats said had been lacking so far.
"I solemnly swear
to faithfully serve the people of Uzbekistan, to strictly
observe its laws and carry out the duties laid before the
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan," Mr Karimov
said, laying his hand on the constitution and the Koran.
sued for carving initials
formed high in atmosphere
President to visit India
Minister to quit
from hell" out of jail
St Lenins death
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