|Wednesday, February 9, 2000,
raids cut off Beiruts power
Defence Minister shot dead
comb Grozny for rebels
|Guillaume new ICJ President
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 8 The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has elected its new President and Vice-President for the next three years.
US fund-raiser goes on
partner denies charge
faces charges for aiding Pak
on homosexuality defeated
Israeli raids cut off Beiruts power
CAIRO, Feb 8 (Reuters, AFP, PTI) Israeli fighter planes strafed a Hizbollah rebel base in Lebanon early this morning injuring 15 people and destroying three major power stations which left Beirut and some other cities without any electricity, official reports from Beirut said.
The attack came after five Israeli soldiers were killed in Hizbollah attacks in southern Lebanon over the past two weeks. One of those killed was a senior Israeli commander.
The Israeli army said the attacks were in response to the severe escalation in the activities of Hizbollah and other organisations in southern Lebanon.
Large parts of Lebanon were blanketed by darkness after the damage to the power stations and were shut down by local authorities as a precautionary measure to protect installations from further damage.
Beirut, Baalbek in the eastern Bekaa valley and Sidon and Tyre in the south blacked out as a consequence of the shutdown.
Reports quoting Lebanese Electricity Minister Suleiman Traoulsi said the damage to the power grid was many times than the $25 million loss caused by similar air strikes last June.
Hizbollah, in a first comment on the air strikes, said the action would not protect Israeli forces against continued Hizbollah attacks in the south.
KIRYAT SHMONA (Israel): Israel today halted its bombing of civilian targets in Lebanon as tens of thousands of Israelis stayed in bomb shelters in the north fearing retaliatory rocket attacks by Hizbollah guerrillas.
As far as we are concerned, the bombing can stop today and indeed its stopped, Public Security Minister Shlomo Ben-Ami told Reuters. Seven civilians were wounded in the attacks.
Prime Minister Ehud Barak, under intense public pressure to get tough after the Hizbollah killed five Israeli soldiers in the past two weeks in Israels occupation zone in southern Lebanon, unleashed the heaviest air raids on Lebanon in eight months.
The Hizbollah said in a statement in Beirut that the Israeli air strikes violated a US-sponsored deal, banning attacks on civilian targets, that ended an Israeli bombardment of Lebanon in 1996.
Israeli Cabinet Minister Haim Ramon told Army Radio: We are not ready to play by the rules of the game as they have been played up to now. The understandings have restricted us from responding in Lebanon.
In its statement, the Hizbollah said it reserved the right to respond in the appropriate time which might be very soon. The enemy will not be able to impose a new formula in the confrontation field.
On the diplomatic front, the Israeli air offensive risked setting back efforts to restart stalled land-for-peace negotiations with Syria, the main power-broker in Lebanon.
Syria argues that it does not control the Hizbollah, which is fighting to oust Israeli occupation forces from a south Lebanon buffer zone which Israel established in 1985.
TEL AVIV: Israel will launch more elaborate attacks on Lebanon if the Syrian and Iranian backed Hizbollah movement retaliates with Katyusha rockets against the overnight attack on Lebanese power stations, a senior army official warned today.
Yugoslav Defence Minister shot dead
BELGRADE, Feb 8 (DPA) Yugoslavias Defence Minister Pavle Bulatovic was assassinated in Belgrade yesterday evening the latest political victim of gunmen in the Serbian capital.
Bulatovic, (52) and two other persons were victims of machinegun fire at a restaurant in Belgrade, reported B2-92 Radio.
Bulatovic was dining in the restaurant of the Rad Football Club, in Belgrade, when gunmen using automatic weapons began firing through windows, according to a BBC report.
The owner of the restaurant, Mirko Knezevic, and a banker identified as Vuc Obradovic were also shot, the BBC said.
An emergency Cabinet meeting was called in the wake of the killing. The area around the restaurant was cordoned off by the police.
Troops comb Grozny for rebels
MOSCOW, Feb 8 (DPA) Russian troops today combed the captured Chechen Capital Grozny for hidden Muslim rebel fighters, while the first reports of atrocities against civilians there began emerging.
Some 300 rebels were still believed to be hiding underground sewerage and communications tunnels after the city was declared cleansed and enemy-free on Sunday after six weeks of fighting.
Army engineers also began clearing tons of booby traps and mines left by rebel defenders who withdrew in the last week.
Citing human rights organisations and eyewitness accounts, the English language newspaper The Moscow Times said there was evidence of widespread looting and summary executions of civilians by Russian troops in the city since December.
The New York-based Human Rights Watch told the newspaper it had uncovered several incidents in which 22 persons, mainly women and old men, were shot or killed in cellars with grenades during looting between December 22 and January 21. More deaths were being investigated.
Some of our worst fears about what could happen in Grozny are being confirmed, a spokesman for the organisation was quoted as saying.
The office of the federal military prosecutor, however, rejected the reports as pure disinformation.
Rubin to resign
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) US State Department spokesman James Rubin said yesterday he will give up his high-profile job in April and join his wife, CNN correspondent Christiane Amanpour, in London Ms Amanpour is expecting their first child, a boy, in late March.
Today marks one of those rare occasions when the reports of someones departure are not highly exaggerated Mr Rubin, the longest-serving spokesman for any member of President Bill Clintons Cabinet, said in a statement.
I have informed Secretary of State Madeleine Albright that I intend to leave government service in April after seven years as her spokesman and adviser, he added.
His replacement for the rest of the Clinton administration would be career diplomat Richard Boucher, who acted as spokesman for three of Ms Albrights predecessors James Baker, Lawrence Eagleburger and Warren Christopher, Ms Albright said in a statement.
I am confident that his return to the podium will provide a smooth transition in the months ahead, Ms Albright added of Ms Boucher, who is currently coordinator for the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Forum.
Photogenic, articulate and entertaining, Mr Rubin was not just a spokesman but also a trusted friend, confidante and policy adviser to Ms Albright.
Guillaume new ICJ President
UNITED NATIONS, Feb 8 (PTI) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) has elected its new President and Vice-President for the next three years.
Judge Gilbert Guillaume, a French national, became the Hague-based courts new President, while Judge Shi Jiuyong of China became its new Vice-President.
Both have been members of the ICJ. Guillaume has been its member since 1987 while Jiuyong since 1994.
US fund-raiser goes on trial
WASHINGTON, Feb 8 (Reuters) A Democratic fund-raiser hid illegal contributions made by a Buddhist temple to the 1996 Clinton-Gore re-election effort, a US prosecutor said yesterday at the start of a trial sure to revive questions about Vice-President Al Gores role in the campaign fund-raising scandal.
Prosecutor Eric Yaffee said Maria Hsia concealed the true sources of thousands of dollars of illegal contributions she solicited from the California temple and others for the Democratic Party and the Clinton-Gore campaign.
In opening arguments, Mr Yaffee said Hsia made a conscious decision to undermine the federal electoral process to advance her own business and political interests and gain access to Democratic politicians.
He said Hsia and former Democratic fund-raiser John Huang helped arrange an April 29, 1996, event at the Hsi Lai temple near Los Angeles, which Mr Gore attended but said he did not know was for fund raising.
The visit, widely depicted in photographs showing the Vice-President among monks and nuns in saffron-coloured robes, has come to epitomise the 1996 fund-raising scandal.
The event at the largest Buddhist temple in the USA raised $ 65,000 in illegal contributions, according to the indictment. The checks were made out by individual nuns and monks, but the temple reimbursed them for their contributions, Mr Yaffee said.
The temple, a tax-exempt religious organisation, was barred by law from making political contributions. Hsia used a religious corporation in order to advance her scheme, said Mr Yaffee, a Justice Department prosecutor.
Anwars partner denies charge
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 8 (AP) The alleged sex partner of Anwar Ibrahim today denied that the two men sodomised Anwars family driver, insisting there was no privacy at the apartment where the forced sex supposedly took place.
Sukma Dermawan and Anwar, the former Deputy Prime Minister who is serving a six-year jail term for corruption, are accused of committing a homosexual act. The sodomy trial resumed today after a break for the Chinese New Year.
Briton faces charges for aiding Pak
BOSTON, Feb 8 (AP) A British citizen is facing federal charges that he illegally attempted to buy night-vision goggles and military aircraft blueprints for Pakistan.
Jonathan Reynolds, (33) had an initial appearance in a US district court in Boston yesterday. He faces a detention hearing before Judge Marianne Bowler tomorrow.
Reynolds, who listed his residence as Bangkok, was arrested on Saturday near Boston, said US Attorneys spokeswoman Samantha Martin. She wouldnt specify where.
She said Reynolds
allegedly conspired to violate US Export laws by
attempting to procure military goods for Pakistan. Since
1990, the congress has also banned the transfer of
military equipment and technology from the USA to
Bill on homosexuality defeated
LONDON, Feb 8 (AP) Tony Blairs Labour government has lost an important vote in the predominantly Conservative House of Lords over its plans to repeal laws that ban local authorities such as school districts from promoting homosexuality.
killed in blast in Russia
4 die in mid-air
collision over LA
first woman Governor
man eats dogs heart
tramples zoo-keeper to death
Accused says he
undergoes kidney surgery
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