Thursday, February 24, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

McCain bounces back, beats Bush in 2 primaries
WASHINGTON, Feb 23 — Arizona Senator John McCain upset favourite Texas Governor George W. Bush in the crucial Republican primary in Michigan, with a record turnout bringing crossover Independents and Democrats to the poll.


US Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain addresses supporters at his victory party after winning both the Michigan and Arizona Presidential Primaries 22 February 2000 in Phoenix, AZ. McCain's win over Texas Governor George W. Bush tightens the Republican race for the party's nomination. — AFP PHOTO

Disease stalks Mozambique
MAPUTO, Feb 23 — Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano today appealed for urgent international aid to help more than 800,000 persons victims of devastating floods and a cyclone.

Pinochet ‘healthy enough’ to face trial
LONDON, Feb 23 — British Home Secretary Jack Straw today said he had not yet read documents from four countries challenging his plan to send home Gen. Augusto Pinochet, but would decide the case as soon as possible.

Keep off KFOR, Serbia told
WASHINGTON, Feb 23 — The USA has warned Serbia not to interfere with international peacekeepers in Kosovo or to try to exploit tensions in the northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica.



EARLIER STORIES
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  Lanka-LTTE talks ‘on track’
COLOMBO, Feb 23 — Sri Lanka’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris has said the Norwegian peace process to facilitate direct talks between the government and the LTTE was “very much on track”, despite the opposition United National Party’s (UNP) reservations in extending support to the government’s new constitution.

New gold rush swamps Indian Americans
SAN FRANCISCO: My friend Sadanand, who heads the accounting department of a high-tech firm in San Francisco, recently threw a cocktail party at his posh South of Market loft.

Irish peace process to go on
CAMBRIDGE (Mass), Feb 23 — Mr David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland’s pro-British Ulster Unionist Party, said the peace process would continue, although he was less optimistic about whether paramilitary groups on both sides would disarm.


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McCain bounces back, beats Bush in 2 primaries

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (DPA) — Arizona Senator John McCain upset favourite Texas Governor George W. Bush in the crucial Republican primary in Michigan, with a record turnout bringing crossover Independents and Democrats to the poll.

In his home state of Arizona, Mr McCain was an easy winner yesterday with a double digit margin, despite Mr Bush’s last-ditch effort to spend heavily in the state and sway voters.

Official voter tallies showed Mr McCain leading Mr Bush in Michigan by 49.9 per cent to 44.2 per cent, with 74 per cent of the votes counted. Talk show host Alan Keyes had gathered 4.5 per cent.

In Arizona, Mr McCain led Mr Bush by 60.2 per cent to 35.4 per cent with 60 per cent of the precincts counted.

The victories in the “open” primaries — where Independents and Democrats were allowed to cast their votes for the Republican nominee — showed Mr McCain’s support strong among those groups but weaker among registered Republicans, who voted 3-to-1 in favour of Mr Bush.

“We are creating a new majority,” Mr McCain said in a victory speech at a rally in Phoenix. “A Mr McCain majority.”

He also trumpeted his attraction to Independents and Democrats by calling himself “Al Gore’s worst nightmare,” referring to the US Vice-President and likely Democratic nominee.

Networks accustomed to calling winners within moments of the poll’s closing were stymied by exit poll data in Michigan, a crucial state for both candidates. They issued their projections about 40 minutes after the voting ended.

Victory in Michigan was considered crucial for Mr McCain’s effort to regain the momentum of his February 1 victory in New Hampshire, while Mr Bush sought to maintain his front-runner status that was reinforced with his win on Saturday in South Carolina.

The clearest result from yesterday’s voting was that Mr McCain’s Maverick campaign would continue, and the Republican nomination struggle was likely to become even more bitter in the weeks, leading up to the March 7 and March 14 primaries.
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Disease stalks Mozambique

MAPUTO, Feb 23 (Reuters) — Mozambique President Joaquim Chissano today appealed for urgent international aid to help more than 800,000 persons victims of devastating floods and a cyclone.

Aid workers warned that cholera, malaria and meningitis were also on the way for hundreds of thousands driven to cramped refuge on high ground.

“We are facing a very tragic situation in this country because we had heavy rains compounded by fierce floods due to rains in neighbouring countries,” Mr Chissano said.

“And we had a cyclone which hit the southern and central parts of the country. The damages are big. I do not have figures yet .... but the needs are for the urgent alleviation of the situation,” the President said at Maputo Airport before flying to a regional summit in Zambia.

“Cyclone Eline” raged across the impoverished southern African country yesterday, capping two weeks of devastating floods.

Prime Minister Pascoal Mocumbi, speaking after Mr Chissano, said the government estimated at least 150 persons had died since the rains started in January.

“The overcrowded conditions under which the displaced people now live pose a danger of an outbreak of epidemics which could affect at least 8,00,000 Mozambique,” Mr Carlos Tiny of the World Health Organisation said in comments circulated by the United Nations.

Mr Chissano applauded help received so far but said he urgently needed rubber dinghies to ferry people stranded by the floods, along with blankets, tents and food for the displaced.

Floodwaters covered vast tracts of farmland northeast of the capital, Maputo. To make matters worse, another cyclone, “Felicia”, is due in a few days’ time.
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Pinochet ‘healthy enough’ to face trial

LONDON, Feb 23 (Reuters, AP) — British Home Secretary Jack Straw today said he had not yet read documents from four countries challenging his plan to send home Gen. Augusto Pinochet, but would decide the case as soon as possible.

Mr Straw said the deadline for submissions in Pinochet’s case had been last evening and “I literally haven’t had a chance to consider them since them, nor indeed have I seen them. I will consider them as quickly but as carefully as I can”, he told BBC Radio.

Mr Straw’s decision is not expected before Monday, when Parliament returns after a recess of a few days.

Meanwhile, Spanish doctors who reviewed the British medical report contended that the ex-dictator was healthy enough to face trial, according to court documents released in Spain.

“We consider that the medical examination carried out in England is limited and partial, and lacks a psychiatric and psycho-pathological evaluation”, said the eight doctors, all departmental heads in Spanish public hospitals.

France’s Justice Ministry said it had sent British judicial authorities an official request from investigating magistrate Roger Le Loire asking them “to accept that three French medical experts be given access to Augusto Pinochet’s medical file and allowed to examine him themselves”.

A Belgian judge concluded Pinochet was fit to stand trial and said he had also asked Britain for further medical tests.

Backing Belgium’s plea, Switzerland says ill health shouldn’t stop Gen. Pinochet from standing trial for alleged human rights violations. France and Belgium want another medical assessment despite a report that finds the 84-year-old former Chilean dictator unfit to be brought to court.
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Keep off KFOR, Serbia told

WASHINGTON, Feb 23 (AFP) — The USA has warned Serbia not to interfere with international peacekeepers in Kosovo or to try to exploit tensions in the northern town of Kosovska Mitrovica.

State Department spokesman James Rubin yesterday said that Washington was looking seriously into reports of a build-up of Yugoslav troops close to the Kosovo border and that any intervention attempt would be countered.

Yugoslavia (AP): NATO, meanwhile, has relaxed curfew and suspended most weapons searches in Kosovska Mitrovica, a day after peacekeepers used tear gas to stop thousands of ethnic Albanians from surging into the Serb part of the town.

NATO and the USA accused President Slobodan Milosevic’s government of being behind the nearly three weeks of violence in Kosovska Mitrovica, which had the largest remaining Serb enclave in Kosovo. Yugoslavia rejected those accusations yesterday, saying that it was the USA that instigated the trouble.

Up to 50,000 ethnic Albanians had marched to the city on Monday to demand access to the Serb areas. They broke through French lines and surged onto the main bridge crossing the Ibar river — which separates the two sides of the town — but were driven back by British, Canadian, French and Danish troops.

With so many Serbs and ethnic Albanians living in the same community, Kosovska Mitrovica is the most ethnically mixed city in the province — and the most violence-prone.
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Lanka-LTTE talks ‘on track’

COLOMBO, Feb 23 (PTI) — Sri Lanka’s Justice and Constitutional Affairs Minister G.L. Peiris has said the Norwegian peace process to facilitate direct talks between the government and the LTTE was “very much on track”, despite the opposition United National Party’s (UNP) reservations in extending support to the government’s new constitution.

Interacting with the Foreign Correspondent Association, here last night, he said the UNP’s decision to postpone yesterday’s crucial meeting with President Chandrika Kumaratunga was only a “hiccup” and he was confident that the talks would be resumed shortly after it studied the new proposals forwarded by the government.

Mr Peiris, the think-tank behind the Government’s attempt to formulate a new constitution, said the UNP would finally come round to support government efforts as it would not have liked to be seen as an obstructer of peace.

Briefly touching on the likely issues that come up before the talks with the LTTE beginning at Oslo under the Norwegian facilitation in the coming weeks, he said the extent of devolution of powers constituted the critical area of negotiations.

Referring to the LTTE demands of recognition of the Tamil community as a nation and right to self-determination of Tamils, Mr Peiris said whatever might be the demands of the rebel group, they should ultimately be reflected in the constitution. The effort of the government was to work out a political settlement which was guaranteed by the constitution.

Asked about previous attempts by the LTTE to wriggle out of talks in the last minute, he said the government hoped that the rebel group this time would approach the talks seriously.
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New gold rush swamps Indian Americans
From Batuk Vora

SAN FRANCISCO: My friend Sadanand, who heads the accounting department of a high-tech firm in San Francisco, recently threw a cocktail party at his posh South of Market loft.

As it turned out, I was a fish out of water. The bulk of his guests were dot.com people — in the high-tech industry, that is — and when he introduced me as his close friend, “a dot.org kind of guy”, they giggled and smiled.

My friend in fact was only teasing, but he was pointing out something that I’ve grown acutely aware of lately. Even to visit my old favourite San Francisco Bay Area at the turn of the millennium is to swim under the ocean of fabulous wealth, a modern-day gold rush — entirely based on internet commerce, where thousands of young Indo-American aspirants have made a mark as a bright lot in Silicon Valley, only 40 miles south of this fabulous city.

Those who are dot.com professionals are jubilant as they join in the frenzied search for gold in cyberspace. Those who are out of the loop like me — a “dot.org kind of guy”. more specifically a freelance writer for various global journals, there is inevitably some dot.com envy.

The difference between my friend and me is not a digital divide. If anything, I am more computer savvy than he is — I even have my own partnership web magazine. No, the difference is simply that his guests have stock options and I do not.

Yet I would be lying through my teeth if I say I did not feel a certain pang of envy when a friend of mine sold his start-up company and retired at 36. And when my cousin bought his second home on the hill overlooking the Bay, I felt a little bit of self pity, having resigned myself to the fact that I would always be a rent payer.

What keeps me then from cashing in? It is very hard to explain. In the simplest terms, it is a kind of aversion to bad poetry. As much as I covet the wealth, I cannot imagine the lifestyle. I cannot imagine myself saying with a straight face what the man in a Giorgio Armani suit said at my friend’s party: “We got two VCs for that start up. It’s going to be a gold trough”.

VC here means venture capitalists. Nor can I see myself saying, like the teflon blond in the Donna Karen dress, who exclaimed with a glazed look in her eyes that her website was a “great market model”.

Essentially you don’t have to get out of bed to go shopping these days in Bay Area. But, I cannot imagine that shopping in bed is a good thing. So as much as I want stock options, my impulse is quite the reverse — to urge people to get out of bed, walk in the park with a friend, browse for real books in bookstores, appreciate the weather, and have tea.

These, after all, are small pleasures that I’ve grown to treasure more and more as the high-tech superreality overwhelms me. I observe that the middle class as such is almost on the verge of being eliminated in Silicon Valley, where the rule is dough. Either you are a multi-millionaire or a homeless guy roaming the street with brilliant past.

Until there is a way to put true human connections into Cyberspace, I suppose I, with a bit of dot.com envy, will have to stay a dot.org kind of guy. — IPA
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Irish peace process to go on

CAMBRIDGE (Mass), Feb 23 (Reuters) — Mr David Trimble, leader of Northern Ireland’s pro-British Ulster Unionist Party, said the peace process would continue, although he was less optimistic about whether paramilitary groups on both sides would disarm.

Earlier yesterday, before Mr Trimble spoke at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, the IRA denied a report that it had offered to give up its arms if British troops withdrew from the province.

Mr Trimble said that since the peace accords were signed he had communicated personally with Mr Gerry Adams, leader of the IRA’s political ally Sinn Fein, “although sometimes not to great purpose. And we will continue to do so. And I think that we will find a way of resolving this matter in the course of what I understand to be the principles of the agreement.’’
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WORLD BRIEFS

New judge for Elian’s case
MIAMI: A new judge was appointed to handle the case of Elian Gonzales, the Cuban boy at the centre of a heated international custody battle, following the hospitalisation of Federal Judge William Hoeveler. South Florida Chief District Judge Edward Davis announced that judge Michael Moore is now in charge of the case. A hearing on a petition by Elian’s Miami relatives who are challenging a decision by the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service to send the six-year-old boy back to Cuba was to be held in federal court here on Tuesday. — AFP

Pinewood Studios sold for 62m
LONDON:
British Pinewood Studios that have given birth to cinema classics from James Bond to the nudge-nudge, wink-wink humour of “Carry On” films have been sold, Rank Group has announced, Pinewood Studios, built on the orders of film mogul J Arthur Rank in the 1930s were sold for 62 million to a web of investors led by former head of Channel 4 television Michael Grade and backed by venture capitalists 3I, Rank said on Tuesday. — AFP

N-power plant scrapped
TOKYO: A proposed nuclear power plant in the Mie Prefecture, northeast Japan, was on Wednesday scrapped under order from the local Governor. The plant cancelled is on the list of those Prime Minister Kei Zoobuchi’s central government considers essential for the nation’s energy plans. The government said Mie Governor’s action would not change its national nuclear energy policy. Japan has more than 50 nuclear power plants in operation supplying one third of its energy need. — PTI

Newspaper staff arrested
HARARE: The police on Wednesday arrested two journalists and the proprietor of the weekly Independent Standard newspaper over its report of an alleged fraud committed by the state commission to draft a new Constitution. Andrew Moyshe, Acting Editor of the Standard, Clive Wilson, the proprietor, and reporter Chengetai Zvauya were taken to Harare central police station. — DPA

Student riot in Quebec
QUEBEC CITY: More than 2,000 students demanding more money for education ran riot and clashed with police on Tuesday evening at the opening of a provincial summit on youth, eyewitnesses and police said. The youngsters pushed against metal barricades at the entrance to Grand Theatre and tried to enter the building. Troublemakers engaged in a shoving match with police and threw molotov cocktails, billiard balls and snowballs at anti-riot squads. —Reuters

Scribe banned from writing for life
SANAA: A Yemeni court has banned a local journalist from writing for life after he was convicted of writing an article that harmed relations with Saudi Arabia, a court official said. The court here also fined journalist Jamal Amer 5,000 riyals ($31) and ordered his newspaper Al-Wahdawi, a mouthpiece of the opposition Nasserite Party, closed for a month. — Reuters

Thai school offers frogs for lunch
BANGKOK: A school in Thailand’s impoverished northeast has begun rearing frogs in a bid to feed hungry students, reports said on Tuesday. Now children at Baan Khok Kham Noan School in Buri Ram are munching free lunches of spicy frog curry and grilled frog, while making pocket money exporting the hoppers to restaurants in Hong Kong. — AFP

Ruins of Egyptian temple found
WARSAW: Polish archaeologists have found the ruins of a large Egyptian temple in Sudan dating from the New Kingdom era of 1580-1085 B.C. the daily Rzeczpospolita reported. The ruins run for some 500 metres along the right bank of the Nile at Hudjeir Gubli, near El Arak, with walls 107 cm thick and fragments of columns measuring 200-250 cm in diameter. The size was unusual for the region, said the newspaper, which sponsored the expedition — AFP

Sextuplets born to Saudi woman
RIYADH: A Saudi woman is in stable condition after giving birth to sextuplets on Sunday, a hospital official has said. “The babies weight between 1.8 kg and 2.5 kg and they are all fine,” said the official at King Khaled University Hospital on Tuesday. — APTop

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