|Friday, March 3, 2000,
Pinochet flies out
storms threaten Mozambique
appeals for gun control law
Puri in race for UK film awards
used stolen gun
for 2 Afghans
LONDON, March 2 (AFP and Reuters) Chiles former dictator Augusto Pinochet finally flew out to freedom today as Britain halted extradition proceedings against him after more than 16 months of legal wrangling. He flew out in a medically equipped Chilean air force plane which had been on standby in Britain for the past month.
Earlier, Britains Home Secretary Jack Straw said today he had decided against ordering the extradition of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet to Spain and three other European countries seeking to try him.
I have today decided that I will not order the extradition of Senator Pinochet to Spain, Mr Straw said in a statement. I have also decided not to issue authorities to proceed in respect of the extradition requests from Switzerland, Belgium and France.
The Home Secretary (Jack Straw) has decided he will not proceed with the extradition, the spokeswoman said.
She said the 84-year-old Pinochet would now be able to go home, barring any legal challenges. A last-minute legal attempt to stop this happening was announced by a Spanish lawyer just before Mr Straws decision was made public.
Ms Joan Garces said a Spanish Judge was asking Britains state prosecutors to file an appeal against any decision to allow Pinochet to go home on the grounds that he was unfit to stand trial.
The General was arrested in London over 16 months ago at the request of Spain, which wants to try him on torture charges dating from part of his 1973-1990 rule in Chile. Three other countries Belgium, France and Switzerland are seeking General Pinochets extradition. He is currently under house arrest outside London.
Meanwhile, General Pinochet today left the secluded country residence near London where he has been under house arrest since October 1998, the police said.
Pinochet has now left the estate, police spokesman Pete Long said. The convoy has gone.
A police motorcade made up of six cars and flanked by four motorcycle outriders, swept out of the back entrance of the estate near London.
A police helicopter hovered above the exclusive Wentworth Estate where General Pinochet had lived in a rented house.
DPA adds: Mr Straw, who in early January said he was minded to release 84-year-old Pinochet after a medical report established that a series of strokes had caused extensive brain damage, cited medical grounds for the decision announced today.
Last week Belgium, France and Spain called for more tests on the 84-year-old after studying copies of the medical reports drawn up by a team of British doctors.
Switzerland also challenged the Home Secretarys proposed move, warning that ill health was no bar to extradition under international treaties.
Mr Straw was ordered to
hand over copies of the medical report after a successful
legal challenge in the high court by Belgium and six
human rights organisations who argued the four states
should be allowed to scrutinise the findings of the
1000 Chechen rebels killed
MOSCOW, March 2 (UNI) Russian troops have wiped out about a thousand Islamic militants from the last rebel bastion in Chechnya.
Voice of Russia quoting Defence Minister Igor Sergeev today said that the Russian army had successfully completed its mission in Chechnya having removed the rebels from their last bastion, Shatoi.
The Russian military divisions will begin leaving Chechnya only after ensuring that terrorism no longer revives there while the task of maintaining law and order will be handed over to the Internal Affairs Ministry to be headed by Mr Mikhail Rushailo until the President issue an ordinance paving the way for civilian administration.
The Russian 42nd Motorised Infantry which had been stationed in Chechnya for a long time will take over the strongholds of the rebels, Mr Sergeev added.
News agency Novosti quoting sources said rebel commandos president Aslan Mashkhadov, Shamil Basayev and Jordonian Colonel Khattab were still present in Chechnya, though the authorities have not let out any information about them.
Situated near Argun Gorge bordering Georgia, Shatoi was taken over by the Federal troops on Tuesday night.
Meanwhile, a German television company has dismissed its Moscow correspondent for misinterpreting video footage showing corpses of Chechen militants and presenting them as victims of torture inflicted by Russian soldiers, according to Voice of Russia.
The clip was shot by a Cameraman of Russian Daily Izvestia on February 14. It was secured by Frank Hefling of Pro 7 who presented it to German viewers as evidence of torture of Chechen prisoners by Russian forces. The chilling scenes generated unprecedented anger in the Western world.
Fresh storms threaten Mozambique
MAPUTO, March 2 (Reuters) Aid agencies today said violent new storms and raging rivers threatened to bring more misery to Mozambique, where an estimated 100,000 persons are trapped by floods.
A second cyclone, named Gloria, might hit the impoverished southern African country at high speed, bringing torrential rains, said United Nations World Food Programme spokeswoman Michelle Quintaglie.
The South African
Weather Bureau said the cyclone sweeping in from
Madagascar could hit the port city of Beira and central
Mozambique next Wednesday, bringing heavy rains. Floods
that began four weeks ago have killed more than 350
persons in Mozambique. South African, Botswana and
Zimbabwe aid workers believe that figure is a fraction of
the total number of dead.
Window on Pakistan
Ever since Gen Pervez Musharraf seized power in a bloodless coup on October 12, 1999, he has been fighting a battle for survival on two fronts political and socio-economic. He appears to have succeeded on the political front because ordinary people were sick of the unfulfilled promises made by the previous rulers. But the socio-economic front is giving the General, nay the Chief Executive, sleepless nights. There is no change in the situation. Rather things have worsened.
Jang of Karachi, in an editorial on the completion of more than four months of military rule, on February 14 went to the extent of asking General Musharraf to desist from making loud promises when he could not deliver the goods. He should stop saying, "I will do this, I will bring about that change".
The paper pointed out: "Even now the work of the common man is not done easily, without any encumbrances; even now bribery and corruption at various levels have not ended....; even now the process of economic improvement has not begun; even now prices continue to rise; even now education, health care, employment and clean drinking water are not available to everyone. Obviously, all this cannot be done in four months. But people definitely expect from General Musharraf to ensure that there is some sign of improvement in the situation in the areas mentioned."
Dawn of February 28 carried a revealing article by Ihtasham-ul-Haque which depicted a similar picture of the state of affairs in Pakistan. Haque says: "There has been a lot of emphasis on good governance, but the ground realities suggest that corruption is still rampant, and the fear of accountability still has to create an impact. One does not get the impression after visiting any office dealing with the public that the level of corruption has gone down. 'People have become a little more careful, but underhand dealings and the element of corruption are very much there', concedes an official."
There is no change in the severity of the economic crisis either. The Economic Advisory Board, which has a number of official and unofficial experts, has failed to come out with innovative ideas to help the government. The country's foreign exchange position ($1.5 billion) is hardly sufficient to meet its six months' import bill.
The aggressive accountability campaign too has been unable to make any noticeable impact on the economy. In fact, it has only led to an "economic slowdown".
Shahid Mahmood in his write-up, carried in The Nation of February 26, says: "The operation for the recovery of stuck-up loans from a select group of people, and drastic action against particular politicians allegedly involved in economic crimes committed in public office have adversely affected economic activity in the country". The strong side-effects of the much-publicised accountability drive are the result of the inability of the military regime to devise a mechanism so that the campaign did not send a wrong signal to the captains of industry.
Carelessness was noticed in constituting the National Accountability Bureau also. As Shahid Mahmood says, the bureau has had people of "doubtful credentials". The entire exercise has transmitted negative signals terrorising prospective investors. "Domestic investors have stopped borrowing from banks, and foreign investors have put their projects on hold in view of the environment of uncertainty and coercion. This simultaneous response of the two kinds of investors has had a very negative influence on the national economy."
When the Nawaz Sharif
government was overthrown, people danced in the streets
of various towns and cities. They not only expressed
their happiness at the turn of events but also showed
great expectations from the new rulers. They are now
disappointed as there is no economic turnaround in sight.
If the military government's failures on the
socio-economic front go on multiplying at the current
pace, its demise will definitely evoke from the people
the kind of reaction the previous regime's downfall did.
Clinton appeals for gun control law
WASHINGTON, March 2 (Reuters) US President Bill Clinton urged Congress to pass a gun control law, saying two shootings this week show we simply havent done everything we can do to keep guns away from criminals and children.
And so today I have to say again to Congress, you have had legislation now that would require child safety locks, would close the gun-show loophole, would take other steps to keep guns out of the wrong hands for well over six months, Mr Clinton said yesterday in a speech to high-tech workers in Virginia youre supposed to take a recess next week before you take the recess please send me this legislation. It will help keep the USA safer.
Mr Clinton noted a terrible shooting yesterday in Wilkinsburg, Pennsylvania, in which five persons were wounded and an incident in Flint, Michigan, on Tuesday in which a six-year-old girl was killed by a six-year-old boy at an elementary school.
Gun control advocates have pushed hard for new laws in the last year, fuelled by outrage over the fatal shootings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in which two high school students killed 12 others and a teacher before killing themselves in the worst school shooting in US history.
At Wilkinsburg, a black gunman who told a neighbour he intended to shoot only white people killed two white men and critically wounded three others before surrendering to the police after a bloody rampage near Pittsburgh.
The suspect, identified as 39-year-old Ronald Taylor, killed a maintenance man at about 3.30 p.m. (GMT) in a row over a door repair at his apartment in the Borough of Wilkinsburg. He set fire to the residence and walked to a commercial area armed with a .22 calibre pistol and a knife.
There, the police said,
he shot three men at a McDonalds restaurant and a
fourth at a Burger King, and entered an office complex
where he took several hostages, including as many as five
wheelchair-bound medical patients, before surrendering to
a Pittsburgh police negotiator shortly before 2:15 p.m.
Om Puri in race for UK film awards
LONDON, March 2 (AP) Indian actor Om Puri has been nominated for the best actor award category in the British Film Academy Awards for his role in the film East Is East along with four other actors.
The other actors are Ralph Fiennes for his role in The End of the Affair, veteran British character actor Jim Broadbent for the film Topsy-Turvy, Kevin Spacey and Russell Crowe.
American Beauty, the most-nominated film in this months Oscar race, led the pack with 14 nominations.
The nominations included best picture and best director for first-time filmmaker Sam Mendes.
Boy used stolen gun
MOUNT MORRIS TOWNSHIP (Michigan) March 2 (AP) The six-year-old boy who killed a first-grade classmate, had used a stolen semi-automatic gun, he apparently discovered loaded and lying around in a bedroom at the flophouse where he was living, investigators said.
The boy was questioned again yesterday and told investigators that the shooting was an accident and that he had only been trying to scare the girl, Police Chief Eric King said.
Anwar loses bid
KUALA LUMPUR, March 2 (Reuters) Jailed former Malaysian Finance Minister Anwar Ibrahim today lost his bid to remove a Judge hearing his appeal against a corruption conviction.
We have decided
that this same quorum will continue hearing this
appeal, Mr Lamin Yunus, President of the Court of
Appeal, told the court in dismissing the move against Mr
Mokhtar Sidin, one of the three judges on the Bench
hearing Ibrahims appeal.
Asylum for 2 Afghans
LONDON, March 2 (PTI) British Home Secretary Jack Straw has granted asylum to two of the 79 passengers of the hijacked Afghan plane which landed at Stansted Airport last month.
women get right to seek divorce
burglar with phone
No interest in
|| Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
| Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | Chandigarh Tribune | In Spotlight |
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
| 119 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |