|Monday, April 10, 2000,
to approach UK to get Sharifs money
set for second term
global warming pact: G8 ministers
|Beijing not keen on strategic
BEIJING, April 9 Beijing has indicated it is not keen on a strategic India-China-Russia triangle but said it wants increased cooperation with its two important neighbours to establish a new equitable international political order.
Iran frees 500 Iraqi POWs
suffer as aid comes late
my side or leave, Mugabe tells whites
Marines die in air crash
set to emerge as largest in Bosnia
m Peruvians go to polls
Pak to approach UK to get Sharifs money
LONDON, April 9 (PTI) Pakistans military regime has decided to approach the UK for help in recovering millions of pounds accumulated in bank accounts by deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his family members, Farouk Adam Khan, a top official has said.
What we really want is to get the money back. It belongs to the people of Pakistan, Prosecutor General at Pakistans National Accountability Bureau (NAB) told The Sunday Times.
The NAB, an anti-corruption force, was set up by the military regime, headed by Gen Pervez Musharraf, to flush out unaccounted money.
According to a report published in the weekly today, it is, however, not clear when the request would be made to the British Government.
The Pakistani authorities might wait till the British Government complies with an earlier request for information relating to the financial activities of another former premier Benazir Bhutto.
Mr Sharif was sentenced to life imprisonment last week by an anti-terrorism court in Karachi after being convicted of hijacking and terrorism.
According to the report, Mr Sharifs real crime in the eyes of most Pakistanis was to amass a huge personal fortune, allegedly by plundering state coffers while his fellow countrymen suffered increasing economic hardship.
From its base in Lahore, the Sharif family ran a complex network of businesses that included foundries, textile mills, sugar mills and a paper mill.
Sandhurst-trained former Army Major and lawyer, claims
that Mr Sharifs empire was built on a variety of
crimes, including the misuse of power and influence, the
non-declaration of assets, tax evasion, money laundering
and manipulation of legislation for the fraudulent
acquisition of wealth.
Shevardnadze set for second term
TBILISI, April 9 (AFP) Eduard Shevardnadze was set to win Georgias presidential election today despite voter disenchantment and economic ills plaguing the former Soviet state.
The Georgian President and Mikhail Gorbachevs perestroika-era Foreign Minister voiced strong confidence in his win.
I believe in my victory, the 72-year-old Georgian leader said. There are many factors for this real authority, real influence, and a real programme.
Observers here say Shevardnadze will easily defeat the field of five other candidates in the first round of voting. For that he must win more than 50 per cent of valid ballots.
Mr Shevardnadzes popularity rests on the peace and stability he represents after a violent post-independence period, in which the country witnessed two separatist conflicts and a civil war.
One of the incumbent Presidents main challengers, regional boss Aslan Abashidze, pulled out of the race at the last moment yesterday, saying that the contest would not be free and democratic.
Mr Abashidze could still receive a portion of the votes, however, especially in his home region of Adzhara, as he announced his withdrawal after voting papers had been published and his name remained on the ballot.
Mr Shevardnadzes other rival, former Communist-era chief Dzhumber Patiashvili, has made inroads in poverty-stricken areas outside the capital, promising full employment and support for small businesses.
Reuters adds: Mr Patiashvili, Shevardnadzes successor as Georsian Communist party chief from 1985-89, is making his second bid to unseat the 72-year-old former Soviet Foreign Minister after losing in 1995 with 19 per cent of the vote against his rivals 70 per cent.
Mr Patiashvili (60) a soft-spoken former agronomist, is trying to force a runoff by denying Shevardnadze a majority.
Some in Georgia still associate him with the April 9, 1989. Soviet army massacre of dozens of unarmed pro-independence demonstrators in Tbilist, when he was Communist leader.
Even dog and cat food has a balance of vitamins, many of our people can only afford bread, if that, this is a huge problem for our people, Mr Patiashvili told newsmen.
He did not say how he planned to help the poor with food but said he would clamp down on rampant corruption, which he said included diverting foreign credits into private pockets.
This goes down well with some voters in the Caucasus mountain country of 5.5 million.
WASHINGTON, April 9 (Reuters) The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has fired one staffer and disciplined six others for mistakes that led to the bombing of the Chinese Embassy in Belgrade during the Kosovo war last year, news reports here said.
The bombing in May last year during the NATO air campaign against Slobodan Milosevics forces caused severe strains between the USA and China. Beijing rejected the US assurances that the attack, in which three Chinese citizens were killed, had been a mistake.
The Washington Post and CNN yesterday said the CIA action was taken on Thursday and Friday. They did not identify the staffers, but said one of those disciplined was a senior official.
The agency believes these people were partially responsible for the mistakes that led to the accidental bombing of the embassy, CNN said.
It said measures taken against the six employees who were censured included verbal warnings and letters of reprimand which froze the recipients at current pay and job levels.
The newspaper quoted a CIA spokesman as saying internal reviews had concluded that intelligence officers meant to target a Yugoslav arms agency but marked the wrong building on a map.
The spokesman said numerous CIA officers failed to ensure that the intended bombing target had been properly identified and precisely located.
Sign global warming pact: G8 ministers
OTSU, (Japan), April 9 (Reuters) Environment Ministers of the Group of Eight (G8) nations ended talks today calling for the early ratification of a global warming accord but papered over other differences on cutting greenhouse gases.
In a joint communiqué issued after the three-day meeting in the western Japanese city of Otsu, the ministers agreed that an early ratification of the Kyoto Protocol was necessary and that most countries should achieve that by the year 2002.
We agreed that an early ratification of the protocol was necessary and that this means that most countries must do so by 2002, Mr Kayoko Shimizu, Japanese Environmental Agency chief and also Chairman of the conference, told reporters.
Beijing not keen on strategic triangle
BEIJING, April 9 (PTI) Beijing has indicated it is not keen on a strategic India-China-Russia triangle but said it wants increased cooperation with its two important neighbours to establish a new equitable international political order.
China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace and wishes to develop, on the basis of the five principles of peaceful co-existence, friendly relations and cooperation with all countries, India and Russia included, Chinese Foreign Minister Tang Jiaxuan told PTI in an interview, indicating Beijings lack of enthusiasm for a three-way relationship.
Mr Tang was specifically asked to comment on the proposal of previous Russian Premier Yevgeny Primakov of the strategic triangle.
He said, China is optimistic about the prospects of Sino-India relations, and is ready to continue to strengthen, through bilateral channels, its coordination and cooperation with India and Russia in international affairs.
The three countries have broad consensus on major issues such as establishing a new international order, opposing neo-interventionism and promoting multi-polarisation of the world, he noted.
Stating that the existing partnership of cooperation between China and Russia will continue to play a positive role in establishing a new international political and economic order, Mr Tang said Sino-Indian ties have also entered a new process of improvement and development, thanks to the joint efforts of both sides.
Commenting on possible Sino-Indian cooperation in the establishment of a multi-polar world, the Chinese Minister said the two largest developing nations have common ground on many international issues.
China and India have a major role in maintaining world peace and stability, upholding the purposes and principles of the UN charter and the universally recognised norms governing state-to-state relations, he said.
Mr Tang said the two
nations also opposed interference in the internal affairs
of others under the pretext of human rights over
sovereignty, and favoured establishing a just and
equitable new international political order.
Iran frees 500 Iraqi POWs
AL-MUNDHARIYA (Iraq) April 9 (AP) With tears and cheers, thousands of relatives welcomed home some 500 Iraqi prisoners of war whom Iran released today as a unilateral gesture to improve strained ties.
Soldiers on both sides of this border crossing point clapped and waved banners as the Iraqi prisoners, weary from years of captivity, walked with unsteady steps only to be hugged by relatives, some of whom had spent two nights in the desert waiting for the arrival of their beloved ones.
Salma Mahmoud threw her black veil away when her eyes fell on her infirm, bald husband with a grey beard. Thats Faiq. It is him. It is him, she shouted, pouring kisses on his cheeks, forehead and hands.
Faiq Asem was taken prisoner in the second year of the 1980-1988 Iraq-Iran war, just a week after his honeymoon, most of which he spent at the front. After 18 years, a faithful Salma, now with a daughter, said they would try to start again. She was pregnant when Faiq was captured.
Children suffer as aid comes late
DANAN (Ethiopia), April 9 (Reuters) Fadumo Sultan walked for five days with her four children at her side to reach this small, remote town in south-west Ethiopia.
It was a desperate move for a family pushed to the brink by three years of drought. Once, they had owned 30 cows and 200 sheep and goats a healthy savings account in the harsh, dusty plains of the Ogaden region.
One by one their animals died as pastures ran out. Weakened by a lack of food, Fadumos husband then fell ill and died last year.
With no money left to buy food, Fadumo was hoping to find help in Danan. But what little she found was not enough. Two of her children have followed their father to the grave in the past two weeks.
They died of starvation, Fadumo says, as her two other infants, a tiny boy covered in dust and a young girl in a simple blue dress, shelter under her left arm.
Fadumo is living in the epicentre of a severe drought in Ethiopia. Conditions are not yet this bad in other parts of the country, but her familys experience is a dramatic warning of what can happen if food aid does not arrive in time to avert a potential famine.
Ethiopia has appealed for over 8,00,000 tonnes of food aid to feed eight million people faced with starvation around the country this year. Belatedly or not, the USA and Europe recently pledged their help.
Ethiopias government has been delivering wheat to the south-west since January, drawing partly on its own supplies, partly on food donated through the UN World Food Programme.
While this has kept most of the adults in Danan alive and relatively healthy, the deliveries have not helped the youngest children.
The impact of the wheat was significant for most people, their nutritional status is still ok, said Mr Mahamud Ugas, regional manager for the Ogaden Welfare Service (OWS), a local aid agency.
But children under five and the elderly cannot rely on dry wheat they need milk, oil and clean water. They are suffering a lot, he told Reuters.
Take my side or leave, Mugabe tells whites
HARARE, April 9 (Reuters) Zimbabwes President Robert Mugabe, his political stock at an alltime low after 20 years in power, has made an emotional appeal for popular support with a strong message to the countrys whites to take his side or leave.
Mugabes message was spelled out at a rural rally just one day after his Zanu-PF party pushed through a law giving the government the right to confiscate predominantly white-owned farmland while making Britain responsible for compensation.
Alas, those that we had thought had accepted the hand of reconciliation had not in fact done so, the 76-year-old Mugabe said. The white man has not changed. I appeal to him or her to rethink.
He said he was not anti-white, just against those who did not support him, and accused the 4,500 white farmers and their families of backrolling the emerging opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC).
Mugabe was unrepentant over the collapse in relations with former colonial overlord Britain after supposed veterans of the liberation war that ended in 1980 with the Lancaster House accord invaded more than 800 farms.
I support the invasion of the farms, but I didnt send them, he told a crowd of about 1,500 persons including several veteran fighters and a large group of young militants.
Two persons have died and scores have been injured since the supposed war veterans began the farm invasions.
Farmers have been attacked and held hostage on their properties, and reporters have likewise been abused, kept captive and threatened.
19 Marines die in air crash
MARANA (Arizona), April 9 (AP) A Marine Corps aircraft crashed while landing at an airport west of Tucson killing all 19 people on board, the authorities said.
The plane went down last night with four crew members and 15 passengers aboard and was engulfed in flames, said Sgt. Nathan Portman of the Marine Corps Air Station at Yuma, where the flight originated.
All the victims were Marines, but officials said they did not know where they had been based. The aircraft was not based at the Yuma air station.
The MV-22 Tiltrotor Osprey, which looks like a large turboprop plane but can take off like a helicopter, was landing at the Marana northwest regional airport as part of a training mission when it crashed, said Col. William D. Catto. The plane was expected to return to the Yuma air station, he said.
SDP set to emerge as largest in Bosnia
SARAJEVO, April 9 (Reuters) Bosnias opposition Social Democratic Party (SDP) today said early results of local elections show it has defeated wartime nationalists in a number of municipalities in the majority Muslim areas of the country.
The multi-ethnic SDP, which controlled only the northern town of Tuzla before yesterdays election, said it was on track to become the single largest party in Bosnia. An SDP victory in Bosnias second post-war local poll would fulfil the hopes of Western powers, which had expressed a desire to see Bosnians reject the economic and political lethargy that they blame on the nationalists.
In a number of municipalities, we have won more than 50 per cent of the votes and in others we are the single biggest party, SDP secretary-general Karlo Filipovic told reporters.
He said the SDP had secured more than 50 per cent of the vote or was the single largest party in the Capital Sarajevo, Tuzla and the central Bosnian town of Zenica. He did not give details but said he would give more precise figures at a news conference later in the day.
14 m Peruvians go to polls
LIMA, April 9 (Reuters) Peruvians canoed through Amazon jungles and rode mules in the Andes today to cast ballots in a tight race pitting President Alberto Fujimori against the son of an Indian peasant who became a World Bank economist.
More than 14 million Peruvians go to the polls in an election overshadowed by allegations of fraud as lead candidate Mr Fujimori, who counts on more than 40 per cent support, runs for an unprecedented third five-year term.
Jiang to visit
have more kids
Youths set black
man on fire
slain scribes funeral
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