|Thursday, April 13, 2000,
India receives shells for Bofors
Elians trip to see father
Tension over poll mounts in Peru
Congress grass poisoned
cows in Lanka
Report on Clinton
China to take Taiwan by
41 Muslim rebels killed
MOSCOW, April 12 (UNI) India has received from Russia powerful artillery shells, specially designed for its Bofors guns, which will improve the range and pinpoint accuracy of these guns.
Early this week, the Indian Army received the first consignment of these shells, which, according to Russian experts, will enable the reduction of expenditure by 50 to 100 times, task implementation time by five to seven times, besides reducing the overall cost by three to five times.
The Krasnopol-M artillery system, designed and produced by the Russian Instrument Design Bureau, the KBP, at the request of the Indian Government, enables the production of these high-precision shells for the Bofors guns.
The effectiveness of the shells had been tested both in the Indian deserts and mountains, the sources said.
India had approached the Russian bureau for meeting Indias requirement of appropriate shells, to be designed and produced especially for the Bofors guns, the sources said.
Russian experts pointed out that usually, in a battle, hundreds of shells had to be fired to hit at least one small-sized target. However, during trials for the new high precision shells, carried out in the Indian deserts, it was found that three Krasnopol projectiles had destroyed two tanks and one bunker at a range of more than 13km from the gun, they said. In other words, every projectile hit the target, they said.
Also, trials for the
shells carried out in the Himalayas, where the shells
were successfully fired at an altitude of 4.5 km, were
described as fantastic by Russian ballistic
experts. Research work had also been conducted by Indian
experts in a bid to make the shells more effective for
high mountains, they said.
MIAMI, April 12 (Reuters) Plans for a meeting between Elian Gonzalez, his father and the Miami relatives battling to keep him in the USA fell through early today and the US Government was set to move ahead with plan to transfer custody of the motherless child to his dad.
The Cuban shipwreck survivors great-uncle, Lazaro Gonzalez, was reported by local media to have emerged from his little Havana house late in the evening to tell a waiting crowd that Elian would not after all travel to Washington for the planned meeting with his father today.
The news was a bombshell just hours after Cuban American activist Jorge Mas Santos announced the reunion, saying that several of Elians Miami relatives would bring the boy to Washington for a private meeting with his father, Juan Miguel Gonzalez, a top Justice Department official, and a US Senator from New Jersey.
In a saga filled with dramatic twists and turns, it was not clear early today if some Miami relatives might in any case travel to Washington to meet the childs father, without the boy.
Sources close to the case had said the Washington meeting could presage the transfer of the boy to his fathers custody far away from the emotional crowds that have thronged the streets around the little Havana home where he has lived since he was rescued floating on an inner tube November 25, 1999, off Floridas coast.
But later, sources close to the case said if the Washington meeting did not take place, the INS would revert to its plan to send a letter ordering the relatives to turn over the boy by the end of this week.
Juan Miguel Gonzalez, his second wife and their infant son flew into Washington last week to take custody of Elian, and the Immigration and Naturalisation Service which believes the boy belongs to his father has been anxious to resolve the case rapidly.
But the twists continued into Wednesday morning. With the INS set to send the family orders on when and where they should hand over custody of the child, Mas Santos emerged to announce the planned family meeting in Washington.
He said the meeting would take place at a neutral location in the Washington area, and would involve only Elian, his father, his dads second wife and their baby, family members from Miami, Deputy Attorney General Eric Holder and Sen. Robert Torricelli, a New Jersey Democrat.
But just hours later, Lazaro Gonzalez said Elian would not be going. CBS radio reported that shortly after midnight today, Lazaro told about 100 supporters standing vigil outside his Miami home that if he and other relatives do go to Washington, it will be without the boy.
WASHINGTON, April 12 (AFP) US President Bill Clinton and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak agreed to speed up the Israeli-Palestinian track facing looming deadlines but had no breakthroughs to announce on any of the stalled West Asia peace fronts, officials said.
The two stretched a planned one-hour meeting into four hours at the White House today for an exhaustive review of all the troubled West Asia peace tracks in which Mr Clinton is actively mediating.
The President feels coming out of this very encouraged, there is an intensification, a renewed energy on the Palestinian track and he looks forward to building on that momentum, a US official said on condition of anonymity.
Barak, who left Washington for Jerusalem at midnight yesterday after a 21-hour visit, made no official statement after the meeting, but an Israeli official travelling with him revealed some details of the discussions.
Barak and Clinton agreed to accelerate the Palestinian track, said the Israeli official on condition of anonymity.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat has accused Mr Barak of dragging his feet on a framework agreement due in May that is to produce a final accord in September and the US official acknowledged that there are gaps to be overcome.
We are in the midst of dealing with the real heart and soul of the hardest issues... and it is incumbent on both sides to come up with new ideas, said the US official.
tyre, (Lebanon): Israeli jet fighters repeatedly attacked suspected guerrilla infiltration trails and hideouts in southern Lebanon, apparently in retaliation to attacks on Israeli outposts, Lebanese security officials said.
Meanwhile, the Israeli
Army brought artillery into the southern Lebanon enclave
it controls. Under cover of darkness, four 155mm
Howitzers mounted on armoured carriers backed by a convoy
of another 12 military vehicles crossed the border,
witnesses said yesterday.
LIMA, April 12 (AFP) Peruvian Opposition leader Alejandro Toledo has accused the government of electoral fraud as tension mounted in the country, with the results of Sundays presidential ballot still unclear.
The national election agency ONPE yesterday said incumbent Alberto Fujimori could win the election outright, as he already holds 49.85 per cent of the vote with 77.78 per cent of the ballots counted.
Mr Fujimori needs 50 per cent of the votes to avert a run-off second round of voting.
Mr Toledo of the Peru Possible party had 40.41 per cent of votes, according to ONPEs Jorge Recavarren, in the agencys third announcement of partial results yesterday.
But Mr Toledo accused the government of manipulating the results of Sundays elections, and urged international election observers to remain in the country until final results were delivered.
US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright yesterday said in Washington that inconsistencies in Perus weekend election results could threaten the polls legitimacy.
COLOMBO, April 12 (UNI) An Indian weed, believed to have been brought to Sri Lanka when the Indian Peace Keeping Force (IPKF) came here in late 1980s, is said to be the cause of death of cows reported recently from the Central Province.
Botanically known as parthenium hysterosphorous this weed could lead to skin diseases, hay fever and allergies in humans, a scientist of the Rice Research Institute (RRI) has warned. The plant is of Argentinian and Mexican origin.
Research Officer Anuruddhika Abeysekara was quoted by the Daily Miror that there was substantial evidence relating to the death of two cows in Hiriyala in the Dambulla area in Central Province, due to poisonous meal but it has not been officially attributed.
She said the weed detected in Kundasale, Pallekele and Hiriyale last month emitted poisonous chemicals into the soil. These chemicals were, harmful to both plant and animal life, besides killing most of the nutrients in the soil, thus becoming a threat to other plants in the area. She said under normal conditions, a cow would not eat the weed, but were compelled due to lack of grass.
WASHINGTON, April 12 (Reuters) The White House has brushed off a report that investigators were considering an indictment against President Bill Clinton for alleged lying and obstructing justice in the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal.
White House spokesman
Joe Lockhart yesterday dismissed comments by independent
counsel Robert Ray in the Washington Post, where he said
he was actively considering seeking an indictment against
Mr Clinton after he left the office for trying to hide
his relationship with Ms Lewinsky.
WASHINGTON, April 12 (PTI) China will take Taiwan by force in a swift stroke by 2005 or 2010 when it feels it is militarily strong enough to deter American intervention, claims Chong-Pin Lin, vice-chairman of Taiwans Mainland Affairs Council.
They (Chinese) would destroy all ports, airports and highways. Then they would use amphibious operations coupled with sabotage, he said in an interview to Defence News.
ZAMBOANGA, (PHILIPPINES) Fortyone Muslim guerrillas have been slain as Philippine security forces mounted an air and ground assault on a rebel training base in the southern island of Mindanao, a military spokesman said on Wednesday.
The operation was
launched yesterday against the Moro Islamic Liberation
Front (MILF) stronghold of Camp Bilal, a day after
suspected guerrilla sabotage left the islands 16
million residents without electricity for several hours,
Major Johnny Macanas said. He told reporters that 41 MILF
members had been killed since Tuesday when the military
overran six MILF forward outposts near the towns of Munai
for arrest of cult leaders
Latvian PM to
smugglers of humans
for Malaysian Muslims
favour Chernobyl closure
Deadly beat for
Nod for early
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