|Friday, April 21, 2000,
summit to take up Zimbabwe crisis
barred from leaving USA
PPP to fight for democracy
on death for Sharif withdrawn
recovered from crash site
with face of future
3-nation summit to take up Zimbabwe crisis
JOHANNESBURG, April 20 (Reuters) South African President Thabo Mbeki and his Namibian and Mozambican counterparts will meet Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe to discuss the deepening crisis in Zimbabwe, a newspaper said today.
The Star newspaper said that Mr Mbeki, Namibias Sam Nujoma and Mozambiques Joaquim Chissano would meet Mr Mugabe in either Harare or the holiday resort of Victoria Falls tomorrow.
The Star quoted Mr Mbeki as saying: Certainly, any instability in the region is a negative. We are very keen that stability should prevail in Zimbabwe.
To date, Mr Mbeki has been tight-lipped about Zimbabwes woes.
A police officer and two white farmers have been killed in the escalating crisis and nervous farmers were preparing today for a violent Easter holiday weekend.
LONDON: Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe said on Thursday that he did not want international held in tackling land reform in his country.
We can reach our own settlement, I dont think we need help from the UN. This is not a UN issue yet, Mr Mugabe told BBC radio in a recorded interview as Zimbabwe grappled with its worst economic and political crisis since Independence in 1980.
Asked if he might accept input from Britain, the former colonial power in Zimbabwe or from the European Union to try to resolve the issue, he said: The people in Europe dont understand how deeply this land issue touches our hearts,.
Mr Mugabe said that he would not force an immediate withdrawal.
These are war veterans who fought for the country, and the army also has war veterans in it, he said, Would you want me to set war veterans in the army against war veterans outside the army? Do you think that would work?
He said, this may be a long way to a solution, but it is a much smoother way, I can assure you,.
After a meeting with white farmers and leaders of the black land invaders yesterday, Mr Mugabe said the two sides had agreed there would be no more violence and it was therefore not necessary to send more police to the occupied farms.
Mr Mugabes ruling Zanu-PF Party faces parliamentary elections within the next four months and, for the first time since Independence, faces the possibility of defeat.
UNITED NATIONS, (PTI): Secretary-General Kofi Annan has described the situation in Zimbabwe as worrisome but said he was encouraged by his telephonic conversations with President Robert Mugabe and the indications that the Zimbabwean leader was taking steps to ease tensions.
Responding to questions about the eruption of violence against the white farmers in Zimbabwe, he said he had spoken to President Mugabe on Tuesday night and was planning to talk to him again.
My sense is that he is taking the situation in hand and taking steps to defuse it and I have encouraged him to do that, he told media as he was leaving a Security Council meeting on the protection of civilians in armed conflict.
Elian barred from leaving USA
MIAMI, April 20 (AFP) A US Federal Appeals Court handed a victory to the Miami relatives of Elian Gonzalez, approving their injunction request which bars the boy from leaving the country while the family appeals his case.
The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals granted an injunction yesterday, barring the boy from leaving the country while the family pursued their legal battle to win asylum for him here, according to the ruling from a panel of three judges.
We conclude that plaintiff is entitled to an injunction pending appeal. Therefore it is ordered that plaintiff Elian Gonzalez is enjoined from departing or attempting to depart from the United States of America, the judges wrote.
And in a second blow to US authorities, the Atlanta, Georgia court refused to order the family to give up physical custody of the boy in exchange for an injunction as the Justice Department had sought.
We decline to proceed in that matter, the judges wrote.
To ensure Elian has his day in court we need only address the issue of plaintiffs removal from the country. We need not decide where or in whose custody plaintiff should remain while his appeal is pending, they said.
The ruling raises the doubt that the bitter custody stand-off between the Miami family and US authorities could drag on until May, when an appeal hearing is scheduled.
The ruling is especially galling for the government, which failed to enforce an order to the family to give up the boy on last Thursday, and was hoping to get a court order to strengthen its hand.
Window on Pakistan
These are troubled times for deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's family on all fronts. The Pakistan Muslim League (PML), controlled by him like a business enterprise, is faced with a leadership crisis. For the time being he has managed to retain his position as the PML head from his cell, a la Mr Laloo Yadav, but the arrangement is being vehemently opposed by a powerful group of dissidents.
The dissidents prominent among them are Mr Fakhr Imam, his wife Syeda Abida, Mian Mohammad Azhar and Khurshid Kasuri created a ruckus at the recent joint meeting of the PML Central Coordination Committee, the Central and Punjab Working Committee and the PML Parliamentary Party at Lahore when Mr Nawaz Sharif's wife, Kulsoom, along with her supporters tried to convince the party that a change in the leadership was not desirable.
The loyalists argued that the former Prime Minister had not exhausted the legal process in the cases against him filed by the military regime. The judgement of the Anti-Terrorism Court sentencing him to life imprisonment has already been challenged in the Sindh High Court. The doors of the Supreme Court are also open for Mr Nawaz Sharif in case of an adverse verdict by the High Court.
The dissidents have refused to buy this argument. In their opinion, now that Mr Nawaz Sharif has been convicted by a court of law, the PML must have a new leader. At the crucial Lahore meeting at one time it was suggested that the seniormost Vice-President, Raja Zafarul Haq, should be given the responsibility of leading the PML, but this was not acceptable to Mrs Kulsoom Nawaz. Mr Haq too appeared to be unwilling. Newspaper reports have it that in the absence of Mr Nawaz Sharif, his money is playing a major role in keeping the party intact and loyal to the crisis-stricken family.
Mrs Kulsoom Nawaz is making all efforts to prove that "Nawaz hamaara hero hai, baaqi sab zero hai". After the conviction of her husband by the Anti-Terrorism Court she has given the impression of being politically very ambitious. She holds "khuli kachehris" these days to interact with party workers and others.
If she thinks she is the obvious successor of Mr Nawaz Sharif as the party chief, she is not to blame. She is the product of a political culture which reflects the feudal character of Pakistani society. She has never seen organisational elections for installing the office-bearers of the PML. They have always been nominated by a group headed by Mr Nawaz Sharif, whose leadership had remained unchallenged till he was ousted from power last October in a military coup. This is also true about Ms Benazir Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party and the smaller parties being controlled by different families.
In an April 11 editorial, Jang lamented at the peculiar situation prevailing in Pakistan where there is no democratic culture in political parties. Political organisations are treated like family fiefs. "If democracy is not allowed to grow in political parties, everyone within the country (Pakistan) and outside it will get an opportunity to make sarcastic remarks that these organisations are run like public limited companies", the highly respected Urdu daily commented.
One can understand that the periodic military take-over of the administration in Pakistan has prevented the emergence of a democratic culture. But those who swear by democracy will have to do something so that at least political parties hold organisational elections to establish their credibility among the public.
The Nation says, "Both the PML and the PPP are facing a situation for which they had not prepared themselves. The parties have continued to revolve around their respective chiefs, and have discouraged the emergence of an alternative leadership. They have yet to understand that parties get reinvigorated by holding regular internal elections and by straightening inner party democracy." How true!
PML, PPP to fight for democracy
ISLAMABAD, April 20 (PTI) Notwithstanding practical hitches in the way of forging a democratic alliance, the two former Pakistani premiers, Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhuttos families have reportedly reached an understanding to bring their parties the Pakistan Muslim League (PML) and Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) close to each other to fight for democracy.
Now the actions will speak louder than the words, Pakistani daily news quoted a PML leader as saying yesterday.
We are engaged in this process to bring close step by step one-time arch rivals and the only two national level parties under one umbrella and naturally we are facing resistance from within the parties as well as behind the scene activities of the present regimes sleuths who desperately want to see both parties polls apart, he said.
Insiders believe serious
efforts are on to bring close the two mainstream parties
of the country after their leaderships were convinced
that both of them are prime targets of the ruling
military regime with which many of their second line
leaders have made secret agreements to pave the way for
an end to leadership of these top political families.
Appeal on death for Sharif withdrawn
ISLAMABAD, April 20 (UNI) Two appeals filed in the Sind High Court for enhancing the punishment to deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and also against the acquittal of the six other co-accused in the PIA plane hijacking case have been withdrawn.
When contacted by journalists, the roster branch of the court in Karachi said they were informed that the appeals through urgent applications, have been withdrawn by the prosecution.
FDR recovered from crash site
DAVAO (Philippines), April 20 (AP) Searchers recovered today the flight data recorder from an Air Philippines jet that crashed on a resort island, killing all 131 people aboard in the Philippines worst aviation disaster.
Heavy rain during the night forced rescuers to suspend searches for the remains of the 124 passengers and seven crew, but recovery efforts resumed today morning despite rain.
The flight data recorder, one of the planes two black boxes, was recovered early today said Mr Jacinto Ortega, chief of the Air Transportation Office. It and the cockpit voice recorder, which was located yesterday will be sent to the US National Transportation Safety Board for analysis, he said.
Recovery of the flight data recorder was delayed because the planes tail section, where it is located, continued smouldering for many hours after the accident, officials said.
Meanwhile, Air Philippines today received a bomb threat, a day after a Boeing 737-200 plane packed with Easter holidaymakers crashed and killed all 131 people on board.
Mr Prose Arreola, an Air Philippines information officer, said the bomb threat was received by the telephone at 2.30 a.m. by a duty cargo acceptance personnel at Manilas Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
We have taken all precautionary measures to ensure the safety of our flights, Mr Arreola said. We have intensified restrictions at our cargo division since last night.
LONDON, April 20 (AP) She has green hair, big eyes, slightly jerky movements and a vaguely North American accent. She says she is the face of the future.
Her developers hope shes a goldmine.
Ananova billed as the worlds first virtual newscaster made her debut today on the Internet. With a click of a mouse, computer users around the world can have bulletins of breaking news read to them by the glamorous cyber-anchor, programmed to exude a range of human emotions.
Her creators promise that is just the beginning.
Shes a lot more than a talking head that reads the news, Mark Hird, publishing director at Ananova Ltd., said yesterday in launching the creation to the news media. Shes a computer with a face in front of it, not a face with nothing much behind it. Its a phenomenal information resource.
In addition to the virtual newscasts which are delivered TV-style by a head-and-shoulders Ananova and come complete with a commercial break users can arrange to receive tailored e-mail bulletins on subjects that interest them, from sports scores to stock alerts.
Just as with a host of other web sites, they also can browse entertainment listings, buy tickets and make use of Ananovas dedicated search engine.
Soon, Ananovas services also will be available on the new generation of mobile telephones.
Im your personal assistant in a digital world, she said at the media launch, speaking aloud in public for the first time.
wins N. Cyprus poll
Pak nod for Iran
pipeline to India
bones in lab
Boy charged with
after bid to sever penis
sentenced to death
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