Saturday, April 29, 2000,
Chandigarh, India





THE TRIBUNE SPECIALS
50 YEARS OF INDEPENDENCE

TERCENTENARY CELEBRATIONS
W O R L D

30 rebels killed, LTTE takes key junction
COLOMBO, April 28 —Thirty Tamil rebels were killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka’s north even as the LTTE claimed to have captured more territory amid growing Opposition demand for foreign help to halt the guerrillas’ advances in Jaffna.

Create conditions for talks, USA tells Pak
WASHINGTON, April 28 —The USA has asked Pakistan to help create necessary conditions for making meaningful the dialogue that its military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf is trying to have with New Delhi.

Sharif’s bid to malign army to be probed
RAWALPINDI, April 28 — The military government in Pakistan has reportedly decided to institute an inquiry into deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government’s alleged efforts to malign the army during the Kargil “mission’’.

Elian case
Court not to appoint guardian

MIAMI, April 28 — An appeal court in Atlanta, Georgia has denied Elian Gonzalez’s Miami relatives their requests to appoint a neutral court guardian acting on the Cuban boy’s behalf and to let them visit Elian, a court spokesman said.

No talks with Zimbabwe: UK
HARARE, April 28 — Zimbabwe police said yesterday that it would crackdown on rising political violence by using powers dating back to the era of white rule that the opposition said threatened free elections.

Cargo craft docks with Mir
MOSCOW, April 28 — A cargo ship docked successfully with Russia’s ageing Mir space station early today, Itar-Tass news agency said.



EARLIER STORIES
(Links open in new window)
  USA, Russia fail to bridge gaps
WASHINGTON, April 28 — US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov has said that lengthy discussions here on arms control had failed to bridge gaps between the two sides.

Millionaire bride to earn her money
WASHINGTON, April 28 — The blonde nurse who wed a US millionaire as part of a televised contest and later annulled the marriage is considering showing the world what her former husband never saw, according to reports yesterday.

Russia tests new fighter plane
MOSCOW, April 28 — Russia carried out a second successful test flight on a new fighter plane to replace MIG-29 and SU-27, Interfax reported, quoting MIG General Director Nikolai Nikitin.
Top




 

30 rebels killed, LTTE takes key junction

COLOMBO, April 28 (PTI) —Thirty Tamil rebels were killed in fresh fighting in Sri Lanka’s north even as the LTTE claimed to have captured more territory amid growing Opposition demand for foreign help to halt the guerrillas’ advances in Jaffna.

The army today said here that it clashed with the rebels in a number of places in the Jaffna peninsula and Vanni yesterday in which 30 rebels were killed.

The LTTE today claimed to have launched fierce attacks on army’s new defence lines and captured an important road junction on the highway leading to Jaffna town.

The clandestine ‘Voice of Tigers’ rebel radio said the LTTE had captured Puthukadu road junction near Pallai, 8 km from the Elephant army garrison captured last weekend.

Meanwhile, the main opposition the United National Party (UNP), today demanded that the Chandrika Kumaratunga government seek international military assistance to prevent Jaffna from falling into the hands of the LTTE.

Ms Chandrika, who returned after having treatment for her injured eye yesterday, held a prolonged meeting of the National Security Council, comprising top defence officials.

Sri Lanka today called out all regular reserves to active duty to bolster its war against the LTTE rebels after the recent loss of a strategic northern military complex. It is the first time the reserves are being called to active service since the ethnic war broke out 17 years ago.

Meanwhile, the United Nations today suspended most of its operations in Sri Lanka’s war-ravaged Jaffna peninsula. Most of the over 60 UN staff, involved in various relief and rehabilitation programmes in Jaffna, had been redeployed elsewhere with immediate effect, a statement from the UN office here said.
Top

 

Create conditions for talks, USA tells Pak

WASHINGTON, April 28 (UNI) —The USA has asked Pakistan to help create necessary conditions for making meaningful the dialogue that its military ruler Gen Pervez Musharraf is trying to have with New Delhi.

Speaking here yesterday on the US policy in South Asia: The road ahead, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas R. Pickering referred to General Musharraf’s repeated offers to start a dialogue with India and said, “We are asking New Delhi to consider very seriously the possibilities for resuming this dialogue”.

“But, Pakistan now should do its part to help create the peaceful conditions needed to make such a dialogue meaningful. This need not be a matter of public fanfare, proclamations or even comments what matters most to be able to see the reality on the ground,” he said.

Mr Pickering, who is visiting New Delhi for discussion with India on Asian Security, welcomed India’s release of several leaders of the All-Party Hurriyat Conference, Indicating a willingness to talk with them. Reportedly, other Hurriyat leaders might be released soon, he added.

“Today, the question is how best to move towards the objective of calming the conflict — and answer, in our view, is through peaceful dialogue between India and Pakistan, in the spirit of the Lahore meeting between their two leaders in February 1999.

The senior State Department official recognised the enormous damage that the Kargil incident had done to the Lahore process, insisting, Kargil could not be forgotten, but it could and should be transcended.

Mr Pickering said other issues also might be resolved apart from the broad question of Kashmir. For example, India and Pakistan were once very close to an agreement on the Siachen glacier. Other border issues also could be cleared up, including Sir Creek and Wuller Barrage, he added.

He also spoke of the possibility of reviving economic cooperation between the two countries, leading to further efforts on political disputes.

In reply to a question, he said there was no change in the US stand on the lending to India by the International financial institutions.

Mr Pickering said Pakistan had a last chance to save itself from economic stagnation, or worse and if it made the right moves in this direction, Washington and the international economic community would lend appropriate support to it.

Referring to Bangladesh he said, the USA wanted to work with the country to develop its economic potential.
Top

 

Sharif’s bid to malign army to be probed

RAWALPINDI, April 28 (UNI) — The military government in Pakistan has reportedly decided to institute an inquiry into deposed Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his government’s alleged efforts to malign the army during the Kargil “mission’’.

Urdu daily Jang reported quoting responsible sources that the “Kargil fact-finding commission’’ would probe the charge that Mr Nawaz Sharif on the excuse of the Kargil “mission’’ wanted to get Army Chief General Pervez Musharraf sentenced to death for endangering Pakistan’s independence.

The report said that because of the unity in the army, Mr Sharif was finding it difficult to replace General Musharraf. He could not make a dent in this unity even with the offer of crore of rupees and expensive gifts to corps commanders who were made these offers, kept gen. Musharraf informed about it, the paper writes.

The paper said after the military coup on October 12, it was revealed that Mr Sharif did not only want General Musharraf replaced but also “removed from his way’’. The army chief was forced to go to Sri Lanka although it had been decided earlier that another officer would go there.

The idea behind his forced despatch to Sri Lanka was to charge him with hobnobbing with his Indian counterpart in Colombo and also make the Kargil “mission’’ as an excuse for trying him for endangering Pakistan’s independence. On this charge, he was to be given the death sentence or life imprisonment, writes Jang.
Top

 

Elian case
Court not to appoint guardian

MIAMI, April 28 (AFP) — An appeal court in Atlanta, Georgia has denied Elian Gonzalez’s Miami relatives their requests to appoint a neutral court guardian acting on the Cuban boy’s behalf and to let them visit Elian, a court spokesman said.

The court agreed, however, to a third request presented by lawyers for Elian’s Miami-based great-uncle Lazaro Gonzalez, which prevents the six-year-old from entering premises that enjoy diplomatic immunity, such as a Cuban diplomat’s residence.

On Wednesday, Elian’s father, Mr Juan Miguel Gonzalez, stepped into the legal battle over his son, asking the Atlanta court to recognise him as Elian’s sole legal representative in asylum appeals on his behalf, court documents showed.

An attorney for Mr Lazaro Gonzalez, Mr Richard Sharpstein, claimed yesterday it was unlikely that the father’s request would be accepted by the court.

“The court hasn’t ruled on that yet, and I don’t think they will allow that,” he said.

Mr Lazaro Gonzalez is waging a court battle to allow Elian to request political asylum in the USA.

HAVANA (AP): Guban President Fidel Castro on Friday sent nine more persons to join Elian Gonzalez and his family in the USA, where they await court action that may allow the boy to return to Cuba.

President Castro called the US refusal to grant more visas “crazy”.

Cuban officials are trying to create a little bit of Elian’s hometown, Cardenas, at the Wye River conference centre where the boy is staying.

“They have said we want to move Cardenas to the USA,” President Castro said, complaining about US refusal to grant visas to all 31 persons. Cuba had proposed to help the six-year-old shipwreck survivor recover from trauma, catch up with school work and renew relations with his friends.

“There have been nothing but obstacles and difficulties of all kinds,” President Castro said at Havana’s Jose Marti International Airport after bidding farewell to Elian’s physician, four of his schoolmates and four of their parents.

They travelled to Washington DC yesterday for the secluded site where Elian is staying with his father, stepmother and baby brother, as well as a teacher and cousin who arrived on Wednesday.
Top

 

No talks with Zimbabwe: UK

HARARE, April 28 (Reuters) — Zimbabwe police said yesterday that it would crackdown on rising political violence by using powers dating back to the era of white rule that the opposition said threatened free elections.

“We will maintain law and order,” Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri told a news conference in Harare.

Opposition parties called the new powers “draconian” and said they jeopardised the chances for free and fair parliamentary elections due by August.

The police statement came as ministers began talks in London on President Robert Mugabe’s demand that Britain pay for land he plans to take from white farmers for redistribution to blacks.

But those talks ended without agreement. Speaking at the end of an eight-hour session, British Foreign Secretary Robin Cook said there could be no resumption until violence and invasions of white-owned farms ended.

“The ball is now in their court. It is up to them (the Zimbabwean Government) to end the occupations,” Cook told a news conference.

But the Zimbabwean delegation leader insisted that the London talks had not failed.

“It is not a failure. We have broken the ice,” John Nkomo said. “Our officials will be continuing with the talks that we began today.”

Earlier, a British Foreign Office source said Nkomo had been insisting the money should be paid before the violence connected with the land-grab issue died out.

In Harare, Morgan Tsvangirai, leader of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) rejected police allegations that his party should share the blame for the political violence.
Top

 

Cargo craft docks with Mir

MOSCOW, April 28 (Reuters) — A cargo ship docked successfully with Russia’s ageing Mir space station early today, Itar-Tass news agency said.

Docking of the Progress M1-2 craft, launched from Baikonur cosmodrome on Wednesday with oxygen, fuel and other supplies, was carried out in automatic mode by commands from mission control centre, the agency said.

It added that immediately afterwards, cosmonauts Sergei Zalyotin and Alexander Kaleri started checking operations to make sure the docking module was tightly sealed.

The cosmonauts returned to Mir earlier this month after a 223-day break, giving what officials hope will be a new lease of life to the world’s only space laboratory.

The 14-year-old craft, which had been slated for retirement, won a reprieve after a group of foreign investors came forward with 20 million for the station.
Top

 

USA, Russia fail to bridge gaps

WASHINGTON, April 28 (AFP) — US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and her Russian counterpart Igor Ivanov has said that lengthy discussions here on arms control had failed to bridge gaps between the two sides.

But each emphasised that both Washington and Moscow remained committed to trying to resolve the differences, particularly regarding vehement Russian objections to a US desire to amend the 1972 Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty to allow for a limited national missile defence system.

“Obviously, we do not agree on all issues,” Ms Albright told reporters following nearly two hours of wide-ranging talks with Mr Ivanov at the State Department. “But we cannot both be right all the time.”

She said she had made clear to Mr Ivanov that Washington was determined to work with Russia “to promote nuclear stability through further mutual reductions in our arsenals and through preserving the ABM Treaty by adapting it to meet 21st century needs.”
Top

 

Millionaire bride to earn her money

WASHINGTON, April 28 (AFP) — The blonde nurse who wed a US millionaire as part of a televised contest and later annulled the marriage is considering showing the world what her former husband never saw, according to reports yesterday.

Darva Conger is considering posing nude for the adult magazine Playboy for “a six-figure fee”, the New York Post reported.

But TV hubby Rick Rockwell, a 42-year-old millionaire, doesn’t even plan to buy the upcoming issue,likely to be published in the fall. Instead, he plans on flipping through the Playboy pages at a news-stand and then putting the issue with her nude full-frontal poses right back on the rack, ABC said.

“It’s a stunning about-face for the 34-year-old blonde nurse, who’s insisted the controversial made-for-TV stunt wrecked her life and that she desperately wanted to fade back into obscurity,” the Post said yesterday.

Jay Thomas, who hosted the special broadcast of “Who Wants to Marry a Multi-Millionaire?” says this latest development exposes Conger’s true motives.

“She’s achieved her goal of making some good money,” Thomas told the New York daily.

“It’s funny. When the magazine comes out, it’ll be the first time Rick Rockwell will get to see her naked,” he said.
Top

 

Russia tests new fighter plane

MOSCOW, April 28 (AFP) — Russia carried out a second successful test flight on a new fighter plane to replace MIG-29 and SU-27, Interfax reported, quoting MIG General Director Nikolai Nikitin.

Known as Product 1.44, the plane flew for 22 minutes near Moscow yesterday, reaching an altitude of 20 km, the official said.

“Judging from tests, we are sure that Product 1.44 could be used in developing a fifth-generation fighter,” Nikitin said.
Top

 
WORLD BRIEFS

$ 2.9 m ADB loan for Pak
MANILA: The Asian Development Bank (ADB) on Thursday said here that it was extending a $ 2.9-million grant to Pakistan to improve the administration and efficiency of the country’s legal and judicial system. The grant will go to setting up a core team composed of members of the federal and provincial steering committees, the judiciary and selected institutions who will be trained to carry out legal and judicial reforms, the Manila-based bank said in a statement.— AFP

Lockerbie trial set for May 3
THE HAGUE: The trial of two Libyans charged with destroying a Panam airliner over Lockerbie is to begin May 3, a Scottish judge ruled on Thursday at a special extraterritorial court in the Netherlands. The presiding judge, Lord Sutherland, turned down a prosecution petition to delay the trial at Camp Zeist, a former military base, by another eight weeks. The lawyers had told the court they needed more time to interview the defence’s witnesses. — DPA

Overseas Press Club honours
NEW YORK: The Associated Press (AP) and Time Magazine each won two awards from the Overseas Press Club — Time for its coverage of Indonesia and East Timor and the AP for its Pulitzer Prize-winning story on an alleged massacre by US troops during the Korean war. Louis D’ BoCcardi, AP’s president and CEO, also received the Club’s President’s Award for lifetime achievement. — AP

Sotheby’s ‘destroys’ artist’s painting
LONDON: A work by one of Britain’s greatest living painters, Lucian Freud, has been accidentally destroyed by staff at auction house Sotheby’s, it was reported on Thursday. The painting, which had been valued at around 100,000 (about $ 160,000), was placed in a crusher by porters at the London auctioneers, thinking they were destroying an empty box. “It’s an extremely unfortunate situation and we have taken immediate steps to prevent it happening again,” a spokesman said. — DPA

Anthony Hopkins apologises for ad
LONDON: Actor Sir Anthony Hopkins has claimed in a letter to a Welsh politician that he has been made a “scapegoat” in the row over Barclays Bank’s branch closures in England and his native Wales. The Hollywood actor was criticised after his appearance in a new Barclays commercial — featuring the slogan “a big world needs a big bank” — which is being aired globally and which coincides with the announcement that the bank is closing 171 branches across England and Wales. — DPA

‘Sin bins’ in UK schools
LONDON: Hundreds of new in-school “sin bins” for violent and disruptive children were unveiled Thursday by British Education Secretary David Blunkett. By 2002 there will be more than 1,000 so-called learning support units in British schools, to which children can be removed at a moment’s notice. There are currently more than 400 in-school “sin bins” in schools, with another 200 to be funded from money announced in the Budget. — DPA

Man slept with wife’s corpse
TAIPEI: A Taiwan man, believing his dead wife would come back to life, slept with her mummified body for over a year, the police said on Thursday. The police questioned Chang Chun-Lin, (44), on Thursday and would conduct an autopsy on the mummy on Friday to determine the cause of her death. The police have yet to decide if Chang’s keeping his wife’s body at home had violated the law. — DPATop

Home | 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 |