|Wednesday, June 21, 2000,
Taiwan President for talks with
USA eases curbs on N. Korea
Over 170 killed in clashes
Migrants fought for air before
Kids get smallpox from ampoules
British cops probe Chinese link
Verdict today in
Creating 8th wonder
Taiwan President for talks with China
TAIPEI, June 20 (Reuters) Taiwan President Chen Shui-Bian held out an olive branch to China today, inviting his Chinese counterpart Jiang Zemin to a summit along the lines of last weeks historic meeting between North and South Korea.
"If North and South Korea can, why cant the two sides of the Strait? Mr Chen said at an outdoor news conference.
"The two sides of the Strait have wisdom and originality to rewrite history and create history, he said.
"I sincerely invite the leader of China, Mr Jiang Zemin, to join hands and work to create a moment like the handshake between North and South Korea, Mr Chen said.
He said the summit with China should not be limited by preconditions, form or location. Beijing has demanded that the island embrace its cherished "one China policy as the precondition for resuming frozen semi-official talks.
Beijing considers Taiwan a breakaway province and its "one China policy states that there is only one China, of which Taiwan is an inseparable part.
Mr Chen said Taiwan was willing to deal with the issue of a future "one China under the "present basis, referring to the existing agreements between the two sides.
Beijing wants Taipei to return to a 1992 consensus that there is only "one China. Taipei insists negotiators verbally agreed then that each side could have its own interpretation of "one China. Beijing says it merely agreed to shelve a discussion of the definition.
Mr Chen said Taipei and Beijing had the "wisdom and "creativity to come up with a definition of "one China acceptable to both sides.
He also held the door open for more US participation in improving China-Taiwan relations.
"If the USA is willing, it can play a more active role, Mr Chen said.
"Keeping peace between the two sides of the Strait is not just in Taiwans interest. It is also in the US mutual interest, he said
The news conference, held in sweltering midday heat, marked Chens first month in office. He was inaugurated on May 20 in the islands first democratic transfer of power, ending five decades of rule by the Nationalist Party.
Mr Chen, who swept to power in the March elections ending more than five decades of Nationalist Party rule, has formed a coalition cabinet with nationalist stalwart Tang Fei as his Premier, partly because Mr Chens Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) holds a minority in Parliament.
However, Mr Chen dismissed speculation that he would form a new Cabinet after the next parliamentary elections, when the DPP could take the majority in the lawmaking legislative Yuan.
"Why do we have to
change people? asked Mr Chen, referring to
Premier Tang Fei and his Cabinet. He said if the Cabinet
performed well, it "could go all out for four
years, the term of the presidency.
USA eases curbs on N. Korea
WASHINGTON, June 20 (Reuters) The USA has eased economic sanctions against North Korea after almost 50 years, further lowering the barriers between the reclusive Stalinist state and the international community.
The move yesterday implements an announcement made by President Bill Clinton in September last and is aimed at improving relations between the nations while encouraging North Korea to refrain from testing long-range missiles.
Trade of most goods between the countries is now allowed, as is direct personal and commercial financial transactions, investments, shipping cargo and commercial flights.
While US citizens will still require a license from the Treasury Department to do business with North Korea, under the new rules permission will be much easier to obtain.
"These measures are supported by our close allies in the region and are part of the process of close coordination between the USA, Japan and South Korea recommended by former Secretary of Defence William Perry, Mr Clinton said in a statement.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher told newsmen at a briefing the easing of sanctions would allow most imports and exports of nonsensitive consumer goods.
"Also permitted in the easing are direct financial transfer from one person to another, such as from a family in the USA to family members in North Korea or for legitimate commercial purposes," he added.
The changes were published yesterday in the Federal Register, the official publication of US government proceedings, and came just days after a historic summit between leaders of North and South Korea and less than a week ahead of June 25, the 50th anniversary of the Korean war.
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korean leader Kim Jong-II agreed last week to reduce tensions on Ninsula and to hold reunions of families torn apart when the Korean war broke out 50 years ago.
Mr Clintons decision followed a moratorium by North Korea on its missile-testing programme and cooperation with the US on a broad range of issues that Washington says could result in normalised relations.
Enemies since the 1950-53 Korean war, the two sides negotiated an "agreed framework" under which North Korea froze its nuclear weapons programme in return for a US vow to provide two nuclear power reactors and oil supplies worth $ 5 billion.
Boucher noted that while members of the US Chamber of Commerce are planning to travel to North Korea to explore possibilities for trade, initial options seemed limited given the state of the cash-strapped economy in the communist country.
Washington has said the warming of relations on the Korean peninsula would not lead to a withdrawal of the 37,000 US Troops posted in South Korea.
SEOUL (AFP): Meanwhile, North Koreas leader Kim Jong-II has promised that the Norths ruling party will abandon the goal of making the South communist, a news report said on Tuesday.
He also said the presence of the 37,000 US troops stationed in the South was "not necessarily bad," the Joongang Daily quoted a senior South Korean official as saying.
Over 170 killed in clashes
JAKRATA, June 20 (DPA) More than 170 persons died and at least 200 were wounded following renewed sectarian fighting between Muslims and Christians in Indonesias torn-torn northern Maluku province, military officers and church leaders said today.
Brig-Gen Max Tamaela confirmed the renewed fighting between Muslims and Christians on Halmahera Island, but gave on further details, including how many people have been killed in the religion-related violence, official Antara news news agency reported.
The Reverend Sartje Wasapapuling from the Synode Masehi Injil Hamahera Churchs crisis centre said at least 165 Christians had been killed so far in Duma village following yesterdays attack by hundreds of Muslims.
"Thats the latest figure we compiled from witnesses who arrived here in Tobelo from Dume,"Wasapapuling told DPA on the telephone from Tobelo district town, 2,475 km northeast of Jakarta.
Wasapapuling added that
at least 60 other Christians were seriously wounded and
100 others sustained slight injuries, while telephone
communications to the violence-hit Duma have been cut off
since yesterday, shortly after the bloody attacks by
hundreds of Muslims took place.
Migrants fought for air before dying
LONDON, June 20 (DPA) Details emerged today of horrific scenes inside a refrigerated cargo truck at the British port of Dover in which 58 Chinese illegal immigrants died while trying to enter the country.
The two traumatised male survivors, speaking briefly through interpreters, described how the desperate migrants had beaten against the containers walls to escape before they died, trapped inside on the hottest day of the year so far.
According to The Independent newspaper, quoting a source at the hospital where the men were under police protection: "They were all clawing at the inside of the back door."
"They said it was very dark inside the trailer so they were tripping over dead bodies as they tried to make their way to the doors."
"They said they banged on the doors and shouted at the top of their voices, but eventually they had to give up through weakness. They had no idea how many of the people with them had died until they got to the hospital this morning," said the source.
Investigators believe the 54 men and four women suffocated inside the sealed container.
Customs men who opened the truck discovered piles of bodies hidden among the cargo.
The hospital source said: "One of the men said it was like an angel had been sent from heaven when the back door of the lorry trailer was finally opened."
In China, seven to 10 gangs control the market, bringing people overland and into Britain in the backs of lorries.
Santa Maria (Portugal):
The European Union has announced it will accelerate
measures to curb illegal immigration and the trade in
human beings after the discovery of the bodies of 58
suspected illegal immigrants in a refrigerated truck in
the British port of Dover.
Kids get smallpox from ampoules
VLADIVOSTOK, (Russia), June 20 (Reuters) At least eight children in Russias Fareast have contracted a mild form of smallpox from discarded vaccine ampoules which a local clinic kept in case of germ warfare attack, officials said yesterday.
A few people living today even doctors have had any experience of smallpox, which has been officially eradicated worldwide. The last case of the disease was registered in 1977 in Africa and countries stopped vaccinating against it in 1980.
Dmitry Maslov, Chief Local Medical Inspector, told Reuters that the childrens infections did not put their lives in danger and could not spread to others. NTV commercial television said the young boys and girls faces were likely to be scarred for life.
Maslov said doctors in the regional capital Vladivostok had trouble diagnosing eight children aged six to 12 who had been taken to hospital with fever and severe rashes.
Their condition was pinned down to smallpox when doctors discovered that the children had played with glass ampoules they found in the dustbin of the local epidemiological centre.
The centre kept several of boxes of smallpox vaccine to combat a possible enemy germ attack, as required by civil defence rules. When the vaccine expired the medics threw the ampoules away instead of destroying them, he said.
NTV said discarded boxes were strewn over a large area.
A prosecutor told Reuters that officials expected to charge managers of the epidemiological centre with criminal negligence.
British cops probe Chinese link
LONDON, June 20 (AFP, Reuters) The British police today were probing a Chinese connection to the lucrative business of trafficking human beings after the gruesome discovery of 58 dead stowaways, all believed to be Chinese, in a lorry.
Investigators said yesterdays grisly discovery of the corpses at the southern port of Dover was consistent with the overland route used by the notorious "snakehead" criminal gangs who charge thousands of pounds (dollars, euros) to smuggle people into western Europe.
The police was trying to
find out more about the provenance of the stowaways
and the shadowy forces that arranged their
ultimately deadly trip from two survivors who were
miraculously pulled alive from the air-tight compartment
of a Dutch container truck.
Verdict today in Atlantique case
THE HAGUE, June 20 (PTI) The International Court of Justice (ICJ) will deliver its judgement here tomorrow on whether it has the jurisdiction to adjudicate the dispute raised by Pakistan with India over the shooting down of formers naval aircraft, Atlantique, in the Kutch region last August.
The eagerly-awaited verdict of the 15-judge Bench will be pronouned by courts President Gilbert Guillaume of France at a public sitting in Great Hall of Justice of Peace Palace.
"The judgement will deal exclusively with the issues of the courts jurisdiction to deal with the dispute," a court spokesman said. The verdict is final without an appeal and should one of the states fail to comply with it, the other party can have recourse to the UN Security Council, according to the court procedures. The court is the UNs principal judicial organ.
Pakistan wants the court to intervene in the case while India is opposed to the courts assumption of jurisdiction on the basis of Islamabads application.
Pakistan has urged the court to "dismiss the objections raised by India and accept its jurisdiction". India maintains that none of the arguments advanced by Pakistan was "sound" and did not provide a basis for invoking courts jurisdiction.
Public hearings in the case titled "Aerial Incident of August 10, 1999 (Pakistan vs India)" lasted four days ending April 6. These centred on the courts jurisdiction in the case, which must be determined before the cases merits can be considered by the 15 judges.
Pakistan has accused India of shooting down the "unarmed" Atlantique aircraft killing all 16 naval personnel on board and is seeking about $ 60 million in reparations from India and compensation for the families of the victims.
India argued that the court did not have jurisdiction, citing an exemption it filed in 1974 to exclude disputes between India and other Commonwealth states, and disputes covered by multilateral treaties.
Creating 8th wonder
BODELVA, (England), June 20 (Reuters) Tucked away in a tiny corner of southwestern England on a peninsula jutting out into the sea, scientists are trying to create the eighth wonder of the world.
In a huge quarry crater, they are building a garden containing three of the worlds climate zones under gigantic geodesic domes the highest and largest free-standing scaffolding structure on the planet.
When the Eden project is completed in the spring of 2001, it will house more than 80,000 plants in a cathedral-sized rainforest dripping with tropical vegetation, in lush Mediterranean groves overflowing with olive and citrus plants and in the native flora of Cornwall or the Atlantic woodlands.
The size of 35 football pitches, it will be the worlds biggest greenhouse large enough to contain Big Ben or the Leaning Tower of Pisa under its domed ceiling.
maids who work 24 hrs
Hangs wife on
washing line, kills self
money for getting the blues
Iran no longer
assisted suicide on ship
cop misses targets
Toilet paper to
be first space tourist
Living with body
of dead father
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