|Sunday, July 23, 2000,
No partial deal:
bridge digital divide
men keep up pressure on President
"jehad" against India
blow up Bangla PM
impresses western leaders
No partial deal: Palestinians
THURMONT, July 22 (Reuters) — An authoritative Palestinian source dismissed suggestions that the Camp David Middle East summit could end with a partial deal that left the disputed status of Jerusalem for further talks.
"There will be no deal without Jerusalem. We will not accept delaying the issue of Jerusalem,’’ the official, in touch with the Palestinian delegation, told Reuters on the 11th day of the secretive summit, rebutting Israeli reports.
An Israeli Cabinet Minister said Prime Minister Ehud Barak had accepted a US proposal for shared rule in parts of Arab East Jerusalem, deferring the issue of who rules the walled Old City, but the Palestinians said there was no such official American document.
The Palestinian source, making clear that Mr Arafat was angered by Israeli accounts of the talks, said: "We have not agreed, and we will not agree, to delaying talks on Jerusalem. No official American paper on Jerusalem has been presented to us.’’
US efforts to keep a lid of confidentiality on the talks suffered a setback on Friday when both sides went public with differing versions of the American proposals on Jerusalem.
Cabinet Minister Michael Melchior, who was part of Mr Barak’s public relations team at the talks near Washington, confirmed in television interviews what Israeli officials had been saying privately during a virtual news blackout on the negotiations.
"We’re talking about a US proposal which accepts Israeli sovereignty over all of Jerusalem as an undivided city and has some signs of joint sovereignty, expanded self-administration, of some of the Arab Muslim quarters in the outskirts of Jerusalem,’’ he told BBC World Television.
He told Israel radio that Mr Barak had accepted the proposal.
Cabinet Secretary Yitzhak Herzog sought to distance Mr Barak from Mr Melchior’s comments after diplomats said US officials protested to the Israelis at a breach of the ground rules.
Palestinian spokeswoman Hanan Ashrawi urged caution and said Mr Melchior was discussing matters that were not yet public, adding that the gaps between the sides were still wide.
The PLO representative in Washington, Mr Hassan Abdel-Rahman, made clear in a statement to Reuters that his movement had moved on from its long-standing refusal to accept Israeli sovereignty anywhere in the city.
"Our position remains, and I affirm here, that we recognise Israeli full sovereignty over West Jerusalem in return for full Palestinian sovereignty over East Jerusalem,’’ he said.
Under the US proposal, Mr Melchior said, Israel would annex some West Bank Jewish settlements to Jerusalem, while Palestinian areas such as Shuafat could be jointly controlled.
overwhelming majority of Israelis oppose giving Palestinians
sovereignty over sections of Israeli-occupied Jerusalem as part of any
peace deal between the two sides, polls released in Israel over the
weekend have found.
G8 to bridge digital divide
OKINAWA, Japan, July 22 (Reuters) — The leaders of the eight most powerful nations today held out a hand to developing nations to help them tap the potential of information technology.
On the second day of its annual summit, the Group of Eight announced that it was setting up a task force of experts to bridge the so-called digital divide between North and South.
The aptly named dot Force will support the development of sorely lacking communications infrastructure in developing countries and draw them into the Internet-led economic revolution, the g8 said in an it charter released at the end of a morning of talks on this southerly sub-tropical Island.
U.S. President Bill Clinton, who started the day with a barefoot walk on the beach, will leave Okinawa early as soon as the summit ends on Sunday to return to marathon middle east peace talks at Camp David outside Washington.
But the digital divide that the g8 hopes to bridge would be better described as a chasm.
Some 90 per cent of Internet host computers are in high-income countries with just 16 per cent of the world’s population. New York has more Internet hosts than all of Africa.
Recognising that poor countries will never be able to catch up in the it race if they have to spend too much servicing their foreign debts, the leaders started their summit on Friday by promising to kick-start an ambitious debt reduction plan that has stalled badly since it was launched a year ago.
Only nine countries are on the road to receiving relief that should eventually exceed 15 billion dollars, a fraction of the 100 billion dollars target that the G8 boasted when it agreed the scheme at last year’s summit in Cologne.
The G8 hopes another 11 countries will qualify for debt reduction this year, but U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan said he was disappointed by Friday’s vague pledge to do better.
Development groups who have come to Okinawa to lobby governments were also angry.
"So far, this summit has amounted to a $ 800 million extravaganza for the world’s most powerful men and nothing new for the world’s poor,’’ Henry Northover of Cafod, the Catholic Aid Agency, said.
Another frustrated pressure group was Greenpeace, whose flagship Rainbow Warrier was boarded by some 50 Japanese Coast Guard personnel late on Friday for defying a ban on vessels coming within one nautical mile of the summit venue on a remote peninsula.
In one of a series of bilateral meetings on the fringes of the summit, Japanese Prime Minister Yoshiro Mori agreed with Mr Clinton to continue talks on deregulation for a fourth year.
But their 45-minute meeting was dominated by North Korea, whose enigmatic leader Kim Jong-Il caught the g8 off balance on Wednesday by offering to visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin to abandon its ballistic missile programme in return for help on space exploration.
"It’s not clear to me what the offer is (and) what is being requested in return for it,’’ Mr Clinton, who also discussed Kim’s proposal with Mr Putin on Friday, told reporters. "I think it is something that needs to be explored.’’
North Korea’s missile programme has been of acute concern to the West since 1998, when it test-fired a missile over Japan.
Pyongyang has since declared a moratorium on tests, earning the G8’s praise in a statement released on Friday, but western officials fear it may continue development efforts.
U.S. Intelligence estimates suggest North Korea may be able to strike U.S. Territory by 2005, prompting a U.S. proposal to develop a missile defence shield that is sharply opposed by Russia, China and others who fear it will spark an arms race.
Tokyo: The G8 leaders today agreed that it would be desirable to launch a new round of world trade talks within this year, a Japanese official said.
Negotiators failed to launch the new
round of World Trade Organisation (WTO) talks last year, in part
because of developing nations’ complaints that liberalisation was
making the rich nations richer and the poor poorer.
Speight men keep up pressure on President
SUVA, July 22 (AP) — Rebels kept up pressure today on Fiji’s ailing President to stack his interim government with more of their supporters.
Coup leader George Speight met for the second day with Police Commissioner Isikia Savua for talks on a Cabinet line-up to replace one announced last week by President Ratu Josefa Iloilo, Radio Fiji reported.
Mr Iloilo and his choice for Prime Minister, Laisenia Qarase, refused to meet Speight directly.
Mr Iloilo’s absence followed warnings from Speight that he would begin a new campaign of civil unrest across Fiji unless the cabinet line-up was changed.
The proposed cabinet was never sworn in because of Speight’s objections to its composition and because the President was ill.
Mr Chaudhry held talks with his former Cabinet yesterday about ways to return to power and even discussed setting up a government in exile.
"I have assured the people that (my) government is still intact and we have the support of the international community," Mr Chaudhry was quoted as saying in today’s Daily Post newspaper. "We will try to solve the problems of the Indian community at large so that they can feel secure in this country."
The President, a frail 80-year-old tribal chief with Parkinson’s disease, appealed for national unity in a national radio broadcast yesterday.
"I will appoint a Fijian Prime Minister," he told the nation. "The Fijian interests will always be a guiding principle for governance in this country."
Promises of special treatment for ethnic Fijians and the destruction of democracy have led a growing list of nations to impose sanctions.
France announced it was cutting military ties and some aid links, joining Britain, Australia, New Zealand and the USA.
The nations are calling for a rapid return to democracy. Speight lieutenants, meanwhile, said he had chosen a Prime Minister for Mr Iloilo to appoint.
She is Ms Adi Samanunu Cakobau, High Commissioner to Malaysia and the granddaughter of one of Fiji’s most powerful historic figures, Ratu Seru Cakobau, who was regarded as the king of all Fiji’s tribes early in the 19th century.
Outside the capital yesterday, soldiers fired warning shots to disperse a mob that tried to overrun a military checkpoint at a bridge north of Suva, military spokesman Lt. Ro Alipate Mataitini said.
International passengers were kept at the airport for about an hour so that the road could be cleared.
Call for "jehad" against India
KARACHI, July 22 (AFP) — Thousands of Pakistanis called for holy war against India here as extremist leader Maulana Masood Azhar dramatically ended months of silence after his release from an Indian jail.
"Ten thousand have joined us and are ready to give their lives in the name of Islam," said Azhar in a speech yesterday at a mosque in this southern port city.
The police was deployed around the mosque as Azhar whipped thousands of people attending Friday prayers into a fury against India.
"India is killing thousands of innocent Muslims in Kashmir but they cannot stop jehad (holy war). Tomorrow I may be killed but the struggle will continue," said Azhar, who was released from an Indian jail late last year as part of a deal with hijackers of an Indian Airlines plane.
Pakistani authorities, wary of the country’s growing reputation as a haven for Islamic extremists, have tried to muzzle the fiery orator since his release in late December after almost six years in Indian prisons.
Mosque administrators said the police tried to prevent his speech yesterday but was flatly told that "Muslim leaders cannot be stopped in an Islamic country."
Azhar is the leader of the militant fundamentalist group the Jaish-e-Mohammad, which he created in April after quitting the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen, an organisation blamed for several terrorist attacks and kidnappings.
His brother was allegedly one of five armed Muslim hijackers who seized the Indian Airlines plane on Christmas eve last year and forced it on a terrifying journey across South Asia and the Gulf to Afghanistan.
The police here denied they were under instructions to stop Azhar, a diminutive Sunni scholar, from speaking at the mosque. Dozens of personal armed guards flanked him as he spoke.
"We have no such instructions but we deployed the police a part of our normal security arrangements," senior police officer Aleem Ahmed said.
Pakistan has repeatedly denied that it is soft on terrorism but continues to come under international pressure, particularly from the United States of America to rein in extremists and militant groups.
Military ruler General Pervez Musharraf this week held meetings with three of the main fundamentalist parties and reportedly expressed concerns about alleged terrorist training camps in Pakistan and neighbouring Afghanistan.
But the General who seized power in
October has, so far, been unable to stand up to the powerful religious
lobby, which has succeeded in reversing changes to the blasphemy law
and reinstating Islamic clauses of the suspended Constitution.
UK imposes new sanctions on Fiji
LONDON, July 22 (DPA) — Britain announced new sanctions against Fiji today in the wake of the deal which ended the Pacific island state’s hostage crisis but denied its ethnic Indian minority any significant role in government.
Britain’s Foreign Office Minister John Battle said his ministry was cancelling assistance programmes and planned military visits to Fiji until there was a return to full democracy.
"We will not issue licences for any arms or security equipment for export to Fiji where there is a clear risk that it will be used for internal repression,’’ he said.
SUVA (AFP): A diplomat and granddaughter of Fiji’s 19th century "King" emerged today as a key player in the coup in Fiji, which is aimed at setting up an apartheid-like state.
Local media reported the country’s High Commissioner to Malaysia, Samanunu Cakobau, was coup leader George Speight’s candidate for Prime Minister.
Speight told the Fiji Sun newspaper on Saturday that he wanted interim Prime Minister Laisenia Qarase to step down and Cakobau to take over.
Caretaker Deputy Prime Minister Epeli Nailatikau told today’s Daily Post newspaper Cakobau’s emergence showed the coup was really a naked grab for power by one tribal group. "Now the truth has come out," he said.
Speight said he was acting in the name of indigenous Fijians and demanded government be reserved for ethnic Pacific islanders.
Known here as ‘Adi’
Samanunu for her chiefly status, Cakobau is the granddaughter of Ratu
Seru Cakobau, paramount chief of Bau and widely seen as the then King
of Fiji, who ceded the country to Britain in 1874.
Bid to blow up Bangla PM
DHAKA, July 22 (UNI) — An attempt to kill Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina by using a powerful bomb in her home town Gopalganj was foiled yesterday hours before the device was set to go off, leading English daily Star said today quoting army and police sources.
The daily said the powerful timing device in a metallic container weighing 76 kg was planted in a college ground at Kotalipra where Sheikh Hasina was scheduled to address a public meeting today.
The Army explosive expert team took the bomb to Jessore cantonment for further examination.
The Prime Minister flew to her hometown on Thursday for a two-day visit.
Referring to the recovery of the bomb, Sheikh Hasina said, "Conspiracies are being hatched. Threats on my life are coming. But I am not scared as only Almighty Allah is the authority to determine life and death of a person".
A senior officer at the army headquarters said nothing could be said right now about the potential of the bomb. "It will be clear after detail examinations."
Putin impresses western leaders
OKINAWA (Japan), July 22 (Reuters) — Mr Vladimir Putin, the ex-KGB spy elected Russian President in March, has dazzled fellow leaders at his first G8 summit with rare insight into North Korea and a firm grasp of international issues.
Leaders at the summit heaped praise on the new Kremlin leader after his first working dinner last evening.
"I was extremely impressed by his knowledge (and) the way he articulates his position," Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chretien said after the session.
Diplomats said German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder thought Mr Putin’s discussion of his visit earlier this week to North Korea, the Stalinist hermit state now slowly opening to the outside world, was "brilliant."
throat slit in public
teenagers surf for facts of life
comes back to life
fat to go to prison"
sentenced to death
wooden boat discovered
toy sold for $ 2,500
Thai bank robber gets job
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