|Monday, July 24, 2000,
leaders vow to fight poverty
to hear Sharif’s appeal
for UN referendum in Fiji
G-8 leaders vow to fight poverty
NAGO, (JAPAN), July 23 (AFP) — Group of Eight leaders vowed to fight the root causes of poverty and conflict in a final communiqué released today after a three-day summit in Okinawa, Japan.
"We must tackle the root causes of conflict and poverty. We must bravely seize the opportunities created by new technologies in such areas as IT and life sciences," the communiqué said following the end of the meeting on the southern island of Okinawa.
The leaders of the UK, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the USA said they must acknowledge concerns about globalisation while continuing to maximise its benefits.
"We must engage in a new partnership with non-G-8 countries, particularly developing countries, international organisations and civil society, including the private sector and non-governmental organisations (NGOs)."
The leaders painted a generally optimistic picture of the immediate economic outlook, saying the world economy will grow strongly this year. They added they were particularly encouraged by the strength of recovery in most crisis-affected Asian countries.
Although trade was expanding in most Asian countries and some have returned to dynamic growth, changes must focus on financial and corporate sector reforms, improve governance and transparency and strengthen social safety nets, it said.
"Despite recent positive developments in the world economy, we recognise that there is no time for complacency as globalisation intensifies and the rapid diffusion of IT brings about fundamental structural changes to our economies," the leaders said.
To capitalise on the opportunities of growth coming from the information technology explosion, the G-8 economies must renew their commitment to structural change, including greater competition and more adaptable labour markets, they said.
The G-8 leaders reaffirmed their commitment to reducing the share of the world’s population living in extreme poverty to half its 1990 level by 2014.
They also committed themselves to push forward the heavily indebted poor countries (HIPC) debt initiative, provide significantly improved access to their markets, strengthen the effectiveness of official development assistance, implement an ambitious plan on infectious diseases, notably HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis, ensure additional resources are made available for basic education, address the widening digital divide where IT is increasing the gap between rich and poor, and implement measures to prevent conflict, including addressing the issue of illicit trade in diamonds fueling regional conflicts.
The G-8 addressed criticism of the very slow progress on granting debt relief for the poorest countries by saying it would accelerate efforts to ensure the number of countries reaching the qualifying point is increased from nine currently to 20 by the end of this year.
They also said they would try to work towards launching this year a new round of World Trade Organisation talks, stalled since attempts to launch a new round collapsed at a WTO meeting in Seattle, Washington late last year.
Next summit in Italy
NAGO, Japan, July 23 (AFP) — The group of Eight leaders agreed today to hold next year’s summit in Genoa, Italy.
LAHORE, July 23 (ANI) — Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif is likely to go in appeal within 10 days against the Special Accountability Court’s verdict sentencing him to 14 years hard labour and debarring him from holding public office for 21 years in what is known as the helicopter case.
The News learnt that the sentence awarded to him can be challenged in the Lahore High Court.
The appeal will be heard and decided by a new special Division Bench to be constituted by the Lahore Chief Justice Falak Sher, as one of the judges of the Bench, Mr Justice Khalilur Rehman Ramday, will not be in a position to sit on the Bench for adjudication of the appeal, following his decision on Friday to quit the Full Bench hearing the petition filed on behalf of Nawaz Sharif challenging the validity of the court set up at Attock. After filing of the appeal the Bench is bound to decide it within 30 days.
For deciding appeals against the judgments of the accountability courts, a special division Bench comprising Mr Justices Muhammad Riaz Kiyani and Khawaja Muhammad Sharif was constituted under Section 32(b) of NAB Ordinance. However, in the case of former Chief Minister Manzoor Wattoo of Punjab, both the judges had expressed their inability to hear his appeal against the judgement as both of them had been "prosecutors" for some time against Wattoo.
The Special Bench was reconstituted and Mr Justices Khalilur Rehman Ramday and Tasaddaq Hussain Jillani were included in it. However, Mr Justice Ramday expressed his inability to hear an appeal filed by Nawaz Sharif, which was moved against an interim order of the Attock Accountability Court headed by Farrukh Latif. The matter was referred to the five-member Bench on Friday, but here again Mr Justice Ramday was one of its members and once again he said "propriety demands that he should not sit on the Bench."
The five-member Bench was dissolved and Chief Justice Falak Sher observed that he would reconstitute a full Bench. Therefore, a new division bench will be constituted for the adjustication of this appeal.
Meanwhile, Ms Kulsoom Nawaz said the accountability court verdict against her husband, Mr Nawaz Sharif, was expected in the absence of "independent judiciary."
"Nawaz Sharif and his family members knew full well what the verdict would be and that was why we all were relaxed. Mian Sahib (Nawaz) only yesterday said that he knew what the regime was up to," she said while talking to The News on her mobile phone on way to Lahore after attending the proceedings at Attock.
"It is the maximum punishment the ‘cowardly and ruthless’ rulers can award to an elected premier, but I want to make it clear that now the countdown on the end of Musharraf’s power has started. Now it will be his turn to face the music."
Kulsoom alleged that the verdict was well-planned and all efforts were aimed at targeting Nawaz Sharif. The verdict has given a new definition to NAB — Nawaz Accountability Bureau — she said.
Meanwhile, most of the PML leaders and workers remained silent after hearing the news of disqualification and imprisonment of their party president, Nawaz Sharif.
There were, however, some isolated incidents of protest by a handful of party workers. One near the Ferozepur Road, when some PML workers staged a protest, a few kilometres from the Sharifs’ Model Town residence, for a few minutes.
Chaudhary for UN referendum in Fiji
SUVA, July 23 (AP) — Only the creation of a government acceptable to rebels who want to boost ethnic Fijian rights over those of all other citizens will end the political crisis, the coup leader warned today.
Failed businessman George Speight is pushing military-appointed President Ratu Josefa Iloilo to install a civilian government stacked with rebel supporters.
He has threatened further unrest unless he gets the Cabinet he wants. Several hundred armed supporters are camped at a school in Suva, the capital.
"We will remain until such time as the final object of the coup is fulfilled, that is the announcement of an appropriate interim civilian government," Mr Speight told local radio.
The Prime Minister ousted by the coup, Mr Mahendra Chaudhary, urged the UN to hold a referendum offering the choice of returning to democratic rule and ending the "absolute confusion and chaos" caused by the nine-week crisis. Mr Chaudhary did not give details.
The plan is unlikely to be taken up by the President, and Mr Speight rejected it outright.
Mr Chaudhary, who spent 56 days as a hostage of coup rebels, said a referendum would offer Fijians the choice of returning to democratic rule and ending the "absolute confusion and chaos" caused by the nine-week political crisis.
Fiji has been without an effective government since the military, which took control during the coup, handed power to President Ratu Josefa Iloilo under a deal with the rebels to secure the release of the last 18 political hostages on July 13.
Iloilo, has promised to appoint an indigenous Fijian as Prime Minister. But the talks appear to be devolving into a power struggle between Fiji’s tribal chiefs, with Speight choosing one candidate for Prime Minister then dumping him in favour of another.
Speight lieutenants said his choice of prime minister was now Adi Samanunu Cakobau, Fiji’s high commissioner to Malaysia and the granddaughter of one of Fiji’s most powerful historical figures, Ratu Seru Cakobau, who was regarded as the king of all Fiji’s tribes in the 19th century.
SYDNEY: Australia today threatened crippling economic sanctions against Fiji if coup leader George Speight was appointed to its new Cabinet.
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer
also bluntly told Fiji’s military-backed government it had caved in
enough already "to the demands of Speight and his gang" and
warned any further concessions would be "preposterous."
One more held in plot to kill Hasina
DHAKA, July 23 (PTI) — Three activists of a fundamental Muslim student group arrested in connection with planting a bomb to assassinate Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina have been remanded in seven-day police custody, even as one more arrest was made in the incident, the police said today.
The three activists of the Islamic Chhatra Shibir, the student wing of the Jammat-e-Islami, were taken on the police remand after they were produced before a court in Gopalganj district yesterday, the police said.
Albright to meet N. Korean minister
TOKYO, July 23 (Reuters) — North Korea said today its Foreign Minister, Peak Nam-Sun, will meet US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright a day, ahead of the meeting of a regional forum in Thailand on July 27.
US officials had said Ms Albright wanted to see her North Korean counterpart in what will be the first meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the two countries. But no official announcement had been made.
Pyongyang’s official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), monitored in Tokyo, said the ministers will discuss "issues related to the bilateral relations,’’ prior to the ASEAN regional forum. The forum is due to begin from Thursday in Bangkok.
The meeting of the two ministers, widely viewed as part of a US policy to draw the secretive Stalinist state out of isolation, follows an offer from Pyongyang earlier this week to scrap its ballistic missile programme in exchange for help in exploring space.
White House National Security Council
spokesman P.J. Crowley said that assuming Ms Albright is travelling to
the ASEAN meeting, "I do believe she is scheduled to meet with
her North Korean counterpart.’’
Germans take fancy to Odissi
BERLIN, July 23 (PTI) — The classical Indian dance form of odissi had its own share of fans during the summer cultural festivities in Berlin with Germans being treated to a captivating recital by noted danseuse Kavita Dwibedi.
Kavita (30), brought visual delight to the audience with the perfect use of her expressive eyes and rhythmic body movements as she performed at the historical Dahlem Museum premises here.
seizes Indian tanker
rebels kill 31
held for breaking celibacy law
rebels kill 13
17th moon discovered
outbreak kills 10 infants
bharatanatyam at Millennium Dome
cleanup of oil spill
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