March 13, 2003, Chandigarh, India
Serbian PM assassinated
Belgrade, March 12
Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic died in hospital on Wednesday after he was shot in the chest in an apparent assassination, a source from his party told Reuters. "He's dead," the source from his Democratic Party said.
Ruzica Djindjic, wife of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic, leaves a hospital in Belgrade on Wednesday. Zoran Djindjic died at the hospital after he was shot in the chest in an apparent assassination. — Reuters photo
working on compromise formula
UK lays down six conditions for Saddam
Search for ultras intensified
Resolution on Kashmir enrages Indians
India among top corrupt nations in Asia
Eleven killed in US chopper crash
Intruder holds scribes hostage
allege sexual harassment
Belgrade, March 12
"He's dead," the source from his Democratic Party said.
Acting Serbian President Natasa Micic declared a state of emergency after the assassination.
"A state of emergency is declared in the territory of the Republic of Serbia," Micic said at a press conference broadcast live on television.
The Serbian government proposed the measure, under which some civil rights can be curtailed and the army takes over police functions, at an emergency meeting.
Djindjic, 50, a reformer who played a large part in the downfall of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, was shot in the chest by two large-calibre sniper bullets fired from a distance, a police source said.
Djindjic narrowly escaped injury in another incident last month when a truck suddenly swerved out of its lane towards a convoy of cars — one of which was carrying the Prime Minister.
Djindjic then suggested the near-miss could have been linked to efforts by his government to stamp out organised crime which flourished during the rule of former President Slobodan Milosevic.
The shooting took place outside the main government building in Belgrade.
The police cordoned off the building after the shooting, which took place around 11.45 am (GMT). Ministers immediately gathered in an emergency session, a government source said.
Jailed as a dissident student in the 1970s, frustrated as a popular protest leader in the 1990s, Djindjic rebounded in a lightning street uprising in 2000 to become leader-in-waiting of a new democratic Serbia.
A fitness enthusiast, Djindjic was born in Bosanski Samac, in Bosnia, the son of a Yugoslav People's Army officer.
UN members working on compromise formula
United Nations, March 12
The USA offered to push back the deadline for Iraq to fully cooperate with weapons inspectors set for March 17 by about a week and threatened to force vote by Friday on the resolution giving ultimatum to Iraq to comply with or face war.
But the USA rejected the proposal floated by so-called six non committed members of the Security Council to give Iraq 45 days with Washington describing the idea as “non-starter”.
France continued to insist it would veto any resolution proposing deadline with Russia sending mixed signals and China just keeping out of the political and diplomatic charade.
Towards last night, Canada offered what it considered a compromise proposal which would give Iraq three weeks to comply with but then the suggestion that the resolution also authorise use of force if Iraq fails to do so might not be acceptable to France.
Interjected into this drama was incident in which the USA withdrew its U-2 planes patrolling the Iraqi skies on UN mission after one of them, Washington said, was threatened by Iraqis. Inspector responded by suspending the flights temporarily to avoid it taking more serious turn.
It was yet unclear how the incident would play up in the next few days. American officials met Chief Weapons Inspector Hans Blix to discuss the incident. Blix could report to the council if he considered it as interference in inspectors’ work.
The Security Council convened a meeting last night to hear non-members on the issue. Most member-states supported a peaceful resolution of the issue of Iraqi disarmament and demanded more time for inspectors but the statements are expected to have little effect on the final outcome which would depend on the assessments of major powers.
Diplomats do not see US offer to push back ultimatum a little as real concession as, they say, it is waiting to see if the new Prime Minister of Turkey would once again seek the approval of Parliament for stationing tens of thousands of US troops on its soil for a possible attack on Iraq.
In an earlier vote, Parliament had rejected the proposal. But it might be possible for the new Prime Minister to sell the proposal to Parliament because of his popularity, diplomats and media reports say.
British diplomats were trying hard to find a resolution of the issue with the political fate of Prime Minister Tony Blair on the line with near revolt in the party and a vast majority of people opposing war without the council sanction.
In this tense situation, American Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s statement that the USA might go ahead with military action without British troops participating in initial stages brought protest from London. That resulted in Rumsfeld back-tracking his statement.
“In the event that a decision to use force is made, we have every reason to believe there will be a significant military contribution from the United Kingdom,” he said in the statement.
President George W. Bush, who is to ultimately decide if and when to send American troops in Iraq, had meetings with his top advisers and some media reports suggested that most were opposed to giving Iraq much time.
UK lays down six conditions for Saddam London, March 12 Foreign Office minister Mike O’Brien said the conditions, which Britain had said it wants to attach to a draft second resolution on Iraq, were being discussed with fellow UN Security Council members. O’Brien told reporters that Saddam must declare on television that he had hidden and would now give up weapons of mass destruction. He must allow 30 scientists and their families to fly to Cyprus for discussions with UN weapons inspectors. The minister said the Iraqi Government must give up its anthrax and other biological and chemical weapons and admit to having an unmanned drone aircraft which could spray chemical agents over a wide area. He did not specify the remaining conditions. "We are in the process of discussions with other members on the terms that we are likely to get through (at the UN)," he said.
London, March 12
Foreign Office minister Mike O’Brien said the conditions, which Britain had said it wants to attach to a draft second resolution on Iraq, were being discussed with fellow UN Security Council members.
O’Brien told reporters that Saddam must declare on television that he had hidden and would now give up weapons of mass destruction. He must allow 30 scientists and their families to fly to Cyprus for discussions with UN weapons inspectors.
The minister said the Iraqi Government must give up its anthrax and other biological and chemical weapons and admit to having an unmanned drone aircraft which could spray chemical agents over a wide area. He did not specify the remaining conditions. "We are in the process of discussions with other members on the terms that we are likely to get through (at the UN)," he said.
for ultras intensified Islamabad, March 12 The sweeps followed the March 1 arrest of al-Qaida’s third most powerful man, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks.
Islamabad, March 12
The sweeps followed the March 1 arrest of al-Qaida’s third most powerful man, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, suspected mastermind of the September 11 attacks.
Al-Qaida sets up women suicide squads
Dubai, March 12
The Saudi-owned Asharq al-Awsat published an email interview with a woman calling herself “Um Osama”, or the mother of Osama, and “leader of the women mujahedeen of Al Qaida”.
She told the daily that her instructions came from the suspected Saudi terrorist mastermind and “brothers in Al-Qaida and the Taliban” via mullah “Seif Edin”.
“We communicate mainly via internet,” she added.
The women bombers include Afghans, Arabs, Chechens and others nationalities “who are present in all countries of the world.
“We are preparing for the new strike announced by our leaders and I declare that it will make the USA forget ... the September 11 attacks in 2001,” Um Osama said.
“The idea of women kamikazes came from the success of operations carried out by young Palestinian women in the occupied territories.
“Our organisation is open to all Muslim women wanting to serve the (Islamic) nation ... particularly in this very critical phase,” as the USA moves towards an invasion of Iraq.
“Our women fighters are training to use weapons such as the Kalashnikov, grenades and assault rifles,” she said.
Resolution on Kashmir enrages Indians
Washington, March 12
The Indian Ambassador to the USA, Mr Lalit Mansingh, has written identical letters to the speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the President of the Senate pointing out that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India and that it was Pakistan that had forcibly occupied a part of that state in 1947.
The House Concurrent Resolution 16 had urged “increased diplomacy to achieve a just, peaceful and rapid resolution of the conflict between India and Pakistan, relative to Jammu and Kashmir.’’
The people of Jammu and Kashmir have regularly participated in free and fair elections, most recently in September-October, 2002, Mr Mansingh pointed out, and said, “They have used the ballot box as a vehicle to voice their aspirations and their grievances. Their rights are respected and protected by the Constitution and by a fiercely independent judiciary.’’
That was not the case in Pakistan, which was under military rule, he said. “Pakistan’s territorial claims on India are both irredentist and illegitimate. Pakistan forcibly occupied a portion of Jammu and Kashmir in 1947, and continues to be in illegal occupation of the territory. Over the past 55 years, it has sought to expand those territorial ambitions through the use of force,’’ he added.
The Ambassador pointed out that the US government had acknowledged that the commitments made by President Pervez Musharraf to put an end to terrorist infiltration into India, remain unfulfilled.
“I am concerned that the Concurrent Resolution adopted by the New Hampshire State Assembly may not have taken cognizance of these facts, he said, and offered to discuss the issue with the leaders of the New Hampshire legislature.
India among top corrupt nations in Asia
Singapore, March 12
India was dubbed the second most corrupt nation in Asia after Indonesia, according to the annual survey conducted by Hong Kong-based Political and Economic Risk Consultancy Ltd (PERC) among 1,072 foreign company executives working in Asia.
Corruption in India “affects people’s daily lives in such basic ways’’, including paying fees for admission to better schools and to get electricity installed, the survey noted.
Indonesia emerged as the most corrupt country, with a score of 9.33 out of a possible 10, while India with 8.25 was second.
Singapore maintained its billing as the least corrupt, with its best ever score of 0.38 in the survey, which was first issued in 1997. The second least corrupt country after Singapore was Hong Kong, at 3.61, followed by Japan at 4.5.
The survey found that most executives believed corruption was worse this year than last year. “Corruption is perceived to have worsened as a problem in the past year in seven of the 12 Asian countries covered,’’ the group said.
However, the PERC said corruption in Asia should be seen against the financial scandals that rocked some Western countries recently including the Enron accounting scandal. Compared with such cases, “much of the corruption in Asia is penny ante stuff’’, it said.
The PERC said the survey only measured perceptions among business people, and was not necessarily a reflection of reality.
Indonesia might not be Asia’s most corrupt nation but ‘’the perception of this problem is the worst, and this poses a major problem for a government that is heavily dependent on foreign aid’’, the group said.
Further, there appeared to be a link between income levels and corruption, the PERC said. Developed countries such as Singapore tended to fare the best, while those perceived to be most corrupt had the least developed economies.
Eleven killed in US chopper crash
New York, March 12
Two soldiers survived and were being treated in hospital, military officials said.
The American forces are training in Fort Drum for the possible war with Iraq and the Black Hawk appears to be part of the training mission.
One of the survivors walked away from the wreckage, Major Daniel Bohr, an Army spokesman at Fort Drums said.
He said those aboard the helicopter — a twin-engine aircraft that is normally flown with a crew of three and can carry up to 14 passengers — had not been identified.
He said they were regular soldiers, not reservists.
Major Bohr said the Army sent several other helicopters to search for the missing helicopter and that it was found after about 90 minutes.
Intruder holds scribes hostage
Beijing, March 12
The intruder, who gave his name as Fang Qinghui and demanded to be interviewed on camera about official corruption and other grievances, remained in the newsroom on his own while armed police massed outside.
“The police is in the process of working with Fang Qinghui and have adopted a series of safety measures,’’ police spokesman Liu Wei told reporters outside the building. He gave no further details.
The well-groomed man, wearing dark glasses and carrying a bag trailing wires, barged his way into the sixth-floor office at around 10:30 a.m. local time (0800 hrs IST), shoving Reuters staff around and shouting, “no one move! no one move!’’
Most journalists and office staff managed to escape. The man finally allowed four remaining Reuters staff in the room to leave as a group of about 20 police officers in flak jackets, including a marksman with a rifle, gathered outside the main doors of the office in a modern Beijing high-rise.
The intruder, who appeared to be in his thirties, said he was a former driver from a steel factory in northern Heilongjiang province and had been unemployed for five to six years.
“Leaders should respect, protect and love the workers,’’ Fang said, keeping his thumb pressed to a red button attached to what looked like a telephone cord running into the bag.
Policemen allege sexual harassment
Bangkok, March 12
The police said the number of sexually-oriented calls to the emergency 191 hotline in Bangkok averaged about 400 a month, prompting some officers to file sexual harassment complaints.
''If we talk to them for too long they ask us out, and the gay men always talk lewdly,'' Lieut-Col Somdet Titawatanasakul told The Nation newspaper.
Metropolitan Police Bureau Commissioner Lieutenant-General Damrongsak Nilkooha conceded that the tight uniforms favoured by Thai policemen might be contributing to the problem, but he said the department had no plans to order uniform changes.
The police has to work and mingle with the public,'' he said. ''They may attract the attention of some women and gay men, but we cannot take legal action against them because they are only an annoyance.'' DPA
18 ELECTED TO WAR CRIMES COURT TRAFFICKERS SHOOT DOWN CHOPPERS KORAN TO BE TRANSLATED INTO IRISH PROPHET’S IMAGES ON SALE SEIZED RATNAKAR BHARATIYA DEAD THREE GREAT LAKES FROZEN
TRAFFICKERS SHOOT DOWN CHOPPERS
KORAN TO BE TRANSLATED INTO IRISH
PROPHET’S IMAGES ON SALE SEIZED
RATNAKAR BHARATIYA DEAD
THREE GREAT LAKES FROZEN
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