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Tuesday, June 30, 1992 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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World

World -- News In Brief

Times News Services

COMMANDER OF PLO MILITIA SLAIN IN LEBANON

SIDON, Lebanon - Unidentified assailants today shot and killed the local commander of PLO Chairman Yasser Arafat's Fatah forces. It was the second assassination this month of a ranking PLO official.

No group claimed responsibility for the assassination of Col. Anwar Madi, the militia commander for the largest of 13 Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon. No arrests were reported.

Police had no immediate theories about a motive. But there have been several assassinations or attempts resulting from power struggles among south Lebanon's Palestinians in the last three years.

Arafat named Madi to the post three weeks ago.

ANC IS BEING ACCUSED OF SPREADING PROPAGANDA

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa - The white government today said the African National Congress lied when it claimed that President F.W. de Klerk admitted to losing control of the police.

Cyril Ramaphosa, the ANC secretary general, made the accusation yesterday at a funeral for victims of the June 17 massacre in Boipatong that claimed more than 40 lives.

Ramaphosa claimed that at a May meeting with ANC leaders, de Klerk said he could not control all elements of his security forces. It was the first time the ANC had made any reference to de Klerk's alleged remarks at the meeting.

But Roelf Meyer, the government's constitutional development minister, said the charge is "sheer political propaganda devoid of all truth."

Meyer said he was at the same meeting, where leaders discussed the escalating political violence that has claimed 8,000 black lives since de Klerk came to power in 1989. Meyer quoted de Klerk as saying the "government could not be held responsible for acts of violence perpetrated by individuals and groups not associated with (the) police."

REPORT: HONECKER TO LEAVE EMBASSY SANCTUARY IN CHILE

SANTIAGO, Chile - Former East German leader Erich Honecker will end his stay in Chile's Moscow embassy between July 10 and 15, a Chilean newspaper reported today.

Citing a government source, El Diario said the dates were chosen after President Patricio Aylwin met Chancellor Helmut Kohl in Rio de Janeiro June 12 at the Earth Summit.

Foreign ministry officials said they had not seen the El Diario report and could not comment.

Honecker, 79, fled to Chile's Moscow embassy in December to escape extradition to face manslaughter charges in Germany for ordering guards to shoot people fleeing the Communist state.

With growing insistence Germany has demanded that Chile hand over the former Communist leader. But Chile has insisted on a solution satisfactory to all parties, including Honecker himself.

GRAVE OF AMERICAN POW REPORTEDLY FOUND IN RUSSIA

MOSCOW - The grave of an American prisoner of war has been found in southern Russia, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported today.

The man was identified as Francesco Luigi Di Bartolomeo and his body is in grave No. 22 of the Kirsanov Cemetery near Tambov, a city 260 miles south of Moscow, the agency said.

It was not immediately known which war he fought in or on what side, when he died or why he was taken to the Tambov region. ITAR-Tass said more than 23,000 POWs of various nationalities were kept in Soviet labor camps in that area over the years.

The search for American POWs intensified in Russia following a statement by President Boris Yeltsin saying that captured U.S. servicemen might still be alive on Russian soil.

But President Bush's special envoy on the question, Malcolm Toon, a former ambassador to the Soviet Union, said today that the search so far had come up empty.

NORWAY, ICELAND TO DEFY BAN, RESUME WHALING

LONDON - Norway and Iceland, two of the world's biggest fishing nations, announced plans yesterday to defy a seven-year-old international ban and resume commercial whaling, setting off protests from environmentalists and officials from the United States and Britain.

Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland told a press conference in Oslo that her country would resume hunting next year for minke whales, one of the smallest and the most numerous of the species. Brundtland, a prominent environmental spokeswoman, said she was prepared for harsh international criticism of the decision, which her government made under pressure from its powerful fishing industry.

Iceland said it was quitting the International Whaling Commission as of midnight so that it, too, could resume hunting minke whales.

British fisheries minister John Gummer made clear that the moves by Norway and Iceland would not compel the commission's 35 other member states to lift the ban.

A cessation on hunting was adopted by the commission in 1982 and that took effect three years later, banning the killing of all 12 "great whale" species because of the threat of extinction. The ban permitted Norway, Iceland and Japan to continue killing several hundred whales each year for "scientific research" and allowed subsistence whaling by Aboriginal groups in four countries.

HOUSE DISSOLVED TO PAVE WAY FOR THAILAND ELECTION

BANGKOK, Thailand - The House of Representatives was formally dissolved today to pave the way for general elections promised after violent protests drove Prime Minister Suchinda Kraprayoon from office.

Suchinda's successor, Anand Panyarachun, scheduled elections for Sept. 13. In May, pro-democracy protesters clashed with military forces under orders from Suchinda, a former army commander. Protesters demanded Suchinda's resignation, saying the prime minister also should be a member of parliament. Hundreds were killed or wounded before Suchinda resigned May 24.

Copyright (c) 1992 Seattle Times Company, All Rights Reserved.

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