- The Washington Times - Monday, August 21, 2000

Gusmao cuts ties with guerrilla army

AILEU, East Timor East Timor independence leader Jose Alexandre "Xanana" Gusmao surrendered command of his guerrilla army yesterday, strengthening his credentials as a civilian politician.
Mr. Gusmao, who is widely expected to become the first elected president of an independent East Timor, handed over control of the force to his deputy, Taur Matan Ruak. Since last year's eviction of troops from Indonesia, the territory's former ruler, the guerrilla force has shrunk from about 1,600 to just 300 men.
Indonesia invaded the former Portuguese colony in 1974 and ruled until last year, when the East Timorese people voted overwhelmingly for independence in a U.N.-sponsored plebiscite.

Venezuela makes record cocaine bust

CARACAS, Venezuela Venezuela seized a record 5 tons of cocaine destined for Europe in a remote corner of its Atlantic seaboard during an international drug raid in which 14 persons were detained in three countries, authorities said yesterday.

National Guard commandos were still in air and sea pursuit of five suspected members of the Los Mellizos cartel, having captured two suspected traffickers on a jungle-covered islet in the mouth of the Orinoco River delta in eastern Venezuela. Twelve other persons have been arrested in the operation, including 10 in Venezuela, one in France and one in Italy, authorities said.

The haul the biggest in Venezuela's history and worth about $400 million on the streets of Europe was seized from a camouflaged wooden platform built on the roots of mangrove trees at the mouth of the inaccessible maze of river channels.

Sudan seeks to upgrade ties with United States

KHARTOUM, Sudan The United States and Sudan could resolve their differences with serious talks, Sudan's Foreign Ministry said yesterday on the second anniversary of a U.S. military strike on a Khartoum factory.
Sudan, which Washington considers a sponsor of terrorism, also called for U.S. flexibility in its attitude and policies toward the nation and made an apparent plea to end economic and trade sanctions.
U.S.-Sudanese relations sank to new lows with the Aug. 20, 1998, U.S. attack on a pharmaceutical plant suspected of producing chemical weapons agents. President Clinton ordered the attack, which killed one person and wounded nine, in retaliation for U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

More reunions expected in Koreas

SEOUL North and South Korea are likely to hold a second round of reunions for separated relatives in mid-September, South Korea's Red Cross chief said yesterday.
Appearing on a KBS-TV program, Chang Chung-shik, president of South Korea's National Red Cross, said he discussed the issue during a visit to North Korea last week.
Mr. Chang said the next reunions would likely take place around Chusok, or thanksgiving day, which falls on Sept. 12 and is a major holiday in both Koreas.
Mr. Chang led 100 South Koreans who visited the reclusive, communist North for four days of temporary reunions with long-lost kin. An equal number of people from North Korea visited Seoul for reunions that ended Friday.

Former spy seeks to clear his name

CALAIS, France Former British spy David Shayler said yesterday he has decided to risk arrest and return home to Britain after nearly three years in France as a means of proving he did "nothing wrong" in leaking information about British intelligence.
In a news conference in the French port town of Calais, Mr. Shayler repeated his claim that British foreign intelligence officers were involved in a plot to assassinate Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi a claim the government denies.
Mr. Shayler, who worked for Britain's domestic espionage agency MI5 from 1994 until 1997, expected to sail to Dover with his family and girlfriend today after three years in France, where he fled after selling stories to a British newspaper.

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