- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 23, 2000

Burundi strife takes 35 civilian lives

BUJUMBURA, Burundi At least 35 civilians were killed in Burundi over the weekend during operations by the Tutsi-led army against Hutu rebels, witnesses said yesterday, less than a week before the hoped-for signing of a partial peace accord.

The victims were killed Saturday as they were returning to their homes in the Isale commune, east of Bujumbura, two days after the army launched an offensive against rebels in the district, witnesses and a local official said.

Rebels have since staged two attacks in Bujumbura Rural, the province that surrounds the capital, according to local sources and a government official.

At around 10 a.m. yesterday rebels attacked a hydroelectric plant at Mugere, about six miles south of Bujumbura, prompting civilians to flee, according to locals.

Greenland site weighed for missile defense

NUUK, Greenland The United States' top arms-control expert met Danish and Greenland officials yesterday amid U.S. efforts to secure support for a controversial shield to protect America from missile attacks.

John Holum, the State Department's undersecretary for arms control and international security, was to discuss proposals to develop an existing U.S. radar station on the arctic island as a part of the new national missile defense (NMD) system.

Russia and China strongly oppose the plan, and Washington's European allies have been skeptical, fearing it would undermine international arms agreements and prompt a new arms race.

44 trained to check on Iraqi arms efforts

NEW YORK The United Nations' new Iraqi arms control body has recruited and trained enough inspectors to form an advance team should Iraq agree to let the world body resume monitoring, a spokesman said yesterday.

However, said Ewen Buchanan, spokesman for the U.N. Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission, the commission was still far short of full strength, which he estimated at slightly more than 130 people.

Bronze Age find in Bulgaria reported

SOFIA, Bulgaria Archaeologists in southern Bulgaria have located remains of what they believe are a palace in the latest of a series of major Bronze Age finds, local media reported yesterday.
Parts of an ancient three-story building dating from the fourth or fifth century B.C. were unearthed under a medieval fortress near the village of Perperek, some 200 miles southeast of Sofia, Valeria Fol, head of the expedition, told the state BTA news agency.
Archaeologists said that the palace could have belonged to a leader of Thrace, a Balkan civilization that flourished in the Bronze Age.

Powerful typhoon slams into Taiwan

TAIPEI, Taiwan Typhoon Bilis slammed into Taiwan yesterday with raging winds that topped 118 mph and knocked out power, stranded residents and killed a construction worker. As the eye of the storm passed over land, forecasters said the typhoon might become even more intense.
The storm may have already reached significantly higher wind speeds, according to the Joint Typhoon Warning Center in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Satellite intensity estimates indicated the storm could have sustained winds as high as 161 mph, with gusts of nearly 200 mph, said Capt. Chris Cantrell, a spokesman at the center.
Chien Kuo-chi, a forecaster at Taiwan's Central Weather Bureau said that as of early today, the center of the storm was 87 miles northwest of Taitung City, which is located in southern Taiwan.

Former richest man in China off to prison

SHANGHAI, China A businessman once billed as China's richest man lost his last appeal yesterday in a bank-fraud case and will serve a life prison term, a court official said.
The Hubei Province Higher People's Court upheld the conviction of Mou Qizhong, former president of the Land Group, according to the court in the central Chinese province. He has no other opportunities for appeals, the court said.
Mou, 58, was sentenced in May to life imprisonment on charges of fraudulently using letters of credit in a case that cost a state bank $35 million.

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