- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 12, 2000

Iliescu wins vote in Romania

BUCHAREST, Romania Former Romanian President Ion Iliescu coasted to victory yesterday against an ultranationalist in the official tally of a presidential election deemed vital to the impoverished country's future.

With 98.06 percent of Sunday's vote counted from the 15,085 polling stations, the Central Electoral Bureau said Mr. Iliescu had about 67 percent of the ballot to 33 percent for Corneliu Vadim Tudor. The bureau said turnout in the election was 57 percent.

Mr. Iliescu, a former communist functionary who was Romania's first post-communist president from 1990 to 1996, is expected to be sworn in next week.

Gunmen attack Turkish police bus

ISTANBUL Gunmen poised on a hill above Istanbul's main highway raked a passing police bus with automatic weapons fire yesterday, killing at least two officers and wounding several others.

Police chief Kazim Abanoz said two officers had been killed and 11 wounded in the attack just outside the low-income Istanbul district of Gazi. However, the private NTV station said three officers had died of injuries in the hospital and 10 others were wounded in the attack.

No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack. Prime Minister Bulent Ecevit said an armed communist group might be behind it.

Syria returns prisoners to Lebanon

BEIRUT Syria returned 54 Lebanese political prisoners to Beirut yesterday in a gesture that appeared intended to appease opponents of Syria's dominance over Lebanon.

Lebanese troops escorted the prisoners from the Masnaa border post to Beirut, where they were take into custody. Some of the relatives who had waited all day for a glimpse of their loved ones demanded their release.

Security sources in Beirut said the detainees included 46 Lebanese and eight Palestinians. Lebanon is home to about 360,000 Palestinian refugees who fled from their homes during the 1948 and 1967 Arab-Israeli wars.

Fujimori declared a citizen of Japan

TOKYO Japan's government has determined that ousted Peruvian President Alberto Fujimori holds Japanese citizenship, an official said yesterday, a development that could allow him to stay in the country as long as he wants.

A government investigation found that Mr. Fujimori was born in Peru but registered by his parents at a local Japanese consulate, making him a Japanese citizen, a Foreign Ministry official said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Mr. Fujimori has not revoked his Japanese citizenship, said the official, who works in the ministry's Latin American division. He added that under Peruvian law, Mr. Fujimori also holds Peruvian citizenship since he was born in that country.

NATO arrests two after explosion

KOSOVSKA MITROVICA, Yugoslavia NATO peacekeepers arrested two ethnic Albanians after an explosion early yesterday in Kosovo's tensest city, a NATO spokesman said. No one was injured.

The blast most likely caused by a hand grenade went off in the front yard of a Serbian cafe in an ethnically mixed neighborhood of the northern city of Kosovska Mitrovica shortly before 1 a.m.

It left a crater some 20 inches across and was followed by several machine-gun bursts, said NATO spokesman Col. Yves Kermorvant.

Clockmaker for sale on Internet

LONDON One of the world's oldest clockmakers, responsible for ensuring that London's "Big Ben" chimes on time, is up for sale on the Internet. Thwaites and Reed, founded in 1740, is worth about $720,000, according to owner Melvin Lee.

The venerable firm posted its "For Sale" sign on an Internet billboard. "One can't stand still," Mr. Lee said.

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