- The Washington Times - Monday, December 25, 2000

Bus crash kills 20 in South Africa

EAST LONDON, South Africa An overloaded bus plunged down an embankment in South Africa early yesterday and killed 20 passengers, including a 3-year-old girl found clutching her Christmas present.
The driver lost control of the bus while negotiating a bend on a steep pass 560 miles south of Johannesburg, police spokeswoman Shannon Kirkhoff said. The accident injured 55 people, some critically.
The bus was taking vacationers from Cape Town to the town of Butterworth, Miss Kirkhoff said. All the victims were thought to be South African. Six of the dead were children.
The privately owned bus was certified to carry 65 passengers, but held 77 persons at the time of the crash. Two passengers escaped unhurt.

India's Anand wins world chess title

TEHRAN Indian grandmaster Viswanathan Anand claimed the FIDE world chess title yesterday, easily besting Spain's Alexei Shirov.
The Latvian-born Mr. Shirov resigned on the 41st move against Mr. Anand, the world chess federation, FIDE, announced on its Web site (www.fide.com) .
The victory gave Mr. Anand, who played with the white pieces, a lead of 3.5 points to 0.5, enough to clinch the six-game final and wrest the title from Russia's Anatoly Karpov, who did not participate.
It was the Indian's first victory in three world championship final appearances, and it was the first time the world chess federation title had gone to a player from outside the former Soviet Union since American Bobby Fischer beat Boris Spassky in 1972.

Algerian rebels cut singer's throat

ALGIERS Rebels burst into an Algerian discotheque, slashed the throat of a 23-year-old pop singer and dragged off two members of her band, security sources said yesterday.
Another 11 persons were killed in various incidents, bringing to more than 240 the death toll during the fasting month of Ramadan, a period Muslim rebels see as auspicious for their holy war.
Security sources said about 25 rebels broke into the discotheque 250 miles east of Algiers on Friday night. They said 13 persons were injured, some shot by the assailants and others cut by broken glass as they jumped through broken windows to escape.
Muslim rebels are blamed for the killing of scores of singers, journalists and other intellectuals.

Venezuelan economist named vice president

CARACAS, Venezuela President Hugo Chavez yesterday named the country's representative to the InterAmerican Development Bank (IADB) to the largely administrative post of vice president.
Alida Bastidas, who represents Venezuela and Panama in the multilateral Washington-based bank, said she was "committed to the process of participative democracy" promoted by Mr. Chavez.
An economics graduate from Venezuela's Central University, Mrs. Bastidas met Mr. Chavez as a university professor in 1993 when Mr. Chavez was serving a two-year prison sentence for a failed coup attempt in 1992.
She is "a first-class revolutionary," Mr. Chavez said when he announced his decision in his weekly radio show.

Dissident governor slams Russia's Putin

MOSCOW A dissident Russian governor launched a blistering attack on President Vladimir Putin yesterday, saying he was taking Russia back to the darkest days of Soviet rule.
Nikolai Fyodorov criticized Mr. Putin on all fronts for his first year in office and called his Chechnya campaign a disaster in a rare public attack by a serving governor.
"We are now on a receding wave taking us back in time," Mr. Fyodorov, governor of the central Chuvashiya region, told NTV's "Itogi" program. "Some people might not realize it, but we are returning to the 1950s or '30s."
Mr. Fyodorov was the only one in the 178-strong upper chamber of parliament not to stand to the music of Stalin's Soviet-era anthem when Mr. Putin pushed parliament to adopt it as Russia's national tune earlier this month.

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