- The Washington Times - Friday, December 8, 2000

Albright starts visit to Africa

CAPE TOWN, South Africa Madeleine K. Albright yesterday began what probably will be the last big tour of her four years as secretary of state, promoting AIDS awareness and American interests in southern Africa.
Unlike her last three sub-Saharan Africa trips, which took in areas of conflict and the scenes of embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, she will visit three states seen in Washington as success stories South Africa, Mauritius, and Botswana.
One message from her African stops will be for President Clinton's successor to follow his example of putting extra focus on Africa.

U.S., Vietnam hold talks on Agent Orange

HANOI Vietnam and the United States held "frank and serious" talks about Agent Orange at their first official discussions on the defoliant used during the Vietnam War, Vietnam said yesterday.
At a meeting in Singapore that ends today, they discussed research on the effects of the defoliant on people and the environment, Vietnam's Foreign Ministry said.
Earlier this year, the United States promised to conduct joint research on the effects of the estimated 11 million gallons of defoliants, primarily Agent Orange, sprayed by U.S. planes between 1962 and 1971 to destroy jungle cover for communist troops.

Chilean court weighs Pinochet fate

SANTIAGO, Chile Three judges of a Chilean court held a hearing yesterday on whether to block an order to place Augusto Pinochet under house arrest on charges of kidnap and murder during the former dictator's 1973-1990 rule.
Court sources said the judges of a Santiago appeals court threw out a bid Wednesday by human rights lawyers to postpone the hearing and gave them and Gen. Pinochet's lawyers time limits for their arguments in an effort to reach a ruling by Monday.
Human rights lawyers, despite not winning a postponement of the hearing, were confident that the appeal would be rejected by the courts.

Yeltsin slams Putin over anthem

MOSCOW In his first public criticism of his chosen successor, former President Boris Yeltsin strongly assailed Vladimir Putin's move to restore the old Soviet anthem but with new words.
"I'm categorically against the restoration of the Soviet anthem," Mr. Yeltsin told the daily Komsomolskaya Pravda yesterday.
Mr. Putin has sparked a fierce debate by backing a proposal to revive the anthem and reviving other Soviet-era symbols, including the red banner as the military's flag.
Mr. Putin said the combination of Soviet and old Russian symbols would help mend deep divisions in society, by paying tribute to both periods.

Austrian ski lifts back in service

SALZBURG, Austria Lifts on Kitzsteinhorn glacier reopened to skiers yesterday, one month after a deadly fire in a cable car tunnel killed 155 persons in Austria.
The lifts were stopped after a deadly fire broke out Nov. 11 in a cable car heading up a tunnel through the mountainside, killing people from Austria, Germany, the United States, Japan, Slovenia, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.
Officials in the nearby village of Kaprun waited for the bodies of the victims to be identified before reopening the lifts. Extra safety measures also were taken before starting the lifts again.

Two are arrested in synagogue attack

DUESSELDORF, Germany German police have arrested a Palestinian man and a Moroccan-born German in the firebombing of a synagogue in October on the eve of celebrations marking the 10th anniversary of German reunification, prosecutors said yesterday.
The synagogue attack came just months after a still-unsolved pipe bomb attack in Duesseldorf injured 10 recent immigrants, six of them Jewish, dampening reunification festivities and heightening concerns about increasing neo-Nazi attacks.

No breakthrough seen at warming talks

OTTAWA The United States and Europe failed yesterday to bridge major differences after two days of talks aimed at salvaging a pact to curb global warming.

Officials said they had made some progress in closing the gap between the European Union and the "umbrella group" of the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand.

But they also made it clear that major differences remain over how best to cut emissions of "greenhouse gases" and on how to meet previous promises to cut emissions.

The meeting was the first since last month's dramatic collapse of U.N.-sponsored talks in The Hague to set a global strategy on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions.

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