- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 11, 2000

German protests greet Iran leader

BERLIN Iranian President Mohammed Khatami faced protests in the streets and hard talks on human rights with Germany's chancellor as he began a visit yesterday intended to help revive ties with Western Europe.
At a joint news conference after their talks, the German and Iranian leaders stressed their common desire to expand cultural and economic ties while acknowledging "differences of opinion" that have burdened Iran's relations with the West for years.
Hours before Mr. Khatami's arrival, Berlin police searched homes and detained about 50 Iranian opposition activists as part of tight security for the three-day visit the first by an Iranian leader to Germany since the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran.

Losing Mexican party draws peasants' wrath

MEXICO CITY Mexico's defeated ruling party was forced to shut down its headquarters yesterday when peasants stormed the sprawling complex to demand the freedom of a jailed leader and a voice in the party's future.
The Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, lost power for the first time ever in July 2 elections.

60 die in Philippinesin garbage collapse

MANILA A mountain of garbage loosened by rain collapsed and burst into flames yesterday at Manila's biggest dump, flattening squatters' shanties and killing 60 persons, officials said.

Some 29 other persons were injured and at least 68 remained missing late yesterday, Red Cross spokeswoman Tess Usapdin said. The victims were poor people who earn a living by scavenging garbage in the Payatas dump.

The Payatas dump and a former dump in Manila's Tondo slum district called Smokey Mountain long symbolized the wrenching poverty in the Philippines.

Unrest mars deal for Fiji peace

SUVA, Fiji Despite a peace deal to end Fiji's hostage crisis, civil unrest here worsened yesterday: Rebel sympathizers set fire to a Masonic lodge and occupied a U.S.-affiliated tuna cannery.
The pact signed Sunday by rebel leader George Speight will release the captives Thursday, when the Great Council of Chiefs convenes to choose a new president of the South Pacific island nation.
Mr. Speight demanded that the rights of indigenous Fijians take precedence and took 27 members of the government hostage.

Aristide hangs on amid fraud charges

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti Ex-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide has a fragile hold on Haiti's people, opposition leaders said yesterday, after revelations that fewer than 10 percent of voters went to the polls in runoff legislative elections.
The elections seen as crucial to reviving a decade's tortuous experiment with democracy left a morass of recriminations, with international observers and opposition parties claiming the campaign and count were fraught with irregularities favoring the Lavalas party.

Colombia death squads massacre peasants

BOGOTA, Colombia Hooded gunmen from a suspected paramilitary death squad killed six peasants in a village square in northwest Colombia as an army helicopter hovered overhead and soldiers patrolled nearby, a church group said yesterday.
The massacre took place Saturday afternoon in a hamlet near the village of San Jose de Apartado, which declared itself a "peace community" three years ago in an effort to escape the cross-fire of a long-running conflict pitting Marxist rebels against paramilitary gangs and state security forces.

Assad only name in Syrian vote

DAMASCUS, Syria Syrians kissed Bashar Assad's hands and cheeks, hugged him and smeared voting cards with their blood to show their loyalty during a nationwide referendum yesterday, the last formality before the former eye doctor succeeds his father as head of state.
The polling, orchestrated by the ruling Ba'ath party, was held exactly one month after the death of Mr. Assad's father Hafez Assad. Voters had a choice of "yes" or "no" on whether they want the younger Mr. Assad to be president.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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