- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2000

Taleban allows female aid workers

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan Afghanistan's Taleban militia rulers agreed yesterday to rescind a new edict barring women from working for international relief agencies, a senior U.N. official said after a day of negotiations in southern Afghanistan.
Getting the edict rescinded was a major breakthrough for the United Nations. The Taleban espouse a harsh brand of Islamic law and have imposed strict controls on women.

Pizza Hut heads for outer space

BAIKONUR, Kazakhstan The U.S. restaurant chain Pizza Hut took a giant leap into space yesterday with its logo painted onto the side of a Russian Proton rocket.

The Russian booster, which carried living quarters for the International Space Station, streaked into clear blue skies yesterday speeding construction of the $60 billion project after more than two years of delay.

The flawless launch of the Zvezda module, carrying a 3.6-square-yard Pizza Hut image, clears the way for six to eight U.S. shuttle flights a year through 2005 hauling hundreds of tons of additional equipment.

Iran seeks dialogue with the West

WEIMAR, Germany Iranian President Mohammed Khatami wound up a landmark visit to Germany yesterday with a call for a new era of dialogue between Eastern and Western cultures.
As he called for talk between civilizations and cultures, groups of protesters breached tight security to accuse the Iranian government of stifling free speech.
"New doors must be broken open for a true dialogue between civilizations and cultures, to recognize the reality of the world and enable new insights into the Eastern and Western world," Mr. Khatami said at a panel discussion.

United Nations wants more U.S. money

NEW YORK The United States has reduced its debt to the United Nations by about $135 million but still owes more than $1.5 billion, a U.N. spokeswoman said yesterday.
The $135 million went to reduce arrears to a number of U.N. peacekeeping operations, 30 percent of whose costs are assessed against the United States.
But Washington still owes some $1.16 billion for peacekeeping and about $460 million in arrears to the regular U.N. budget, the spokeswoman said.

Lockerbie witnesses get cold feet

AMSTERDAM The Lockerbie trial was forced to adjourn yesterday after a group of witnesses refused to testify against the two Libyans accused of blowing up Pan Am Flight 103.
Court spokesman Richard Bailey said the witnesses from the Mediterranean island of Malta "refused to come after quite lengthy negotiations." The special Scottish court adjourned until tomorrow, he said.
All 259 persons on board Flight 103 and 11 residents of Lockerbie, Scotland, were killed in 1988 when a bomb exploded.

Dancing speaker quits British Parliament

LONDON British Speaker of the House of Commons Betty Boothroyd announced her departure from politics yesterday after a career that began as a dancing girl and ended as the woman who kept the mother of all parliaments in check.
Miss Boothroyd, Parliament's first-ever female speaker, was renowned as much for her charm and wit as her steely grip on an often raucous bunch of parliamentarians.
Miss Boothroyd, who was 70 last October, was a natural performer. In her youth she was a singer and dancer with the Tiller Girls troupe, as well as performing with the Swing Stars Band.

Evangelical Church pays into slave fund

BERLIN The Evangelical Church in Germany pledged $5 million yesterday to the compensation fund recently established by government and industry after acknowledging that German churches used forced laborers during the Nazi era.
The Evangelical Church in Germany includes 24 Lutheran, Reformed and United regional churches.
Based on wire dispatches and staff reports

More tourist resortsseized in Fiji

SUVA, Fiji Protesters in Fiji seized two more tourists resorts today, bringing the number held to four, the military said. The U.S. government urged all Americans to leave the country amid increasing unrest spawned by a 2-month-old parliamentary hostage crisis.

The latest resort seizures, which appeared to be peaceful protests, came hours after the takeover of the upscale Laucala Island resort and a day after the occupation of a beach resort where "The Blue Lagoon" was filmed.

It was not clear if the takeovers were part of rebel leader George Speight's efforts to pressure the Great Council of Chiefs, Fiji's traditional power, to endorse his proposed Cabinet for an interim government or if his campaign was spiraling out of control.

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