- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 25, 2000

Israeli candidates for president named

JERUSALEM Former Prime Minister Shimon Peres and Moshe Katzav, a one-time contender for the leadership of the hawkish Likud party, were named yesterday as candidates for the Israeli presidency.

Knesset Speaker Avraham Burg announced the two candidates of the two largest parties Mr. Peres, for Prime Minister Ehud Barak's One Israel, and Mr. Katsav, for the Likud. The vote by the 120 members of the Knesset will take place Monday.

The previous president, Ezer Weizman, resigned July 10 in the wake of a scandal in which he admitted receiving more than $350,000 from a French textile magnate. Although the case was closed, the attorney general ruled Mr. Weizman had acted improperly.

Were the election held by popular vote, the 77-year-old Mr. Peres, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate with impressive achievements throughout Israel's 52-year history, would win easily, opinion polls indicate.

Chechen rebel put on Russian TV

MOSCOW A Chechen woman described as a notorious terrorist was paraded in front of the cameras yesterday by her Russian captors.

Raisa Dundayeva, apparently in her late 20s, was shown being interrogated and denouncing Russia's public enemy No. 1, the rebel leader Shamil Basayev.

Miss Dundayeva took part in a spectacular raid led by Mr. Basayev five years ago when Chechens seized hundreds of hostages, says the Moscow media.

She reputedly raised the Chechen flag over the hospital in Budyonnovsk, and was awarded the title of Chechen "national heroine."

Israel pulls back from Lebanese border

BEIRUT Israel has pulled back from spots where it had violated Lebanon's border, clearing the way for U.N. peacekeepers to deploy along the border, a U.N. envoy said yesterday.

Terje Roed Larsen told reporters after a meeting with Lebanese President Emile Lahoud that senior officers of the Lebanese army and the peacekeeping force, called the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon, will discuss preparing for the deployment.

The announcements came two months after Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon, ending an 18-year occupation intended to protect northern Israel from cross-border guerrilla attacks.

Kabila turns down U.N. troop contingent

NEW YORK Congolese President Laurent Kabila has turned down armed U.N. troops deployed in regions his forces control, including the capital of Kinshasa, the United Nations said yesterday.

Consequently, deployment of the first unit of armed troops from Tunisia, which were to have been sent to Kinshasa to set up a headquarters later this week, was called off, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said.

Cyprus talks resume in Geneva

GENEVA U.N.-sponsored talks on the future of the divided island of Cyprus resumed yesterday in Geneva after a 12-day break, with diplomats playing down expectations of quick progress.

U.N. mediator Alvaro de Soto declined to talk to reporters as he resumed his secret shuttle diplomacy with separate meetings with the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders, Glafcos Clerides and Rauf Denktash. The current round ends Aug. 4.

U.S. apologizes for chemical dumping

SEOUL The U.S. military issued a public apology yesterday for dumping formaldehyde into the Han River, a main source of drinking water for Seoul's 12 million people.

"I officially express to you my deepest apology for the incident," Lt. Gen. Daniel J. Petrosky, commander of the 8th U.S. Army, said in a statement.

It was the first public apology issued by the U.S. military in South Korea since its deployment here in the 1950-53 Korean War. Earlier this month, the military admitted releasing 20 gallons of formaldehyde into the Han River in February.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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