- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 23, 2000

Peacekeepers killed in Sierra Leone

ROGBERI JUNCTION, Sierra Leone Sierra Leonean soldiers yesterday discovered the mutilated corpses of what appeared to be Zambian U.N. peacekeepers, a discovery that could throw negotiations over the fate of captive U.N. troops into turmoil.
In a separate incident, two peacekeepers from Nigeria were killed and one was wounded in an attack overnight on a U.N. post in Freetown, the capital, U.N. spokesman Fred Eckhard said in New York. Rebels released 29 U.N. hostages yesterday on the Sierra Leone-Liberia border.
The mutilated corpses were found near the central Sierra Leonean town of Rogberi Junction, 70 miles northeast of Freetown.

Women can read Torah at Western Wall

JERUSALEM In a groundbreaking decision, the Supreme Court ruled yesterday that women may read aloud from the Torah at the Western Wall, Judaism's holiest site.
A panel of three judges reinterpreted a law governing Jewish holy sites and lifted bans on women praying from the Torah scroll, the Jewish holy text, and wearing the prayer shawl traditionally worn by men at the holy site.
Ultra-Orthodox Jews say women praying from the Torah violates Jewish law and the division of roles that God assigned men and women. Before the ruling, a woman could face a six-month jail sentence for violating the ban.

Ethiopia rejects call to end offensive

BARENTU, Eritrea Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi yesterday rejected appeals to call an end to his country's 10-day-old offensive into Eritrea to allow for peace talks.
"We shall negotiate while we fight, and we shall fight while we negotiate," Mr. Meles declared before African diplomats in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital. Envoys from the Organization of African Unity and European Union failed to achieve any immediate progress in shuttling between the two capitals Monday.
Ethiopia maintains its objectives are to destroy the Eritrean army, secure border territory it claims as its own, then withdraw.

Fiji leader makes conciliatory move

SUVA, Fiji In an attempt to bring armed rebels occupying Parliament closer to surrender, fiji's president said yesterday that the current government might be replaced even if the coup attempt fails.
President Ratu Sir Kamisese Mara's comments appeared to be a conciliatory sign to indigenous Fijian rebels, who have been holding government officials hostage since storming parliament on Friday.
Mahendra Chaudhry, Fiji's first prime minister of Indian descent, is among the hostages in this South Pacific country where ethnic tensions have been building in recent months.

Yahoo is convicted of inciting racism

PARIS A French judge ruled yesterday that Yahoo Inc. had broken French law and committed "an offense to the collective memory" of the country by conducting an on-line auction selling neo-Nazi objects in cyberspace.
Judge Jean-Jaques Gomez ordered the California-based Internet portal to pay $1,390 each to the Union of Jewish Students and an anti-racism group. He also gave Yahoo two months to find a way to make the site inaccessible to France-based Internet users.
French laws prohibit selling or displaying anything that incites racism.

U.S. soldiers stabbed in Hungarian disco

BUDAPEST Five U.S. soldiers stationed in Bosnia were injured in a stabbing incident Sunday in a disco in western Hungary, Hungarian police said yesterday.
One soldier is still in the hospital for serious but not life-threatening stab wounds to the abdomen, while the other four, who suffered minor injuries, have already left the hospital, the public affairs office of the U.S. National Support Element said in a statement.

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