- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 4, 2000

Woman killed as teen hijacks bus in Japan

HIGASHI HIROSHIMA, Japan A teen-ager wielding a large knife hijacked a bus yesterday, killing a woman and holding the blade to the neck of a 6-year-old girl before police stormed the vehicle to end the 15-hour standoff.
After a 190-mile chase and hours of negotiations at a highway rest stop, police charged into the bus before dawn, entering through a window and an emergency exit, and arrested the teen. None of the remaining passengers was injured.
The hijacking, which began about noon yesterday on Sanyo Expressway in Fukuoka prefecture, 560 miles southwest of Tokyo, riveted Japan. TV stations interrupted regular programming to bring overhead shots of the white bus moving down the highway, chased by police cars.

2 more Iranian Jews confess to spying

SHIRAZ, Iran Two more Iranian Jews said yesterday they spied for Israel, bringing to three the number of defendants who have confessed to espionage in a trial that has attracted international concern.
Defense lawyers for the 13 Jews on trial on spying charges questioned the validity of the confessions and criticized the court, in which the judge acts as prosecutor and judge.
The provincial judiciary chief, Hossein Ali Amiri, told reporters the three confessed to spying for Israel's Mossad intelligence service and "were driven by financial and religious motivations."
If convicted, the defendants could be sentenced to death, the maximum penalty for passing secret information that damages national security.

Kuwaiti 'puppet' leader sentenced to death

KUWAIT A Kuwaiti man who served as puppet prime minister after Iraq invaded this Persian Gulf nation in 1990 was convicted of treason yesterday and sentenced to be hanged.
Alaa Hussein, 41, who appeared in court in a brown prison uniform, was hustled away by guards after the court president pronounced the verdict and death sentence simultaneously.
The court said a desire for personal gain led Hussein to willingly take on the role of puppet prime minister under the Iraqis after they invaded his homeland.

Farm occupations will continue

HARARE, Zimbabwe Occupations of white-owned farms by black squatters won't end until much of the land is available for resettlement, President Robert Mugabe said yesterday in a fiery speech launching his party's election campaign.
Mr. Mugabe, 76, slammed former colonial ruler Britain, told other countries to butt out of Zimbabwe's affairs and warned that the land takeovers that began in February could escalate if there is "resistance."
Mr. Mugabe said 841 farms must be made available for resettlement before the squatters leave any of the seized farms.

Sri Lanka in war status as rebels advance

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka With Tamil rebels advancing along the northern peninsula and neighbor India refusing military help, Sri Lanka said yesterday it was shifting to war status.
At a meeting headed by President Chandrika Kumaratunga, the Cabinet suspended all non-urgent development projects for three months, saying funds for those projects would diverted to the war effort if needed.
The Tamil Tiger rebels have made significant advances this week in the offensive to recapture their former capital, Jaffna. Sri Lanka had indicated it would ask India, its nearest neighbor, for help in evacuating 40,000 soldiers trapped in Jaffna. But India said yesterday it would not step into the military conflict.

Norway shackled by major strike

OSLO About 85,000 workers went on strike yesterday as Norway's biggest labor dispute since the 1980s held up oil exports, closed hotels and halted ferries.
The stoppage, triggered after the main private sector unions rejected a pay offer last week, also disrupted road freight and construction, and halted printing of major newspapers. Some supermarket shelves were stripped because of hoarding.

* Based on wire dispatches and staff reports

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