- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 9, 2000

Palestinians say Barak sets back peace

JERUSALEM Palestinians said peace efforts had been set back by Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak's offer yesterday to take weeks or months to transfer three Jerusalem-area villages to Palestinian rule.
In the West Bank, Israeli soldiers shot and wounded six Palestinians with rubber-coated metal bullets during clashes with stone throwers in Bethlehem and Ramallah over the detention of 1,650 Palestinians, witnesses said.
Speaking after his first summit with Palestinian President Yasser Arafat since mid-March, Mr. Barak told Israel's army radio yesterday that he had decided to cede control of three West Bank villages near Jerusalem within a few weeks or months.

Pakistan appeals for drought aid

CHACHRO, Pakistan Pakistan's military leader appealed yesterday to Pakistanis at home and abroad to send help amid a drought that has left at least 127 persons dead, with doctors warning that more could die from contaminated water supplies.
Gen. Pervez Musharraf gave a personal guarantee during a national television appeal that the money donated would be carefully monitored and spent "judiciously."

U.N. delegation visits Ethiopian capital

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia With the threat of fighting again looming over the Horn of Africa, a U.N. Security Council delegation made an unscheduled visit to the Ethiopian capital yesterday in hopes of heading off fresh border clashes between Ethiopia and Eritrea.
The seven-member delegation, led by U.S. Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, was to meet late yesterday with Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. The U.N. mission's goal is to get the two countries back to the negotiating table, said an official close to the delegation, which was to travel to the Eritrean capital, Asmara, early today. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity.

IRA pledge could lead to 'unbreakable peace'

LONDON Britain's Northern Ireland secretary told lawmakers yesterday that the IRA's unprecedented pledge to disarm puts "unbreakable peace" within reach, but the head of the province's major Protestant party said he needs more convincing.
Speaking in the House of Commons, Ulster Unionist Party leader David Trimble said several issues in the Irish Republican Army's pledge must be clarified before his party will agree to rejoin Northern Ireland's suspended power-sharing government.
The IRA announced Saturday that it would soon start to put its weapons "beyond use."

Luxembourg freezes Abacha's accounts

LUXEMBOURG Luxembourg authorities have frozen bank accounts here belonging to former Nigerian dictator Sani Abacha, who died in 1998, the deputy state prosecutor said yesterday.
Eight accounts containing $601 million in a Luxembourg subsidiary of an unnamed German bank were blocked, said Georges Heisbourg. The accounts had been opened in the names of offshore companies, he added.
An investigation by Luxembourg officials, conducted at the request of the new Nigerian government, found that two of Mr. Abacha's sons profited from the companies.

Spain outraged at journalist's murder

MADRID Spaniards mounted a wave of protests yesterday against the Basque guerrilla group ETA over the killing of a newspaper columnist known for his fierce opposition to the separatist rebels.
Thousands of people, including the Spanish royals, gathered in silent vigils across the country one day after Jose Luis Lopez de Lacalle, 62, a political commentator for the pro-government daily El Mundo, was gunned down outside his Basque home.
The killing was the fourth blamed on ETA since it ended a 14-month cease-fire late last year and the first since center-right Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar claimed a resounding re-election victory on March 12.

Based on wire dispatches and staff reports.

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