- The Washington Times - Friday, November 17, 2000

Iran recruits fighters to defend Palestinians

TEHRAN The former head of Iran's elite Revolutionary Guards began soliciting volunteers yesterday for a new army to defend the Palestinians, vowing to fight until Israel is eliminated from the world.

"We are not saying that we will send forces into the occupied territories," Mohsen Rezaie told some 1,000 people gathered for the first meeting of the international anti-Zionist group he has been promoting.

"But there are those in Iran who want there to be a presence for a resistance against Israel," the official IRNA news agency quoted him as saying.

He called on Islamic nations to create an air-defense shield to prevent further Israeli bombardments of the Palestinians, a day after the Jewish state pounded Palestinian targets across the West Bank.

Ten-cent moonshine kills 70 in Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya Seventy Kenyans have died after drinking an adulterated batch of moonshine popular for its 10-cent price tag, police and medical sources said yesterday.

The illegal brew, known as chang'aa, has put 260 other persons, mostly from Nairobi's slums, in hospitals. Many have been blinded by the adulterated concoction, which attacks the central nervous system.

Initial medical reports suggested that the liquor might have been laced with methanol, a toxic liquid used in industry as a solvent or anti-freeze, to make it more potent.

ILO adopts sanctions on Burma forced labor

GENEVA The International Labor Organization (ILO) called on its members here yesterday to review their ties with Burma over the country's use of forced labor, a spokesman for the ILO said.

The ILO's governing body rejected a last-minute attempt by Malaysia to put off the sanctions and the measures against Burma will take effect from Nov. 30, spokesman John Doohan said.

The move, adopted without a vote, recommends ILO members workers and employers' groups, and countries review their relations with Burma and take steps to ensure their ties do not help continue or extend forced labor.

Austria accused on Holocaust papers

VIENNA, Austria A New York attorney representing Holocaust survivors accused the Austrian government yesterday of withholding key documents on Jewish-owned property seized by the Nazis.

The United States and Austria are negotiating a settlement for compensating some 21,000 survivors robbed of their homes and personal property under the Nazi "Aryanization" program.

At a news conference in Vienna, attorney Ed Fagan produced what he said were key documents whose existence the Austrian government had denied.

North Korea braces for food shortages

ROME North Korea is bound to face a seventh straight year of food shortages, since severe drought and typhoons have considerably reduced the nation's cereal production, U.N. food agencies said yesterday.

The country will need to import 1.8 million tons of cereals in 2000-2001 to meet the population's need of 4.7 million tons, the Rome-based Food and Agriculture Organization and World Food Program said a joint report.

The U.N. agencies sent a team to North Korea in October.

The rice crop is 31 percent down from the previous year, while the corn output has fallen by 235,000 tons over last year.

A prolonged drought is the main culprit for the crisis, as rainfall was as much as 60 percent below average between June and October, the country's only food-producing season.

India and Washington discuss cooperation

NEW DELHI India and the United States yesterday held discussions on cooperation in peacekeeping missions and possible multilateral military exercises, the U.S. Embassy here said.

James M. Bodner, principal deputy undersecretary of defense, met his Indian counterparts for the talks in New Delhi, the embassy said in a statement.

Following the talks, U.S. embassy officials told reporters that the Pentagon could start "multilateral" exercises with Indian armed forces, with the focus on international peacekeeping.

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