- The Washington Times - Friday, September 29, 2000

China sees collusion of sect, dissidents

BEIJING China, waging a multifront religious battle with the Vatican, meditation groups and human rights critics, said yesterday the banned Falun Gong sect was scheming with political enemies bent on toppling the government.
"Falun Gong is not only ingratiating itself with Western anti-China forces, but also ganging up with overseas and domestic pro-democracy groups as well as Tibetan and Taiwanese separatists to form an anti-Communist Party united front which is plotting to overthrow the government," said a state media commentary.
The lengthy Xinhua news agency commentary, printed in the People's Daily, said China's various enemies gathered twice in March in support of America's "plot," at U.S. congressional hearings and at the annual U.N. human rights debate in Geneva.

Russian plans to cut military affirmed

MOSCOW Vladislav Putilin, a top Russian general, yesterday reaffirmed plans to make deep cuts in Russia's military, saying the country no longer has the money for such a large force.
The reductions, to be made over 2001-2003, would cut 350,000 troops from the estimated 1.2 million people serving under the Defense Ministry.

India, Russia seek to rekindle ties

NEW DELHI India and Russia are expected to forge a strategic partnership and sign defense and trade deals next week during a visit by President Vladimir Putin that both sides hope will rekindle the warmth of their Soviet-era ties.
Now basking in the glow of a new friendship with Washington, nuclear-capable India believes a closer relationship with Moscow will reinforce its international standing.

Greece charges 4 in ship sinking

PAROS, Greece The captain and three crew members of a Greek ferry boat that sank, killing at least 66 persons, were charged yesterday with multiple counts of murder.
Investigators were focusing on reports that the ship loaded with more than 500 passengers was apparently on automatic pilot minutes before striking a well-marked rocky outcropping, bolstering accounts by survivors that crew members were watching a soccer match on television Tuesday night when the ship sank two miles from shore.

Libyan spy denies lying on Lockerbie

CAMP ZEIST, Netherlands A former Libyan spy denied yesterday that he fabricated lies about two former associates to claim a $4 million U.S. government reward for evidence in the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.
The spy, who became a CIA mole four months before the Dec. 21, 1988, bombing that killed 270 persons including 189 Americans is considered a key witness in the mass-murder trial.
He has provided the strongest evidence so far against Libyan intelligence agents Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi and Lamen Khalifa Fhimah, who are being charged in the terrorist bombing over the Scottish town of Lockerbie.

118 miners killed in South China blast

SHANGHAI A gas explosion in a coal mine in southern China killed 118 miners, a mine official said yesterday.
Another 123 miners were rescued, leaving no one missing from the blast Wednesday night at the Muchonggou Coal Mine in Shuicheng, a city 1,350 miles southwest of Shanghai, said Zhong Tianfang, an official of the municipal mine bureau.

Raging street protests leave mark on summit

PRAGUE Raging street riots strained the new spirit of cooperation, but the world's top capitalists insisted yesterday their annual money summit built commitment to boosting the livelihoods of the world's poor.
"We are trying to do a job that makes things better," said World Bank President James Wolfensohn.
The World Bank and its sister lending agency, the International Monetary Fund, wrapped up official business Wednesday, one day ahead of schedule, amid victory cheers from protesters who claimed they derailed the meetings.

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