- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 2, 2001

Robertson says NATO must expand further
TALLINN, Estonia Despite improving relations between NATO and Russia, the enlargement of the military alliance is needed to ensure stability in Europe, NATO Secretary-General George Robertson said here.
Moreover, NATO enlargement would be beneficial to Russia as it would create "a more stable set of neighbors in the same way as the enlargement in Poland, Czech Republic and Hungary produced a new area of stability in Europe," Mr. Robertson told reporters Thursday during a one-day visit.
He said Russian President Vladimir Putin told him in Russia last month that Russian-Polish relations were at a "historic high," having rebounded from Moscow's anger about the three former Soviet satellites joining NATO in 1999.

France, Britain plan joint Africa effort
LONDON The British and French foreign ministers will travel together to Africa's troubled Great Lakes region as part of efforts to establish lasting peace there, French President Jacques Chirac said.
Mr. Chirac did not say when Britain's Jack Straw and France's Hubert Vedrine would travel, nor which countries they would be visiting.
The French leader, speaking during a summit meeting with British Prime Minister Tony Blair on Thursday, acknowledged there sometimes had been "a difference of opinion" between London and Paris about Africa, particularly in the Great Lakes.

Romanian laborers demand job security
BUCHAREST, Romania Marching to the beat of a brass band, thousands of laborers from across Romania converged on the capital on Thursday to demand job security and higher wages.
The mostly male crowd of 15,000 thrust their fists into the air and set off hand-held sirens, while the band played patriotic music at the protest, organized by a trade union that claims 750,000 members.
The protest on the icy streets of Bucharest was one of several in recent days. With winter setting in, fears have increased that officials will slash jobs in state-run industries to control spending.

Czechs arrest Uzbek protected by Norway
PRAGUE, Czech Republic Acting on an international warrant, police have detained an Uzbek opposition leader who came to Prague at the invitation of Radio Free Europe, his attorney said.
Uzbekistan accuses Mukhammad Salikh of being an Islamic militant, but a human rights group said the charge is political and urged the Czech Republic not to extradite him.
Mr. Salikh lives in Norway, where he was granted political asylum after authorities ruled he was in danger of persecution in his homeland. Norwegian authorities were said to have rejected an extradition request from Uzbekistan.

Weekly notes
A fund set up to compensate Jewish victims of the Nazis paid out $1.13 billion through the end of June, the German government reports. It said 55,095 of 111,138 individual claimants had received payments, including 30,803 who live in Israel, 16,024 in the United States and 2,721 in Canada.

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