- The Washington Times - Monday, February 26, 2001

Palestinian confesses to fatal exchange

JERUSALEM A Palestinian woman, arrested last month on suspicion of luring an Israeli teen-ager to his death after an exchange of e-mails, has confessed, Israeli authorities said yesterday.
Mona Najar, 25, a free-lance journalist, denied any connection with the killing of Ophir Rakhum, 16, when she was arrested Jan. 20.
But after more than a month of interrogation, she acknowledged that she managed to persuade the youth, in an exchange of e-mails, to meet her on Jan. 17 at a Jerusalem bus station, the prime minister's office said.
Mr. Rakhum, who lived in the southern Israeli city of Ashkelon, took the bus to Jerusalem, where Miss Najar picked him up in a car and drove him into the West Bank, where he was slain, the statement said.

French find American's remains near border

MAUBEUGE, France The remains of a U.S. serviceman whose plane crashed in France during World War II were found last week in a northern French village, police said yesterday.
Skeletal remains and parts of a fighter plane were found Thursday in a soggy field that was being drained, said Michel Archimbault, a French police squad commander.
Some of the pilot's personal effects were also found, including dog tags that gave his name, William W. Patton, and serial number, Mr. Archimbault said. A uniform indicated the serviceman was an Air Force lieutenant, Mr. Archimbault said.

Britain confirms more foot-mouth woe

LONDON British agricultural authorities yesterday confirmed new cases of foot-and-mouth disease at a cattle and sheep farm in southwest England, amid rising fears of a wider outbreak.
Officials in northern England began the grim task of burning the carcasses of hundreds of animals slaughtered in an effort to contain the highly infectious livestock ailment.
More than 800 pigs doused in oil and placed on pyres were set on fire in Northumberland, in the outbreak's first mass incineration. Britain has been scrambling since Feb. 19 to contain the outbreak of the disease.

Ukrainians call for President's resignation

KIEV Several thousand Ukrainians marched through the capital, Kiev, yesterday, calling for President Leonid Kuchma to resign in a scandal over the apparent murder of a journalist.
The protest was the latest in a series of demonstrations sparked by the disappearance of journalist Georgiy Gongadze last year, but it failed to attract the 20,000 people organizers had predicted.

'Billy Elliot' star wins BAFTA award

LONDON A spike-haired teen-ager in his debut film wrestled the best actor crown from the hands of "Gladiator" star Russell Crowe last night at the BAFTA awards, Britain's equivalent of the Oscars, given by the British Academy of Film and Television.
Jamie Bell, 14, got the nod for his performance in "Billy Elliot," where he plays a miner's son who swaps boxing gloves for ballet shoes and pirouettes his way to the Royal Ballet School.
Tom Hanks, Geoffrey Rush and Russell Crowe, the beaten heavyweight competitors, whooped and wolf-whistled as Mr. Bell made his way through the leopard-skin seats to collect his award.

Moldova poised for Communist rule

CHISINAU, Moldova Moldova appeared to be headed for a return to Communist rule today as voters turned their backs on a decade of upheaval and market reform to embrace the nostalgic vision of more ordered times.

Initial indications from the former Soviet republic's parliamentary elections yesterday showed the Communists were on course to secure a majority to form a government, gaining at the expense of centrist, reformist parties.

Near midnight, the Communists were leading with 54.58 percent of the votes, Dumitru Nidelcu, head of the Central Election Commission, told state television.

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