- The Washington Times - Friday, July 20, 2001

Milosevic, spouse reunited in Dutch jail

THE HAGUE — Slobodan Milosevic was reunited with his wife yesterday as she made her first trip to The Hague since the ousted Yugoslav leader was spirited out of Serbia to face war-crimes charges.

Mirjana Markovic, nicknamed Serbia's "Lady Macbeth" for her influence on the ex-president, spent more than six hours at the U.N. detention center in The Hague, where Mr. Milosevic awaits trial on charges including crimes against humanity.

The former first lady, who traveled to the Netherlands on a scheduled flight from Belgrade, was whisked in and out of the detention unit in a black BMW. She said nothing to reporters.

But Russian radio quoted Mr. Milosevic's brother as saying his wife, 59, was upset at being separated from her husband, who was handed into the custody of the U.N. International War Crimes Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia on June 28.


6 Russian soldiers seized in crimes

MOSCOW — After weeks of criticism over reported abuses, officials said yesterday that six Russian servicemen had been arrested for crimes against civilians during house-to-house searches for rebels in Chechnya.

The arrests stem from a military operation this month in which Chechen human rights groups and civilians charge Russian soldiers descended on three villages and went on a rampage while searching for rebels.

All males between 15 and 50 in the villages of Assinovskaya, Sernovodsk and Kurchaloi were rounded up and forced to kneel for hours, witnesses said.


Japan again disparages whales as 'cockroaches'

TOKYO — The Japanese government stood by its fisheries chief's description of minke whales as the "cockroaches" of the sea, but denied that Japan bribes poorer nations to support its pro-whaling stance.

The day before, fisheries agency counselor Masayuki Komatsu said in an interview with Australian Broadcasting Corp. that "there are too many" minke whales — the species of whale most often killed by Japanese fishermen. His comments came as he denounced efforts to curb Japan's whaling industry.

Japan kills about 500 whales a year, nearly all of them minkes, as part of a scientific whaling program allowed by the International Whaling Commission.


North Korea defends human rights record

GENEVA — North Korea, addressing the United Nations' human rights body for the first time in 18 years, yesterday brushed aside criticism of its record, saying it had developed its own values based on the will of the people.

The isolated communist state, where up to 1 million people are feared to have died of starvation since 1995, said it had created a society where there was no inequality and all had the right to education, housing and health.

"The Democratic People's Republic of Korea has developed a Korean style of human rights, which reflects the desires of the people," ambassador Ri Tcheul told the United Nations' Human Rights Committee.


Russia delays response to U.S. missile defense

MOSCOW — A top Kremlin national-security adviser said yesterday that Russia would make a formal response to U.S. plans to build a national missile defense in October at the earliest.

"I think that in October, if not later, a delegation will complete its evaluation process" of this month's U.S. missile-defense test, said Igor Sergeyev, Kremlin adviser on strategic issues.

"Only after conducting this strategic study can we begin a specific discussion about two interlinked things — that is, the ABM and its future, will the agreement remained unchanged or not," Mr. Sergeyev said.


Payoff to Montesinos by drug cartel reported

MEXICO CITY — Peru's jailed former spymaster, Vladimiro Montesinos, received $50,000 a month from Mexico's Tijuana drug cartel to protect shipments of cocaine from Peru, La Jornada reported yesterday, citing documents from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

With the Peruvian's help, the powerful drug cartel imported 18 tons of cocaine into Mexico between 1995 and 1998, according to declassified documents cited by the daily newspaper.

The paper says the documents show the DEA was already aware in 1996 that Montesinos was paid that amount for his "collaboration."

It said the Peruvian's contact in Mexico was Agustin Vazquez Mendoza, who is wanted in the United States for the 1994 killing of a DEA agent.

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