- The Washington Times - Monday, June 11, 2001

Swiss to arm peacekeepers
BERN, Switzerland — Swiss voters yesterday gave razor-thin approval to a government proposal to arm peacekeepers, rejecting nationalist claims it will wreck Switzerlands 200-year record of staying out of world conflicts.
The defense minister acknowledged the strong opposition to the measure and underlined that the countrys troops on foreign missions would be armed only to defend themselves.
"In no case will Swiss soldiers in U.N. or OSCE peacekeeping forces take part in combat," Defense Minister Samuel Schmid said.
Unarmed Swiss forces are currently deployed with both the United Nations and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Rwanda urged to end resettlements
KIGALI, Rwanda — Human Rights Watch is calling on Rwanda to halt the forced resettlement of tens of thousands of farmers to new villages, saying it was causing terrible suffering to the rural poor.
Rwanda contends that by moving farmers to government-designated villages, or "imidugudu," it is fostering development and providing them with security as it copes with the return of hundreds of thousands of refugees following the nations 1994 genocide.
In a report released today titled "Uprooting The Rural Poor in Rwanda," the New York-based human rights group said the program violated the rights of the farmers by forcing them to abandon their rural homes.

China tightens laws against Falun Gong
BEIJING — China has again tightened its laws against the Falun Gong spiritual movement, highlighting the governments difficulties in stamping out the group after banning it nearly two years ago.
A legal directive issued by Chinese judicial authorities and announced yesterday by the official Xinhua News Agency marked a further hardening in the crackdown on Falun Gong, which the government considers a dangerous cult.
Under the directive, courts can prosecute Falun Gong practitioners for intentional wounding or murder (a death penalty offense in China) for organizing, encouraging or helping fellow followers commit suicide or injure themselves.

Bodies discovered in Bosnian pit
MOUNT MALUSA, Bosnia — Bosnian Muslim officials, alerted by a letter from an anonymous Serb, said yesterday they had found up to 15 bodies in a pit, apparently victims from the notorious Foca prison camp during the Bosnian civil war.
"We already have eight skulls, and judging by shoes we can now talk about 13 or maybe even 15 [bodies]," Amor Masovic, the head of the Commission for Missing Persons, said outside the Piljak pit on this eastern Bosnia mountain.
Mr. Masovic said the narrow and barely accessible pit deep in dense forest on a steep slope could contain more bodies.
The Foca prison camp was formed after local Serbs took over the town in the spring of 1992.

Pope elevates five to sainthood
VATICAN CITY — Pope John Paul II appealed for peace in the Middle East yesterday as he elevated five persons to sainthood, including Lebanons first woman saint.
A tired-looking John Paul canonized the five amid hymns and the cheers of thousands gathered under the hazy skies at St. Peters Square. Images of the new saints, framed by tapestries, adorned the facade of St. Peters Basilica.
Among the five was Sister Rafqa of the Lebanese Maronite Antonine Order, Lebanons first woman saint.


Cyprus aims for worlds largest kebab
LIMASSOL, Cyprus — A huge kebab made with 1,500 chickens was cooked on the waterfront of this tourist resort yesterday in a bid to make the Guinness Book of Records.
The kebab, made of sliced chicken meat, was more than 7 feet tall and 3 feet thick. It was spiked on a revolving spit and took more than seven hours to cook.

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