- The Washington Times - Sunday, February 9, 2003

SPAIN
Police chief fatally shot, Basque rebels blamed
BILBAO A hooded gunman shot and killed a local police chief yesterday in the Basque region of northern Spain in an attack that authorities blamed on outlawed separatist guerrilla group ETA.
The attack, which would be the first ETA killing in 2003, stirred public anger in Spain. It came amid heightened tension in the largely autonomous Basque region as Madrid pushes ahead with plans to outlaw radical nationalist party Batasuna ahead of elections in May.
The gunman burst into a cafe in the northern Basque town of Andoain and shot police Sgt. Joseba Pagazaurtundua, 45, several times in the head and back as he was eating breakfast.

SRI LANKA
Tamil Tiger rebels vow to end child recruitment
BERLIN Sri Lanka's Tamil Tigers pledged yesterday to stop recruiting child soldiers, one of the biggest obstacles to the rebels' hopes of being seen as a legitimate political party.
The rebels also agreed at the end of two days of peace talks in Berlin aimed at ending a war that has killed 64,000 people that a former Amnesty International head would draw up a blueprint for human rights issues linked to the peace process.
Norway's Foreign Ministry secretary, Vidar Helgesen, who is brokering the peace talks, said the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam would work with UNICEF on the plan.

INDIA
New Delhi, Islamabad expel diplomats
NEW DELHI India and Pakistan cut back diplomatic representation for the second time this year yesterday, each blaming the other for deteriorating relations.
The expulsions wrecked hopes the nuclear-armed neighbors might soon begin talks to settle their perennial dispute over the divided Himalayan region of Kashmir.
India ordered Jalil Abbas Jilani, acting head of Pakistan's diplomatic mission in New Delhi, to leave the country and accused him of funneling money to separatists in the Indian part of Kashmir. Hours later, Pakistan expelled Sudhir Vyas, the acting Indian high commissioner in Islamabad.

RUSSIA
Hostage theater revives musical
MOSCOW The city theater where Chechen guerrillas seized the audience in October and 170 people died in the ensuing siege reopened yesterday before an emotional crowd of Russian politicians, celebrities and former hostages.
The restaging of "Nord-Ost," the musical being performed when armed Chechens burst in and took more than 700 people hostage, was a symbol for Muscovites that they could lead normal lives despite threats, Moscow Mayor Yuri Luzhkov said.

VENEZUELA
Thousands march in support of oil workers
CARACAS Tens of thousands of Venezuelans marched yesterday in support of 9,000 oil workers fired for leading a two-month strike against President Hugo Chavez that battered the economy of this oil-dependent nation.
Chavez opponents gathered outside four Caracas office buildings of the state oil monopoly, Petroleos de Venezuela SA, or PDVSA, waving national flags and chanting anti-government slogans.
Venezuela's opposition business groups, labor unions, and leftist and conservative politicians ended a two-month general strike yesterday in all areas but the crucial oil industry. The strike began Dec. 2 and sought Mr. Chavez's resignation or early elections.

CANADA
Chretien's plane makes emergency landing
MONTREAL A private airplane carrying Prime Minister Jean Chretien from Ottawa to Montreal late Thursday was forced to make an emergency landing at Montreal's Dorval airport, the newspaper La Presse reported.
"At no time was the prime minister's life in danger late Thursday," Mr. Chretien's office told the newspaper, noting that it was the second time he had been involved in such an incident.

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