- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 1, 2004

CUBA

Jailed dissident poet, politician released

HAVANA — Cuba’s communist government freed two more dissidents yesterday, including its most prominent jailed critic, poet and journalist Raul Rivero, after 18 months behind bars.

The other man released was opposition politician Osvaldo Alfonso Valdes, who said he had tried to commit suicide in jail.

The two men were among 75 dissidents arrested in a crackdown in March 2003 and sentenced to prison terms of up to 28 years on charges of conspiring with the United States to overthrow President Fidel Castro.

CONGO

Rwandan troops invade, official says

KINSHASA — A senior Congolese official said yesterday that his nation had been invaded by neighboring Rwanda, and U.N. officials said they were investigating accusations that Rwandan forces clashed with militias in the east.

“We are on a war footing,” Mbusa Nyamwisi, a Cabinet minister, said in the city of Beni, which he said was near the fighting. “We are being attacked by the Rwandan troops.”

MOZAMBIQUE

Voters to choose presidential successor

MAPUTO — Mozambicans go to the polls today and tomorrow to elect a successor to President Joaquim Chissano, who is stepping down after leading the southern African country to peace after a lengthy and brutal civil war that killed up to a million people.

The elections to choose a new president and deputies to the 250-seat Parliament are the third since the end of the 16-year civil conflict, which started a year after the country’s 1975 independence from Portugal.

Mr. Chissano’s governing Mozambique Liberation Front, a former armed group that led the fight against Portuguese colonial rule, has chosen wealthy businessman and party stalwart Armando Guebuza as its presidential candidate.

PHILIPPINES

Rainstorm kills hundreds in flooding

MARAGUNDON — A powerful rainstorm triggered landslides and flash floods that killed nearly 340 people in the eastern Philippines, officials said yesterday, and rescuers raced to save those stranded in three coastal towns before a typhoon strikes the region.

At least 150 persons were reported missing, and the region largely was cut off by landslides and floodwaters that washed away bridges and roads. circling off the Pacific coast could hit the area as early as today.

INDONESIA

At least 31 persons die in plane crash

JAKARTA — A Lion Air passenger plane carrying almost 150 people skidded off a runway in central Indonesia during heavy rain and split into two pieces yesterday, killing at least 31 persons, airline officials and witnesses said.

At least 62 persons were injured, officials said. Some survivors were still stuck in the wreckage three hours later, press reports said.

AFGHANISTAN

Wreckage found of missing craft

KABUL — Rescuers found the wreckage of a plane used by the U.S. Air Force and recovered the bodies of several Americans who were aboard when it crashed in snow-covered mountains during the weekend, Afghan police said.

The missing transport plane, which was carrying three U.S. soldiers and three American crew members, was found southeast of Bamiyan in the heart of the Hindu Kush mountains, said Ghulam Mohammed, a senior police official in Bamiyan.

He said several bodies were recovered and taken to the U.S. military base at Bagram.From wire dispatches and staff reports

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