- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 2, 2004

CHINA

Criticisms of Bush are cast in doubt

The State Department said yesterday it will seek clarification from China after contested reports that former senior Chinese official Qian Qichen had strongly criticized the “Bush doctrine” of pre-emptive strikes.

A Chinese Embassy official in Washington said Mr. Qian, a former vice prime minister and former foreign minister, had not been interviewed by China Daily, in which the remarks appeared, nor had he written an article for the newspaper.

The paper also quoted Mr. Qian as saying the invasion of Iraq had “destroyed the hard-won global anti-terror coalition.” But a State Department spokesman said the comments were not consistent with views outlined by Chinese officials to Secretary of State Colin L. Powell in Beijing last week.

AFGHANISTAN

U.S. soldier killed, 2 hurt in attack

KABUL — Militants attacked U.S. troops patrolling in southeastern Afghanistan yesterday, killing one American soldier and wounding two with gunfire and rockets, the military said.

The American patrol came under fire near Orgun, a town in Paktika province, where U.S. troops man a base close to the Pakistani border.

In other violence yesterday, Afghan soldiers clashed with police in the southern province of Zabul and Afghan troops battled militiamen in the city of Kandahar, killing two, according to local officials.

SOUTH KOREA

North accuses navy of provocation

SEOUL — North Korea accused the South’s navy today of staging a grave provocation that could lead to a maritime skirmish after South Korean patrol boats fired warning shots to repel navy vessels from the North.

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff said yesterday three North Korean patrol boats had crossed the so-called Northern Limit Line in two separate incidents in the space of just over an hour in the West Sea, also known as the Yellow Sea.

SERBIA-MONTENEGRO

Milosevic allowed to defend himself

THE HAGUE — Slobodan Milosevic can once again lead his own defense at the U.N. war-crimes tribunal but must accept a standby lawyer in case he becomes too ill to continue, appeals judges ruled yesterday.

The compromise decision represents a rare courtroom victory for the former Yugoslav president and promises to break an impasse in his 33-month-old trial on charges of war crimes, including genocide.

BRITAIN

London Times goes tabloid

LONDON — The Times of London yesterday became the second major British newspaper to change from the broadsheet format to tabloid.

The decision to go totally tabloid risks alienating some of the 216-year-old newspaper’s more traditionalist readers.

LATVIA

Security tightened in Northern Europe

RIGA — Security was tighter around the U.S. embassies in Finland and Latvia yesterday amid a U.S. warning that Americans living and traveling in the Nordic and Baltic nations should be on guard against terrorist strikes.

Many governments in the region said there was no specific evidence of a planned attack, but Norway closed its embassy in Riga, the Latvian capital, and port officials in Tallinn, Estonia, said they had begun checking passengers and baggage at terminals for Baltic Sea ferries.

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