- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 14, 2000

Clinton leaves rocky road in Ireland

BELFAST President Clinton's Irish farewell ended yesterday with the path to peace in Northern Ireland as rocky as ever.

Mr. Clinton began his trip to Ireland by warmly embracing Sinn Fein President Gerry Adams as he arrived in Dublin on Tuesday. Unlike five years earlier, when the two hid from photographers, this time they greeted each other in front of cameras.

Meanwhile, Sen.-elect Hillary Rodham Clinton accepted a kiss from Martin McGuinness, the former chief of staff of the Provisional IRA who is now education minister in a Catholic-Protestant government.

By the time he ended his trip yesterday, Mr. Clinton had slammed into a brick wall with hard-line Protestant politicians in Belfast claiming the United States unfairly favored the Irish Republican Army's Roman Catholic minority.

Greek terrorists mock authorities

ATHENS, Greece An elusive Greek terrorist group has released a lengthy statement mocking law enforcement authorities and saying the June assassination of a senior British diplomat was its most important act of violence.

The group, November 17, is blamed for 22 assassinations since 1975. In a six-page statement published yesterday in the Athens daily Eleftherotypia, the group said the killers of Brig. Gen. Stephen Saunders were able to weave through heavy rush-hour traffic on a motorcycle while carrying a 3-foot-long military assault rifle.

No members of the group, which surfaced in 1975 with the slaying of CIA station chief Richard Welch, have ever been caught.

Solzhenitsyn dislikes new Russian anthem

MOSCOW Russian writer Alexander Solzhenitsyn yesterday criticized plans to reinstate the melody of the Soviet anthem as Russia's national hymn, calling the move "extremely inappropriate and ill-timed."

The former Soviet political prisoner questioned making the issue of state symbols a priority, saying "you cannot save a dying country with symbols."

Mr. Solzhenitsyn, whose chronicle of life in Stalinist-era labor camps made him a strong voice in defense of human rights, spoke after a ceremony at the French Embassy in Moscow at which he was awarded a French humanities prize.

Albright to urge defense cooperation

BRUSSELS Secretary of State Madeleine K. Albright, making her last appearance at a NATO ministerial meeting for the Clinton administration, joins fellow foreign ministers today in examining proposals for cooperation between a planned European Union force and the Western alliance.

The 15 EU leaders agreed at a summit last week in Nice, France, on details for setting up and operating a 60,000-man rapid-reaction corps for peacekeeping or humanitarian missions.

Chinese police Falun funeral

BEIJING In an unusual display of support for a follower of the banned Falun Gong movement, hundreds of mourners attended the heavily policed funeral yesterday of an adherent who died after suffering severe neck injuries inflicted by police.

Despite the official view that Falun Gong is an evil and socially menacing sect, hundreds of Zhao Xin's friends and relatives gathered at a cemetery in west Beijing, including five busloads of people from the university where she taught.

The 32-year-old lecturer died Monday, six months after she and 20 other Falun Gong followers were arrested. Uniformed and plainclothes police kept watch but did not turn away mourners.

Iran hard-liners target president

TEHRAN Iran's hard-liners yesterday demanded its highest court take action against popular President Mohammad Khatami, saying he violated the constitution by easing social restrictions and allowing the economy to languish.

The court "has the legal right to look into the president's constitutional violations," said Hamid Reza Taraqi, a leading member of the hard-line Islamic Coalition Society.

Mohammad Salamati, a leading reform official, said Monday that the hard-liners are trying to unseat Mr. Khatami.

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